In order to integrate lawmakers from opposing sides of the country’s civil war to be appointed under a 2018 peace accord, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has dissolved the parliament to accommodate the new changes.
The dissolution of the parliament was announced on Saturday evening by Salva Kiir but no date given as to when the new parliament will begin working.
The setting up of a new legislative body was part of an accord signed in September 2018 between Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar for years on opposition sides during the five-year civil war that left 380,000 people dead and four million displaced.
The dissolution of the parliament Is seen as a welcome idea by activists and civil society groups who consider it long overdue but also express distrust.
Chairman of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum, Jame David Kolock said “… it is a welcome development and we hope that the dissolution also open the way to a lengthy process towards reconstituting the parliament.”
He added that “… the civil society is getting frustrated and no longer believes that even if the parliament is reconstituted it will be a very viable parliament.”
According to the 2018 accord, the parliamentarians will not be elected but nominated by the different parties and also the new assembly will number 550 lawmakers, the majority 332 from Kiir’s governing SPLM party.
The dissolution of parliament came on the eve of a visit to the capital Juba by US special envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth.
The U.S. State Department while addressing the development said in a statement.“Of particular concern to the United States is the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, ongoing violence, and deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions,”