December 1, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan President, Salva Kiir is due to visit the country’s main prison next week.
- South Sudan President Salva Kiir waits for the arrival of his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, in Juba on May 23, 2013. (Photo Reuters)
Kiir, sources told Sudan Tribune, will in his first ever visit to the prison meet Juba Central Prison authorities as well as inmates, less than a week after his deputy James Wani Igga made a similar visit.
Igga had earlier informed Juba prison authorities about the president’s consideration of granting amnesty for several inmates imprisoned for various offenses across the country.
The move, he added, was part of efforts by the South Sudan leader to implement the national dialogue initiative.
Observers, however, say for the president to personally go to prison as promised, sends a strong message to skeptics who doubt the success of the dialogue initiative.
The president, they argued, is now mostly likely to win over so many people who doubt his dialogue initiative by giving his visit to the nation’s central prison a symbolic significance.
Under Article 101 (H) of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution 2011, the President has the authority to “confirm death sentences, grant pardons, and remit convictions or penalties according to this Constitution and the law”.
The President, under Article 5.2.16 of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), has powers to “Confirm death sentences, grant pardons, and commute convictions and penalties in accordance with the law.”
By visiting the detention facility, the president would have taken a giant step forward in his efforts to reach out to South Sudanese in the new spirit of national dialogue.