Give peace, elections a chance, Museveni tells South Sudan

Thursday December 22 2016

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni addressing the press with his counterpart Salva Kiir of South Sudan at State House in Juba on December 22, 2016. PHOTO | PPU Uganda

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has asked the warring factions in South Sudan to give peace and democracy a chance.

Mr Museveni spoke after visiting Juba, on Thursday, where he held closed talks with his counterpart Salva Kiir.

The Ugandan leader said the people of South Sudan had fought for self-determination and should therefore be given a chance to exercise it democratically.

"I appeal to the transitional government, headed by President Kiir and the other stakeholders, to stop all actions involving insecurity so that people focus on elections as soon as possible," President Museveni said.

"My prayer is for the people of South Sudan to regain sovereignty through the vote. The fighting should stop and allow the people to regain their power which currently is with those with the guns."

On his part, President Kiir thanked Mr Museveni for honouring his invitation to Juba.


"I appreciate his advice. President Museveni has rich experience and we can gain from him. We have covered several issues on our bilateral relations and I will take all advice he's given to me," he said.

It is understood that on the sidelines of the two leaders’ meeting, officials from Kampala and Juba also discussed the issue of the debt owed by the South Sudan government to Ugandan traders for supplies between 2008 and 2010.

READ: Broke South Sudan now looks to Kenya and Uganda for bailout

The talks were led by Uganda’s State Minister for Finance in charge of Planning, Mr David Bahati, and South Sudan Finance Minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, at which they agreed a mode of payment of the debt.

The details, Mr Bahati said, would be communicated to the responsible parties.

South Sudan, which got its independence in July 2011 after seceding from Sudan, plunged into civil war in December 2013 after a bitter fallout between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, exploding into violence between forces loyal to the two nemesis.

The country was to hold elections in April 2015 but did not take place with South Sudan's parliament extending President Kiir's term by three years.

READ: South Sudan parliament extends President Salva Kiir's term until 2018