South Sudan: Kiir’s Colleagues Advise Him to Step Down to ‘Preserve Liberation Legacy’
President Slave Kiir’s liberation struggle comrades and close friends admitted to him that they recommended he step down and allow youths to rule the nation. They did, however, emphasize that they were neither his adversaries nor political opponents.
Kuol Manyang Juuk, a senior Presidential Advisor and former Defence Minister, and Daniel Awet Akot, a former Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs and a leading member of the ruling SPLM, both said they have approached President Salva Kiir about stepping down in order to preserve the legacy of the liberation struggle.
In remarks issued on Monday, Daniel Awet Akot said that he and Juuk are not seeking the presidency, but are afraid that the history of the movement would be tainted if they remain in power without making a difference in the lives of the people.
“We fought the battle, emancipated our people, and gained control of the nation.” “Isn’t this a significant legacy to preserve?” remarked Daniel Awet in answer to a query about whether he agrees with Presidential Adviser Juukl’s demand for individuals who participated in the independence fight to leave.
According to a close friend of President Kiir, they addressed the problem in leadership meetings and private chats, and they informed him bluntly that it is time for others to take over.
“The youth, Jesh Amer, and others should take it from us and send us home.” “They will continue with the SPLM’s goal and vision,” he stated.
“We have done our part, and in order for us to be recognized in history, we must cede power and hand it over to the young people,” he said.
However, he said that some individuals who do not comprehend them have begun to declare their opposition to “Comrade Salva Kiir.”
“We are not against Comrade Salva; rather, we are his protector.” “We want him to leave a good name in history,” he stated.
AKot went on to say that they want Kiir to be recognized as a great leader and to join the ranks of other revolutionaries throughout the globe.
“We want him to be in the company of Comrade Fidel Castro, Comrade Nelson Mandela, and many others who battled for their nations’ liberation and independence.”
In an interview with UN-sponsored radio Miraya last week, top presidential advisor Kuol Manyang Juuk said that the governing SPLM has been in power for 17 years with nothing to offer to explain the cause of the liberation war and desire to continue leading.
“I informed President Salva Kiir that it is time for us to cede power and hand it over to the young people, and he agreed [with me] since we have been in power since 2005, and now we have led the government of South Sudan for 17 years,” Juuk added.
“We could have done anything, but these years have passed, and we have a lot of obstacles, political issues, a revolt, defections, the nation is facing instability, no growth, something that we haven’t done in 17 years, truly, are we sure we can do it tomorrow?” he questioned.
He stated that he and those who participated in the liberation struggle for South Sudan’s independence had done their part and that they should return home so that they do not ruin their legacy by participating in the country’s governance, which he claimed would result in mistakes that would stain their legacy.
“We have done our share, in fact, we have emancipated the nation, and this is a legacy greater than anything else,” he said.
He went on to declare that after independence, he planned to become a farmer and forsake politics.
“I don’t want to sully the excellent legacy that has ended because if I move to the executive, I will make blunders that will obliterate all of the positive things that I did.” “Why do I want to be president, and for what?”
Nonetheless, he emphasized that he supports President Kiir’s right to remain leading the nation.
“It is up to President Salva to continue, but I want to go and sit with my family and leave till I die there,” he continued.