Kiir-Machar deadlock remains hanging

By Gladys Kole

The political standoff between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny over the firing of former defense minister Angelina Teny and swapping of the defense ministry with that of interior still remains unclearly resolved despite the two principals meeting twice over the matter.

In early March, Kiir issued a presidential order relieving the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Angelina Teny and swapped the defense ministry with Interior, a move that SPLM-IO protested terming it a continuous violation of the revitalized peace agreement triggering political stalemate between the two principals to the R-TGONU.

Meanwhile the Office of President Salva Kiir said the Wednesday’s meeting between the two principals has resolved the impasses, but the acting Press Secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Puok Both Baluang told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the deadlock on the sacking of Angelina remains unresolved though the two leaders met and agreed on other issues.

“They have agreed to continue discussing, the deadlock is still unresolved concerning this matter of the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs,” he said.

Puok further urged the President to prioritize the implementation of the peace agreement that depends on the roadmap.

“We call upon the President to also correct the other decision, to commit to the implementation of the peace agreement,” he added.

The Defense ministry was allocated to the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) party, one of the main signatories to the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

Meanwhile, this battle between the two principals to the peace agreement has created a ground of fear to the citizens as it seems to take long to resolve on the matter.

On 29th March, following a decree read on the state-owned television, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), the president appointed Gen. Chol Thon Balok to fill in the opposition’s Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs that Kiir’s party now claims despite SPLM-IO objection.

However, the decree against the Minister of Interior never affected the ministry since it falls under the mother party.

According to Political Analyst James Boboya on an immediate respond to the appointment of the new defense minister, the President made a comprehensive error by decreeing the Minister of Defense without consulting the concerned political party, noting that it was a total violation of the agreement signed.

He said that President Kiir was right to relieve the Minister of Interior based on the fact that he emerged from SPLM being the mother party.

However, James added that the agreement has defined which political party is to undertake the leadership of each ministry saying that the president of the republic would have consulted the agreement before issuing decrees.

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