South Sudan president Salva Kiir says he is happy to welcome and forgive his “brother” Riek Machar.
He made the remarks on Tuesday during the swearing in ceremony of Machar as First Vice President of South Sudan at the presidential palace known as J1 in Juba.
This is President Salva Kiir full speech:
Your Excellency, President Festus Mogae, Chairman the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Your Excellency President Oumar Alpha Konare, Special Representative of the African Union, Your Excellency First Vice President Riek Machar, Your Excellency James Wani Igga, Vice President of the Republic, Your Excellencies, it is nearly 28 months since my brother Dr. Riek Machar left Juba in the aftermath of the incident of the 15th of December 2013.
Personally, I am very happy to welcome and warmly receive my brother Dr. Riek Machar Teny to Juba to be with us, and I have no doubt that his return to Juba today marks the end of the war and the return of peace and stability to South Sudan.
The Agreement on the Resolution on the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan was signed in August 2015. Unfortunately, several deadlines for its implementation have been missed, and as a result our people as well as the international community lost confidence in our commitment to implement the agreement in letter and in spirit.
Now that Dr. Riek has come and has taken the oath of office as the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan we will immediately proceed to establish the Transitional Government of National Unity.
This shall restore the confidence of our people and that of our international partners in our abilities as the leaders of this country to implement the agreement. Now we must move forward in order to address the challenges occasioned by the conflict. We acknowledge that there are unresolved issues related to the agreement, but I promise we will resolve those matters amicably.
This is the only choice for us to relieve our people from the undeserved suffering associated with the armed conflict imposed upon them. I believe this is the only way to return South Sudan to the path of peace, stability and prosperity. In the Transitional Government of National Unity, we do not expect opposition neither in the Executive nor in the Parliament.
All of us who are the stakeholders have the collective responsibility to makes sure that we cooperate and work together as one team so that we deliver results. I therefore call upon all of you – and especially the first vice president and the vice president – to cooperate with me so that we return our country to the peaceful coexistence.
The reception and inauguration of Riek Machar as the First Vice President is a responsibility of the government of the republic of south Sudan. Having considered all the political and security implications, the government decided that the public rally should be well prepared for the time ahead when all stakeholders including will participate in that public rally.
I take this opportunity to apologise to the international community for the delay in implementation of this agreement. I also wish to express my vote of thanks to the international community – the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights and humanitarian agencies, UNMISS, the Troika, AU, IGAD, EU, Russia, China, Japan and our other regional and international partners – for their positive efforts and commitment.
We appreciate their genuine concerns about the situation in South Sudan and the assistance provided to our people. Now, we are determined to see into it that we comply with our obligations as provided for in the agreement and our constitution. This will enable us to meet the expectations of our people and the international community.
In conclusion, Your Excellencies, I repeat our apologies to the people of South Sudan for the situation we the leaders have created. You have been patient throughout the duration of this crisis. Though the road ahead will still continue to have challenges but we are committed and determined to move our country forward.
Thank you for the long patience and I ask you to continue to endure with us. I also ask you to join me and my brother Riek Machar in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. I call upon our politicians and all the citizens of South Sudan to put their differences and personal interests aside for the welfare of our independence. Our people are tired of war and they need peace now.
Together we can accomplish far more than when we are divided. Our strength lies only in our unity. From this day I urge all of you to embrace the fact that we are all South Sudanese, united in love of our country and our desire to build a better future for ourselves and many generations to come. May Almighty God bless all of you and bless South Sudan.
Thank you very much.