South Sudan President Salva Kiir said Thursday that implementation of the revitalized peace agreement still faced many challenges, largely because of the international community's wait-and-see stance on its implementation.
Kiir told hundreds of ruling SPLM party cadres in Juba that the September deal was "not a good agreement, but I signed it because people have suffered and I do not want that to continue."
The president, meeting with members of the SPLM parliamentary caucus shortly before they left for home on recess, said the government did not have enough money to implement the deal. But his administration gave each caucus member more than $7,500 (1 million South Sudanese pounds) to share details of the peace deal with their constituents.
"The implementation is facing difficulties because there is no funding. If America has refused to recognize the agreement, the other European countries and Western countries will not pay their money, so everybody has adopted the position of 'wait and see,' because they think we will fight as soon as the opposition comes in," Kiir said.
The United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom, known as the Troika, have repeatedly advised the government to use its own resources to implement the deal and show some political will toward moving the implementation forward.
Speak of peace
Kiir urged SPLM party members to accept one another and speak the language of peace for the sake of all South Sudanese.
"Let us focus now on the future of our country. We will do this through peace implementation, sending out positive and reconciliatory messages that [are] aimed at repairing our social fabric," Kiir said.
Kiir said he welcomed back former detainees, but also admonished them for advising the international community to withhold money from South Sudan until the warring parties carried out the terms of the deal.
"I told the FDs [former detainees] when I was meeting them that the distractions that they did are worse than what Riek Machar has done, because he wanted to uproot us violently, which he did not make, but for you, [you] went to Western capitals to backbite us and stop all the money [from coming] to us, so it is you who have really destroyed South Sudan," Kiir told SPLM leaders.
The president concluded his remarks by saying he had forgiven his opponents and welcomed them back to the SPLM party.