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South Sudan opposition alliance decries extension of Kiir’s term

July 2, 2018 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Thursday slammed the adoption by the South Sudanese parliament of a constitutional amendment extending the mandate of President Salva Kiir, his deputies and the parliament until 21 August 2021.

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The High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) at the African Union Hall, Addis Ababa (Getty)

In a statement extended to the Sudan Tribune, the SSOA condemned the extension saying the "unconstitutional" move undermined the ongoing peace talks.

"We condemn this move in the strongest terms possible. This is a regime only concerned about its stay in power rather than lift the suffering from the people of South Sudan. It has lost the moral and legal legitimacy to govern," stressed the statement.

The South Sudanese forces participating in the IGAD-led revitalization process signed a security arrangements agreement on 6 July in Khartoum but they continue to diverge over the power-sharing chapter of the 2015 peace agreement despite a meeting in Entebbe involving PresidentS Omer al-Bashir, Yoweri Museveni, Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar on 7 July.

The opposition alliance says the Entebbe Proposal was reached by President Kiir and his former vice-president Machar and they had been excluded from the talks.

The statement reiterated that "Only an inclusive negotiated peace agreement will deliver South Sudan from its current crisis and downslide into an abyss".

The opposition coalition further called on the South Sudanese people and the friends of South Sudan to reject this extension.

"We must unite all our efforts to bring pressure to bear on the regime so that they stop this diversionary move and concentrate minds on the peace process now underway. Legitimacy can only come from the people not from an institution which lacks authority to grant legitimacy," said the statement.

Juba government had threatened to organize elections if the opposition didn’t sign a peace agreement before the end of the presidential term in August 2018. However, the lack of security and money pushed to opt for this solution for the second time since the eruption of war in December 2013.