JUBA – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has claimed that the establishment of five Vice President positions by the revitalized peace agreement was to legitimize theft of his power and the division of the country into many smaller countries.
Kiir made the remarks during speech to the Catholic faithful at Dr. John Garang De Mabior Mausoleum in a prayer organized after the arrival of the Vatican Secretary of State to South Sudan on behalf of Pope Francis who had to cancel his trip due to a knee problem.
Kiir told the citizens that the establishment of five vice president positions was not good for the country because it was intended to steal the president’s powers and create several smaller countries to undermine the rule of law.
“These many vice presidents, for what?” he asked. “It is for the division of the powers of the president so that anyone has his own power and that means dividing the country into small countries, then we will not accept that.”
The South Sudanese head of state went on to accuse unidentified person of pulling him behind and preventing him from fixing the country.
“I always say that when you go forward and somebody is pulling you from behind, you cannot reach even five meters, you cannot cross,” he said.
“We are implementing the agreement and there people who are not allowing us to go smoothly. They intend to drain us from the road that we have taken,” he added.
Kiir however reiterated his commitment to the implementation process of the revitalized peace agreement and said that the implementation is very difficult because the peace deal has never been signed in any country in the region.
“So, Your Imminence if the Holy Father ask you about the implementation of the peace agreement, tell him that the agreement is being implemented but with difficulties. It is with difficulties because this sort of agreement has not been made before in any country in our region,” he said.
“But we have accepted to implement it because if I was not for peace, I would have not accepted it. I would have not accepted it because in the countries around us or in the countries in Africa, there is not country with five vice presidents,” he added.
It is not the first time for Kiir to make similar comments against the implementation process of the revitalized peace agreement.
Regional and international communities have accused the parties to the revitalized peace agreement of lacking the will to implement the agreement as government has complained that international sanctions and arms embargo imposed in 2018 is hampering efforts to implement the deal.