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Former aide tells President Kiir to step down, hand over power

March 17, 2021 (JUBA) – A former adviser to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has urged the country’s ruling party (SPLM) leader to step down and peacefully hand over power.

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Daniel Awet Akot (ST)

Addressing a group of the country’s elders on Sunday, Daniel Awet Akot said the South Sudanese leader should hand over power to presidential affairs minister, Nhial Deng Nhial.

He described those currently leading the country as “mentally incapacitated and exhausted” to continue serving citizens.

“When we call for the leadership meetings, we discuss nothing about development, about the vision of the SPLM. We discuss nothing about how to move this country forward. We discuss only our own affairs. We are always quarrelling and on our necks about small issues,” said Akot.

He added, “People look at us as the cause of their problem. Yes, we are the problem, and which is what I have always said that if we are the problem, let all of us step down, including comrade Salva and let someone with energy like Nhial Deng take over".

Akot, a senior member of the SPLM, also accused some junior officers of allegedly sabotaging and undermining the efforts of senior party members.

“I have always reiterated in our SPLM PB [Political Bureau] meetings that we are mentally incapacitated and exhausted; Let’s hand over the remaining part of our vision to Nhial Deng to clean our image internationally,” he stressed.

Last week, a senior presidential advisor, castigated the SPLM for failing to deliver services to citizens, a decade after the country attained independence from Sudan.

“Instead of reconstructing what was left by the war, we are destroying what was left by the war,” said Kuol Manyang Juuk.

Statements attributed to leading figures of the ruling party led by President Kiir have sparked social media debates, with analysts and opposition figures querying motives and timing.