February 26, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) — A senior rebel leader has warned the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, to resign or risk full armed resistance from the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in opposition.
Alfred Ladu Gore, a former national minister of environment who also commanded significant support, particularly from members of Bari community from his home state of Central Equatoria, said Kiir was a total failure beyond repair.
He accused the South Sudanese leader of what he described as genocide he committed against a section of the society.
“Salva Kiir should resign for the blood-letting to stop. The president has proved that he has no capacity to lead and so must go and face the ICC [International Criminal Court] who should try him for genocide,” Gore told journalists on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Gore and Angelina Teny, wife of the South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar, who leads the armed resistance, were addressing a joint press conference in the Ethiopian capital where talks between the two warring parties had been taking place.
The general who survived the 21 years north-south conflict narrowly escaped from Juba on 15 December when the violence started and had been based in Lakes and Unity states since January.
The two leaders who arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday said they were ready for the worst should Salva Kiir not heed to the calls to resign, adding they have been establishing armed resistance groups in various parts of the country to force Kiir out of power if he refuses to step down.
They also warned foreign forces, particularly from Uganda to withdraw and avoid the conflict sliding into regional violence.
The opposition leaders however said there were indications that the talks might resolve the conflict between the two factions despite repeated violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement by the government and its foreign allies.
Gore together with the opposition leader Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai, former governor of Unity state, were charged with treason by the minister of Justice in Juba for allegedly attempting a coup, a judgement the rebel leaders discredited as Salva Kiir’s one man’s show.
Gore and Teny will take part in the second round of the peace talks in Addis Ababa with the government to discuss the root causes of the conflict and how to resolve it.