President Salva Kiir has said the harsh living conditions South Sudanese are experiencing will change with the restoration of stability.
In a message to mark the 16th May-SPLA Day, the president saluted the forefathers of the SPLA that fought against the Sudanese regime, in wars the culminated in the cessation of South Sudan.
Joys of the 2011 independence were however short-lived after-party fights within the SPLM leadership plunged the country into a bloody civil war in 2013, killing thousands and displacing millions out of their homes.
South Sudan is approaching 10 years of its independence anniversary, but numerous challenges remain.
The UN says many people are struggling to have regular meals as full implementation of the 2018 peace agreement delays. Economic hardships also mean civil servants and the army go for months without pay.
More than two-thirds of South Sudan’s population, or 8.3 million people, are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2021. They include 8 million South Sudanese, and 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the country.
Humanitarian organizations in South Sudan are targeting 6.6 million people with humanitarian assistance and protection services this year.
The Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity was formed only last year per the 2018 peace deal ending a five-year civil war, but the agreement has faced delays in implementation.
The formation of a unified army is still being delayed by a lack of funding as more than 25,000 trainees have yet to graduate from centers across South Sudan.
Many of the peace soldiers have reportedly abandoned the centers over inadequate food and medical supplies.
But in his SPLA Day message, President Salva Kiir applauded the organized forces for their dedication in the face of mounting challenges, saying “things will not remain this way for long.”
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He said with progress in the implementation of the peace agreement, “there is a silver lining on the horizon.”
The president also pointed out the governments’ effort in engaging with the hold-out group opposed to the unity government.
Kiir said the government intends to restore stability and called on the general public to support the process.
He further urged for peaceful coexistence among communities that are engaged in inter-communal violence.
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Published Friday, January 27, 2023
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