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Juba denies resignation of South Sudan vice-president

December 23, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s government denied on Monday that vice president James Wani Igga had submitted a resignation to president Salva Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan’s vice-pesident, James Wani Igga, speaks at the opening of the SPLM building in Juba on 15 November 2013 (Photo: Larco Lomayat)

"It is not true that the vice president has resigned. I have spoken to him and he was surprised about these reports. He has now asked someone in his office to inform the public about this misleading information. This is the part of the propaganda to divide our people,’’ presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

Ateny said the he was not aware of any resignations from the government and that the vice president had told him that he would be with President Kiir under ‘‘whatever circumstances.’’

There had been reports that the Wani had submitted a resignation letter to Kiir which the president is said to have rejected.

"I just heard that he [Wani] had tendered his resignation as the vice president of the republic of South Sudan but the good thing is that our president did not accept. He rejected it and instead appointed him as the chairman of the crisis management committee", a senior official told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

South Sudan has been in a crisis since Kiir accused his former vice president Riek Machar of orchestrating a failed coup attempt last week.

It remains unclear as to what could have triggered speculation about the resignation of the vice president which began to dominate public discussion on social media platforms on Sunday.

Some attributed the rumours of the vice president’s resignation to claims that president Kiir was studying a proposal that would create a position of the second vice president, a proposal said to have made some Equatoria politicians unhappy.

Wani, who hails from South Sudan’s southern Equatoria region, stepped aside for Machar in 2002 when was reintegrated into the ruling SPLM after splitting from the movement in 1991 during the civil war with Khartoum.

"This time we will not accept Wani to become the second vice president. It will be better he resigns instead of becoming the second vice president. We don’t want it," said Moses Dukua, a native of Yei River county in Central Equatoria state.

"This was what the Arab used to do for Southerners when we were still part of Sudan. So the Dinka and Nuer want to do it again for us so that we become second class citizens in the country we all fought for it. I will personally not accept and will rather go to become a Ugandan citizen if some Equatorians accept [the proposal of a second vice president]", argued Duku

But President Kiir’s spokesman said there was no such proposal, adding that the rumour was propaganda meant to divide the people of South Sudan.

(ST)

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