Kiir clarifies ‘I can’t stop fighting in Upper Nile’ remark

By William Madouk Garang

The Office of the President has swiftly extinguished President Salva Kiir’s remark that punches a hole sparking public debate, citing that he does not imply his administrative inability but rather means he can’t solve it alone.

This comes barely a day after President Kiir said during the closing of the SPLM National Liberation Council Conference that he cannot stop the war in the Upper Nile region, a quote which quickly caught public attention but the President’s office hurried to clarify the statement.

“There is war in Eastern Nuer in Jakow and there is war in the Chollo Kingdom. Who are those fighting there? They are our brothers and sisters and I cannot stop them. Building a sustainable peace in our country is our mission,” Kiir said on Tuesday.

His comment provoked wide criticisms from the citizens who are wondering why the head of the state made such a statement, a day after the state government said it was helpless to stop the violence in the restive region.

Reacting to the matter, the Press Secretary in the Office of President, Lily Adhieu said Kiir meant to say the awful violence in Upper Nile region required collective efforts which he couldn’t do alone but was mistaken as if he has taken his hands off the critical issue disturbing regional stability.

“While deploring the sub-national violence in the Upper Nile region that is taking toll on innocent civilians, the President said he could not stop it alone,” said Ms. Adhieu in a press statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

The President’s press secretary claimed some media houses had taken the President’s remark out of context.

“Some media houses took this statement out of context by insinuating that the President had taken his hands off this issue. This interpretation is not true,” she clarified.

She further stated that the President is not willfully neglecting what is happening in Upper Nile nor does it imply that his regime was unable to solve the issue, adding that President Kiir had already sent army to quell the tension.

“In fact, the President had already directed the Chief of Defense Force (CDE) to deploy unified SSPDF in the area to protect the civilians,” she noted in the statement.

“To anyone who might have mistakenly read this statement that way, let me clarity that the President was referring to the complex nature of actors behind this violence that makes providing immediate solutions challenging,” it stressed.

Presidential Palace J1 cited that despite difficulty, the President is determined to do whatever it takes to end this violence in Upper Nile and other regions of South Sudan where people are killing one another.

“To those who listened to his entire speech yesterday, the President instructed the State Governors and Chief Administrators to prioritize security within their areas and also with their neighbors,” it concluded.

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