The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, issued a presidential decree on 23 July 2013 (at 8.00 PM) removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny and dissolving the government as well as suspending the country's top negotiator with Sudan, Pagan Amum Okiech.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has not appointed a new vice-president or national ministers and deputies. He has directed the under-secretaries of the various ministries to run ministries until further notice.
World Vision South Sudan is currently continuing operations while restricting staff movement in the interest of security. The WVSS Crisis Management Team is taking measures to monitor the situation and to ensure preparedness of the team for possible scenarios. Hibernation and evacuation plans are being reviewed and necessary stocks of emergency supplies are being refreshed as a preparedness measure.
Program Director, Perry Mansfield stated, “Our primary concerns are the safety and security of our staff and the well-being of the children, families and communities in South Sudan that we serve. We will continue working in our areas of operations and on behalf of our beneficiaries as long as security permits.”
In April 2013 President Salva Kiir issued a presidential ordered the suspension of a proposed national reconciliation conference, until he formed his own committee that would prepare for the event. Vice President Machar had been tasked to oversee the event but this was scrapped when President Kiir issued a controversial order on withdrawing unspecified delegated powers from his deputy. The President’s decision is believed to have been taken because the two leaders couldn’t agree on the timing and agenda for the reconciliation.
The situation continued to worsen following Vice President’s declaration challenging the South Sudan leader in the ruling party’s contest for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s chairmanship in the upcoming convention. This caused President Kiir to suspect that the Vice President wanted to use the reconciliation process as a campaign to gain more popularity among the South Sudanese public.
Needs in South Sudan remain critical after two years of independence with inadequate employment, healthcare, schools, housing and roads, and lack of investment in infrastructure and key business sectors such as agriculture and 50% of the population live below the poverty line. Illiteracy rates remain high.
The presidential decree read on the state-owned television on 23 July 2013 at 8.00 PM led to the cancellation of services by United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS). UNHAS is the provider of humanitarian flights to several parts of South Sudan in enhancing delivery of services.
World Vision South Sudan works closely with line Ministries in South Sudan such as the Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Education. END
Daniel Massamba Meboya
Communications and Public Relations Manager
World Vision South Sudan