South Sudan’s Kiir orders public mobilization
March 30, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has instructed governors of the country’s five states bordering the country’s northern neighbour Sudan to mobilize the public for defense.
File – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit (REUTERS)
In an address he delivered at the final session of the National Liberation Council of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Friday, Kiir ordered the governors of Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal to mobilize the public in order to defend South Sudan.
Kiir’s announcement comes as tension dramatically increased with neighbouring Sudan against the background of military confrontations in the latter’s oil-rich town of Heglig.
His Sudanese counterpart, Omer Al-Bashir, has already ordered public mobilization and formed a committee to undertake preparation of “Jihadists.”
The president reiterated his claims that South Sudan army’s attack on, and subsequent withdrawal from, Heglig was provoked by wide-scale violations committed during aerial and ground attacks by the army of Sudan (SAF) in Unity State.
Kiir pointed out that he had no intention of entering a war with Sudan but he vowed to show no leniency in defending his country’s sovereignty.
The president, however, asked governors of South Sudan’s ten states as they listened to his speech to protect the lives of Sudanese citizens living in South Sudan, saying they have nothing to do with what’s going on with their country.
He said that Sudanese citizens must not be harassed, especially the nomadic Arab tribes who cross into South Sudan searching for pasture.
Furthermore, Kiir appealed to the citizens of Sudan not to be misled by the Jihad campaigns orchestrated by their government, stressing that South Sudan is not against Islam or people of Arab ethnicity. He also said that the SPLM would remain committed to using negotiations to resolve issues of contention with Sudan.
Kiir was scheduled to hold a summit in Juba with Al-Bashir on 3 April but Sudan cancelled the plan after the eruption of the Heglig clashes.