February 4, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has cut a dusk to dawn curfew he imposed in the capital, Juba, after conflict erupted in mid-December, but warned that punitive measures would be taken should violence flare again.
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has steadfastly maintained he is not willing to negotiate with rebel forces over the release of political detainees currently being held in connection to an alleged coup attempt on 15 December (AP)
According to South Sudan Television (SSTV), Kiir took the decision following the completion of a security assessment that recommended the partial lifting of the curfew time reportedly to allow the continuation of essential services beyond initial curfew times imposed by authorities.
The curfew came after the eruption of tribal clashes in the country that claimed up to 10,000 lives, according to some estimates.
Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny said in a statement that the president had now reduced the curfew to 6pm to 11pm.
However, the statement adds the original curfew would be reinstated immediately should the security situation deteriorate.
“As the government is committed to unity of our people and to bring peace in this country, the president therefore lifts the curfew as requested by various officials and leaders so that it allows delivery and provisions of essential services, especially those who may have work beyond the initial curfews time”, the statement reads in part.
The statement, issued by the minister in the office of the president, Awan Guol, also calls on leaders and citizens to co-exist and uphold peace in order to cultivate a friendly environment for business and other development activities.
“Leaders must ensure they unite all the communities and maintain peace. It is up to us all to prevail on leaders to stop inciting our people so that pastoralists and farmers co-exist peacefully and carry out their economic activities unhindered”, Guol said in the statement.
He said continued conflict was impeding the country’s development, appealing to leaders to learn to negotiate and resolve problems peacefully whenever they arise.
“Nothing is possible if there is no peace. We cannot create wealth if there is fighting between communities … So let’s learn to live together as South Sudanese people”, he said.