April 13, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga has issued a statement calling for the release of all political detainees. He also warned that the country would collapse if no immediate action was taken.
- South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga, speaks at a press conference in the capital, Juba, on 28 December 2013 (AP)
“If we allow South Sudan to collapse in our hands, we the leaders of today without exception being undersecretary or director, it means you are a leader in that particular government institution,” said the Vice President.
Vice President Igga, an ally of President Salva Kiir in the Equatoria region is also a high ranking member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), controlling majority members in the cabinet, the army, judiciary and the national legislature in areas under the SPLM.
While speaking at a public lecture at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in Juba on Wednesday, the Vice President warned that the ongoing war in the country was tearing it into pieces, stressing that the leaders would be held accountable if the country collapsed.
He also admitted that the 2015 peace agreement signed between the armed and non-opposition group was now standing on “one leg.”
“No, we cannot allow our country to be destroyed in this way. We really have to do something, especially the leaders of today. There is a need for a general amnesty and release of all detained civilians,” said Vice President Igga.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to hold the national dialogue without saying when the process would commence and whether they had resolved whether the armed opposition would be allowed to participate without any preconditions.
“We should be committed as members and leaders of this government, and transparency is needed in the country,” he added.
Igga is the first high-ranking official to publicly admit that the peace agreement was facing challenges and to call for the release of those who have been detained by the government on grounds that linked them to the armed opposition, under the leadership of the exiled former Vice President, Riek Machar.