S Sudan rebel warns president of more fighting if he stays on

2015-07-08 16:25
South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

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Juba - South Sudan's rebel leader warned on Wednesday of renewed fighting, saying President Salva Kiir's new 3-year mandate was illegal and the people had the right to "rise up and overthrow his regime" if he stayed on.

Riek Machar's statement was delivered in Nairobi as South Sudan's parliament speaker formally extended Kiir's term for three more years, as approved by lawmakers in a March vote.

Rebels say parliament did not have the right to take such action, in a nation that has been mired in conflict since December 2013.

"Should president Kiir remain adamant and refuse to hand over power to the people, then the citizens have every right to rise up and overthrow his regime," Machar said in the statement made on a visit to Nairobi.

He said Kiir's term ended from midnight on July 8.

Conflict in the world's newest nation, which marks four years of independence on Thursday, flared after a long-running power struggle that led to Kiir sacking Machar as his deputy in mid-2013.

More than a year and a half of on-off talks in Ethiopia have failed to end fighting that has killed thousands of people and driven more than 2.2 million from their homes, many of them fleeing to neighbouring states, including Kenya.

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

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