Tags: south | sudanese | purge | catastrophe

South Sudanese Purge Sparks Fears of Violent 'Catastrophe'

By    |   Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 01:45 PM

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has fired his entire cabinet in what analysts say could be the climax of a bitter fight for power inside the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - a struggle that could become “a full-blown catastrophe,” the Guardian reports.

Those ousted include Kiir’s chief rival, Vice President Riek Machar, and Pagan Amum, the SPLM’s secretary-general and its senior negotiator in critical oil and security talks with Sudan.

Both Amum and Machar have publicly criticized Kiir’s leadership of the country.

The government’s collapse “raised the prospect of escalating violence” in South Sudan, according to the Guardian, amid mounting concerns that a prolonged standoff between Kiir and his opponents could split the SPLM into two or more rival factions, raise tensions between the powerful Nuer and Dinka tribal groups, and sabotage plans for 2015 elections.

The purge comes less than a week after United Nations aid agencies warned that up to 120,000 people have been displaced by fighting between rival tribes, the army and rebels in eastern Jonglei state. South Sudan, which celebrates its second anniversary of independence, is embroiled in difficult negotiations with Sudan over oil exports, which account for virtually all of South Sudan’s revenues.

Khartoum has threatened to shut down two Red Sea oil pipelines Aug. 7 if the SPLM refuses to halt its support for rebels in two Sudanese provinces. The South Sudan government denies it is backing the rebels.

Machar recently led a delegation to Khartoum to discuss bilateral tensions but made little headway, and critics accused him of working with Sudan to weaken Kiir.


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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has fired his entire cabinet in what analysts say could be the climax of a bitter fight for power inside the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - a struggle that could become "a full-blown catastrophe," the Guardian...
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Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 01:45 PM
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