JUBA – President Salva Kiir Mayardit this afternoon told senior government officials and the people of South Sudan that the extension of the transitional period does not mean that he will stay in power longer, but to rescue from the country from returning to the deadly conflict.
The parties to the revitalized peace agreement decided on Thursday to extend the transitional period for at least 24 months starting in February 2023 to enable for the implementation of crucial provisions of the revitalized peace deal which have not been implemented since the signing of the agreement.
Speaking during the presentation of the government roadmap for peace implementation on Thursday afternoon, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said that the parties extended the agreement not because they want to stay in the government for long, but to prevent the country from going back to the deadly conflict.
“I am not extending the transitional before because I want to stay in the longer. I don’t want to rush you into an election that would return us to war,” he said.
Reading out President Kiir’s peace roadmap, at the Freedom Hall in Juba on Thursday afternoon, cabinet minister Martin Elia Lomuro said most provisions of the revitalized peace agreement have not been implemented and therefore the parties have agreed to extend the transitional period through February 2025.
“The extended meeting of the presidency of the 21st of July, which was attended by representatives of the parties to the agreement, endorsed the roadmap proposed by H.E the President, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, on peaceful transition democratic elections and the meeting resolved to extend the transitional period of the R-ARCISS and directed the high-level standing committee to receive contributions of other parties to the agreement and incorporate them into the president’s roadmap,” he said.
“The committee considered the contributions of the other parties to the agreement and further deliberated on the extended period. After lengthy deliberation, the committee agreed to extend the transitional period by 24 months from the end of the transitional period on 22nd of February 2023 to 22nd of February 2025,” he added.
The senior government official citied the article 8.4 of the revitalized peace agreement that gives the parties the right to decide if they are to extend the transitional period and said elections will be conducted in December 2024.
“That means elections will be held in December 2024,” Lomuro said.
“The harmonized roadmap was resubmitted to a second-extended meeting of the presidency in which article 8.4 of R-ARCISS was invoked to approve the amendment of extension of the transitional period from 22nd of February 2023 to 22nd February 2025 with elections held in December 2024,” he added.