The Statement of President Salva Kiir On the Opening of the National Assembly
Updating the August House on The Peace Process:
May 03, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Allow me at the outset, to take this important moment to welcome you back from your Recess; and to congratulate and thank you also for the courageous and national decision you had taken recently; to amend our constitution in order to extend the tenure of our government for three years.
I know you had taken this noble decision of amending our supreme law few weeks ago; not for the fear of elections, but you did it in order to give peace a chance in our country.
You had also done this process within the spirit and provisions of our constitution which allows such amendments to take place lawfully. Besides the logical and legal justification of extending the term of the government for the next three years, you had also responded positively to the national and international voices of peace.
To-day, I still reiterate my position in this August House for my full commitment to end the current crisis in our country peacefully.
In the meantime, all the relevant institutions must prepare and do the necessary arrangements for the elections; while we pursue peace.
Today I stand before you in this August House once again, to update you on the peace process:
- The steps taken so far by your government following the unsuccessful Coup and the Rebellion,
- The divisions that led to the failure of Peace Agreement in the IGAD last peace negotiations in Addis Ababa.
- The way forward from our standpoint as the legitimate Government on behalf of this young nation.
As you are all aware, I have taken the lead and bold decisions ever since the crisis unfolded on our country; following the failed Coup on December 15th, 2013 and subsequently the rebellion.
In the first place, I accepted the IGAD peace initiative: attending all the summits, negotiating in good faith and signing Frame work Agreements and respecting them.
As a result of my commitment to stop the war and bring peace back home, our Negotiating Team signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on January 23rd, 2014. This was to create peaceful environment for negotiations and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all the affected persons in the country.
I also ordered the release of the SPLM suspected leaders of the failed coup (Former Detainees) from the detention and handed them to President Uhuru Kenyatta in good faith and in respect of Kenya relationship to South Sudan.
Similarly, I had also accepted the initiative of Secretary John Kerry to meet the Rebel leader in Addis Ababa on May 9th, 2014; based on the Friendship and tremendous roles played by the United States on South Sudan.
Unfortunately, the Rebel leader became very intransigent and inconsistent in peace talks; on the assumption of equivalency between me and him since I began to sit and negotiate with him.
Honorable Members and Our Distinguished Guests,
I accepted this unprecedented position to sit and negotiate with the Rebel leader; not because of his military superiority on us as a government, but I did it for the love of this Nation and in search for peace and stability in our Country.
In this regard, Secretary Kerry also respected the will of the people of South Sudan last year; through his statement of saying no equivalency between the duly constitutionally elected President and the Rebel leader.
This was a very encouraging move from the United States Government last year in trying to discourage violence and language of guns as methods of seeking power and political dialogue.
As a matter of fact, there are always many views and political rivalry in any country including even The United States of America but, the moment violence and guns are introduced and used; such actions become against the law and normalcy.
As such, the violence phenomenon by the greedy politicians for power must always be condemn and fought collectively.
Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members of the August House,
Today, I still respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement for the love of this Nation and in search for peace and unity in our country.
Nevertheless, I also signed the Protocol on the formation of The Transitional Government of National Unity. This Protocol contained the creation for the position of Prime Minister which does not exist in our governance structures. Yet I took this decision for the love of this Nation and in search for peace and stability in our country.
Besides the IGAD peace process in Addis Ababa, I also requested the help of The United Republic of Tanzania and South Africa; through their ruling parties of Chama Cha Mpinduzi (CCM) and The African National Congress (ANC) to mediate and facilitate in the SPLM Intra-party Dialogue.
This party initiative resulted to the Arusha Agreement which I also honored and implemented. Based on Arusha Agreement, I issued Presidential decrees and orders some weeks ago for the General Amnesty, Revocation, security protection and assurances for the Former Detainees and the rebels who took up arms against the State. Again I took this decision for the love of this Nation and in search for peace and stability in our country.
