Kiir seeks to fill SPLM deputy chair’s post
The chairman of the SPLM party Salva Kiir Mayardit sought empowerment to fill the position of the party’s first deputy chairperson as part of plans to restructure the party.
President Salva Kiir on Friday opened a two-day meeting of the party’s National Liberation Council (NLC) with the aim of restructuring the ruling party, which fractured into different groups after the civil war erupted in December 2013.
Dr. Riek Machar, who leads the opposition faction SPLM-IO, was the first deputy chairman of the SPLM party, while Pagan Amum, a prominent opposition figure in exile, was secretary general of the party.
While addressing the meeting, President Kiir said: “The NLC should empower the chairman to fill the position of the deputy chairman.”
The party leader recommended that the party’s constitution be amended to approve the replacement of NLC members who died, defected or are incapacitated.
“The NLC needs to approve the replacement of members of the NLC who died, defected or incapacitated in accordance with the recommendations of the SPLM in the states and the administrative areas,” Kiir said.
He also called on the NLC members to approve the expansion of the nominees as per the list of 2008 nominated by the party chairman and add a few members to represent the states and the administrative areas in the SPLM Political Bureau.
President Kiir also directed the council to discuss and approve the SPLM’s basic documents that include the Code of Conduct, the disciplinary procedures, and the financial management rules and regulations.
President Salva Kiir also called on members of the SPLM Party to join efforts in peacebuilding in the country as parties to the 2018 peace agreement implement the key provisions of the agreement.
“The revitalized agreement has been extended for two more years to enable implementation of the agreement before the general elections. All of us know that we extended the agreement because want to avoid another war,” he said.
“There are people who would want to remain in the offices where they are today, whether there is something happening or there is nothing happening, it is good for them to stay there, so such people if we go without convincing them we will go back to war which I don’t want,” he added.
He stressed that following the extension of the transitional period, the SPLM needs to double its efforts to win the trust of the people of South Sudan.
Fighting in Upper Nile
President Salva Kiir also revealed that the King of Shilluk has been evacuated to the capital Juba from Fashoda County amid heavy fighting in Upper Nile State.
According to Kiir, King Kwongo Dak Padiet was flown to Juba after reports of fighting between armed groups in Fashoda.
“When the fighting intensified, and we saw that he was in Pashoda, the King was in Pashoda, so we tried to move him. “So, we sent a boat to bring him to Malakal, and from Malakal yesterday (Thursday), we airlifted him to Juba here. The King is safe, and I will meet him in Juba here,” Kiir said.
He called on the various armed groups to renounce violence and join the peace process.
According to a press release Friday, UNMISS, AUMISS, IGAD, R-JMEC, some members of the African Diplomatic Corps, and some members of the international community (TROIKA, EU, Switzerland, India) in South Sudan convened a meeting to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Upper Nile State and the northern parts of Jonglei State.
“Noting the significant impact of the deteriorating security situation on communities — with innocent lives being lost, thousands displaced, livelihoods and property destroyed in both Upper Nile and Jonglei States — UNMISS and the members of the international community call on the Government of South Sudan to further engage the armed elements involved in the conflict to immediately cease the violence and encourage Shilluk and Nuer community leaders in both states as well as in Juba to help stop this mayhem,” the statement read.