South Sudan president Salva Kiir has threatened to dismiss governors who use public resources to pay luxury hotels instead of remaining with their respective constituencies in the states.
Kiir, whose administration is facing financial crisis following fall in global oil prices and the ongoing civil war, also said he will restrict movements of governors and would have to issue permission before a governor makes a trip to the capital, Juba.
“If you want to come to Juba, ask for permission from there (your state). If I permit you, then you come. If I don’t permit you, and you come without being given that green light to come, then you are my problem,” the president said.
Kiir expanded the country’s 10 states to 28 a year ago – a move criticized as violation of the August 2015 peace agreement signed based on the nation’s 10 states, in addition to the economic hardships South Sudan faces.
Meanwhile, Kiir has called on the interim heads of the country’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to ensure everyone participates in his administration, stressing that the young nation was not necessarily a one party state.
“It’s not necessary that they join our party, but we must work with them together because South Sudan is for all of us. It is not for the SPLM”, he told governors.
The South Sudanese leader was addressing the 28 state governors whom he controversially appointed in 2015, despite signing the compromise peace agreement with the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) on the basis of the country’s 10 states.
“And I’m now telling you governors because you’re the ones going to the grass roots,” he said.
The president urged governors to help him cooperate with his deputy Taban Deng Gai to implement the peace deal. It remains unclear as to what prompted the president to call for inclusive governance.
Analysts and observers have, however, argued that the South Sudanese leader wants the country’s state governors to accommodate representatives of the armed opposition movement under the faction allied to his controversially appointed first vice president, Taban Deng Gai and members of the parties sympathetic to policies and activities of the faction of the ruling SPLM under his direct leadership, whether the government partially or completely controls their respective parts of the country.