By Akol Madut Ngong
President Salva Kiir Mayardit urged the holdout rebel movements that are still locking horns with the government to embrace the spirit of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and desist from rebellions saying they no longer want rebels in the country.
The President made the call to the holdout groups to abandon their rebellions and join the canoe of peace. Kiir was speaking on Tuesday during the first phase of the graduation of the over 52,000 Unified Forces.
“I call upon the holdout group to return home and join us in the peace making” Kiir said. “We do not want rebels in our Country, and we want to disarm our civilians so that we combat community violence, improve local security, eradicate cattle rustling, and gender based sexual violent and inter-communal fighting” he added.
President Kiir on several occasions called on the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) which binds together three rebel camps under; Gen. Thomas Cirilo, Gen. Paul Malong and Pagan Amum, who have been in a sluggish peace talks under the mediation of the Community of Saint Egidio in Rome.
He reiterated his calls stating that there is nothing which they cannot solve.
“We are committed to the Saint Egidio Rome framework and we encourage all of you to also take it seriously so that all of us participate in building our country together as people of one nation,” he appealed to SSOMA leaders.
“I call upon my brothers and sisters to join me in this mission and accept democracy as the only way to get power, our people have suffered enough and we must not make it worst for them than it is already” he stressed.
The President then urged the graduating cadets, to defend the sovereignty of their country, saying “it is your duty to defense South Sudan against anybody who would want to take power from the people by force in contradiction of the constitution and the laws”.
Kiir however warned the unified forces that whoever will be found discriminating against some of the South Sudanese people will be dismissed from the forces and face the full force of law.
He emphasized that the army’s duty is to defend South Sudan from external aggression; the national security is to collect intelligence to ensure that there is no danger against the country.
Whereas he added that those in the police are there to protect the people and their properties, the prison service, wild life and civil defense are there to carry out their duties in accordance with their relevant laws, rule and regulation.
Kiir stated that they will work with regions and the continent to ensure that the unified forces are going to be properly trained and become professionals in their work.
“A professional security will make South Sudan a standard UN member State that has the ad-hoc attribute of a secure environment for its people realizing socio-economic development, efficient delivery of services to its people, respect for human rights and engaging in an infrastructure development nationwide,” he underscored.
The President hinted that they want the citizens to elect their leaders 24 months from now as defined in the roadmap for peace saying professionalizing the Country’s security sector is paramount for the conduct of democratic election.
“I know that some of our partners have mistrust in us because we have not met the deadline in the agreement, people judge us without taking stock of the underlining realities that has made us to delay in the implementation of the provision of the agreement,” he argued.
President Kiir added that they are determined to implement the remaining parts of the agreement through the roadmap which was agreed by the parties to the agreement on August, 3rd, 2022.
“We want our people to elect their leaders and transform South Sudan into a secure, peaceful and democratic Country and I have said many times that I will never take South Sudan back to war again and I am repeating today that you (unified forces) are being graduated here not that we are going back to war, if you have such thinking in your mind or some of your commanders are telling you that you are being trained and go back to war, it will never happen and I must tell you,” Kiir asserted.