By STEPHEN WANDERA
June 18, 2014(Kampala) — The South Sudanese government has requested Uganda to help explain to the international community that its President Salva Kiir cannot step down as demanded by the rebels led by the former vice-president Gen. Riek Machar.
“You have been our good Samaritans; help us tell the world that the rebels only control ten percent of South Sudan. Their demand that President Salva Kiir steps down is unrealistic. It has never happened anywhere in the world where an elected president leaves office just because rebels have demanded so,” said South Sudan Vice President James Wani Iga who was speaking during a courtesy call on his Ugandan counterpart Edward Sekandi in Kampala.
Mr Wani added,” We have a political road map and next year we are supposed to have general elections which Machar disregarded and took up arms. If he (Machar) knew he was popular, he would have waited for general elections and our people decided.”
A clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to sacked vice-president Machar in a military barracks in Juba last year is what snowballed into full-scale fighting across the world’s youngest nation.
At least 10,000 people are believed to have perished within the first three weeks of the conflict while more than 200,000 displaced internally, according to a report by the International Crisis Group, a research and advocacy institution.