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Let’s resolve dispute on the table, Kiir tells opposition

President Salva Kiir, South Sudan; file photo

President Salva Kiir is appealing to South Sudan opposition groups to demonstrate good leadership by accepting unconditional ending to the 5-year conflict.

Kiir said continued disagreements prolongs the suffering of the ordinary citizens, while leaders engage in endless peace talks.

Last week, prominent opposition leaders – including Dr. Lam Akol, Joseph Bakosoro and Gabriel Changson – opposed a deal on resolving governance issues during the Khartoum mediation process.

The leaders under the South Sudan Opposition Alliance demanded resolution of pending issues on power sharing, referendum to determine the number of states, and the management of funds during the transitional period.

Speaking in his office on Martyrs Day on Monday, President Salva Kiir said there is need to silence the guns across the country:

“Any war does not end on the battle field. People fight, but the dispute is always resolved on the table. You must also be responsible, because, suppose you become the responsible government tomorrow – that responsibility should start right now.”

He said the ceasefire deal signed by all parties to the conflict last month will continue to pave way for political engagement.

Kiir urged the opposition leaders to demonstrate what kind of government they would be, if elected.

“We are going for elections after the interim period, you start now, instead of insisting on fighting,” he stressed.

President Kiir also directed the SPLA to continue to observe the permanent ceasefire agreement.

He cautioned his soldiers against carrying out any retaliatory attacks.

“You have the responsibility to remain in respect of this agreement. Those who are violating it will still one day be brought to book,” Kiir warned.

President Kiir and the opposition leaders are expected to sign final agreement on governance in Khartoum next weekend.