South Sudanese President Kiir asks soldiers to forgive opposition forces

By Deng Machol

President Kiir
President Kiir

Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has urged the South Sudan police services to forgive and welcome Oppositions groups who would rejoin them in services with the disarmament and integration process as part of the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

President Kiir made this remarks on Wednesday, addressed the country’s police officials in the meeting held in Juba with the framework of a peace sensitization campaign to create a favorable environment for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

However, the revitalized peace agreement recently signed stipulates that the opposition forces shall be integrated into the organized forces. These include the police service, wildlife, national army, and prisons.

Thousands of soldiers, mostly from Dr. Riek Machar’s faction and other factions are expected to return to various forces in the country.

In his keynote speech, President Kiir ordered the officers to promote the culture of peace and tolerance among their forces and to deal with the spirit of peace and tolerance.

He instructed the police forces officers and other regular forces to cultivate the spirit of tolerance and peace with members of the opposition forces upon arrival in Juba as brothers and sisters in the same homeland

“Forgiveness does not mean you are afraid from someone, forgiveness is the step forward the future for people to build a peaceful society that can be built after that,” President Kiir told members of the organized forces, adding that “the police and regular forces leaders be at the forefront of the peace process in the country.”

Kiir, Commander-in-chief of the South Sudan People’s Defense force further stressed the importance of South Sudanese resolving their differences by themselves.

“This problem that we made no one will come from outside to come and tell us to stop doing this. It is we ourselves to convince ourselves and say to one another let’s stay together. That is the only way out”

In line with the revitalized peace deal the Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-Integration Commission shall be reconstituted within 30 days following the signing of the revitalized agreement.

Meanwhile, Information Minister and leading member of the government negotiating team Michael Makuei said the regular forces have to contribute in the process through tolerance and reconciliation with opposition members.

He further said the organized forces should be well trained and prepared for the transitional period and the electoral process which will intervene by the end of the peace deal implementation.

On the same event, Interior Minister, Michael Changjiek, told the forces to win the trust of the public through establishing links with them.

“We must be close to the civilians because they are your people. We need to build trust,” said Changjiek, adding that lack of cooperation with the civil population will impede efforts to mitigate crimes.

“Like the crimes that were committed recently were very terrible, but because of cooperation between the civilians and the security units, we were able to arrest the criminals,” he said.

The peace partners agreed to create a conducive environment in the country and to build trust among the armed forces from both sides as they will be unified during the transitional period.

President Kiir and opposition leader Machar, recently signed the revitalized peace deal, in an attempt to end nearest five years conflict that has killed ten thousands of people and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes.

The new transitional government is expected to be final form in May next year, as Kiir is a president and deputized by Machar, for three periods.

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