News / Africa

South Sudan President Strips Deputy of Some Powers

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, shown at a news conference on Friday, April 12, 2013, has stripped his deputy of some of his powers.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, shown at a news conference on Friday, April 12, 2013, has stripped his deputy of some of his powers.
Reuters
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has withdrawn some powers from his vice president, officials said on Tuesday, clipping the wings of a likely challenger for the ruling party leadership.

Kiir, who has led the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) since 2005, also halted a national reconciliation initiative that had been launched by Riak Machar and which had been viewed as an attempt to raise his political profile.

The two men were on opposing sides of a split within the SPLM during much of the 1983-2005 civil war that ended after the two factions reunited.

No major rival parties operate in the country that was formed in 2011 when the south split from Sudan in the north, so the battle for leadership of the SPLM is effectively the race to be president. A national election is due in 2015.

A Western diplomat said Machar had indicated he wanted to compete for leadership of the party, and said this had prompted Kiir to act.
        
A presidential decree issued on Monday withdrew all powers assigned to Machar that were granted at the discretion of Kiir. Those are aside from functions specifically outlined by the constitution. The decree did not state what powers were removed.

"The vice president of the republic shall be restricted to exercise and discharge only his powers," Kiir's office said in an emailed statement.

James Gatdet Dak, the vice president's press secretary, said they were seeking clarification on the powers withdrawn.

"We don't know which powers yet, they've not specified," Dak told Reuters.

Since landlocked South Sudan gained independence, it has been struggling to assert control over the nation and provide security and basic services to an estimated 11.4 million people.
        
The country ranks among the least developed countries in the U.N. human development index.

The Western diplomat said the president's decree may have temporarily flattened the aspirations of the vice president.

Aly Verjee, a senior researcher for Nairobi-based think tank the Rift Valley Institute, said Machar had been jockeying for the top job in the party since his an abortive attempt in 2008.

"I don't think Kiir and Machar have ever seen completely eye-to-eye," Verjee said, commenting via email.

"As the memory of independence recedes into the distance, the unity of the SPLM will weaken, and as with other liberation movements, further fracturing of the party is almost certain in the years ahead," he added.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More