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President Kiir’s legal advisor denies letter backing VP Igga

June 3, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan president, Salva Kiir’s legal advisor, Telar Riing Deng, has distanced himself from a recent letter, alleging he had proposed vice-president, James Wani Igga as the new chief mediator in the ongoing talks with the country’s rebels.

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Telar Ring Deng (Photo credit: Moses Lomayat)

The letter, also obtained by Sudan Tribune, argued that the move to appoint Igga, as a replacement for Nhail Deng Nhial, would woo and court Equatorians to support president Kiir’s regime.

VP Igga hails from the greater Equatoria region while Nhial comes from greater Barh el Ghazal.

The undated missive further stated that by courting the vice-president into a “more useful role”, it would avoid the widespread misconception that the negotiators were selected on tribal bases.

“We must find a role for the vice -president to participate in the talks. As the negotiations in Addis move to considering substantive issues of power sharing leading to interim period etc, it is essential that the vice-president takes the lead in the peace talks”, party reads the missive entitled “My perspective on the current situation in South Sudan”.

But Kiir’s legal advisor, in his response extended to Sudan Tribune, categorically denied ever authoring any advisory letter to the president and that the document neither contained his signature nor was on an official letterhead.

“On the face value of the letter in question, a casual glance shows that the letter does not bear my signature nor the official letter head of the presidential advisor on legal affairs, moreover, the same was not dated,” party reads Telar’s 2 June, 2014 letter.

Sudan Tribune wishes to thank president Kiir’s legal advisor and its readers for their feedback as well as the initiative to bring this matter to our attention, allowing us to set the record straight.

At the same time, however, we would like to sincerely apologise for the misjudgment on our part and any inconvenience this may have caused.

Sudan Tribune takes its journalistic mission and credibility very seriously. We wish to reiterate that we continue to have a strong and unflinching commitment to accuracy and transparency and we will not hesitate at any time to correct ourselves and explain to our readers, if and when something is incorrectly reported as was the case with the aforementioned story.

(ST).

Please find here under a link to full text of Telar’s reaction to the story we published on Monday.

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Telar’s Statement