President Kiir on Nimule-Juba road attacks: “Put down your arms, and we talk”
In the wake of renewed attacks on traffic along Juba-Nimule highway, President Kiir has called upon the rebels to lay down their arms and come to the negotiation table.
The President made the persuasive remarks during the swearing-in of the newly appointed Acting Secretary-General of the SPLM party on Wednesday afternoon.
“Instead of carrying out attacks on vehicles along the highways, why can’t you lay down your arms and we talk peacefully as brothers?”, President Kiir questioned.
“We need to give peace a chance. Now is not the time to fight. We have a peace deal to implement and development projects to do”, Mr. President added.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony, the newly appointed Acting Secretary-General of the SPLM assured the party members of his commitment to promoting the ideology and mission of the old SPLM.
In the last month of August, unknown gunmen intensified attacks so on Passenger and commercial vehicles along the only busiest highway in South Sudan, killing several people as well as setting a number of cars ablaze.
Both Government and rebel groups affiliated to the Rome Declaration have traded accusations over the attacks- each saying it’s not the one responsible.
The attacks forced President Kiir to put on halt negotiations between the Government and SSOMA faction last week, as he feels the attacks are carried out by the rebels.
Notable killings such as that of the two catholic sisters who were returning from prayers held in Eastern Equatoria.
The killing of two Kenyan nationals who were driving trucks to Juba from Nimule.
The killings prompted foreign truck drivers to strike and refuse entry into South Sudan at Elegu border, citing concerns of safety along the highway.
The strikes nearly brought South Sudan to its knees as the country couldn’t withstand the high demand for fuel as oil trucks were stationed at the border.
The Foreign drivers union later accepted to enter Juba after authorities agreed to offer heavy security escorts along the highway.