Kiir not engaged in ‘early campaigns’ – SPLM
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) cautioned that President Salva Kiir’s visit to the three states in the Bahr el Ghazal region should not be misconstrued for early campaigns, adding the primary mission was gracing the centenary in Warrap State’s Kuajok.
Kiir left for Kuacjok on Saturday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph Church in Warrap.
According to the press statement obtained from the Presidential Press Unit, Kiir conducted a rally in Western Bhar El Ghazal State (Wau) before he proceeded to Kuacjok, Warrap, where the celebration took place.
It was also revealed that the president visited Akon’s home area and later proceeded to the Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, where he will conduct a rally in Aweil.
Also, Kiir continued to interact with communities he met along the roads while on his tour in what the his office defined as “brief interactions with citizens”
In the full glare of the cameras were emphatic welcoming with banners raised aloft in the crown and the head of state weaving through the crowd waving for them—a picture synonymous with campaign mood.
But in an interview with The City Review yesterday, the Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs and Mobilization, and the Acting Secretary for Information, Santo Malek, said the tour to the three states—Warrap, Western Bhar El Ghazal, and Northern was not a political campaign.
“The president was in Bahr El Ghazal just to witness the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph Church; there is no political agenda in the tour; the main reason why he (Kiir) is in Greater Bahr El Ghazal is just to celebrate with Christians,” Malek said.
He stated that President Kiir was on an official visit to witness the celebration, and that the SPLM is more focused on implementing the peace agreement.
“We are focusing much on the implementation of the roadmap, and when we start the campaign, everyone will know that SPLM is on campaign,” he added.
“President Kiir’s visit to these states in Bhar el Ghazal has nothing to do with mobilization,” he added.
“He (Kiir) has to stop in Wau; this is, he can just move with the car to Warrap, where he celebrates with Christians; he did not intend to visit Wau,” he said.
Santo also added that the president also intended to visit Northern Bhar El Ghazal Aweil in order to visit the flood-affected areas and supervise some of the government’s projects in the area.
“There are some projects, including roads in Northern Bhar El Ghazal, that the president has to supervise, and it has nothing to do with mobilization,” he said.
On Saturday, President Kiir and the accompanying delegation left Juba for Kuacjok, Warrap State, to attend the Catholic Church’s centenary celebration, marking Kiir’s recent visit to his home town since 2019.
The visit came after he visited Jonglei for a number of times to commission government projects, such as the building at John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology.
Also in the same year, Kiir also visited Jonglei to commission the opening of the Juba Bor-Malaka road and launch the second phase of the Juba Bor Malakal road.
In December last year President also made a tour to Terekeka of Central Equatoria and Awerial County of Lakes state while on a mission to commissioned the newly completed 63 kilometres Juba-Terekeka section.