We no longer live in fear, says President Kiir

We no longer live in fear, says President Kiir
President Salva Kiir (centre in cap) greets other leaders at the Ramadan breakfast on Wednesday evening, at State House, in Juba. [Photo: PPU]

President Salva Kiir has said South Sudan is now free from “unknown gunmen’’ but warned any potential aggressors of “a full therapeutic dose should they tamper again with security.”

Speaking during the evening Ramadan breakfast organised by his office for the Muslim community in Juba, President Kiir said the country no longer experiences the security breaches that used to hinder celebrations even at the statehouse a few years ago.

“I want to thank you because you came at night since you knew there was nothing that would happen to you; there are no longer ‘‘unknown gunmen.’’ And if [they] appear again, the medicine is available. We shall give the medicine to our satisfaction, “Kiir warned. 

No more fear

The head of state further said the Wednesday evening feast took place as a result of security assurance in the city, particularly at the statehouse, adding: “I believe it will always be the same.”

“We have never held any feasts here [in J1] since 2016, even during the daytime, apart from my son’s wedding, because we have been fearing the unknown gunmen who were supposed to attack us. Thank God that he took care of those unknown gunmen and no one thought of shooting guns. I believe it will always be the same, “he said. 

“Let us keep the direction so that we do not lose the direction again and return to war and destroy the gained peace.” 

However, Kiir admitted that “We destroyed the country ourselves, and we must go back to our senses so that there will be no war between a residential area and another, or tribes or states. This is very important.” 

South Sudan—the world’s youngest nation— descended into war two years after attaining independence from Sudan in July 2011. The conflict, which leaders have always termed ‘senseless war’, gave birth to the 2018 revitalised peace agreement.

The war claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people, both internally and externally. 

However, parties to the slow pace peace process have yet to fully implement the deal, especially the security arrangement protocol to de-escalate the ongoing subnational violence in some parts of the country.

“Now the problem in our country was insecurity, but we give thanks to God because we are now on the way to achieving total peace in our country,” the president said, “And we must thank all our friends who have been standing with us in the peace process.” 

The feast was the first since the July 2016 J1 fire exchange, followed by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which hindered public gatherings across the country.