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JUBA - 31 Dec 2014

Kiir: No power sharing and no release of detainees

The political detainees who are still in custody will not been released before the court has made a decision, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan told the BBC, adding that he is also not willing to consider sharing power with his political opponent, former vice president Riek Machar. 

Kiir has faced calls from foreign diplomats as well as the UN Secretary-General to consider early release of politicians accused of plotting against him. One of the senior politicians detained since the outbreak of the crisis was released last week, Peter Adwok, along with the former office director of ousted vice president Riek Machar. Others including many ex-ministers, a former governor and a former deputy minister of defence remain detained.

“Without any condition these people will be released after the legal procedures. You do not just lock people up and tomorrow you release them and you say, 'Now you get out you are released.' You must take them though the legal procedures, so that they face the law of court,” said Kiir in an interview with the news service on Monday. 

'What power sharing?'

Asked whether power sharing was ultimately an option to broker a peace with Riek Machar, Kiir said that it was not on the table at all.

“What power sharing? It is not an option. This man has rebelled. If you want power you don't rebel, so that you are awarded with power. You go through the process. When i came here, I did not come through a military coup. I came because I was elected by the people,” said Kiir.

"Elections are coming in 2015. Why did he not wait so that he goes through that same process?"

The president added that he heard from Nairobi that there will be talks but did not receive any formal letter informing him of the date of the talks.