South Sudan

Gen Kiir: I Will Not Return To war

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He added: “As a career soldier, I truly know the devastation of war, and understand the terrible price which it would exact upon our people. For this reason I will persevere with the implementation of the matrix, regardless of any cost I may pay. This is a point of principle because our people need peace.”


Kiir maintained war does not bring development but destruction to South Sudan.


“I occupy my position as your President, in order to seek the best for all our people, and I say the best cannot be achieved by a return to war.”


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Kiir further noted: “I will not accept unnecessary shedding of blood on my watch. Let us be as patient as we can. Let us not respond to provocation. Let us not inflame our people to retaliate. Let us seek all possible ways to find peace for our people.”


The statement comes against the backdrop of Sudan President Omar Bashir’s visit to Juba early this month.


The two countries’ enmity and endless wars have seen loss of millions of lives and destruction of invaluable property.


Chimp analysts say Kiir’s statement points to the normalization of relations with Khartoum which is a step forward in the right direction and directly benefits the South Sudan people.


Kiir commended the efforts of the two countries’ negotiating team, who persevered on behalf of all South Sudanese in difficult negotiations with Sudan.


As a result of their efforts, on the 8th of March South Sudan and Sudan reached an agreement on a document known as the Implementation Matrix, which contains 68 points.


“To demonstrate that both parties are committed to the full implementation of the Matrix, we successfully hosted the first visit of His Excellency President Bashir of the Republic of Sudan to Juba. He and I had fruitful discussions regarding the way forward for normalizing our relations,” said Kiir.


“We were able to engage in technical discussions with the relevant persons among his delegation with regards to the Implementation Matrix. On our part, we will continue to work diligently towards implementing all 68 points and we expect our partners to do likewise,” observed Kiir.


The first of these points is the agreement to implement the Security Arrangements Agreement of September 2012.


This called for the withdrawal of all troops from a 10-mile wide safe demilitarized zone, along the two countries’ borders.


“I confirm that we are fully in compliance, and all SPLA personnel have been deployed away from the demilitarized zone. We now expect rapid progress on the resolution of the disputed areas along our border with the Republic of Sudan,” said Kiir.


“We also insist that the international forces responsible for patrolling the demilitarized zone must be transparent in their reporting of any and all infringements of the zone, including aerial bombardments of our territory by the Sudan Air Force. We have a right to a safe and defined border with Sudan, and this is a key step towards achieving that goal.”


On Abyei, said Kiir, “while we have yet to reach agreement on the formation of the Council due to differences in percentages, we have agreed that the Administration should be formed.”


President Bashir also agreed to pay arrears of profit earned from oil originating from Abyei.


Bashir and Kiir also agreed that borders must be opened and organized so as to improve trade and movement between the two countries.

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