Home | News    Friday 16 March 2012

Kiir excludes Northern Bahr el Ghazal from disarmament

By Ngor Arol Garang

March 15, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Thursday announced the exclusion of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state from a nationwide disarmament exercise, reportedly because the area has been able to maintain peace and stability.

Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Paul Malong taking his oath of office (paulmalongforgovernor.org­)

“I know you have guns but I will not remove them from you because I know the purpose of holding them,” Kiir reportedly told the gathering, praising the state governor, Paul Malong Awan, for bringing about change.

President Kiir was speaking at Awan’s swearing-in ceremony in the state capital, Aweil, which was broadcast on South Sudan Television on Thursday.

He took an oath of office in fulfilment of the transitional constitutional requirement demanding all the ten state governors to be sworn in again after the national justice ministry certified the state constitutions.

At the occasion Kiir accused the ruling party of his neighbouring Sudan of trying to create “imminent conflict” which is not in the interest of either of nations.

“We have all tested war and we know the effects and lesson we have learned from it. If there was something good we should have all seen. But I think you know what war has done to our people”, said Kiir.

He also urged citizens to be united as “if we allow ourselves to be divided we shall fall”, and that South Sudan’s “diversity is our strength”

He urged those people who have not taken advantage of the arms amnesty to do so.

Kiir opened a disarmament programme in troubled Jonglei state on Monday, which collected 4,000 rifles on its first day.

The US and UN praised the disarmament programmes but warned that the processes may become violent – Juba has been using aggressive rhetoric.