April 1, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has urged all ethnic groups to join his administration and work for peace without discrimination, adding that the dialogue process is open for the armed groups if they renounce violence.
The president, while meeting some of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of elders Saturday said all ethnic groups should come together and work hard for the cessation of mistrust and misunderstanding, citing the use of all kinds of methods for the emergence of a genuine democratic country seeking for genuine and durable peace.
According to the South Sudanese leader, the need for an inclusive dialogue has been at the forefront of the numerous calls got from the different leaders in the region.
“People are calling from countries in the region to appreciate the dialogue which we have declared but they are saying it should be inclusive. I told them that this is a national dialogue and it is opened to the participation of all South Sudanese," said Kiir.
He added, "The groups we don’t want are those who have refused to denounce violence and continue to use a pressure tool but if they accept to denounce violence, they are welcome. They are south Sudanese and the issues we are going to discuss are issues which concern all of us as South Sudan. So it will be transparent and inclusive”.
The president called on ethnic groups to take part in the national dialogue to discuss and seek a solution to national reconciliation and peace, noting that the country’s development has lagged behind by several decades due to the armed conflicts.
He recalled that the country did not fully enjoy the fruits of independence due to armed conflicts, resulting from mistrust and misunderstanding among ethnic groups.
“In the struggle for independence, people from all walks and background fought together to gain independence. We did not see ourselves as tribes. Where did get this? These are some of the things you need to work together with the government so that we identify them and find a way to resolve them. And this was we intend to do through national dialogue," said the South Sudanese leader.
"It will be an opportunity to discuss issues we as south Sudanese feel we need to find a solution to them”, he added.
Last year, President Kiir appointed more than 30 eminent persons as members to the national dialogue meant to mend communities’ ties in the war-ravaged nation. The national dialogue is to be led by “eminent personalities” accepted as credible, genuine and trusted by all rival parties in the young nation. South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar, however, rejected President Kiir’s call for a national dialogue, describing the move as “bogus”.