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South Sudan Kiir welcomes ceasefire, rejects foreign pressures

December 30, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan president on Saturday welcomed the signing of the cessation of hostilities and warned that outside powers should not be allowed to impose solutions on the country.

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US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (L) looks on as she meets President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir at The President Office in Juba on October 25, 2017 (AFP)

President Kiir made the remarks on Saturday at his residence ahead of talks sponsored by international and regional actors on the future of the war-torn East African state.

In a blunt rejection of moves by the United Nations and international backed mediation to steer the country away from more than three years conflict and return on the path of peace and organize elections, Kiir said South Sudanese should be allowed to solve their problems their own way.

“I have always said this thing will not work. People from outside should not impose decisions and our people have always asked me in various meetings why we always accept what foreign countries impose on us. They are right and I told the minister of cabinet affairs when he went to Addis Ababa to participate in the revitalization forum recently that we should take seriously what our people tell us. And we need to tell those organizing the revitalization that we are no longer open to the idea that someone will come to make peace for us. Our peace will be our peace because it will be made by us, for us,” said Kiir in comments made on Saturday.

The latest broadside against foreign mediation injected another dose of uncertainty into the already cloudy political outlook, which has been experiencing humanitarian crisis since 2013 when political debates within the leadership of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement escalated into violent conflict and turned into civil war.

Different South Sudanese stakeholders will meet next February in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss new ideas for the implementation of the peace agreement. The African Union and IGAD, on their side, will then try to agree on a fresh plan to be presented to the United Nations Security Council seeking its support and endorsement.

The South Sudanese leader was speaking to Dinka council of elders, stressing he would not accept to continue to receive orders from outside to implement decisions.

“We will go into these talks with a clear position. We will not continue to accept orders from outside. We will not do what other people dictate to us. I am not President just to work on someone else’s orders. I am a head of state elected by his people," said Kiir.

Regional mediators backed by international facilitators including the Troika countries and the European Union warned they would seek tough international sanctions on the violators of the outcome of the revitalization forum.