February 26, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga, has urged youth across the country to reject tribal politics, warning his government would not tolerate inflammatory statements.
- South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga, speaks at a press conference in the capital, Juba, on 28 December 2013 (AP)
Igga maintained the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) had a clear mission and vision for the country.
“We want this country to be peaceful and prosper so that all our people enjoy the fruits of their struggle for liberation. But there are people who want to destroy this country with violence but we shall not allow them,” Igga said, urging youth not to be swayed by tribal rhetoric.
“They will come to you and say, ‘look, this tribe is this and that. They are against you. They do not want you that [is] why this and that was done’. Be careful, South Sudan is not a tribal state. It cannot be run by one or two tribes. It is a country comprising more than 63 ethnic groups,” the vice-president said.
Igga made the comments on Wednesday while speaking as chief guest at a funeral rite for a former senior community leader in his home state of Central Equatoria, during which he said the governing party “did not go into government to play but to work” for the people of South Sudan.
Igga pointed to development projects that have been undertaken since the SPLM came to power, saying more could be achieved by working together.
“In two years, we have started building roads and clinics. It is a big job because in more [than] 50 years of independence of Sudan from [the] British nothing was done here in Juba. Don’t drag us backwards, let us work together,” he said.
The vice-president cited the construction of internal roads which link some parts of the capital to key areas, including the Catholic Church in Kator, where president Salva Kiir and himself attend prayer services.
Igga further stressed tribal politics and regionalism were outdated and had no place in South Sudan.
“People who want to take power through tribal cards do not qualify to run a country,” he said.
“I want youth to take serious note of such peace and reject tribalism. Tribal politics will not do us anything good. It is all about destruction,” he said. “Our people need roads, schools, hospitals and peace so that they can concentrate on development, not war to kill them again.”
Igga said his government remained committed to restoring peace and stability in the country, adding that its delegation dispatched to Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for peace talks, were authorised to negotiate in good faith with rebel forces aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar.