September 9, 2021 (JUBA)- South Sudan President Salva Kiir has said fighting extends term of the existing government, citing the deferral of elections due to conflict in the country.
- President Kiir shakes hands with his FVP Macahr in a recent meeting at the presidency (SSPPU photo)
He said resumption of violence would disrupt the transitional period and extend the term of the current Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
Kiir called on all stakeholders to support the peace process to allow the conduct of general elections at the end of the transitional period.
The country has had two extensions due to conflict. Elections were due in 2015, but the eruption of conflict in 2013 meant elections could not be held due to war.
The 2015 agreement envisioned elections to be held at the end of the three years of transitional period, but implementation of the agreement was interrupted by the resumption of conflict in 2016, resulting in the parties having to renegotiate the terms of the 2015 peace agreement.
The terms of the new agreement have pushed the holding of elections and parties have not completed prerequisites to holding elections at the end of the years period of the existing government in which president Kiir and his first vice president Riek Machar are serving key principals. most of the key provisions in the agreement advocating reforms have either not been initiated or completed.
Unification of the forces was anticipated to be completed before the government was formed, but intransigence and brinkmanship led to recurring delays and formation of the government without completing training and deployment of the unified forces.
Parts of chapter one on governance, chapter two on permanent security arrangements, chapter three on special reconstruction programs, chapter four on economic reforms, and the establishment of a proper justice system have either not been initiated or started.
Speaking at the swearing ceremony of the acting secretary general of the ruling party (SPLM), Kiir called for a full implementation of transitional period, arguing any attempt to disrupt the implementation would extend the term of the existing government and the country will never get of transitional arrangements and will end conflict.
“If someone wants to fight you just tell him we are in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement, and we are left with a few months only. When we clock to 2023, we shall go for elections. There is no need to fight one another,” Kiir explained.
He added, “If we fight ourselves now, we will have to extend the transitional period and the same people will remain in the offices, and this is not a solution. The only solution we have now is to implement and complete the transitional period and then we go for elections. If you want to be a President, minister, or whatever position in the government, you will be voted in by the people”.
The 2018 revitalized peace agreement signed by parties involved in the conflict and other stakeholders, gives the coalition government the mandate to organize elections 60 days before the end of the transitional period.