Ethiopia’s former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn has stressed the need for South Sudan president Salva Kiir to step down and allow the country to be guided to peace by a new face.
Desalegn added that it was increasingly becoming clear that peace agreements between the government and rebel groups were not going to be respected.
“Immediately after my resignation, I asked them, please would you resign because you failed to resolve the problem in South Sudan?” Desalegn disclosed during a governance summit held in Rwanda over the weekend.
Agreements are signed and never implemented and I see further more agreements can be signed but I don’t think they will be implemented as the history shows
“Leaders have to come to their senses … and they should somehow leave so they give power to new blood (leadership) that can lead the country to the next level,” he said.
Desalegn was chairman of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which brokered the 2015 peace deal between Salva Kiir and opposition chief Riek Machar. Machar is currently in exile in South Africa.
“Agreements are signed and never implemented and I see further more agreements can be signed but I don’t think they will be implemented as the history shows,” he added.
Desalegn resigned his position as premier in mid-February 2018 in an effort to allow political reforms to be carried out by the ruling EPRDF coalition. He was replaced by Abiy Ahmed – the first ethnic Oromo to occupy the post.
In the recent past, President Kiir has warded off a push by the opposition demanding that he resigns from his post. Meanwhile, the latest round of peace talks in Addis Ababa has been postponed after two rounds.
The country is suffering a multi-layer crisis with spreading insecurity leading to a humanitarian crisis as people continue to be internally displaced. Thousands have fled and are in refugee camps across the region. A economic slump has all but worsened and already bad situation.