By: Sudan Tribune
JUBA – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir has apologized to the country’s citizens for the pain and suffering caused by years of conflict and his regime’s failure to deliver services.
The South Sudan leader was speaking at the occasion to mark the eighth independence anniversary in the capital, Juba on Tuesday.
In his televised address, Kiir specifically cited the delays in payment of civil servant salaries, vowing to personally follow up on the matter.
“I want to sincerely apologize to you, my people, on my own behalf and on behalf of the government over the failure of my government to pay salaries of our civil servants on time,” he said.
Kiir urged all parties to the revitalized peace agreement to maintain the spirit of peace ahead of the formation of the unity government.
According to the South Sudanese leader, it was by consensus that the parties to the agreement reached a consensus to extend the pre-transitional period for more six months to allow full implementation of the accord, especially security agreements.
“I have no doubt that with the full implementation of peace agreement, security will return to South Sudan,” he stressed.
In May, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace deal. The extension came after the main opposition group (SPLM-IO) threatened to boycott the formation of a unity government on May 12.
On the economy, Kiir said he was confident China’s involvement in infrastructural development would greatly improve the sector, adding that the full implementation of peace agreement would result in a thriving economy and better services delivery.
“Our economy will thrive and we will be able to better deliver important services for our people such as schools, hospitals clean drinking water and create jobs for our people,” said the president.
Meanwhile, the South Sudanese acknowledged the relative peace in the country, despite “negligible” disruptions from the National Salvation Front (NAS) rebels loyal to Gen. Thomas Cirilo.
He urged hold-out groups, including NAS, to join the peace process.
“We hope that we get it right this time and avoid any mistake that could potentially return us to another conflict,” observed Kiir.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a decades-long civil war. But fighting that began in 2013 has thrown the country into turmoil and severely dented economic development.