President Salva Kiir has apologized to the people of South Sudan for the pain and suffering caused by years of conflict and his government’s failure to deliver services.
Addressing the nation during a small event to mark the 8th independence anniversary at the Presidential Palace in Juba, the President specifically highlighted delays in payment of civil servant salaries and said he would personally follow up on the matter.
The President said peace is holding and called on hold-out groups including the National Salvation front of Thomas Cirillo to join the peace process.
He cautioned against war over political differences, saying ‘any matter can be resolved round a conference table.’ On the regional front, President Kiir urged on the African Union to engage with the parties in Sudan to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
The President also spoke on the economy, saying he was confident an oil-for-infrastructure agreement with China would greatly improve infrastructure development and said the full implementation of peace agreement would result in a thriving economy and better delivery of services to the people.
The President at the end of his address pardoned 15 inmates from Juba, Wau, Yambio, Yambio and Twic state.