September 11, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit will make a national address covering a wide range of issues on Thursday, according to a broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV).
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir delivers a speech in the capital Juba, June 10, 2013 (Reuters)
The nationwide address is expected to focus on socio-economic and political developments in the country as well as efforts which his administration is exerting to resolve post-secession disputes with the government of neighbouring Sudan from which the new state seceded in July 2011.
The well-publicised address will be the president’s first public speech since he dissolved his entire cabinet and sacked his deputy around two months ago. A new cabinet was appointed on July 31, with many ministries merged together as part of efforts to save money and make the administration more efficient.
Kiir also replaced his deputy, Riek Machar, who had served as vice president since 2005. Although a new cabinet was announced at the end of July, Machar’s replacement - SPLM and Kiir loyalist James Wani Igga - was not inaugurated until late August.
Igga had previous served as the Speaker of South Sudan’s parliament since the region gained autonomy as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement with Khartoum.
Kiir is also expected to comment on the suspension of the SPLM’s secretary general, Pagan Amum, who has led South Sudan’s negotiations with Khartoum since before secession in 2011.
Sudan came close to stopping Southern oil passing through its territory last month after threatening to do so for many months over Juba’s alleged support to rebels operating north of the border.
The southern SPLM denies backing their former comrades - SPLM-North who have been fighting the Sudan Armed Forces for over two years in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
As well as security the two nations still have to resolve the final status of contested areas along the oil rich border.