South Sudan MPs extend interim government’s mandate for 3 years

In this file photo,South Sudan President Salva Kiir attends talks in Khartoum on an end to his country's civil war.
Updated 12 July 2018
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South Sudan MPs extend interim government’s mandate for 3 years

  • Parliamentarians in South Sudan voted Thursday to extend the mandate of President Salva Kiir’s government for an extra three years.
  • The move is likely to deal a blow to peace efforts.

JUBA: Parliamentarians in South Sudan voted Thursday to extend the mandate of President Salva Kiir’s government for an extra three years, in a move likely to deal a blow to peace efforts.
“The transitional constitution amendment bill number five for the year 2018 is hereby passed by the national legislature,” said Speaker Anthony Lino Makana after lawmakers unanimously voted to pass the bill which must now be signed into law by Kiir.
The law will allow Kiir to remain in power until 2021 even as he is engaged in the latest round of regional peace negotiations with his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar aimed at ending the four-year-old civil war.
Kiir and Machar went to war in December 2013.
Since then tens of thousands have been killed and millions forced from their homes, triggering a regional refugee crisis and large-scale hunger.
Successive rounds of talks, mediated by a regional trade bloc called the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have so far failed to bring peace or even a lasting cease-fire.
The latest talks have seen another truce agreed while proposals, including power-sharing, with Machar returned to his former post as vice president, are still under discussion.


South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

Updated 20 July 2018
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South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

SEOUL, South Korea: A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former South Korean President Park Geun-hye to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws.
She now faces the prospect of more than three decades behind bars. She’s already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption scandal that led to her removal from office last year.
Seoul Central District Court on Friday found her guilty of causing substantial losses to state coffers by unlawfully receiving about 3 billion won ($2.6 million) from chiefs of the National Intelligence Service during her presidency and sentenced her to six years in prison.
However, she was found not guilty of bribery charges related to the money transfers. The court said it was unclear whether the spy chiefs sought or received favors in return.
The court separately sentenced Park to two years in prison for breaking election laws by meddling in her party candidate’s nomination ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2016.
She didn’t appear in court.
While Park’s prison term currently adds up to 32 years, this could change, and potentially get even longer, depending on rulings of appeals courts. Following the earlier ruling in April, prosecutors appealed Park’s 24-year term on charges including bribery and abuse of state power and are now demanding 30 years in prison. The Seoul High Court will rule on the case on Aug. 24.
Following protests by millions, South Korean lawmakers impeached Park on December 2016. She was formally removed from office following a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court in March last year and was arrested weeks later.