March 1, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir announced a National Day of Prayer for peace and forgiveness and urged citizens to turn out in high numbers.
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir arrives in Khartoum on September 3, 2013 (AFP Ashraf Shazly)
“As your leader and the Patron for the National Dialogue, I am obliged to release this public statement to inform all our citizens and friends about the planned National Day of Prayers that’s going to be held on March 10th, 2017,” President Kiir said in a statement Broadcasted on the official (SSBC) TV and Radio and sent out to reporters on Wednesday.
The National Day of Prayer is an American tradition held every year when people of all faiths pray for the nation.
President Kiir said this event will be held in all the states capitals as a preparation for the commencement of the processes of National Dialogue, he announced in December 2016.
“Our time [...] is now ripe to turn to God and ask Him for forgiveness and blessings. We have not been that prefect and we need to submit ourselves to Almighty through prayers,” he said.
President Kiir announced National Dialogue that he said will be bottom-top approach – starting within the communities to the national level. He appointed a steering comment that will be sworn into office next week. But his critics say he should not be a patron to the process since he is a party to the violent conflict that has killed thousands of people and displaced at least two million others from their home.
In his message, President Kiir appealed for huge turnout “on that day to pray, repent and forgive each other for the problems that we might have committed against one another for the last four years.”
“It should be the day we all pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness so that we start a new chapter in our relations as citizens of this nation,” he added.
He also asked South Sudanese overseas to pray on March 10 for peace in the country “in the same spirit.”