August 11, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, will on Monday next week address a transitional parliament of the new government formed per the August 2015 peace agreement with his former first deputy, Riek Machar, the new speaker and his office announced on Thursday.
The upcoming parliamentary address, according to presidential officials and parliament, will be an opportunity for the president and his two deputies to unveil plans about how they could collaboratively work and move ahead together with the implementation of the peace agreement and whether or not they will stick to key provisions in the deal, specifically those related to the security and governance matters.
There are concerns that with the new First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, allegedly compromising provisions of the peace deal, the needed reforms in the country may not be implemented in accordance with the agreement.
Presidential adviser on decentralization and intergovernmental linkage said Thursday that the president is expected to unveil plan and pledge commitment to promoting unity and security
“The unity of the country is paramount because the independence of South Sudan was neither the work of one person nor one party nor was it a sudden event. It was a process that took place over a long period of several decades. It was the climax of a popular movement. Legislators, workers, ex-servicemen and ordinary people agitated to achieve independence. We are heirs of their efforts, successors to their struggles and, now, possessors of their patrimony,” explained Tor Deng Mawien.
The independence, Mawien further argued, did not come easily or cheaply but came only after decades of distress, distrust and, tragically, deaths.
“Let us not now dwell on the pain of the past but look with faith to the future. Let the sacrifice of those who struggled and died inspire us today and guide generations to come tomorrow and beyond. Independence meant change. It meant, at the collective level, a change from colony to nation. It meant, at the individual and at the psychological level, a change from subject to citizen and from discrimination to dignity and equality. Statehood, however, meant more than political change,” he stressed.
Meanwhile the new speaker of the transitional national legislative assembly, Anthony Lino Makana, said in a statement that he expected all members of parliament to report to the house and take their seats by around nine o’clock in the morning on Monday before the president arrives.
“I would like to take this opportunity to inform all the members of parliament, honorable ministers, presidential advisers, state governors, chairperson of the commission and all those other categories to know that the transitional legislative assembly will be opened on Monday by the president of the republic. All are invited to attend this important event,” announced Makana.
Meanwhile fighting has been ongoing around Juba between forces loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to his ex-deputy, Riek Machar.