South Sudan president Salva Kiir has urged the armed and political opposition groups to stop the fighting and to prepare themselves to take part in the general elections after the end of the transitional period.
President Kiir made the comments during a meeting with Koma and Gajaak communities at the presidential palace on Monday during which he called on the traditional leaders of the two communities to unite and move forward together in order to overcome the challenging security situation in the country.
“There is nothing you will gain in splitting Maiwut or moving away from Maiwut and go to another area. You have to understand that your union has a lot of strength than division,” said President Kiir.
He further asked the communities to reconcile and embark on peaceful sensitization campaign to bring people together in the area.
Kiir took the opportunity to call the whole South Sudanese to embrace peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and unity, stressing that because of these needs he launched the national dialogue process which should allow them to chart together their future.
“We are now calling on the people who are still advocating for war to denounce violence, stop fighting and come back to participate in the dialogue process so that people go for elections after the end of the transitional period. Elections will people give an opportunity to make their own choices,” further said Kiir.
Following a series of attacks and counterattacks, the government forces last week captured the SPLM-IO stronghold town of Pagak which is part of Maiut state.
The government plans to use t this victory to generate a new dynamic to discourage those who joined the rebellion or the opposition hold out groups to join the government-led dialogue process.
Meanwhile, the Maiwut state parliamentary speaker told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the meeting was fruitful, saying the Koma and Gajaak communities were brought together by the president.
“The community of Koma and Gajaak held a meeting with President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E General Salva Kiir Mayardit this morning in J1about the creation of Maiwut State.
He further announced that the Koma who were opposed to the new state have finally accepted to remain in Maiwut State and abandoned their demand to join the Northern Upper Nile State.
“The Koma community members who attended the meeting are directed to unite themselves and to nominate a candidate for Deputy Governor position,” said speaker Choul Dep Kiir.
The President Kiir, according to speaker, advised Gajaak not to mistreat Koma Community.
“The President directed Gajaak to share the State Government with Koma fairly. He told Koma that he will try his level best to take the development to Koma County,” the speaker said.
The population of Maiwut State, which consists of Maiwut, Longochuk and Koma counties, is composed of the Koma ethnic group and Gajaak who are a sub-clan of Jikany Nuer.
Following the establishment of Maiwut, the Koma split into two groups some of them said hostile to be part of a new administrative entity dominated by the Nuer who killed their tribesmen in other states when the conflict erupted in December 2013.
The Koma group headed by Hon. Ali Adlan, an MP in the National Transitional Legislative Assembly was opposed to the new state but it is accepted by a group headed by Hon. Col. Baryach Uluch who is the leader of Koma community.