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South Sudan’s Ruling Party Endorses Kiir for Presidency

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Salva Kiir

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir will run for presidency in elections earmarked for 2024, the ruling party (SPLM) said.

The announcement came at the end of the party’s National Liberation Council (NLC) and Political Bureau (PB) meetings chaired by the president on Tuesday.

The meeting, which started on Friday last week, aimed at restructuring the SPLM, which fractured into different groups after war erupted in December 2013.

“The SPLM Political Bureau decided to nominate comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit as the presidential flag bearer in the national elections at the end of the transitional period,” said Paul Akol Kordit, SPLM’s deputy secretary general for political affairs.

He added, “This is a collective decision of the SPLM Political bureau”.

In August, South Sudan extend the transitional government’s time in office for another two years, implying elections would be held in December 2024.

Meanwhile Kiir accepted his endorsement for the presidency on Tuesday, assuring members of his party he would never return the country to civil war.

“I accept the nomination to become the flag bearer for the SPLM party in the general elections. I promise you that never again will this country go back to war,” he stated.

South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in July 2011, following the over two-decade civil war that was fought with neighbouring Sudan.  Two years later, violence broke out in the country following disagreements between forces loyal to President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

A revitalised peace agreement signed in September 2018, the latest in a series since the conflict began in late 2013, is largely holding but the transitional government has been slow to unify the various factions of the military into one force.

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