15 August 2014

South Sudan: Transitional Government Without Kiir a 'Non-Starter' - Spokesperson

Juba — Any transitional government put in place without South Sudan's incumbent president, Salva Kiir is a "non-starter", his spokesperson said in response to opposition leader, Riek Machar's recent interview with CCTV's Talk Africa show.

"While the government is working round the clock to negotiate genuine peace with rebels of Riek Machar, the utterances coming from the rebel leader are becoming exceedingly unacceptable," Ateny Wek Ateny told reporters in capital, Juba on Friday.

Machar, while speaking on CCTV on Thursday, claimed that president Kiir had lost credibility, and that the formation of any future transitional government, should not be under the latter's leadership.

The rebel leader also accused mediators from the East African regional bloc (IGAD) of allegedly failing to deliver a lasting political settlement to the conflict.

The president's office, Ateny said, strongly rejects such "irresponsible" and "selfish" utterances, adding that the rebel leader "had no legitimacy whatsoever to speak about any future government while his hands are full of innocent blood".

"There will never be any transitional government without president Kiir, until the people of South Sudan decides to refrain from voting for him in free and fair elections. But, there could be government without rebel leader Riek Machar as part of it," Ateny said.

"Unlike the rebel Riek, president Kiir was elected by the people whose decision to vote for him the legitimacy of this government emanates," he added.

The presidency spokesperson said the peoples' interests were stronger than that of the "bloodthirsty" rebel leader, who had no authority to speak against the tenure of a legitimately-elected president.

He also reminded the former vice president-turned rebel leader of the vital role IGAD played in resolving decades of the north-south civil war, which resulted in self-determination referendum.

"If the IGAD did have the capacity to broker peaceful political settlement to the then Sudan's problem, then as a government we believe that IGAD has the capacity to deliver the lasting peace in South Sudan," Ateny said.

"Unless rebel Riek wants himself installed by IGAD as president in order to see the ability of the IGAD to deliver lasting political settlement, then such utterances are ludicrous," he further stressed.

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