Kiir stresses smaller government at independence anniversary
9 July 2012 - As South Sudan celebrated its first independence anniversary, President Salva Kiir spoke about the country's achievements as well as plans to meet the budget deficit.
Addressing a crowd at John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, President Kiir said he had considered trimming his government, given the austerity in place and high demand for development.
“If you want development, the government must be small so that money will be going toward development instead of going to individuals,” he said.
His government had sought several avenues of income, including tax collection as well as alternative oil routes and refineries, said the president.
“We are now establishing a small oil refinery in Upper Nile state,” President Kiir said, adding that plans were also afoot to open another in Unity state.
Touching on South Sudan’s achievements, he noted that it had enacted over 30 fundamental laws. “We have been able to set up the foundations for a democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive government.”
The country must now focus on food security, rather than remaining dependent on outside sources, Mr. Kiir said. “By 2012, we shall be self-sufficient in food production, but to achieve this target, every one of us must … farm.”
On conflict, Mr. Kiir accused Sudan of constantly violating South Sudan’s territorial integrity. “Khartoum has continuously violated our sovereignty through aerial bombardments … (and) ground incursions.”
He cited Unity, Warrap, Upper Nile, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal, and Western Bahr El-Ghazal as states that were often affected, stressing that political issues should not affect innocent citizens.
Also addressing the gathering, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni praised the South Sudanese army for its forbearance and resilience during the many years of armed struggle.
But he advised the South Sudanese government to deliver services to its citizens so they would have no regrets about the decision they had taken (to support it).
Central Equatoria State Governor Manas Lomole Waya noted that South Sudan had witnessed more impressive road development in its one year of independence than during its 20 years of Sudanese rule.
He then urged South Sudanese in the diaspora to come home and rebuild the country, which needed their skills and technology.