Kiir-Machar expulsion from power means war – Ateny
The warning comes a week before anti-Kiir-Machar protesters headed by the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) take to street to call for end to President Salva Kiir’s government accusing him and Machar of failing the people of South Sudan.
JU South Sudan presidency spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny has warned that planned protests against President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny amounts to declaration of war saying Kiir is the unifying factor in the world’s youngest country and his departure would means chaos.
“If you are aware, President Salva Kiir – on one hand is the stabilizing factor – he’s a unifying factor. If he decides now, as I speak with you, to step aside, what will ensue afterward will be chaos in the country,” Ateny said in a pre-recorded interview with the RBC TV, a local YouTube channel that hosts interviews with senior government officials.
The presidency mouthpiece said those calling for protests against the government of President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar are not aware of the status of political dispensation among the people of South Sudan and said the departure of the two men would mean chaos and war.
“You know […] when I hear somebody talking about President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar stepping side, I always feel pity for people who call for the two principals in the South Sudanese conflict to step aside, both of them. I always feel pity for them simply because someone who is calling on President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to step aside is somebody who is not aware of our dynamics and the political dispensation in the country,” Ateny said.
“So, when you talk about Riek Machar stepping aside or President Kiir stepping aside, then you are calling for war in the country. I’m not saying that the future of South Sudan is depending on them. They are human beings…okay? And the power of nature can even come in,” Ateny added.
He said the only political settlement that will lead South Sudan peace is the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement after which the country is expected to hold elections which the presidency has said will take place in mid-2023, one year after the end of the transitional period.
“But I’m talking about the current political arrangement. The current political arrangement is that the interim period should elapse comes 2023 and six months before the elapse of the transitional period, there will have to be an election in the country,” he said.
“The people of South Sudan [after the transitional period] will be able, for the first time, to choose their leaders. But anyone asking for [regime] change before that period is actually asking for South Sudan to kill itself, he’s calling for a suicide,” he said.