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Salva Kiir Blames South Sudan Refugee Crisis on Social Media

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir has blamed the grown number of people who fled the country as refugees on social media and hate media.

Kiir says the millions of civilians who left Africa’s youngest nation were driven by propaganda manned by those conspiring against his government through social media.

“The people who ran to Uganda were chased away by social media. There was no fighting in that area. They were told to leave because they know a UN [United Nations] official came in to assess the humanitarian situation to decide if there was need for assistance,” Kiir told Deutsche Welle on Thursday.

“Instead, he [UN official] went and reported that there was a looming genocide in South Sudan, which has not happened up to now. People were called from their houses and told to run away, that if you don’t go after one hour you would be a dead person,” he added.

The civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 following disputes within the country’s ruling party. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been killed and over 2 million displaced.

Kiir however, said the national dialogue he initiated in December last year will create for those with grievances not addressed in the 2015 peace deal signed by the warring parties.

“In the end, when the resolutions are passed by members of the National Dialogue team, these things could be taken into consideration in the next formations of the government,” said Kiir.

He said the national dialogue, launched in May, embraces all citizens, including his former deputy-turned rebel leader Riek Machar, who currently lives in solitary confinement in South Africa.

“We didn’t really exclude anyone. But for Riek, he knows why. It is not him who is not interested in joining but the whole region does not want him to [join],” said Kiir.

He added, “His [Machar] presence here would create instability in the whole region, not just in South Sudan,”

Kiir downplayed threats posed by the rebel leader, saying regional nations resolved not to allow Machar operate within their territories.

“He [Machar] is not a threat to the government. He is only making confusion calling his supporters on the phone. He knows where they are hiding and these are the people who are still making problems, continuing to fight and do not want to make peace,” he stressed

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