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No succession plan for South Sudan’s Kiir, says spokesperson

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August 25, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan does not have a succession plan for President Salva Kiir, his spokesperson said, amid growing demands for the former to step down from power.

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South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

Ateny Wek Ateny has described the South Sudanese leader as a unifying factor without whom the young nation could descend into chaos.

But activists and political opponents portray Kiir as a big liability to the country, with many expressing frustration with his performance either through rebellion or call on him to step down voluntary to preserve the legacy of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and save the country for disintegrating.

However, despite the frustrations which have caused wars and ruined the economy, Ateny said Kiir is only man who should be allowed to fix the situation in the country.

He said those calling for Kiir’s exit do not know the political dispensation in the country.

“I tell you, if he decides now, as I speak with you, to step aside, what will ensue afterward will be chaos in the country because up to the moment I’m speaking to you, there’s no clear successor as to who should succeed President Salva Kiir,” Ateny told RBC TV.

The presidential aide a successor is selected through a democratic process, pointing to party processes that leads convening a nationwide convention at which members of the political party like the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement would elect candidate of choice to compete at the national elections with candidates from other political organizations.

The members of the party, Ateny said, will go and vote for candidates of choice before sending them to the Liberation Council and Political Bureau will decide who should be the President.

The People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) is mobilizing the people to take to the streets on August 30 to call for end to President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s rule.

But Ateny equated call on Kiir and Machar to exit from power to calling for war, arguing the only political settlement that will bring peace to the country was the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

“So, when you talk about Riek Machar stepping aside or President Kiir stepping aside, then you are calling for war in the country. I’m not saying that the future of South Sudan is depending on them. They are human beings, and the power of nature can even come in,” said Ateny.

“But I’m talking about the current political arrangement. The current political arrangement is that the interim period should elapse comes 2023 and six months before the elapse of the transitional period, there will have to be an election in the country.

He said the people of South Sudan will after the end of the transitional period be allowed to choose their leaders. But anyone asking for change before that period is asking for South Sudan to kill itself, he’s calling for a suicide,” he argued.

Ateny wondered why the leaders of the People’s Coalition for Civil Action want to turn against the government after taking part in the implementation process of the peace agreement.

“Now I’m telling you, if this is what the civil action is for because they’re asking for the regime to be changed in the manner they ascribed to, I think they’re so elusive and have forgotten how South Sudan came to be what it is today,” he said.

(ST)

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