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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir asks his country for “forgiveness”

President Salva Kiir whips during a funeral of one of his officials in Juba, South Sudan
President Salva Kiir wipes tears off his face during a funeral of one of his officials in Juba, South Sudan (File Photo)

December 15th, 2016(Nyamilepedia) – The embattled South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has called on his fellow country men to forgive him for all his wrong doings and any mistakes that he has committed as civil war rages on through the young nation with no end in sight.

”I’m asking you, the people of South Sudan to forgive me for any mistakes I might have committed” Salva Kiir told the country’s Parliament

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The president said he now wanted to see reconciliation and a stop to the three year old civil war which has ravaged his country politically, economically and culturally. During a speech to the National Legislative Assembly (Parliament) in Juba, Kiir said the country needs a “national dialogue” as the only way to consolidate peace because war will not solve South Sudan’s problems.

Analysts believe the current grinding economic crisis facing South Sudan coupled with wide spread insecurity, internal divisions, ethnic tensions and lack of international financial support is mounting unbearable pressure on the government of Kiir forcing him to try and look for a quick way out of the country’s raging civil war, however some regional observers warn that the war will likely continue as there is no quick solution in sight from both waring parties and the international community with all the key actors having no clear options of what should be done next.

South Sudan has been locked in a brutal and bitter civil war that has seen thousands killed, hundreds of thousands more displaced from their homes across the country, many more millions have been forced to flee as refugees into neighbouring countries as Salva Kiir’s regime battles various rebel groups calling for reforms and change to a democratic system in the country, half of the country’s population is now believed to be facing starvation.

South Sudan’s civil war kicked off in December 2013 when Salva Kiir accused his main rival and former Vice President Dr Riek Machar of plotting to take over his government after Riek announced that he and other senior officials of the ruling SPLM would challenge President Kiir for the SPLM party leadership elections in 2013. Salva Kiir unleashed the army on Dr Riek and several senior SPLM members who challenged him for the SPLM leadership contest accusing them of plotting a coup.

Thousands of civilians mostly from Machars ethnic Nuers were targeted and killed by a tribal militia army known as Mathiang Anyor believed to have been trained by senior government officials from the Dinka tribe and were armed by President Silva Kiir.

A peace agreement was signed in Ethiopia in August 2015 with mediation from the regional body IGAD and the international community, but it quickly fell apart in July 2016 when Riek Machars headquarters in Juba suddenly came under heavy attack with Helicopters and Tanks from President Kiir’s government soldiers forcing Machar and his handful soldiers to flee the capital Juba.

The US state department recently as last week warned that ‘ethnic cleaning’ was underway in South Sudan as the government of President Kiir had deployed thousands of his Dinka tribal militias into the Equatoria regions massacring civilians and burning villages, it called for imposing an arms embargo and targeted sanctions against officials from both sides of the warring parties but disagreements within the security council has prevented any votes from taking place.

The UN has this week warned that South Sudan was on the brink of a “Rwanda-like Genocide”, urging the African Union and the United Nations to quickly deploy a regional protection force and to establish a Hybrid Court to deter the current violence spiralling out of control into a Genocide and to prosecute those responsible for atrocities in the young nation.

“Killings, sexual violence, ill-treatment, abductions, forcible recruitment and the looting and destruction of homes and villages are taking place on a massive scale across many parts of the country,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights during an urgent Rights meeting on South Sudan called by United States and other council members.

“With the beginning of the dry season South Sudan teeters on the brink of a disaster. Weather conditions mean armed groups, militias and bandits can roam more swiftly across the landscape and there is a high potential for clashes between the government and fighters on multiple fronts,” Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein added

President Salva Kiir said he was concerned that the country’s citizens were unhappy with the current conflict and the declining economy, but did not mention any programs or plans to fix the economy or stop the war.

“I am deeply concerned about the parents who can no longer feed their children because of our shrinking economy. I am also concerned about the growing number of street children and women who have lost everything due to the ongoing political situation. I am deeply concerned that all our citizens are distraught over the current political conflict and drastically declining economy” said President Kiir

Salva Kiir is believed to be trying to groom his fellow country men in order to run for elections in 2018 with hope to continue as president despite widespread opposition.

Salva Kiir said he was asking his fellow country men “In the spirit of national unity, forgiveness and dialogue…..”.

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