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South Sudan’s president downplays calls to step down

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August 10, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has downplayed activists’ calls for him to step down, warning that social fabrics could be torn down as the young nation disintegrates.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)

His remarks come against the backdrop of calls from civil society groups, demanding for political changes in the country 10 years after it attained independence.

The group, People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), said South Sudan had "lost its moral, political, economic and cultural bearing with no collective sense of higher purpose".

It accused Kiir’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of failure to govern the country.

But the South Sudanese leader, while meeting a group of elder on Sunday, warned those advocating for his exit against mobilising the country’s citizens.

“There are people writing on the internet and I hear they are mobilizing youth to go on the street and protest. I also hear these activities have been extended to public places like universities. The people behind these activities are imitating what happened in other countries and they do not these activities are not helpful and if there are people who talk to them, they need to tell them to stop”, said Kiir

He added, “What those involved in activities encouraging demonstration were the problem, and that they are the ones who, instead of working with us to rebuild the country, are working hard to tear down and destroy what has been achieved. These are the people who want the country to disintegrate”.

According to the president, there are people he did not name involved in speculations about his health and that some of these allegations are created to incite violence and divide the country.

“When such people continue to engage in such activities, they do not know their activities are causing panic and confusion”, he said.

The decision to step down, according to South Sudanese leader, will come from the people and not through individuals acting on foreign agenda.

Observers and political opponents argue that the years Kiir has spent at the helm of the country’s leadership have been marred by despair, corruption, and instability because of employing tyrannical strategies to consolidate his grip on power by deterring those pursuing fundamental rights.

(ST)

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