Honorable Members and Distinguished Guests,
Besides all the attempts and compromises I made to stop this senseless war, the Rebel leader continued to violate the cessation of hostilities; attacking our positions and destroying little infrastructure we have including historical properties and oil facilities in the Greater Upper Nile Region.
You are also aware of the tactics of inconsistency with the rebels in negotiations and the observable fact of dishonoring the Agreements signed. In the preliminary negotiations, the Rebel leader wanted to become Prime Minister in the so called Transitional Government of National Unity.
And in the last round of peace talks in Addis Ababa, the Rebel leader shifted away from the previous position of Prime Minister and wanted to become First Vice President. Nevertheless, the Rebels also came up with the new position; demanding the presence of two armies in the country for the duration of Transitional period until elections.
This new position of the two armies, not only jeopardizes peace talks, but it is also against the principle of reforms being claim by the Rebels in their Agenda.
On the issue of Federalism, the Rebels insisted that Government and Rebels only; must declare the federal system of governance in the country without involving the entire population and the due process of law.
This was also an area of disagreement in the last peace talks because it was against the principles of democratic practices and inclusivity in the country on matters of national concern.
Furthermore, the Rebels demanded also the payment of their own debts incurred when they were fighting the government.
Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members,
Despite the unrealistic demands and lack of commitment from the Rebels in the negotiations, I want to assure Your Excellences and the entire Nation that peace will still be achieved.
The new Road Map to peace from our stand point as the legitimate government on behalf of this nation shall be as follows:
- I call upon all South Sudanese to put aside our internal differences and come together as one people one nation to save our country. This country has taken millions of lives away from us during the decades of struggle. In this regard, my special appeal goes to our brothers in the rebellion to put South Sudan first; and to be able to negotiate in good faith in order to reach peace agreement. I believe the crises are our own; and we also own the solutions.
- Full commitment to cease-fire in order to create peaceful and amicable environment for the negotiations to succeed. This will also allow safe access of humanitarian assistance to our affected citizens in the country.
- I ask all the security organs in the country to provide maximum security and good leadership always in protecting the lives of our citizens equally; regardless of their political affiliations and backgrounds.
- As the impact of crisis was very severe and left us with many problems including food shortages, I therefore ask our citizens to embark on agriculture seriously starting from this season as the answer to the challenges of food security in the country. Last Thursday I launched the arrival of 1000 Tractors in Bilpam. This is to maintain our National Agricultural Projects in the country as well as the support to our farmers in the rural areas. Both the National and State Ministries of Agriculture shall come up with the National policy to govern the use of these valuable assets and equipment.
- I commend the efforts of our International partners (TROIKA) for the tremendous support and funding of our peace talks since the beginning of 2014. I still appeal to them all and particularly; the United States of America to continue to strengthen the African Regional Mechanisms and efforts in resolving and ending the current crisis in ourcountry.
Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members,
I take this opportunity once more, to commend and acknowledge the good work of this August House and the steadfast stand on our national issues.
The contribution and roles of this August House from enacting laws, building institutions from scratch and the co-operation between our pillars of the government is always very praiseworthy. Having mentioned such remarks, I must be realistic also that there are still many challenges and much work to be done.
As a young Nation, we must build a very strong foundation for our new country; based on the principles of democracy, rule of law and core values of our society. This requires more efforts to enact many laws for the establishment and regulation of systems and institutions
In this regard, the current humanitarian crisis in our country and presence of many Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), this delicate situation requires urgently the NGO Bill to be passed as soon as possible.
This NGO Bill shall organize and regulate the work and activities of these various organizations which are operating without government supervision.
Also the latest amendments in our constitution which has extended the tenure of the Presidency together with the National and State Assemblies, has failed to address the issue of State Governors. I call upon this August House to look into this constitutional vacuum as well as the NGO Bill with sense of responsibility and urgency.
In conclusion, I ask you all to join me to work collectively to bring peace, reconciliation, healing, unity and love among ourselves. I now declare this National Assembly Opened.
I thank you all and God bless South Sud