Power play “brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war”
In a potentially destabilizing political move, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has removed First Vice President Riek Machar, replacing him with Mining Minister Taban Deng Gai.
John Prendergast, Not On Our Watch board member, said: “This move represents another marker in the South Sudan's slow motion political suicide. It unnecessarily brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war, shutting another door to dialogue and trampling on democratic processes espoused by both South Sudan's government and opposition SPLA-IO."
Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "If President Kiir's action to remove Machar and replace him with Taban Deng proves to be part of an elite pact without grassroots support, it could undermine the peace agreement. It is imperative that South Sudan’s leaders adhere to implementing the peace agreement and not allow inner-circle power plays to bring forth more violence and destabilization."
This April, Machar and Kiir formed a transitional government, agreeing to a peace deal seeking to end more than two years of devastating civil war as those leaders fought over power and the spoils of massive state corruption.