July 31, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has left for the United States-Africa summit, despite calls from activists to exclude the young nation’s leader from the forthcoming event.
- US president Barack Obama meets with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit in New York on 21 September 2011 (Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told reporters on Thursday that the South Sudanese leader is one of the African heads of state invited by the Washington administration to participate in the summit.
“The president will use the opportunity to invite investors who were already planning to come and those he will meet at the summit. It will be an important event for the government and our people because it will focus on trade and investment in Africa, of which South Sudan is one of the countries in Africa with a lot of areas where investors are free to come and invest,” said Ateny.
About 50 African heads of state and government, the African Union chairperson, a range of US and African civil society and business leaders, young African leaders, and Members of Congress will attend the 6 August summit.
This year’s summit is reportedly the largest single engagement by any US president with the African continent.
The presence of so many African leaders at the summit reportedly provides an historic opportunity to further strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa’s development and its people.
Meanwhile, a group of South Sudanese plan to protest against president Kiir’s alleged involvement the ongoing conflict, which has killed thousands and displaced about 1.3 million people.
Organisers of the protest, in correspondences sent to Sudan Tribune, petitioned President Barrack Obama over his South Sudan counterpart’s visit, saying the latter be tried for alleged genocide.