South Sudan president Salva Kiir has announced his intention of seeking a new term in next year’s election.
President Kiir made the announcement in Yei River State where he disclosed that South Sudanese would go to the poll after the end of the current interim period.
According to Kiir the next poll will be crucial and determinant on the future of the troubled nation as the South Sudanese will make a free choice.
Kiir also challenged his rivals including the rebel leader Riek Machar who is in exile to return back home and prepare for the elections. He also called on armed groups to stop the war and prepare to participate in the democratic exercise.
“We must stop war now and prepare for 2018 elections in time,” President Kiir told the chanting crowd.
He became an elected president in July 2011 after South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Sudan.
A major fallout between him and his deputy, Dr Machar, first occurred in 2013 sparking a war that mostly took the character of an ethnic Dinka versus Nuer conflict.
President Kiir is a Dinka while Dr Machar belongs to the Nuer community and accused him of planning a coup against his administration.