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Kiir in Kapoeta in “show of loyalty”

President Kiir waves at a crowd that welcomed him to the Kapoeta Freedom ground. Beside him is Governor Louis Lobong of Kapoeta. PHOTO//Maal Maker, OoP

President Salva Kiir arrived in Kapoeta town on Tuesday afternoon in his first visit to the state since 2013.

He was received by crowds of traditional dancers, community members and state government officials.

Many shops were closed and movement limited as people prepared to go to the town square, where a rally was scheduled.

Presidential Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, said the visit is part of the President’s tour of the states, which began with Yei River in February.

He says the president has gone to the area to thank the people for the cooperation in maintaining peace.

“First of all the president is coming here to say thank you to the people of Kapoeta and thank you particularly to the government of Kapoeta. And also the president is coming to show to the people of Kapoeta their loyalty to the government since the liberation struggle,” Mr Ateny told Eye Radio.

“And particularly after the 2013 crisis in which the people of Kapoeta stood firm in support of the president and the government of the Republic of South Sudan,” he said.

The visit comes just more than a month after a similar visit to Yei River State.

Mr Ateny said this is part of a wider schedule of tours to the states.

“It is part of the presidential schedule to visit all the states and particularly the most troubled states,” he said.
“Kapoeta not being one of them because it is not troubled. This is a very peaceful state. But the president is coming here to say thank you to the people of Kapoeta,” Ateny added.

After Kapoeta, Ateny said, the next state the president will visit is Wau, but details of the visit are not clear as yet.