NO STEPPING DOWN No handing over of the country -Kiir
President Kiir and speaker Anthony Lino Makana paying their last tribute to the late Army Chief Gen. James Ajongo Mawut
By Morris Dogga
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has declared that he will not step down from power despite demands by the Opposition Alliance. The President further vowed that he will never hand over the country to any foreign rule.
Speaking at Dr. John Garang’s Mausoleum yesterday during the public viewing of the late General James Ajongo Mawut, President Kiir said the demands made by the opposition group that he should step down from the next transitional government could not bring total peace to the country.
“The people who are fighting with us had no vision or conditions to make peace. They think that I am the obstacle to peace and if I am removed after signing the agreement then there will be no problem,” he said.
“They want me to sign the agreement and then step down immediately. Just imagine; what is my incentive in bringing peace if it is peace that I will bring and then I step aside? Kiir asked. “Nobody can do it,” Kiir said adding that even when the SPLA was fighting the Khartoum regime, such demands were not made by the SPLA.
The late General James Ajongo Mawut died on Friday last week in Egypt.
This is the first public reaction of President Kiir to the demands made by the Opposition Alliance of about ten armed groups.
Early this month the armed opposition group also issued fresh demands calling on President Kiir and his former Deputy Dr. Riek Machar to be excluded from the next Transitional Government.
The opposition groups also demanded that the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) be dissolved and a new one be formed with less than 200 Members of Parliament.
They further demanded reforms in the national army.
But Kiir stated that the TNLA would not be dissolved. “If we are to sign an agreement, the agreement has to be endorsed by the Parliament so that it is passed into law. If the Parliament is dissolved then what do we with the agreement?” he asked.
President Kiir said he was not ready to work with such demands.
The third phase of the Revitalization Forum which was scheduled for this week has been postponed and it is rescheduled to start early next month in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The government said it was ready for the talks. Early this month the government also threatened to renew its mandate should the peace talks end without an agreement signed.