In a candid speech on South Sudan’s independence day, President Salva Kiir has apologised for the “failures” of his government.
After a long civil war, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 to great fanfare. That optimism was shattered following the start of South Sudan’s own civil war in December 2013.
Kiir said that the war had led to “very serious financial challenges”.
He added that he was “fully aware that our people are angry because of the difficult living conditions imposed upon them by insecurity and economic hardship.
“This is further exacerbated by the failure of my government to pay salaries of our civil servants on time…
“I want to sincerely apologise to you my people on my own behalf and on behalf of the government for those failures.”
The president tried to strike an optimistic tone by saying that despite it not yet being fully implemented, last year’s peace deal has meant that “peace is holding throughout the country”.
He added that when a unity government was created the “economy will thrive”.