August 15, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has distanced himself from rhetoric rejecting the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing additional 4,000 foreign soldiers to his country saying anyone speaking against does not act on behalf of his government.
- President Salva Kiir adresses a joint press conference on 9 July 2016 (Reuters Photo)
Speaking at the official opening of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly on Monday, President Kiir said he had reservations on the mandate of the force that will be drawn from regional countries, but required further consultations.
"I am neither against nor for the UNSC resolution on South Sudan. Be patient, after wider consultation with my constituency, I will submit my reservations to the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] resolution on the 4,000 regional forces for South Sudan,” Kiir told the assembly.
In an address to guest at a dinner organized by new First Vice President Taban Deng Gai and broadcast on Sunday by state-owned SSBC TV, President Kiir said the UN decision is meant to satisfy the demands of peace monitors and UN mission in the country who want to “continue receive money” for their presence in South Sudan.
He warned of confronting any troops “interfering” in internal affairs.
“For us [South Sudanese], we don’t do anything bad to anybody, but if somebody has interfered into our right, I don’t think we will allow them to go without us touching them,” he said in reference to UNSC resolution number (2304).
Kiir, known for changing stance under international pressure, backtracked in a speech he delivered before parliament.
“This is not a rejection of the UNSC resolution, it is simply a call for dialogue and understanding on the better way forward in resolving the conflict in South Sudan,” he said.
“Please bear with me and remember that anyone speaking against the UN, IGAD, and AU etc. is not speaking on behalf of my government," said the South Sudanese leader.
"There are people who are accusing the transitional government of refusing and fighting the U.N. but this is not accurate," he added as ruling party lawmakers cheered.
He said a final decision was not reached on the UNSC decision to send more troops mandate to fight rival faction forces should they dishonor the permanent ceasefire.
"The transitional government has not met to declare its final position. Deliberations will come later on a final position,” said Kiir.