April 24, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has rejected calls from sections of opposition groups that he resigns as part of a peace deal to end the country’s ongoing civil war.
- South Sudan president Salva Kiir (File photo)
The president, while addressing mourners of the late army chief, General James Ajongo Mawut in the capital, Juba Tuesday accused opposition groups of working to ensure he relinquishes power.
Mawut died on Friday last week in Cairo, Egypt after a short illness.
“They [opposition] want me to sign the agreement and step down immediately,” he said, adding “What is my incentive in bringing peace, if it is peace that I will bring and then I step aside? Nobody can do it. Bashir did not do it when we were fighting with him.”
The South Sudan described the opposition’s demands of being “unreasonable”.
“They think that I’m the obstacle to peace and if I am removed after signing the agreement, then there will be no problem. They want me to sign the agreement and then step down immediately,” said Kiir.
The president said Mawut was a remarkable and committed member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
“What he [Mawut] has laid down in the transformation of the SPLA cannot be done by him because somebody who has higher authority than us terminated his life and took him,” stressed Kiir.
He did not, however, disclose who replaces the fallen army chief of general staff, saying, “We will ask that authority again to show us another person who will do this job that Ajongo did not finish.”
Mawut, who joined the southern-based rebel movement in 1983, became army chief of general staff in May 2017 after President Kiir sacked General Paul Malong Awan.