JUBA – South Sudan opposition leader Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has rejected yesterday’s extension of the transitional period by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny saying there are no guarantees that the next period will be different from the previous years.
On Thursday afternoon, Kiir and Machar expanded the lifespan of their government for at least 24 months arguing that the remaining months of the transitional period is not enough for implementation of the remaining tasks of the revitalized peace agreement.
In reaction, the National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Dr. Lam Akol said the peace roadmap that was announced by Kiir and Machar yesterday does not give explanation as to why the parties were unable to keep their promise to implement the agreement within the last period provided for in it.
“The roadmap which was unveiled today, is conspicuously silent on any explanation regarding why it was not possible to keep to the timetable of R ARCSS, contains no guarantees as to how the two years will be different from the previous four, the extension is not tied to the elections timetable nor to the implementation of the outstanding activities, and no mention at all of an all-inclusive conference for the South Sudanese to discuss and agree on the way forward beyond 22 February 2023. It is that conference that would decide on the transitional administration that can be trusted to carry out the elections,” the statement signed by Dr. Lam reads in part.
Akol distanced himself from the roadmap and renewed his call for a roundtable conference where all the stakeholders will decide on the way forward beyond February 2022.
“On the basis of the above the NDM, as a signatory to R-ARCSS, distances itself from the roadmap rolled out today as it is just nothing but increasing the time of stay of the current government in power,” the statement said.
“We advise our colleagues in government to revisit their stand and present what they signed today as their position in a round table conference of all the active political and civil society forces in South Sudan. That is the only legitimacy the South Sudanese will trust. There is still enough time for them to do so,” he added.
He said the “people are still suffering as the insecurity surges, the economy plummets, our refugees continue to languish in millions under difficult conditions in the refugees’ camps and those remaining in the country face extreme humanitarian difficulties including hunger, disease, violations of human rights and floods.
“We should be mindful of them more than clinging to power that does not serve the very people we claim to represent. True leaders are those who put the interests of the people above their own.”