South Sudan boosts presidential powers

2015-11-19 18:44
Nile river flowing through South Sudan. (iStock)

Nile river flowing through South Sudan. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan's parliament changed the constitution on Thursday to boost presidential powers amid fears violence is spreading to new areas in the country, with seven killed on the highway to Uganda.

The constitutional change comes after President Salva Kiir ordered the number of regional states to be nearly tripled, undermining a fundamental pillar of a power-sharing deal to end a nearly two-year long civil war.

"This amendment is actually paving the way for the introduction of the new states," Information Minister Michael Makuei said.

The creation of new states threatens to undermine a complex power-sharing formula, the basis of the peace deal, to forge a transitional government.

But lawmakers also voted in support of the August peace deal, despite both army and rebels repeatedly accusing each other of breaking the eighth such agreement.

The civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

On Thursday morning, unknown gunmen ambushed a bus and four lorries travelling on the main highway to Uganda some 130km south of Juba, on the main trade route for South Sudan.

"A bus carrying passengers and four lorries were attacked... three passengers and four drivers were killed," said Eastern Equatoria state information minister Mark Akio.

The worst of the fighting has been concentrated in three states - Unity and Upper Nile in the north, and Jonglei in the east, often pitting rival Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups against each other.

In recent months however attacks have escalated in the far south, although it remains unclear who is behind the violence there.

The conflict has triggered a humanitarian crisis with 2.3 million people forced from their homes and 4.6 million in need of emergency food. Tens of thousands have died and the economy has all but collapsed.

Despite the constitutional changes, the government has said it expects the first rebel delegation to soon arrive in Juba, a key step in making the peace deal a reality on the ground.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.