President Kiir visits Bor, extends solidarity to flood victims
President Kiir has made an official visit to Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, this afternoon. Arriving in the town for the first time in 11 years, Kiir met a number of residents, leaders and personally inspected the progress of infrastructure construction in the area.
Jonglei has been badly affected by recent flooding, with rising waters destroying much of the local infrastructure and displacing thousands of residents.
To conclude the visit, Kiir hosted a rally at the Dr John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology. In his address, he thanked Bor's youth for their efforts to repair broken Nile dykes, and urged the population to stay in Jonglei despite the flooding.
The President also warned the population about the likelihood of further flooding this summer.
Speaking to press, a number of local people commended Kiir's visit to the flood-stricken region, hoping his rally in the town would draw greater attention to their issues.
'Flood and inter-communal violence are issues people are coping with so it is good that he is coming. He would be able to see the impact of the floods and the impact of the state of emergency because the state of emergency was declared but it achieved nothing', Bor activist Bol Deng Bol said.
Jonglei state Governor Denay Chagor also praised Kiir's visit, remarking that it would be good for the President see the conditions of those affected by floods firsthand.
President Kiir's appearance in Bor comes shortly after senior advisor and former Jonglei State Governor Kuol Manyang criticised himself and the SPLM for not having 'done anything to make a better society following independence'.
As a traditional SPLM base, many commentators are looking to Kiir's visit as an attempt to revitalise his faction's grassroots and garner support after a shaky few weeks for the party.