October 19, 2022 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Tuesday said peaceful relations with neigbouring Sudan is key in consolidating peace and security in the region.
He made the remarks while addressing Shilluk traditional leaders at the burial of Alfred Akwoch, a South Sudanese civil war veteran who died in the Kampala, Uganda last week.
Kiir appealed to the Shilluk leaders to maintain peace and harmony among themselves.
“We need to come to Sudan because Sudan will consolidate security and stability in the region, said Kiir. Some of the people run to Sudan and run back to the country when we reported them. These people are the people causing havoc in Upper Nile,” explained Kiir.
He added, “I called upon you to be watchful and cooperate with the security forces and traditional leaders so that they do not cause confusion”.
The South Sudanese leader called for forgiveness among the people of Upper Nile State.
“On the issue of peace in Upper Nile, all of us, including you who are here, let us unite our hands and work hard to bring peace to Malakal”, he stated.
According to Kiir, Malakal was one of the cheapest town prior to the civil war in 2013.
“When I see Malakal on TV, I can’t believe it’s the Malakal I was staying at. Because when I was in Malakal it was a very beautiful city and was a cheap city among the cities of South Sudan, but we destroyed it,” he remarked.
For his part, South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar urged citizens to honour deceased by bringing lasting peace to Upper Nile State.
“I want to appeal to all of us, particularly those who come from Upper Nile let’s copy the example of Alfred, let’s ensure we bring peace to Upper Nile”, said Machar.
“Upper Nile deserves peace and therefore we must call upon all our young people that they must live in peace, “We [cabinet] discussed at length the security situation in Upper Nile and we have made a decision that I hope will bring peace to the state,” he added.
The armed opposition leader said relations with Sudan were vital, adding that free movement of goods and services between the two nations will improve living conditions.
The conflicts of 2013 and 2016 resulted in the displacement of most of the citizens of Malakal town and nearby villages in the Upper Nile area of South Sudan. While some people fled to neighbouring nations, other were displaced within the territory of the state