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S. Sudan risks returning to full scale war: presidential aide

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August 16, 2021 (JUBA)- A top presidential aide has warned the country could return to a full scale if president Salva Kiir and his first deputy in coalition of government and the leader of the main opposition continue to ignore “popular demand” for reforms and delivery of services to the people.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

“We have always drawn the attention of our leaders to what happens in other countries. We do that to inform their decisions and to enhance their leadership strengths. We drew their attention to events in Haiti where the president was assassinated and Khartoum where president Bashir was removed from power as well as in Zimbabwe where late president Robert Mugabe was removed from power by his own colleagues after showing intransigence to the demand of the people”, a presidential aide in strategic analysis committee of a select coterie and trusted aides told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

The group, assembled by the office of the president through the director of the national security services, are drawn from academics, members of the civil society, experienced politicians, and elders come together whenever there is a crisis at the behest of the leadership to conduct analysis and make recommendation. The source said he was shocked the leadership was not ready to act.

“People are watching developments unfolding in Afghanistan where Talibans have taken over power from the government after twenty years of struggle and in Zambia after the incumbent president was defeated in elections. These are writings on the walls which we share in the strategic and confidential discussions with the leadership but the analysis we are asked to provide on their requests appear to go to the dustbin and there are indicators that the country could return to a full-scale war if there are no immediate actions to salvage the situation”, he warned.

He said and he and select group of coteries within the presidency have been making analysis at the behest of President Salva Kiir through the director general of the internal bureau of the national security services over the past months without progress on their recommendations.

He described the director general of the country’s national security services as a "wiseman", citing his readiness to meet and listen to whoever is willing to speak on public affairs and what to be done.

“You see, the director general of the national security services is a Wiseman. He is a humble man and respectful person I have come to know in the course of this work. He would come to us and say comrades, give us an analysis of this and that situation and he does this whenever there are political developments in the region and in the world. We conduct these analyses, and he takes them to the president for briefing. We expect positive feedbacks but each time we analyze, it is like we are starting from scratch. Nobody is reading and if they do, they are not ready to act on the recommendations”, he said.

The warnings come days after a split within the leadership of armed opposition under Machar raised fears that such developments could undermine implementation of the 2018 peace agreement and the ripple effects could plunge the trouble-torn country deeper into chaos.

The inability of the coalition government to graduate troops in the training centers and unify the forces has left the country in the hand of ethnic and regional warlords, opening the floodgates for instability.

A bloody power struggle which has bedeviled all factions and a humanitarian crisis have ravaged a landlocked country , even as the world is struggling to come to grips with the fast-deteriorating situation.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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