The South Sudanese government has refuted claims that President Salva Kiir is not committed to ensuring peace in his country.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley earlier this week accused the president of not caring about his people’s suffering.
The President’s spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny said that the president’s cares for his people, and that is why he joined wars as a young man to fight for the liberation of his people.
“If president Salva Kiir doesn’t care about his people then he would not have joined the two wars fighting as a young man in the first liberation movements, and fighting also as a grown up man for the 21 years in a war of liberation that culminated in to the creation of South Sudan” Ateny said.
He further said that Kiir’s government is working to build stronger relations with the US and that Juba is committed to the revitalization of the 2015 peace deal process mediated under the IGAD body.
Ambassador Nikki Haley arrived in South Sudan on Wednesday to meet with South Sudan’s government officials, internally displaced persons sheltering under UN protection and to witness work being done by the UN peacekeepers on the ground to enable the U.S. form a decision on how to deal with the issue of South Sudan.
The world’s youngest nation has been rocked by conflict since December 2013 when President Kiir accused his then deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, prompting the UN to rank the country as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.
Regional and international leaders have been piling pressure on the leaders to agree to peace talks, though Machar is still holed up in South Africa where he went to seek medical treatment following July 2016 clashes in Juba.