South Sudan’s government has proposed extending President Salva Kiir’s term in office for another three years, which the armed opposition calls illegal as the two sides pursue a peace deal to end a five-year civil war.
Atem Garang a lawmaker said parliament had up to 30 days to approve the extension of Kiir’s term until 2021, the approval is almost a certainty as Kiir’s ruling party holds majority in parliament.
“If they don’t extend it there will be anarchy and war. You’ll have a country without a government,” Garang told The Associated Press.
However opposition spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel called the proposal “definitely illegal” and “anti-peace” as the warring sides pursue a peace agreement.
Kiir and former deputy-turned-rival Riek Machar did meet for the first time in almost two years in recent days in neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan, with further discussions expected in Kenya for a peace deal.
What was also on the table is a “permanent” cease-fire rivals both sides agreed last week for a ceasefire but it was violated within hours on Saturday, with each side blaming the each other. No agreement has been made on any power-sharing deal.
The civil war in South Sudan’s has killed tens of thousands of people and has created Africa’s largest refugee crisis since Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. The situation is dire, millions are near famine and aid delivery is frequently blocked in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers.
Neither side has taken accountability, they have both been accused of human rights abuses including gang-rapes, sometimes along ethnic lines.
Photo Credit- VOA News