Kiir wants state of emergency in Western Equatoria but faces rejection: spokesman

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit wants to declare a state emergency in the country’s restive state of Western Equatoria to quell tribal clashes but the peace partners reject the idea.

President Salva Kiir speaks at the army's command council in Juba on October 31, 2019 (PPU photo)The dispute which initially broke out between the Zande and Balanda in Tambura County turned into a large scale conflict that resulted in the loss of lives and properties and triggered displacements of local residents.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Thursday Kiir wanted to declare the state of emergency in the area to curb the raging violence and manage the situation.

“President Salva Kiir is serious with the situation in Western Equatoria. His seriousness is demonstrated by his desire to declare the state of emergency but the (signatory) opposition (groups) opposed the proposal," he said during an interview with the UN Radio Miraya on Thursday.

"One hand cannot clap,” Ateny stressed.

Religious and traditional leadership in the area have called for intervention by the national authorities. But former opposition groups have rejected the state of emergency saying other laws can be used to maintain law and order.

They have argued that tough emergency powers can be misused to stifle critics since emergency law enables authorities to detain people without warrants, seize property, enter, and search any premises, suspend laws, and issue orders that cannot be questioned in court. Officials who issue such orders are also immune from lawsuits.

Government officials have argued the emergency is needed to be declared because other options are not working. Further, they say have no intention to use emergency measures against political leaders.

The tribal violence in the region affected the security situation along the Juba Nimule road disturbed the import of goods from Uganda.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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