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Kiir warns greater Yirol youth against interfering with road construction

Kiir warns greater Yirol youth against interfering with road construction
President Salva Kiir commissions Mingkaman-Rumbek highway on Monday, December 12, 2022 | Credit | Anyar Kuol/TRC

President Salva Kiir has cautioned youth in greater Yirol against gun-related violence lest it interferes with the construction of roads there.

After officially opening the  73-kilometer Juba-Terekeka highway on Monday, Kiir proceeded to Awerial County where he commissioned construction of the second phase of Juba-Bar el Ghazal road in Mingkaman town.

“I am telling this to you people of greater Yirol and all other tribes to talk to your youth to refrain from gun violence that always affects roadworks,” he told the local community leaders.

Until recently, Lakes State was generally witnessing waves of intercommunal violence, cattle raiding, and revenge killing. The conflicts, which raged for years, claimed several lives.

Officials and advocacy groups blamed the violence on the presence of firearms in the hands of youth, locally known as ‘gelweny’.

When the incumbent governor assumed power in mid-2021, the cases of violent conflict went down after he ruthlessly dealt with perpetrators.

“We are constructing roads and there are some misbehaviors that always occur…I want you to respect the construction companies and respect their vehicles,” Kiir said.

The president was accompanied by some senior cabinet members, including VP Taban Deng, Senior Presidential Advisor Kuol Manyang, and Advisor on Security Affairs Tut Gatluak.

Others were Roads and Bridges Minister Mijok Mijak, Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, and Finance Minister Dier Tong.

According to the minister of Road and Bridges, the second phase of the roadwork will cover 230 kilometers.