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S. Sudan president calms tension in Northern Liech state

September 17, 2017 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has, in a bid to diffuse the simmering tension among members of his ruling party (SPLM) in Northern Liech state, met several politicians from the region.

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President Salva Kiir speaks during the inauguration of the new SPLM premises in Juba on 15 November 2013 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

The state governor Joseph Nguen Monytuil led the delegation that met the South Sudanese leader in the capital, Juba on Saturday.

A number of area officials and politicians, including the presidential advisor on security affairs Tut Kew Gatluak, attended the meeting.

President Kiir, according to the aide, vowed that his administration would prioritize peace and unity, but appealed to the leaders of Northern Liech state to reconcile among themselves and see how to overcome their various differences to improve any given situations.

“The president was very clear on the need to unite as politicians from the area. And I agree with them because I don’t want to see some kind of a permanent rift. It will not help us. Some people will utilize them to further divide our people who are for peace”, said Gatluak.

The official acknowledged that some politicians in the area were not only causing problems in the state but to the entire country as well.

“We want to bring them, the people causing political concern in the area in the right direction”, stressed the senior presidential aide.

South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny said the delegation met the president and discussed existing political differences while exploring how to find ground for cooperation.

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The two sides agreed to put aside their differences and work together so as to support the president and first vice president, harmonize messages and activities for the people and for peaceful coexistence between all segments of their communities, said Ateny.

He, however, said the president assured the delegation from Northern Liech state of his full support for the realization of the peace across the state in particular and across the entire country.

The state information minister, Lam Tungwar said the delegation met the president with promises to resolve all existing political differences.

Meanwhile, those privy to the differences among the politicians attributed the cause to several reasons. Some of the immediate concerns, they argued, relate to removal of assignments from some military officers hailing from the Bul Nuer section in the state who fought alongside government forces during the war.

These officers, multiples sources told Sudan Tribune, have not been replaced in recent military changes with officers loyal to first vice president Taban Deng Gai, a political rival of Governor Monytuil.

Other sources at the presidency claimed these differences became more complicated after the government suspended financial support it used to the pro-government forces under the command of Major General Puljang Mathew and shifted support to the office of the first vice president in the name of a peace budget.



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