Kiir says there is no need for war, calls for talks with splinter faction SPLM / A-IO – South Sudan
September 20, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir says there is no need to continue fighting in the young nation, three years after his government signed a peace deal with factions rivals.
Kiir, his main political rival Riek Machar and other parties signed a Revitalized Regional Bloc Mediated Peace Agreement (IGAD) in September 2018 to end more than five years of civil war.
More than 400,000 people are estimated to have been killed and millions displaced as a result of the violent conflict that erupted in 2013.
Speaking to a group of elders on Sunday, however, the South Sudanese leader said he was troubled by the continued loss of life and destruction of property and allowed his security affairs adviser, Tut Gatluak Manime, to enter. others, talking to the armed opposition splinter group. (SPLM / A-IO) in the Magenis region.
“I told Riek Machar this thing [fighting in Magenis] must stop and let us organize talks, ”Kiir told elders at his residence.
He added: “Fighting is not the only way to ask for something. There are other ways. We can talk to them. So these days there are no reports of fighting around the areas of Magenis. They have stopped engaging in provocative activities ”.
The South Sudanese leader also revealed that he has received calls and visits from figures from the Shilluk community and the international community to intervene so that communities in the region can be encouraged to return and engage in agricultural activities instead of turning farms into “hiding places and fighting”. zones ”.
“Now these forests which are used by arms carriers as hiding places and combat zones are the agricultural lands of the communities. The Magenis region is a fertile land for agricultural activities. The Shilluk people have not been at peace because of the military activities. If the war ends, the displaced people and refugees in Sudan and other countries to which they have fled will return to their homes and resume a normal way of life, ”he explained.
Kiir described the Shilluk as a peaceful and patriotic people, manifested by the cultural spectacle held in Juba over the weekend.
“As we speak here, the Shilluk community is putting on a cultural show to show the rest of their culture and use it as an opportunity to raise money for the floods which as you know have affected many parts of this country. and the areas of the Shilluk as some of you know are in lowlands that are submerged by water and heavy rains. I have been featured on this show and am aware of this function, ”a Kiir said.
He added: “Now this is what we want our communities to do instead of supporting politicians with an ambition for power and with the ambition to destroy our social fabric.”
Kiir said he hoped politicians, community leaders and elders from Jonglei and Upper Nile states would use their relationships with Magenis groups to persuade them to opt for dialogue, not war.
Observers, however, say speaking to the Kit-Gwang group, which split from a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army / Opposition Movement (SPLM-IO) under Machar to form a separate group Kiir in a hard-to-deny situation as he worked to divide Machar’s faction in an effort to weaken it and get it to implement the deal in his favor.