March 10, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has pardoned two of the country’s political figures.
- President Salva Kiir addresses the nation from the State House on September 15, 2015, in Juba (Photo AFP/Charles Atiki Lomodong)
The president made this announcement during Friday’s national day of prayer, which was held at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in the capital, Juba.
Former Wau State Governor, General Elias Waya Nyipuoc and his Deputy General Andrea Dominic were publicly pardoned by the South Sudanese leader who made a speech and announced that all political detainees in the country were to be released.
“I did not come to speak politics. I have come to pardon General Elias Waya and General Andrea Dominic. If there are any other political detainees, I will release them all tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,” said President Kiir.
Waya and his Dominic were arrested and detained in Juba at the military barracks in Bilpham and were relieved of their positions last year after clashes in Wau.
The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani said that the spirit President Kiir demonstrated during his speech was a clear message that violence is not the solution in resolving an on-going political crisis.
The president’s positive response to the call to release political detainees shows the non-violent approach in settling a violent conflict and has left many impressed.
Yakani stressed that pardoning political detainees was a great call for peace and a non-violent approach towards resolving political differences. CEPO is urging all armed forces to join the call for a non-violent motion, stating that such decisions are needed to win the publics’ trust and confidence which will create a stable environment.
CEPO, in the statement, also appealed to the South Sudanese leader to pardon the Radio Miraya journalist George Livio, among others. It urged the president to be a champion of peace and hope that other political leaders in the country follow suit.