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Nairobi - 15 Jul 2022

Holdout opposition groups say Kiir wants to stealthy extend his term in office

Thomas Cirillo (L), Paul Malong (C) and Pagsn AMum (R). (Photo: file)
Thomas Cirillo (L), Paul Malong (C) and Pagsn AMum (R). (Photo: file)

A group of leaders of holdout opposition groups in a missive on Wednesday said that the Republic of South Sudan is on the verge of collapse and that President Salva Kiir plans to extend his term in office.

The missive was signed by Thomas Tut Doap of United Democratic Revolutionary Movement/Army UDRM/A, Emmanuel Ajawin of National Democratic Movement Patriotic Front (NDM-PF), Gen. Thomas Cirillo of National Salvation Front (NAS), General Paul Malong Awan of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), Alex Yatta Lukadi of Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) and Gen. Pagan Amum Okiech of the Real SPLM.

“The Republic of South Sudan is on the verge of collapse into anarchy and constitutional vacuum resulting from the failure of the regime to address the root causes of the conflict, mismanagement of the country, and the total failure to implement the flawed Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed in September 2018,” the missive read in part.

According to the opposition leaders, the Interim period of R-TGoNU is coming to an end by February 2023 and President Kiir wants to extend his term in office.

“As he has done in the past, President Salva Kiir Mayardit is now stealthily planning to extend his term in office. The regime is also planning to hold sham elections to steal legitimacy without the mandate expressed through the will of the people,” the missive said. “Due to this unattainable reality, it is incumbent upon all the stakeholders in the country, from the political organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations, women, and youth groups to collectively reject the extension of the period of R-TGONU and decide the future of the country to avoid its collapse into chaos and disintegration.”

The opposition leaders said during the tenure of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), the country has become ungovernable and is on the brink of disintegrating.

“South Sudan is awash with weapons and is now engulfed in unprecedented violence and lawlessness. The Kiir regime has obstructed the implementation of all peace agreements signed and disregarded all the people’s solutions to the country’s problems such as those expressed in the resolution of the National Dialogue organized by Kiir himself,” the letter said.

“The State capture by the Kiir's hegemonic and kleptocratic clique is total. The looting of the resources of the nation is best represented by the mortgaging of the country's oil to 2027, the rampant criminal mining and stealing of gold and non-oil revenues, and heavy indebtedness incurred through irresponsible and corrupt borrowing,” it added.

According to the opposition leaders, the R-TGoNU is now embroiled in a major scandal following the unraveling of secret deals to dredge some of the tributaries of the Nile River and resume the excavation of the Jonglei Canal.

“We the Non-Signatory South Sudan Opposition Parties, who rejected the R-ARCSS, and now driven by the noble goal to rescue our state and our nation from collapse and disintegration, call on all South Sudanese political forces and all the other South Sudanese stakeholders from civil society, faith-based, women and youth organizations to forge a way forward, formalizing the current discussion and to build consensus which will lead to the establishment of a New transition with a government of Technocrats/Hybrid government, as the R-TGoNU Transitional Period comes to an end by February 2023,” the statement read.

The group called on all the South Sudanese stakeholders to convene a round table conference in a neutral venue conducive to freely exchanging ideas about the fate of the country and to agree on a new dispensation beyond February 2023.

“We also call on our regional and continental organizations; the East African Community, IGAD and the African Union as well as on the United Nation and members of TROIKA and indeed all the friends of South Sudan to support this inclusive call for the holding of a ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE and to render the necessary support for its success in rescuing South Sudan from total collapse,” the missive concluded.