JUBA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- President Salva Kiir of South Sudan on Wednesday called on opposition groups in the country to put aside their differences and join hands with the government to implement the revitalized peace agreement.
Kiir also urged the opposition to restrain their supporters from taking part in anticipated street protests ahead of Army Day celebrations scheduled for Thursday.
"The vicious cycle of violence will not end if we continue doing things the same way," he said. "Smooth implementation of the revitalized peace agreement will pave way for future democratic elections as a means to build durable peace."
"Let us set aside lust for power, stabilize our country and return the nation to democracy and give people a chance to live in a country they deserve," Kiir said in Juba.
The president, who delivered his state-of-the-nation address ahead of commemorating 36 years of the Sudan People's Liberation Army and Movement (SPLA/M) that led to the birth of the world's youngest nation, said many of his compatriots have abandoned the vision of the liberation struggle which was to establish a democratic and prosperous state.
He noted that the years of conflict have ruined the country's hard-gained independence which cost many lives and subjected communities to a life of destitution.
"The peace agreement we signed offers the opportunity for all the parties to work in good faith to see to its implementation after which elections will come at the end of the transition," he said.
Kiir said that power sought through forceful means leads to violence, division and hatred, and urged the opposition to seek legitimate means to orchestrate their protests as an honor to the sacrifices that were made by the fallen heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle.
"Let us not invest in power wrangling; instead, we should all devote to peace and democracy and spread the benefits of freedom and independence to our people, who deserve so much more from us," he said.
Kiir called on the opposition to maximize their efforts in ensuring that the country succeeds toward the goal of achieving sustainable peace anchored on the people's will.
"It will be a win-win situation if we work together after which we shall all live a dignified life," he said. "When we fight, we all lose and bring shame to our country and ourselves."