July 22, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, has held consultative meeting with ethnic Nuer leaders in the country’s capital, Juba, raising political fears he could replace his main political rival and deputy in unity government and the leader of armed opposition, Riek Machar, after issuing ultimatum to establish contact with him within 48 hours.
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir speaks at a public rally in Juba on 18 March 2015 (Photo: AP/Jason Patinkin)
The Leadership of the Nuer, according to the statement read over the state owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) by presidential adviser on educational affairs, John Gai Yoh, condemned what the leaders described as the shoot-out that took place in J1 on the 8 July 2016.
The Leadership of the Nuer expressed support to the leadership and government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The group who are members of President Kiir’s faction in the government further added that the leadership of the Nuer appreciated the role played by the security organs in maintaining and managing the security and safety of the people, and encouraged them to continue to do so.
The statement further added that the leadership of the Nuer feels there is an urgent need to discuss the question of leadership between the Nuer and Dinka as well as among other tribes in South Sudan.
They said they would also conduct urgent consultations between the Nuer and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and former detainees (FDs).
“The Leadership of the Nuer sees a need for urgent discussions to be conducted between Nuer and Dinka leaders and with other South Sudanese community leaders as urgent matter. The Leadership of the Nuer request empowerment of the State Governments in the Greater Upper Nile region to enable them to transport the internally displaced people back to their respective areas,” the statement reads in part.
Observers say the group majority of whom are politicians serving in different capacities in the government may have been pressured by the government to support its positions in wanting to replace Machar with Taban Deng Gai, who has turned an ally of the government in protest of appointment as the mining minister instead of minister of petroleum.