July 6, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has called on African leaders to take a leading role in the resolution of the crisis which has gripped the young nation since mid-December last year, saying the leadership looks forward to the application of African solutions for African problems.
- South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has appealed for an African solution to help resolve ongoing conflict in the young nation (Photo: Reuters)
The conflict, which erupted in mid-December last year after a split in the ruling SPLM turned violent, has killed thousands and resulted in the widespread destruction of public infrastructure.
Kiir made the remarks at the recently concluded six corridor summit held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, during which he met with a number of regional leaders and heads of state.
“I wish to assure the region and the international community that we are sparing no resources to find immediate resolution of the ongoing conflict in the country,” said Kiir.
“We believe that nothing is more important than stopping the current conflict and our people and the government under my leadership do appreciate the role being played by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in helping us find the solution, which I believe can be resolved with the support of the region. When it comes to strategising on African solutions to African problems, the African leaders should take the lead,” he added.
During his address to regional leaders, Kiir also pledged his administration’s full commitment to ensuring a speedy resolution to the conflict.
“While we seek regional and international support, I would like to assure you of the commitment of the government to do the best possible within our capacity and power to resolve [the conflict] with immediacy so that our people can return to their homes,” he said.
“I hope something positive can come out of the next round of negotiations when peace talks resume. The world has seen what can happen when [a] situation is left to run amok and the citizens of a country have little faith in the ability of their government to protect them. But I wish to assure the region and the rest of the world that I am doing my best,” he added.
The conflict in South Sudan has pitted government troops loyal to Kiir against rebel forces aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, largely comprising of dissident soldiers and ethnic militias.
Both sides have been accused of committing atrocities against the civilian population, with a ceasefire agreement brokered during IGAD-led negotiations failing to halt the violence.
Talks between the warring parties were indefinitely adjourned late last month amid ongoing disagreement over the selection process of other stakeholders to be included in the peace process.
In separate comments, president Kiir also expressed South Sudan’s solidarity with Rwanda, congratulating the Rwandan government and its people on reconciliation efforts since the end of the genocide 20 years ago, saying his country could draw on lessons learnt from past experience.