Take guns to the Barracks-Raila tells South Sudanese leaders

Raila Omolo Odinga, addressing the occasion marking the opening of the Freedom Bridge in Juba on Thursday (Philip Buda Ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

The Former Prime Minister of Kenya and the High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, Rail Omolo Odinga has told the top South Sudanese leaders to shun conflict and find an amicable solution to their disagreements to embrace peace in the country.

Raila who is an aspiring Presidential candidate for the upcoming Kenyan Elections gave his advice to President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar in Juba on Thursday at the occasion to mark the official opening of the Freedom Bridge in Juba.

The Kenyan Presidential aspirant in his brotherly advice to the South Sudan leaders said the solutions for the crisis in the country are at home not in the neighboring countries’ capitals.

Raila said guns and weapons are for Liberation but when independence is attained guns belong to the Barracks, not on the street.

He urged the country’s leaders to ensure that the new Freedom Bridge opened on Thursday by President Salva Kiir should not be guaranteed by the military of South Sudan, but rather the civilian and police.

“It should be protected by the civilians and the police. The military belong to the Barracks they should defend South Sudan against foreign aggression not those internal problems here” he voiced his concern.

The Kenyan Prominent politician said they both have problems not only what is happening here in South Sudan. He cited the last Kenyan Presidential elections marred by chaos that almost plunged the country into crisis.

But Raila said the South Sudanese political leaders should have learned from their experience of reaching an agreement to calm tensions that can probably ravage the country down.  

“So I am talking to you here as my brothers you have also crisis, but our problems the solution is here, the solution is not in Addis Ababa, not in Kampala or Entebbe not in Nairobi, not in Khartoum it is right here I want you people to talk as brothers and let the guns go to the Barracks and let you be protected by civilian police” he emphasized.

 “If we can do this, then nothing will stop us from this region of East Africa from achieving proper integration of this region and realizing the dreams of the founding fathers of these nations” he said.

“I want to conclude therefore by saying that we are going for elections in Kenya and I am a Presidential candidate and I am hoping to win the elections, if I win the elections I want us to open the border between South Sudan and Kenya. We will be talking about funding the Highway from Juba to Nairobi so that you can be able to access the goods from Mombasa port within just 10 hours and you will be there and another 10 hours you will be in Juba” Raila lobbied.

He promised that if he wins and become the President of Kenya, citizens from the two sisterly countries will enjoy the dividends of free movement across their borders for business not even using a passport, bit only national ID leave alone Visa payment.  

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