Salva Kiir, South Sudan President has banned the country from singing the National Anthem in his absence.
President Salva Kiir – South Sudan National Anthem was composed in 2011 shortly before independence.
Minister of Information, Michael Makuei speaking to AFP news said that different groups of people that include Institutions and leaders had a tendency of singing the National Anthem in Kiir’s absentia which was an abuse to the National Anthem.
“For the information of everybody the National Anthem is only meant for the president, is a function only attended by the president, not for everybody,” Makuei said.
Makuei continued to say that;
“We are seeing now even a minister, undersecretary, even governor or State minister, whenever there is a function, the national anthem is sung.”
Also, Makuei said that the president’s order was passed on Friday 19 July 2019, during a cabinet sitting.
However, Makuei said South Sudan Embassies and Schools are exempted because the Embassies represents the president while the schools are where the children learn the National Anthem.
And apart from these mentioned groups, no one else is allowed to sing the National Anthem unless president Kiir is around.
Makuei relatedly said that military officers have also been stopped from addressing public rallies while dressed up in an army uniform.
But in his message, he did not mention the type of punishment to be given to persons who will violet this presidential order in South Sudan.
“These are orders and of course when you disobey the orders of the president, then you carry your cross,” Makuei said.
In 2011 after several years of war, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. The two countries were once one until 2011 when it was divided into two, forming South Sudan and Sudan.
Riek Machar and Salva Kiir
However, in 2013 South Sudan started a disastrous civil war after president Kiir fired his then Vice President, Riek Machar over coup allegations.
The war that started from capital Juba spread across the impoverished state, closed the oil fields in South Sudan Darfur area, thousands of people died and forced millions of people out of the country.
As a result of this war, the country was left ethnically divided, attacks on civilians aroused, forced recruitment of children into the army and massive rape on South Sudanese women emerged.
The war also created the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world and breakdown in the country’s economy which depends on oil production for most of its revenue in the country.
In 2015, a power-sharing deal was signed between Machar and Kiir to bring peace into South Sudan.
Machar was named the Vice President of South Sudan, but the deal failed after one year in a deadly war that drove Machar into exile.
In September 2018, Machar signed a new peace deal to end the conflicts and return as the Vice President of South Sudan again.
He was supposed to return from exile to Juba in May but the whole process has delayed over unclear circumstances.