May 19, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese Vice President, James Wani Igga, has called for forgiveness among the war ravaged citizens in the country and personally declared his apology if he had wronged anybody during the 21 months of the civil war.
The vice president was speaking at a peace sensitization and mobilization campaign he and several other politicians comprising members of the political factions allied to the First Vice President, Riek Machar, and those loyal to President Salva Kiir, held over the last weekend in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
“If I wronged someone during the crises, I apologize and I ask for forgiveness,” said Igga in a statement broadcast on Wednesday by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV), or South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), as the name has been changed this week.
Wani, according to the broadcast by the public broadcaster spoke at length, highlighting the importance of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing of the wounds in the people’s hearts.
He personally apologized to the people of South Sudan for the situation they as top leaders have created.
“People should all the time talk and embrace the language of peace and togetherness in order for us to move forward for the development of the country,” he said.
“Now we must move forward in order to address the challenges caused by the conflict. We acknowledge that there are unresolved issues related to the agreement. I promise we will equally 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,” pleaded Wani, the third powerful man, according to the hierarchy of the government in the country.
South Sudanese community in Kenya, according to presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, who accompanied the Vice President on his foreign trip, came in thousands to listen to the message.
Wani was accompanied by Taban Deng Gai, Minister of Mining, representing SPLM-IO, and Akol Paul Kordit, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication Technology, representing President Kiir’s faction in the new unity government.
The officials held the briefing at Kenyatta International Convention Center, Nairobi.
South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation showed images in which the Vice President held the hands of Gai and Kordit and knelt down before the people at the conference as a sign of repentance and to solicit public forgiveness for whatever crimes they may have committed.
The leaders have not however rallied the people back home in Juba or in other major towns to ask for their forgiveness and to reassure them that the war had come to an end.