South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Friday said the government would deploy military during peacetime to help in efforts to develop agriculture and fight chronic hunger and famine, reported Anadolu Agency.
“We must end for once the annual threat of famine and hunger in South Sudan and give the World Food Program (WFP) and organizations alike a break,” said Kiir.
The president said its time that the country must begin to take responsibility for feeding its people from its land.
“We have no excuse to allow the world to feed our people indefinitely,” added Kiir.
The South Sudanese president said the government has decided to use military for peacetime purposes such as food production and road construction. He called out the Ministry of Agriculture to activate the agriculture master plan, and make a food security a priority a reality by collaborating with the Ministry of Defense on this initiative.
Kiir said the nation’s ability to achieving food security would depend on ending all forms of violence including communal and political clashes.
“Enough is enough, the peace we must pursue at all costs and to silence all the guns as this is the demand of our people, the order of the African Union and the world.”
Every year, South Sudan faces a famine season from May to July. Around 6.5 million people, more than half the population, face hunger in the country every year.
Kiir said while the threat of hunger poses a major threat to the country, the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as an even more urgent risk. He warned that coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate, doubling nearly every five days. He said the disease is a dangerous killer, and should not be ignored.
Kiir urged the people to adhere to precautionary measures being observed worldwide on prevention of COVID-19, which had killed one person and infected 231 people in South Sudan.