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I PUT ON BRAVE FACE But I am unhappy from within-Kiir

By Nichola Dominic Mandil

President Salva Kiir said over the weekend that although he puts on a brave face, he is not happy because of the dire situation in South Sudan.

The President made the remarks while addressing the residents of Luri County of Jubek State during the inauguration of the County’s headquarters.

He said a journalist from the state owned Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) interviewed him on Friday, 22nd September 2017, and asked him a number of questions. The president said one of the questions the journalist asked him was “what makes you happy” as a President of South Sudan?

President Kiir replied by saying, “I put on a brave face as if there is nothing wrong going on in my country (South Sudan), but truly speaking, I am dying inside, I am dying from within myself, because when I see people suffering,  see people on the street and the price hike in the markets,” he lamented.

Commenting on the hunger situation in the country, President Kiir said, “there are people who are hungry and they are living without food, and there are people suffering in hospitals, and above all, there are criminals who are ‘heartless’ they enter people’s houses at night and they demand things from the people, and when you have nothing, they (criminals) would kill you.”

“In such a situation you cannot be happy,” President Kiir said. “Though I told journalists that I am not happy at all, but being a leader, I must appear to be happy. All these are happening because there is no peace in the country. So let us work together in order to bring peace,” President Kiir exhorted the residents of Luri County.

He also told the Governor of Jubek State, Agustino Jadalla Wani that they as a government can maintain “peace and stability” in the area only by taking town to the people. “Let us unite our hands and work for the security of our area,” President Kiir urged the residents of Luri.

The President said he is a citizen of Luri, and told the locals that for them to  start the establishment of Luri County, he announced a contribution of “500,000” South Sudanese Pounds (SSP), and urged the Commissioner of the county to collect the money from the presidency(J-1) during working hours.

He also lamented the condition of Luri bridge, which he said had become a problem that every year people are drawn into the water, and this phenomenon will not stop if the government and the locals do not work together to rehabilitate Luri bridge.

“You know during the struggle, we were the ones who destroyed these bridges and now see how many years it has taken us and we cannot rebuild these bridges,” he said. “For that matter, let us stop the war, let us not fight again so that we can build bridges in order to connect the people,” President Kiir added.

On his part, the Governor of Jubek State, Agustino Jadalla Wani, who accompanied the President, said laying of the headquarters of Luri County was the beginning of the development of the area.

“I would like to congratulate you because the President of the Republic is here with you today in order to witness this event. Despite the challenges we are facing, economic situation and others, so let us stand firm and overcome these challenges, let us unite and work collectively,” Governor Jadalla told the residents of Luri.

Luri County is one of the thirteen counties of Jubek State which were created and became legally functional on 16th September, 2016.

The speeches of President Salva Kiir and Governor Agustino Jadalla, which were delivered at Luri, were obtained by Juba Monitor courtesy of SSBC Radio.

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