Increased tension in South Sudan

Executive Director of The Oslo Center in a meeting with President Salva Kiir in June 2013.
Executive Director of The Oslo Center in a meeting with President Salva Kiir in June 2013.

Riek Machar was also deprived some of the authorizations previously delegated to him by the President.

The internal tensions between the President and Vice President was also one of the topics that were discussed when Kjell Magne Bondevik and I met Salva Kiir in Juba in June this year. This situation has in many ways paralyzed the government’s ability of action. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that there is now an open confrontation between them.

This Tuesday President Salva Kiir deposed his Vice President Riek Macher and dissolved the government. He has also allotted South Sudan’s chief negotiator with the regime in Khartoum, SPLM’s Secretary General Pagan Amum.

The President has on several occasions accused Pagan Amum for not being loyal to him as the party leader, and for publicly criticizing his actions. A special commission has been established to investigate the circumstances surrounding Pagan Amuma’s actions more closely.

Two other Ministers were suspended last month due to suspicions of corruption. This decision was heavily criticized by the Party Secretary General, Pagan Amum.

It is believed that the president’s actions are an attempt to regain control of the contrast conditions that have affected both the SPLM party and the government recently. It remains for us to see if he should succeed. There is great excitement to who he will appoint as new Vice President and new members of the government. The number of ministries will also be reduced from 29 to 19.

South Sudan gained its independence as a separate state two years ago, since then they have struggled to find solutions to key issues in relation to their neighbor in north, issues related to oil, border issues and the status of Abyei.

South Sudan is also struggling with internal conflicts that are not resolved, including Jonglei state.

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