July 9, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— For two consecutive years, South Sudan would not be celebrating her independence, a day that was jovially and euphorically celebrated six years ago.
Despite a devastating war that continues to uproot civilians from their homes in the three regions of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir explained in his privately delivered speech that the country cannot celebrate its sixth birthday due to economic hardship and famine.
“Fellow Citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen, My government and I owe you an explanation as to why for the second year running you will not have a public celebration during this 6th Independence Day.” H.E. President Salva Kiir said.
“We had to make the painful decision for us to only observe this Independence Day in recognition of the reality of the economic challenges our country is facing.” Said the troubled President, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
South Sudan’s crises have worsen in the last few years. In addition to escalating war, famine and free falling economy, the International Community has barred partners and friends such as world bank and IMF from issuing more loans to Mr. Kiir’s government.
According to international media and NGOs, South Sudan spend over two billions US dollar on war, buying machinery, drones and jet fighters to win the war, and as such the International Community decided to focus all its financial assistance on humanitarian services that are channeled through UN and local NGOs.
In addition, the SPLM/A in Opposition, which is loyal to Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the former First Vice President, has shutdown oil production and closed main routes linking the landlocked country to the rest of the region.
In his speech today, which was delivered through television, Salva Kiir said he government wants to spend any little resources available on other important issues, not on celebration of the sixth anniversary of the country’s independence.
“We did not feel that it was appropriate to spend whatever little funds we may have to celebrate when our people are hugely affected by the economic crisis that has made it difficult for many people to afford even one meal per day. Although the famine, which was declared in some parts of our country, has now been contained, still thousands of our citizens are under threat of food insecurity. It is therefore our sincere hope that you will understand our reasoning and pledge to work with us to return our country to economic recovery and growth.” Kiir persuades the citizens to understand what his government is going through.
President Salva Kiir also thanks the World Food Program, and mentioned almost nothing about the UNMISS and other main humanitarian aid agencies in the country, for their role in feeding, protecting and supporting the citizens.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the World Food Program and all of our partners and donors for availing funds and support for this noble work. I want to assure all our citizens that we will continue to exert all efforts to develop a long-term solution to the food insecurity crisis in the country.” Kiir said.
Like last years, 2016, South Sudan independence day is marked by more blood as heavy fighting goes on for the last 4 days near the SPLM/A-IO headquarters in Pagak as the government is exerting efforts to dislodge Machar’s forces in the area.
This nearly week of fighting has already displaced hundreds of thousands in Norther Upper Nile as government troops continued to fight on in determination to capture Pagak.
Contrary, the president promises that the security has improved by 54% this year and he hopes to continue improving the security situation so that more people may return home.
“We are exacting efforts to incrementally improve the security situation in the country to allow our displaced citizens to return home. As the saying goes, there is no place like home and it pains us that our people have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods. Too many of our people have become internally displaced or have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries.” Said President Salva Kiir in his speech.
In other reports the regional bloc, IGAD, has drafted a three to four months matrix for the High Level Revitalization Forum of ARCISS.
This forum will review the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan and decides on how best the August 2015 peace agreement can be revitalized and implemented.
This forum could be the only hope for South Sudan peace and reconciliation process.
The young nation has suffered so much during the past liberation struggles and continue to suffer as more rebellions and ethnic conflicts continue to rise.