South Sudan

Kiir denies war crimes, lashes at self-seekers



President Salva Kiir Mayardit said self-interest of some elites is preventing South Sudan from prospering.

Speaking to members of the parliament at National Legislative Assembly mid-week, Kiir said some members of the ruling party are putting their individual interest above the national interest, which create an internal problem, without deliberating into details the president urge anyone in the ruling class to put South Sudan interest above all and avoid diverting things.

According to the UN Radio Miraya, it is the first time the president has address the parliament since meeting the state governors.

It also comes after Kiir postponed reshuffling the cabinet due to additional consultation with religion leaders, major political parties and various stakeholders.

He told MPs that people fight internally rather than looking for external enemies.

“Our problem is that we fight inwards, we don’t look externally where our enemies come from. Let us stop this.”

He added: “If we among ourselves leave our differences and work for the building of our nation then we would have paid our real respect to our heroes who have gone before us.”

He paid a growing tribute to late Dr Peter Nynot Kok Malok, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research during the time of Sudan’s National Unity Government.

Dr Nynot died in Germany two weeks ago and will be buried in his hometown in Lakes State.

Denies war crimes

Meanwhile, Kiir’s government has rejected a recent report by Human Rights Watch that accuses government troops and allied militia from the Bul Nuer of committing war crimes in Unity State in April.

In a 42-page report based on more than 170 survivor interviews, the group’s researchers documented massive forced displacement of populations as well as killing of civilians, including through shooting, beating, hanging and burning people alive.

The human rights group said that government forces and allied militia from the Bul Nuer group committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity beginning in April when they launched an offensive through southern Unity.

The report also alleged gang rapes and abductions of women and children for forced labour, in addition to stealing of cattle and destruction of food and humanitarian supplies.

Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny is quoted by Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday that the report was based on accounts that do not reflect the reality on the ground and that the government rejects its findings.

He stressed that the government will not hesitate to take any member of the army to court if he has been proven that he committed war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Government army spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer, said the recent report accusing the army of perpetrating atrocities is similar to the previous report compiled by the United Nations in April.

He told Radio Tamazuj that the recent report interviewed people who are sheltering inside the UN base in Bentiu town, saying it did not include other parties.

However, the spokesman said they welcome any investigation involving international organizations.


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