Wednesday, May 12, 2021

U.S. condemns effort to extend President Salva Kiir’s tenure


tiamin rice

The U. S. has condemned efforts by South Sudan’s government to extend President Salva Kiir’s term for three years.

“The draft bill undermines ongoing peace talks with opposition groups and civil society,” a State Department official, who spoke on condition anonymity, said.

Backed by the U. S., South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

Fighting broke out two years later over a political disagreement between Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar.

READ  South Sudan builds capacity to boost civilian disarmament

Tens of thousands of people have since been killed and over three million forced to flee their homes.

READ  South Sudan foes in new peace talks to end deadly war

Kiir and Machar met on June 28 and agreed on a new peace deal.

It included a ceasefire, which took effect on June 30.

It was violated that day when government and rebel forces attacked each other’s positions.

A spokesperson for the rebel group, SPLM-IO, said on Tuesday that the government was proposing an “illegal procedure” in attempting to extend Kiir’s presidential term.

The proposed bill would amend South Sudan’s constitution to extend Kiir’s presidency through 2021, lawmakers told Reuters on Tuesday.

READ  Kiir tells South Sudan police to work with UN

The State Department official said that South Sudan should work quickly to reach a peace agreement that leads to free and fair elections.

READ  240 Chinese peacekeepers leave for South Sudan on one-year mission

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