JUBA — South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said Friday that his transitional unity government has prioritized improving security and economy in order to stabilize the world’s youngest nation after years of conflict.
Kiir, who was speaking during the commemoration of the country’s tenth anniversary of independence in Juba, the national capital, said that full implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement is key to ending insecurity and resuscitating the economy.
“These two priority areas will stabilize our country and ensure economic growth through an increase in production leading to social-economic development,” said Kiir.
South Sudan is struggling to recover from more than seven years of conflict since its outbreak in December 2013. The country won independence from neighboring Sudan in 2011 amid huge expectations of its 12.2 million population who have since grown frustrated with the slow implementation of the peace deal.
Kiir, however, said that the positive progress achieved so far by the former warring parties in the coalition government was a result of sustained dialogue that he hopes will help them resolve disputes peacefully.
“With this renewed spirit the revitalized transitional government of national unity remains committed to the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. This commitment is demonstrated by the efforts we have exerted to finalize the formation of government at national and state levels,” said Kiir.
He recently reconstituted the national legislative assembly and the council of states which are critical to the implementation of the peace agreement at lower levels of government.
Kiir disclosed that they are also implementing a series of measures designed to strengthen and reform the ministry of finance and planning as well as the Bank of South Sudan, adding that such measures have led to the recent appreciation of the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) against the U.S. dollar.
The SSP in May was exchanging with the dollar at 65 SSP but as of now it’s trading at 40 SSP against the dollar.
South Sudan is supposed to graduate 83,000 unified forces to take charge of security during the transitional period before elections are held in 2023.
Kiir revealed that they will soon be graduating 53,000 unified forces who have been training for the past months in cantonment and training centers.
“We established cantonment centers for the unification of forces. Already 53,000 forces from the entire security sector are ready for graduation, despite the many challenges including our inability to provide them with the necessary weapons because of the arms embargo unfairly imposed on us. We are committed to graduate them as a matter of critical responsibility under the peace agreement,” said Kiir.