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Kiir dismisses ethnic bias in the army

President Salva Kiir has dismissed the continuous armed oppositions’ claims that the national army; Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is an “ethnic army” that embraces only one tribe.

“In the last three years the forces of evil have tried to bring down the country, they are bent on trying to re-write the history and drive a wage war among the people,” he said.

“They have even gone as far as portraying our historical army as an ethnic army, however, we are all keenly aware that our military comprises of all South Sudanese from every ethnic group in the country,” Kiir said.

President Kiir made the remarks on Thursday in Bilpam during the 34th anniversary celebration of the SPLA day.

Kiir insisted that SPLA deserve respect and honor saying the inclusiveness of the army and its historical background was the one which led to the existence of the country.

He further appealed to all citizens including those in the opposition to embrace the spirit of nationalism and patriotism.

“We should not allow our own hands to destroy the most precious things which we have made since we took up arms in 1983,” Kiir said. “At this time, we should focus on building the nation rather than allowing external forces to push us further into conflict,” President Kiir added.

Since the beginning of the year several senior military officers have resigned including the deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Thomas Cirilo citing ethnic abuses by some security forces against civilians and what they called “increasing ethnic favoritism in the military.”

By Morris Dogga

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