South Sudan president’s address to nation canceled
By CCTV correspondent Kofa Mrenje
January 15, 2014 [CCTV]— South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has failed to deliver a national address on the ongoing violence in the country. Instead, his office released a statement, calling on the country to stand together during this difficult time. The government also vowed to continue the fight against the rebel opposition.
One month to the day since the violence that has split South Sudan erupted and many in Juba had hoped the president’s promised address to the nation would contain good news.
Instead, the president’s office merely recounted that lead mediator Seyoum Mesfin had been in Juba. And that Kiir had made his position clear in those talks.
“The president has given him what to say and the mediators are continuing on that line and if something happens then you will know it,” said presidential spokesman Ateny Wek.
The sticking point remains the detention of 11 rebel sympathisers. Rebel leader Riek Machar wants them freed. Kiir is refusing. It’s a position that hasn’t changed throughout the weeks of talks.
In the absence of Salva Kiir’s national address, the news here continues to be dominated by reports of the fighting, a confused but increasingly troubled picture. People are seeking reassurance.