Machar unveils official President Kiir’s portrait

By William Madouk

In a rare moment in the history of South Sudan, the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar on Wednesday unveiled the official portrait of his longtime rival President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The newly changed portrait of the President will replace old portraits and pictures of President that are currently hanging in all offices and public places.

Slight modifications made were on the national flag color from dark blue to sky blue and ‘Commander in chief of the SPLM/A’ to ‘Commander in Chief of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces.’ 

Speaking During the launch of the official portrait, Dr. Machar said it’s an important day for the country to have unveiled distinct portrait of the President.

“In all nations as explained there is always one distinct picture of the photograph portrait of the head of state for all the people and the rest of the world to know,” he said in Freedom Hall yesterday.

“In our offices whether government or private sector, this is the portrait that you are expected to display,” he added.

For his part, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Minister in the Office of the President cited that the portrait is altered to conform with political status quo.

“First, there is change in title since the days of struggles for our independence, now we have South Sudan People’s Defense Forces which the President is the commander and it has to appear on his portrait,” Marial said.

He also added that people grow in age and as a result president’s framed wall portrait must be contemporary with only one distinct photo internally, regionally and internationally.

Dr. Marial as well said the country’s flag has a lot of errors in which some design depicts dark blue rather than sky blue color.

“Our flag has a lot of mistakes especially the blue color; it is not deep blue color, it is in fact sky types of blue color,” he noted.

He also added that the citizens are also allowed to have the portrait of the President in their houses, but only the one officially launched.

Meanwhile, Lily Adhieu, the press secretary in the Office of the President said “There has been no standard presidential portrait since our independence and has allowed public entity and shops to display substandard photos of his Excellency the President.”

She added that “there are some changes that has happened with time for example the name of SPLA has changed to SSPDF, these are things we need to keep in archives and history.”

The event was attended by vice presidents, government officials such as MPs and ministers including diplomatic corps and others.

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