September 2, 2016 (JUBA) – Former Secretary General of the ruling party in South Sudan, Pagan Amum, has called for removal of President Salva Kiir from the presidency “within weeks”, describing him as a warmongering and violent corrupt leader who has led the country to endless civil wars.
- The SPLM’s former secretary-general, Pagan Amum, talks to reporters following his release outside the court in Juba on 25 April 2014 (Photo: Anadolu Agency/Atem Simon)
Amum, who was the top officer in charge of the ruling party’s secretariat, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), chaired by President Kiir, but who was imprisoned and dismissed in 2013 when crisis erupted in the country, has been taking refuge in the United States after his release in 2014.
He and dozens others were accused of attempting a coup against the President, but which they dismissed as false, saying it was an attempt by the President to silent voices for democratic change and reforms within the party.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, Amum said the visiting members of the United Nations Security Council to Juba should see how President Kiir has ruined the country and should therefore instead help in making sure his leadership comes to an end.
“The Security Council of the United Nations arrives in South Sudan today for talks with Salva Kiir and his administration. The meeting comes fresh on the heels of still more massacres and killings in Yei town and obstructions to UNMISS forces, as well as media disclosures of another half billion dollars of Kiir government kickbacks, double billings and outright theft, much of it involving the President himself. It is plain for all, including the Security Council, to see that the Kiir regime has reached the end of its life,” Amum wrote.
“As the Council will see in Juba and the rest of South Sudan, this regime is destroying the country. In Juba J1 palace, they will find a motley group that has lost vision and moral compass, and now looks only for cover and redemption,” he said.
Amum said the topic of the visiting UN delegation should be on how to dissolve President Kiir’s regime.
“The principal topic for discussion by the "government" of the day, the UN, the African Union and IGAD Plus should be the immediate steps to dissolve the Kiir regime within weeks and transfer power to a South Sudanese government of technocrats, with protection and stability provided by United Nations, working with IGAD and other African nations,” he said.
He also called for deployment of regional Protection Forces to Juba and to be accompanied by a political process that “includes all South Sudanese stakeholders; political parties, technocrats, civil society, labour unions, professional associations, youth and women groups, as well as representatives of the various tribal militia groups and others.”
If the current “tribalist kleptocracy is allowed to continue”, he said, the country will disintegrate.
“The people of South Sudan will continue to suffer irredeemable harm and loss of resources. Worst of all, the period of our eventual recovery will be measured not in years, but in decades if not centuries,” he warned.
He mocked the claims by President Kiir and his officials that they were a sovereign state, saying they are not for the welfare of the nation and its people.
“Sovereignty grants no rights to an undisciplined and greedy band who make only the barest pretense of operating for the benefit of South Sudan taken as a whole. The people of South Sudan indeed have sovereign rights, which they ultimately will exercise in a free and fair election, choosing their leaders in an atmosphere far removed from that which prevails now in Kiir’s South Sudan.”
Amum called upon the Security Council to bring the agony of the people of South Sudan to a full stop, adding it should begin negotiations for an immediate change in the country.
“Already, many have fought and died for her independence and for the dignity of her people. The current fratricidal bloodshed and conflict must end, and the work for a better life must begin,” he said.