White House Official Tells “Africa 54″ New Government Needed in S. Sudan

Grant Harris on Africa 54

Grant Harris on Africa 54

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama’s Special Assistant for African Affairs, Grant Harris, says South Sudan “desperately needs” a government that will advance its development, peace and security issues.

Appearing on the VOA TV program Africa 54, Harris said, “What we’re asking for right now is that President [Salva] Kiir quickly and transparently reconstitute the government, the idea being in the context of the interim constitution and in a way that reflects the diversity of the people of South Sudan.”

On Thursday, President Kiir dismissed his entire cabinet as well as Vice President Riek Machar.

President Obama’s special assistant said the administration was concerned about the prospect of “instability” in South Sudan.

Harris told Africa 54′s Ndimyake Mwakalyelye that there is a need “for a government that is advancing the development and peace and security issues that the country desperately needs.”

Africa 54, a 30-minute Monday through Friday program, provides audiences with a closer look at issues in Africa, with reports from VOA correspondents, interviews with top experts and analysis.

Asked during Thursday’s program if the White House believed that South Sudan could be destabilized by the political crisis, Harris said, “We’re very focused on preventing any kind of instability, and I think the reason to do things quickly and transparently is precisely to avoid any prospect like that. We don’t want to have a fracturing of the political center in Juba, and we want to have a government that is able to tackle the challenges that it really desperately needs to do.”

He said it’s natural in a democracy to have differences and struggles for leadership of a political party, but differences must be settled in a transparent manner, so that voices can be heard.

For more information about this release, contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write kking@voanews.com. For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.

(This release published first on www.insidevoa.com)

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