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KIIR puts interest of the country first

By Opio Jackson

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Wednesday evening in his keynote address marking the 9th anniversary of independence, he reiterated his commitment to the cause of peace and stability in the country. Kiir said he had strived to do all he could to steer the peace process forward.

The speech delivered as nation address was to mark the eve of the Ninth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence that was not celebrated due to the coronavirus.

“After the tragic event of 2013 and 2016, I could hardly imagine ever working again with Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM-IO but having decided that we must put the interest of the country and its people above all else. I changed my mind and told President Museveni and the former President Bashir in Entebbe that I am going to swallow my pride and work with Dr. Riek Machar,” said Kiir, alluding to the November 2019 Entebbe tripartite meeting on South Sudan.

President Kiir insisted that it was this key concession which made it possible to realize the Revitalized Peace Agreement that they signed in Addis Ababa on September 12, 2018.

He reiterated that as in the interest of peace, he had to relinquish the popular thirty-two (32) states and revert to ten (10) states to move the process forward.   

“I did not make these concessions because of any weakness on the side of the government I lead, I made them in the interest of moving forward the cause of peace in the country,” Kiir said.

He said it was critical that they go about the business of implementing the provision of the revitalized peace agreement.

In his nation address, President Kiir also talked about the need for full-scale disarmament campaign to end tribal violence in the country. He said the success in ending political violence was being threatened by inter-communal conflict.

“As the government, we will not allow this new threat to reverse our gains. We shall pursue a multi-layered approach to resolve this problem once and for all,” he said.

Kiir said the government was set to initiate inter and intra-communal dialogue to address the root causes of the problems in coming days alongside full-scale disarmament.

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