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President Kiir rejects calls to step down

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August 20, 2021 (JUBA)- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir rejected calls to step down saying he would remain in the SPLM until his death like the movement’s founder John Garang.

President Salva Kiir speaks at the army's command council in Juba on October 31, 2019 (PPU photo)On Friday, the South Sudanese leader took part in a meeting of the SPLM Political Bureau where he made his remarks.

"Comrades of SPLM, people are calling me to leave the power, but I must tell you, I will leave this SPLM’s power in the similar way as Dr John Garang left it,” Kiir said on Thursday.

Kiir took the leadership of the SPLM after the death of the founding leader of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and predecessor, John Garang de Mabior on30 July 2005.

He took the head of the semi-autonomous authority before becoming the first president of independent South Sudan on 9 July 2011.

In 2012, the president came under pressure to step down as a group of SPLM leading members criticize the mismanagement of the country, and called for reforms.

The rift turned into a civil war in December 2013.

Nowadays, the historical SPLM is divided into several groups some of them hold the same name, like the one headed by his first deputy Riek Machar.

(ST)

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