August 24, 2021 (JUBA) – Activists are calling for mass protests in Juba and other parts o South Sudan amid demands for President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar to step down.
- Anti-corruption activists demonstrate in South Sudan capital Juba, June 11, 2012 (ST)
The activists are doubtful that provisions in the peace deal would be implemented if the two leaders remained at the helm of the country’s leadership.
The development is envisioned to be one of the first of its kind since the secession of the country from neighboring Sudan in 2011.
“These are people who do not agree when they are given the opportunity to sit alone and talk as leaders of the country and as comrades of the liberation struggle. They are people who can never agree and think they have the support of the people of South Sudan, each thinks he is popular. But they do not know people of South Sudan are tired of them,” a civil rights activist told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.
He added, “People see them as a liability than leaders. They polarize the country when they are in power and kill people when they are in dispute. We do not want this to happen again, and this is the reason we are calling for them to step aside. Those close to them are only fooling them. They are not telling them the truth”.
The activists, operating under People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), accused Kiir and Machar of failure to govern the country.
Meanwhile, South Sudan Youth Union has appealed to the public to shun the protests, saying it would place the nation in perpetual political and security instability.
“We are saying no to protest because any change of the government through either coup or staged popular uprising always pushes the country into political instability, chaos, civil wars, and economic meltdown. And we have seen before in countries like Tunisia, Mali, Libya, Syria, and many other countries. thus, for this reason, and many others, we call on the initiators and supporters of the People’s Coalition for civil action to reconsider their position or totally back down from it for the sake of salvaging or rescuing our country from sliding into anarchy and worst political unrest,” the group said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.
The union, in a statement, stressed the need to hold elections in 2023 as stipulated in the peace agreement so that ballot becomes the only possible remedy for exiting from the current crisis.
“We call on the police service and other law enforcement agencies in South Sudan to remain vigilant and continue protecting the lives and properties and prevent public violence,” it stressed.