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S. Sudan’s Kiir urges citizens on peace and reconciliation

January 1, 2020 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has urged citizens to embrace peace and reconciliation as they welcome the new year to strive for a strong foundation for Africa’s newest nation.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir shares a light moment with Archbishop Daniel Deng Bol, December 31, 2019 (PPU)

Kiir was speaking during an annual held in Juba on the eve of new year.

The event, graced by senior government officials, representatives of opposition parties that signed the 2018 peace deal, members of the diplomatic corps, among other dignitaries provided an opportunity for the South Sudanese leader to interact with invited guests.

Speaking during the occasion, President Kiir urges all stakeholders involved in Sudan’s peace initiative to dialogue in good faith and work hard to bring peace to the North African country.

He further applauded the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for working to restore peace in the region.

The occasion, held in State House, also coincided with the burial of Justice Majok Mading, a former legal administrator in the office of the South Sudanese president.

In November last year, Kiir and the country’s main opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the revitalized peace agreement by 100 days.

The delay in forming a transitional national unity government on November 12, 2019 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements were yet to be completed.

South Sudan, which separated from Sudan through a referendum in 2011, has been suffering from a civil war since late 2013, which has since taken a tribal dimension.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.