FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 July 2018
South Sudan’s transitional parliament has taken the unconstitutional step of extending Salva Kiir’s presidency, and their own legislatures’ tenures through to August 2021 without consulting the people. It comes in the wake of the 9th July 2018 UN Human Rights report, which documents the deliberate, ruthless and brutally violent attacks on civilians, particularly against women and children, by Government and its aligned forces.
UPDM strongly condemns this unconstitutional extension of tenure, as it constitutes a manipulation of the constitution to hold on to power against the will of the people. It is such recurring unconstitutional acts and ongoing human rights abuse of innocent, vulnerable civilians by Salva Kiir’s government and aligned forces that have brought about the ongoing conflict, and resulted in the long-suffering, deaths and displacement of millions of innocent South Sudanese.
This blatant abuse of power confirms Salva Kirr’s government as a negotiating party ‘against peace’, renders his government illegitimate and validates the call for his exclusion from any transitional peace deal.
UPDM further recalls that before “grabbing” power, and joining the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), senior members of the SPLM-IO-Taban Deng Gai faction had this to say in 2015, referring to Salva Kiir’s government:
“It is illegal for this parliament to extend the term of the president for three years,”. Moreover, “It is a violation of the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, and we are calling on the people of South Sudan to reject it and call the government to focus on negotiating in good faith to bring genuine and permanent peace,”
These illegitimate leaders have abandoned the fundamental moral principle and obligation to deliver on the aspirations of the people that they claim to represent in South Sudan.
In line with the Ezulwini Framework charter that reaffirms the centrality of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance to addressing the menace of unconstitutional changes of Government and AU’s zero tolerance of unconstitutional changes of government to hold on to power against the will of the people. UPDM calls on the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to take urgent, decisive action against the latest unconstitutional extension of Salva Kiir’s government to 2021.
UPDM also calls on the IGAD, UN Security Council and TROIKA member States, to strongly condemn this illegal act by Salva Kiir and his government, that constitutes an attack on democracy, and take necessary actions to deter the habit of unconstitutional extension of power in the new country.
UPDM’s position on the way forward is establishing a new, lean, accountable and effective transitional government of national unity, based on an inclusive peace agreement. We therefore strongly urge all parties to the negotiations to stay focused on establishing peace and security in the country as a matter of urgency, to avoid collapse and bring an end the long-suffering of the people of South Sudan.
External Affairs and Communications