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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan opposition react to Kiir’s US speech

December 15, 2011 (JUBA) – The South Sudan’s opposition Sudan African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday called for responsible and capable leadership.

Kuc Abyei, deputy minister of higher education and senior opposition figure, in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Thursday commended the speech given by president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan in Washington.

Kiir on Wednesday said hoped to see South Sudan become an “island of stability” in Africa.

“We aspire to be a nation that is educated and informed; prosperous, productive and innovative; compassionate and tolerant; free, just and peaceful; democratic and accountable; safe, secure and healthy; united and proud,” Kiir told the audience at the conference.

Dominic Duku, a secretary for political organisation in the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) in another interview with Sudan Tribune, said he doubts whether there is a political will to achieve the dream.

Duku described Kiir’s speech as “excellent” but doubted there was “a sincere political will to achieve these dreams” as the government does not take into consideration the views of other political parties.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, at the conference on Wednesday urged South Sudan to be careful with its oil wealth, warning mismanagement and the “resource curse” could see money siphoned off by unscrupulous elites and foreign powers.

Clinton also welcomed the pledge by president Kiir to improve and introduce transparency and accountability, particularly in the oil sector that appears poised for major development.

The South Sudan Liberation Army rebels operating in Unity state reacted, in a statement released on 12 December, to Kiir’s US trip by warning all potential US investors that they should operate in South Sudan only if they “want to waste their money by investing in a war zone, ” – a status resolved only when the rebels “topple Kiir’s regime”.