South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has set the conditions for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the country, saying the latter will only leave if a permanent peace agreement is attained.
President Kiir made the remarks on Wednesday at an occasion marking the third anniversary of the country’s independence from neighbouring Sudan, from which it seceded on 9 July 2011.
Kiir said the Ugandan troops had been deployed via a “sovereign agreement” and would remain in the country until their mission was achieved.
S. Sudan’s Kiir extends amnesty to former political detainees
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said the former political detainees were free to return and participate in efforts to end nearly seven months of conflict in the new nation.
Speaking at the country’s third independence anniversary on Wednesday, Kiir said he had invited the former captives to the capital, Juba, but wondered why they did not respond, despite showing interests.
“I had wanted them to join us in Juba so that we come and celebrate this third anniversary together, but they have not responded in the way that we have expected”, remarked the president.
US secretary of state John Kerry says the current conflict in South Sudan is in danger of undermining the sacrifices so many South Sudanese people made during the country’s long struggle to gain independence.
Kerry made the comments in a statement on Wednesday marking the third anniversary of South Sudan’s secession from the north, in which it engaged in a brutal civil war spanning more than two decades before a 2005 peace deal paved the way for a referendum on self-determination in January 2011, with the South declaring independence on 9 July 2011.