Kiir says he has forgiven Machar ‘who has been fighting me since 1991’
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has accused First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny of having been fighting him since 1991, but then said he has forgiven the opposition leader who has struck with him a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement mediated by the regional bloc IGAD in an attempt to restore peace in the war-torn country.
JUBA – President Salva Kiir Mayardit has accused First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny of having been fighting him since 1991, but then said he has forgiven the opposition leader who has struck with him a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement mediated by the regional bloc IGAD in an attempt to restore peace in the war-torn country.
In speech on Christmas Day at St. Theresa Cathedral in Juba, Kiir said also accused unnamed members of the Church of berating him each time he visited the Church, something he said does not fit with his position as president of the world’s youngest country.
“I have been absent from the church for some time. Not because I don’t want to pray in this church. But because there were elements in the cathedral whenever I come, they talk and in a way which does not fit with my position to be here. But I have forgiven them,” he said.
The South Sudanese head of state further said that SPLM has returned the country back to conflict after having liberated it culminating in its independence from Sudan in July 2011 and said he has forgiven First Vice President Machar who is also the leader of the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).
“You all know that I am the leader of the SPLM/SPLA. We fought the war of liberation with all out hearts and all our commitments until we liberated the whole country and raised our own flag. It is now years from the independence of South Sudan,” Kiir said.
“But we in the SPLM/SPLA who made something good of bringing freedom to the people, we went back again and fought among ourselves. Something that increase our suffering and we have been condemned by the whole world because there was no reason liberating the country and then turns the same guns against ourselves. I want to tell you today that I have forgiven Dr. Riek Machar who has been fighting me since 1991,” the president added.
Kiir further said the ball is in Machar’s yard to either accept or refuse to apologize to the people of South Sudan.
“It will be up to him to apologize to the nation or he doesn’t, but I have forgiven him,” he said.
“We, we are supposed to concentrate on the development of our country. We have no roads in South Sudan. Last year, there came floods which never happened in South Sudan to the extend that Western Equatoria was flooded. All of you knows that in Western Equatoria there is no river that can flood the area but it was flooded this year.
“We should concentrate on how we serve out people and not supposed to be fighting over power. Power struggle will not take us anywhere. We have to look at our people,” he added.
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