Home | News    Monday 26 December 2011

Kiir calls for peaceful Christmas celebrations, urges police to take charge

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By Ngor Arol Garang

December 25, 2011 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit on Sunday called for peaceful Christmas celebrations taking place across the new nation and urged police forces to take charge during the festivities.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayadrit (photo Paul Banks)

Christmas Eve prayers were held at both Kator Roman Catholic Church led by archbishop Paulino Lokudu and Episcopal Church’s main cathedral at Mabil in Juba led by Daniel Deng Bul, with many other Christians attending prayers in different churches.

With a festive mood on the streets of the country’s capital Juba on Saturday, market areas and shops remained congested with residents busy with last minute shopping, as police authorities urged members of the public to be careful when using roads.

"We have advised that people should continue to abide by traffic rules and regulations during Christmas and New Year holidays," said General Acuil Tito Madut, inspector General of South Sudan’s police service, in a statement released to the media on Sunday. He also warned the drivers against alcohol consumption.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune by his office on Sunday said all Christians in the new nation and all over the world were celebrating the birth of the Christ and must remain calm throughout during celebrations.

He called on the security organs specifically police forces to take charge of the situation.

"We thank the Good Lord for giving us another opportunity to saviour the joy that comes with the festive season. As Christians, the birth of Christ means a lot because it is the day that salvation came to us."

He said the said the season was the time Christian’s give to the poor and the needy people in the society.

"Let us also seize the moment and give so that the Good Lord will also forgive our sins. Let our thoughts and deeds reflect our Christian belief," Kiir said.

The president urged people to ensure that the joy of the birth of the Christ should not be turned into sorrow due to alcohol-related traffic accidents. "Most importantly, let us not turn our roads into death camps. If you drink, do not drive. If you drive do not drink", he advised.

The South Sudan’s head of police Gen. Acuil Tito Madut told Sudan Tribune that there was a tendency among some drivers to handle vehicles when drunk during the holidays.

He said this situation has caused many accidents adding that extra police officers had been deployed on the roads during celebrations. There were speed radars, he said, to check those speeding especially on the highways and alcohol tests will also be conducted on suspected drunk drivers.

"We have enough patrol vehicles both in urban areas and highways leading upcountry and all over the country," he reassured.

President Kiir on the other hand wished the country’s military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in their respected destinations special Merry Christmas and prayed for their safety and resolve to stay behind a common purpose to protect sovereignty and integrity of the new nation.

“May the joy and the birth of Christ bring us lots of Joy as the nation and the peace of God which passes all understanding rest and abide with us all as we hope for a new year filled with enormous heavenly blessings, Merry Christmas and may God continue to bless South Sudan”, the message concludes.

Rise in prices

While the Christmas celebrations carried on peacefully, a survey conducted by the Sudan Tribune revealed a sharp increase of commodity prices. Inflation is South Sudan has caused prices to increase dramatically since independence.

Residents express dissatisfaction at the abrupt hike in prices of essential commodities such as rice, flour, oil, vegetables, sugar, beans and spices.

Mohammed Abdullah from the north Sudan, who owns a soft drinks shop in Juba told Sudan Tribune in at Konyokonyo Market on Sunday that some people, despite saving could buy only half of what they wanted due to the increased prices.

"I think the festive season provides the opportunity for traders to maximize profits. Life has become so expensive that the purchasing power is diminishing, as long as the value of the local currency keeps dropping against the galloping dollar," he complains.

Wani Sule Tongun, a retailer in Juba admits that this time of the year commodity prices have set a record. "A dress I bought for my daughter last year is three times the price this time," he lamented.

"Food prices have increased. I don’t really understand why things are getting worse, he asked.

Episcopal archbishop Daniel Deng Bul told Sudan Tribune that churches around the country will hold special sermons to mark these celebrations as it is the Christmas since the independence of South Sudan.

Bishop Bul said Christian community have finalised all arrangements to celebrate Christmas with festivities despite inflation. He called for peace and unity among South Sudanese, specifically cattle rustling tribes in his home state of Jonglei.

(ST)

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  • 26 December 2011 08:01, by Sir. Nostalgic

    "I don’t know why the prices of food are so high" You said that you don’t know! Really, that is why I believe you are a novice leader in the whole world. How can you say that you don’t know why when your government is so corrupt embezzling all the resources, leaving the citizens yorning with no options but to cry and die without a singling words. Sorry indeed

    repondre message

    • 26 December 2011 08:23, by Snipper

      Stop attacking the president before you read the article!!!

      That statement was stated by Wani Sule, not the president. Not all the leaders in the world are economists.

      repondre message

      • 26 December 2011 08:35, by Sir. Nostalgic

        Look at you! Stop attacking the president, not all Presidents in the world are economists! But what are his measures to curves those problems facing the citizens? You look like Kiir surely, the way you talk describes the nature comes to concur with Kiir’s and you don’t have rooms for praise unless you do something better for citizens! You know system of how to kill citizens only

        repondre message

        • 26 December 2011 08:45, by Snipper

          I didn’t know that you have a low ability to understand the written materials!! How can you blame the president when you know the facts on the ground? I am not related to Kiir in any way but I do acknowledge his hard work with lower intelectual capacity. I don’t know what u would have done if you were placed at his position! In fact you would have terribly failed.

          repondre message

          • 26 December 2011 21:59, by Alan_Bard

            Mr. Snipper
            (I do acknowledge his hard work with lower intellectual capacity!!!!) what the hell on earth are you talking about??? Is that the class of president you really want to bring a new born nation to the standard of other nations? You have actually voted a president with a low intellectuality, may God have mercy in all S.Sudan

            repondre message

      • 26 December 2011 13:28, by SSLA/M Supporter

        What security this dumb of SPLA/M mafia called leader is concerning about, food security that is needed most? Kiir!!the main concern of our poor and starving people of South Sudan that are celebrating christmas with empty stomachs, is how to survive the endemic starvation they are experiencing in RoSS! The top 3 requirements for the human survival are: Food, water and shelter! Think with your head

        repondre message

    • 26 December 2011 10:40, by Kiir must go

      Kiir knows very well why the prices are up,hold him responsible

      repondre message

  • 26 December 2011 09:39, by Madina Tonj

    Southern Sudanese must understand that, there is a higher price because of lacking many things in the baby nation. First of all,Southern Sudanese people must do agriculture and second avoiding any conflict and focusing on the development in the young nation. Third, if you have money please open your business in a cheap price this is part of helping nation to grow.Four cooperate each other and love

    repondre message

    • 26 December 2011 15:20, by sober

      Drink and drive across the road and kill the five. If you were alive, after Christmas Eve you will not survive. Because you strives to get nothing but hunger is rife. Throughout the south just be aware of drunker drives.(S Sudan popular Christmas Eve song)

      repondre message

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