A South Sudanese deputy minister of Education has said that his President, Salva Kiir, will be in power for a very long time-perhaps for life.
“There is no alternative to President Salva Kiir,” deputy Education Minister, Bol Makueng, is quoted by Radio Tamazuj as saying.
“We must be frank to ourselves and the world around us. For those who do not like him due to reasons known to them only, there is nothing the people of South Sudan can do about their opinions…,” he members of the Agar Dinka community at a get-together social function at his residence on Sunday.
Makueng made it clear that he would not be surprised if Kiir stayed longer in power than expected as has become the norm with African revolutionary leaders.
He suggested to South Sudanese that instead of agitating for his removal from office, they should join Kiir to move the country forward.
“Because,” he continues, “one thing is obvious: they must accept that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is going nowhere anytime soon. They must prepare for a long wait because I don’t see our people changing their minds to choose the alternate leader soon.”
According to Makueng, Kiir is the only unifying national figure.
Makueng had closest examples on his fingertips: Sudanese President, Omar al Bashir, who has ruled since 1989, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (30 years) and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who is still going at 91 years.
“When a country sees no alternative leader the incumbent leader continues to lead because people are happy with the style of leadership of that particular leader.”
He added: “We have seen this happening in Sudan, in Uganda and as far as Zimbabwe.”
He said it was not these leaders do not want to leave the power but the people themselves in these countries are the ones who do not see the alternative.
Bashir just won the 2015 Sudanese election by 94%.
Salva Kiir Mayardit (born 13 September 1951) is a South Sudanese politician who has been President of South Sudan since its independence in 2011.
Prior to independence, he was President of the Government of Southern Sudan, as well as First Vice President of Sudan, from 2005 to 2011.
In the late 1960s, Kiir joined the Anyanya battalion in the First Sudanese Civil War.
By the time of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, he was a low-ranking officer.
In 1983, when Dr John Garang joined an army mutiny he had been sent to put down, Kiir and other Southern leaders joined the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the second civil war.
Dr. Garang De Mabior had advanced military knowledge and experience from both the United States and the Sudan.
President Kiir was his Deputy.
Kiir eventually rose to head the SPLA, the SPLM’s military wing when Dr. John Garang was killed in a helicopter crash.
Rumours to remove Kiir from his post as SPLA Chief of Staff in 2004 nearly caused the organization to split.
This year, Kiir’s electoral commission pushed 2015 polls to 2017 extending his stay in power for at least two years.