President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has expressed his reservations with the international community’s plan to send more foreign troops to the country to quell the ongoing conflict, according to Sudan Tribune.
The president now wants the people of South Sudan to come together to find lasting solutions that will restore peace and order in the world’s youngest nation.
“Peace is not a responsibility of the leaders alone. It is a collective responsibility and everybody must join hands for the sake of peace and national reconciliation,” President Kiir said on Sunday when he met elders from the Dinka tribe.
He added that a time has come for every South Sudanese citizen to show commitment to national reconciliation.
“Rather than looking for a solution from foreign countries, we can find our own solution with which we can be proud of and present as an example to others,” he said.
In an interview with Kenya Television Network on Thursday in Juba, President Kiir said South Sudan has the needed capacity to handle the current conflict between government troops and rebels led by the former first vice-president Riek Machar.
Following renewed fighting between government forces and rebels in South Sudan, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has resolved to send a third-party peacekeeping force, which will be deployed in the capital Juba.
The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss and possibly endorse IGAD’s resolution.
But South Sudanese officials have already reviewed a draft proposal circulated to members of the UN Security Council by the United States in New York on Sunday. They charge that it is inconsistent with what IGAD had proposed.
According to the Sudan Tribune, the new draft proposal calls for the deployment of about 4,000 troops in Juba, who will be in charge of security in the entire capital city including Juba International Airport.
Heavy fighting erupted in Juba on July 7 after the two rival forces clashed, leaving hundreds of people dead and thousands displaced.
The renewed fighting saw rebel leader Riek Machar, who had just been reinstated as first vice-president, flee Juba, raising fears of a possible return to full-scale civil war in South Sudan.
President Salva Kiir has already replaced Machar with Taban Deng Gai, who IGAD wants to step down in an effort to reconcile the two warring factions.
Gai says he’s ready to step down for Machar if he returns to Juba.