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JUBA (HAN) December 16.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By JOSEPH ODUHA. South Sudan President Salva Kiir has vowed to end the current political turmoil in the country and restore peace and unity.

President Kiir made the remarks Wednesday while addressing the lawmakers in Juba.

He said national unity was crucial to achieve lasting peace in the country he said was on verge of collapse due to recurrent fighting.

“As long as I’m your president, I will not allow the suffering of the people and I will not allow our country to be torn apart,” he said.

Ethnic tensions

The United Nations recently raised the alarm over the growing ethnic tensions as a possible prelude to a genocide.

“I’m deeply concerned about the current direction our country is taking. I’m particularly concerned about the recent report of rising hatred, divisions and tensions; all of which are rapidly eating into our social fabric,” he said.

President Kiir further expressed concern about the shrinking economy, pointing out that it had impacted negatively on the lives of civilians and resulted in increasing numbers of street children in different parts of the country.

Lost everything

“I’m deeply concerned about the parents who are no longer able to feed their children because of our shrinking economy.

“I’m also concerned about the growing number of street children and people who have lost everything due to ongoing political situation,” he said.

The president recalled that South Sudan descended into conflict in 2013 as a result of what he termed as unconstitutional struggle for power and the political crisis was immediately followed by an extreme violence that shook the foundation of the young nation.

Any mistakes

He asked South Sudanese to forgive him for any problems that could be blamed on his leadership.

“I am asking you, people of South Sudan to forgive me for any mistakes I might have committed,” President Kiir said.

South Sudan has remained tense since the July violence.

Over one million people have been forced out of the country to seek safety and protection in neighbouring states.

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