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South Sudan rebels say president Kiir a challenge to the world

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July 9, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels said the world should not allow president Salva Kiir to impose himself and continue as president by “usurping” powers of the people, adding the act of self-extension of tenure by three years was a challenge to the democratic nations across the globe.

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses journalists during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya (Photo AP)

President Kiir on Wednesday began his renewed three years term of office per extension by the national legislature in the country. This, the parliament said, was in the absence of elections this year due to the ongoing civil war in the country.

But the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), led by his former deputy, Riek Machar, said the action was unconstitutional and that president Kiir, governors and national and state legislatures were therefore illegitimate, plunging the country into constitutional crisis.

“This could only be seen in desperate, vision-lacking dictatorships like the regime of Salva Kiir where elected members of parliament refused to give power back to the people. The MPs decided to self-renew their electable memberships and that of the president just with the stroke of a pen despite expiry of their tenures,” said James Gatdet Dak, press secretary for the opposition leader, Riek Machar.

“Salva Kiir is usurping the power of the people in total disregard for democratic principles and practices. It is a coup against the people,” Dak told Sudan Tribune when contacted on Thursday.

The rebel leader’s spokesman challenged the international community, particularly democratic nations in the region and around the world, to not let Kiir get away with “this bad precedence” in the country and should therefore be isolated and declared illegitimate.

President Kiir’s elected five-year term of office expired two months ago on 21 May. Tenure for the elected national legislature expired on 8 March. A four-year constitutional mandate after independence for both executive and legislative leaderships and memberships which started on 9 July 2011 also expired on Wednesday 8 July 2015.

On Wednesday the rebel leader Machar called for a press conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in which he released a statement declaring president Kiir unconstitutional and illegitimate by 8 July midnight when his four-year term in office provided by the transitional constitution, 2011, expired.

However, when inquired whether this declaration meant the rebels were withdrawing from negotiations with president Kiir, Dak explained that the statement was not a withdrawal from the IGAD-led peace process, saying they wanted the world to understand that they would be dealing with an illegitimate peace partner.

“Our leadership will be propagating to the world to seriously take up the challenge by not leaving Salva Kiir’s despotic, illegitimate regime unchecked,” he said.

He said the international community should not this time repeat the “weakness of inaction”, pointing out that president Kiir’s forces carried out massacres of thousands of civilians targeting an ethnic group in Juba in the presence of embassies or foreign missions and no action was taken by those nations against him.

An alternative for a new political dispensation in the absence of elections, he said, was to reach a peace agreement and form a transitional government of national unity which shall implement the would-be peace agreement and prepare for the next elections.

He lamented it was unfortunate that the current ruling party and former guerilla movement (SPLM) was being led by dictators from its inception in 1983 whom he said had to violently resist positive changes and ideas and only to accept such changes after blood-letting. He cited the quest for self-determination and now democracy as examples.

He concluded by pointing out that from 9 July president Kiir was imposing himself on the people of South Sudan by usurping their power unconstitutionally, saying the citizens now had the right to overthrow him.

Fighting erupted on 15 December 2013 when internal debate over democratic political transformation and reforms within the leadership of the ruling party turned violent, plunging the country into national crisis and civil war.

Peace talks between the warring parties to try to end the 19-month long war are expected to resume this mid-July in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, mediated by the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

(ST)

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  • 10 July 2015 05:22, by Kenyang

    Impatient animals in less then 2 yrs are unable to finish what they started. They are already calling someone else to remove Kiir. What they don’t know, the world know them well. Who would they rule in South Sudan?

    repondre message

    • 10 July 2015 06:04, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Kirr will only relinquish the seat when he is told to do so by Dinkas themselves, any ruthless action by groups of traitors to hoist him by force will even encourage Dinkas to protect him even more. Riek was going to be accommodated for the sake of peace, but now that he is calling the world to bring Kirr down.he will be left out of any deal from today onward.

      repondre message

      • 10 July 2015 06:40, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        there is no way America, UN and IGAD will colesce to hoist a president of a nation that will likely become a second Somali. if Riek thinks he could change this government, why stay in Addis- Ababa when the roads leading to South Sudan are not block by anybody? the bullets fodders (white armies) are in Jewi, Pinynido, Gambella and Liethchuor. all of them reject recruitment to be use for nothing.

        repondre message

      • 10 July 2015 13:10, by Eastern

        Lotodo,

        Get this fact right; Dinkas can’t manage to fight the whole of South Sudanese (nuer now and the rest if dinka intresigence continues). Museveni already has a lot of heat he has to deal with at home. How long will the dinka dealing with Isreali arms dealers last?

        repondre message

        • 10 July 2015 15:14, by Lotodo Awino Odug

          we have enough stockpiles of guns and manpower to operate them. what we want right now those insects, who march into peaceful communities to come and finish their takeover.

          repondre message

    • 10 July 2015 06:25, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Who is a cancer to the world as well as to south Sudan? is a RIEK MACHAR, because there is a room for accommodation for him and the rests of arms groups against the government but RIEK refused. let him enjoyed the bush as he choose.

      repondre message

  • 10 July 2015 07:53, by Lorolokin

    Machar,

    You are the only challenge to the world not Kiir because you would have wait to challenge him in a ballot box if you are really a Doctor compared to Kiir who was an intelligent in Basher Government, I really feel sorry for you as a Doctor yet behaving like as if you weren’t been to school.
    Kiir is better off than you.

    Kinkak

    repondre message

    • 10 July 2015 08:43, by Mi diit

      Lorokin,

      Stop this nonsense. Dr. Riek Machar did exactly that. He declared his democratic constitutional right to contest against Kiir in the party and 2015 elections. What did Kiir do? He called it indiscipline and faked a coup to get rid of Machar, Pagan and Nyandeng who expressed their desire to contest. So Kiir is the challenge to world’s democracy.

      repondre message

      • 10 July 2015 11:46, by Panda Odhie

        Miidit
        your leader do not have reasoning capacity at all, Kiir accomplish the right procedures which are undeniably because when there is no election, the amendment should be done as it is, your reason of making noise is not clear. election was stop due to there is no peace in the country, so the extension is the only solution who is not agreeing is up to him or her. STOP YOUR BULSHIT!!!!!!!

        repondre message

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