The President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit has extended New Year wishes to all the citizens of the country. In his message to the people of South Sudan as a free nation on Sunday, President Kiir called on the South Sudanese to start the New Year by reflecting on their past to inform the future. The message indicated that a new year brings new hopes, challenges and new opportunities and that the people of the country need to build a peaceful, prosperous, secure, and stable South Sudan.
President Kiir said it is unfortunate that as the country celebrates this new beginning, there are still tribal conflicts going on due to cattle rustling, pinpointing the current conflict in Jonglei state between the Lou Nuer and the Murle tribes.
According to the message of President Kiir, the senseless behaviour of raiding each other’s cattle can no longer be tolerated and should stop with immediate effect. The message puts it plainly that the cattle are a national resource, culture and pride and should therefore not be turned into a curse resource.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
President Kiir called upon the youth of Lou Nuer who are currently occupying Murle villages claiming they are perusing their stolen cattle, abducted children and women to leave the Murle villages and return to the Lou Nuer villages urging that the Government must be the one to pursue the stolen cattle, abducted children and women. He also called on the Murle tribe to desist themselves from the culture of stealing cattle and abducting children and women of their neighbours and ensure that the cattle they had taken and the children and women they abducted are returned to joint their families.
The President strongly directs the Lou Nuer to move out from the Murle villages and has equally ordered the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to move in and protect the civilians. He also warned politicians and community leaders encouraging this lawlessness act through cattle rustling to stop. President Kiir was blunt that any politician or community leader whose statement would be construed as encouraging ethnic hostility will be made accountable.
President Kiir called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations to work hand in hand to enhance the humanitarian assistance and to cooperate with the state and national authorities in facilitating the return of the abducted children and women back to their families and ensure that the stolen cattle are also returned to their rightful owners.
Reported by Yousif Michael/SSR and Thomas Kenneth