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SSPDF will not suppress civilian protests calling for Kiir to step down

March 27, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — The South Sudan’s Defense forces senior military officer has said that the forces will not suppress peaceful protests by civilians calling for President Kiir to step down.

Co-Chairs of the Joint Defense Board, Gen. JJ Okot, Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam and other co-chairs briefing the media over the Kajo-Keji incident on September 29, 2020(Photo credit: SSBC)
Co-Chairs of the Joint Defense Board, Gen. JJ Okot, Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam and other co-chairs briefing the media over the Kajo-Keji incident on September 29, 2020(Photo credit: SSBC)

The military official who spoke to a local media said that the people of South Sudan are tired of the current administration.

“Everything has a beginning and an end. People are tired and fed up. They need a change, and the army cannot stand in the way. That it is not the mandate of the army,” the army official said.

“The mandate of the army is to protect people and the country against foreign aggression and to secure the territorial integrity of the country,” explained the officer.

“The rest is the work of other organs,” he added.

The officer said the army will protect those who protest peacefully against Kiir.

“Those who will come out against them, to kill our brothers and sisters, who are paying the same price of the current situation like ourselves, going into the same markets, same schools and struggling each day to bring food to the table. If you raise a hand against them to protect individual interests, we will not allow that,” he said.

“We fought to liberate them, and we cannot turn around to turn guns against them”, added the officer.

The officer referred to the letter that was written on March 17, 2021 to the president, which showed sentiments, citing neglect of the soldiers.

In the letter, the army argued that Kiir had departed way too far from the established path and vision and was “technically drifting alone in the sea with no idea how to get the ship back ashore in safety”.

The senior military officer said that Kiir has betrayed the people who expressed themselves during the national dialogue.

“You [Kiir] have betrayed the people of South Sudan who spoke in no uncertain terms during the dialogue about what they want for their country,” he said.

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