South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has dissolved Parliament as part of a peace agreement concluded three years ago. According to these agreements, Parliament should be enlarged, with the opposition being better represented.
The decision was announced last night in a presidential television speech. However, Kiir did not say when the new parliament should be installed. His spokesman tells news agency Reuters that this will be “not long” in coming.
The representatives of the people are not elected by elections but appointed by the various political parties according to a fixed distribution key. The party of Kiir shall retain the majority of its seats.
Human rights organisations and NGOs welcome the news. For example, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum hopes that the creation of a new parliament will increase the stability of the country.
South Sudan became independent of Sudan in 2011 after a long and violent struggle. Soon the young nation ended up in civil war after President Kiir had fired his vice president Machar. The tribes of both men have a long history of struggle, which flared up in response to Machars resignation. In five years, an estimated 400,000 people were killed.
In 2018, Kiir and Machar concluded a peace agreement, after which the two formed a transitional government. Nevertheless, the ceasefire is regularly violated. Last month, the United Nations warned against a new war in the deprived country, partly because the implementation of the peace agreement is so slow.
The announcement to dissolve the parliament came one day before the visit of the US South Sudan envoy, who will talk to all parties about compliance with the 2018 deal. In a statement, the envoy wrote yesterday that he was concerned about the implementation of the agreement.