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As the world’s newest country South Sudan continues to battle insecurity and a civil war, President Salva Kiir has ordered the country’s police to shoot robbers dead, including those who break into shops at night.
The Sudan Tribune reported on Sunday that Kiir gave the order and urged the police to enforce security and protect citizens while speaking at an official function in the capital Juba on Saturday night.
“Your job as police is to eliminate the thieves who break into shops at night, shoot them whenever you see them trying to break into shops,” ordered Kiir.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir attends a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the capital Juba. File picture: Bullen Chol/AP
Kiir’s comments were made at the passing out parade of the Joint Integrated Police (JIP), which is the only body under the 2015 peace deal mandated to provide security during the transitional period in the most conflict-ridden and fragile areas of the country.
The peace agreement outlined that the JIP would comprise 5,400 police personnel as well as the equivalent number provided by the government and the opposition.
Resorting to this extreme measure appears to be Kiir’s frustration, and that of his government, at the rising crime rate in Juba following the outbreak of the latest round of fighting in 2013.
However, despite the country’s continuing decline economically, politically and the failure of the warring sides to implement the peace deal Kiir denied that peace was collapsing, instead confirming his commitment to the peace plan.
“I am saying the peace agreement is alive and is progressing well and is very strong,” said Kiir.
But then subsequently contradicted himself saying the peace agreement was bad and that the architects of the agreement were unable to implement it due to its complexity.
Kiir statements came after a recent regional summit where Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders decided to convene a “Revitalisation Forum” for the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS)signed in August 2015.
“The full implementation of ARCSS remains to be the only viable way forward to bring about peace and stability and create the basis for a democratic political system in South Sudan,” they said.