By John Ikani
South Sudan has declassified intelligence reports on how the country’s long-running civil war began.
The move directed by the country’s President, Salva Kiir, is part of efforts geared towards national reconciliation and healing.
It is the first time the President would issue such a directive which also demands that anyone found culpable of offences by the released materials will be granted presidential pardon.
“This is very important so that the people of South Sudan know the truth and judge for themselves, and from this knowledge, we must tell the truth because genuine reconciliation has its basis on it, ”Kiir said in an address on Monday.
“So there is no cause for alarm over this, because we are interested in it for the public to know the truth about the background of the conflict in our country,” he added.
Mr Kiir’s directive comes a day after dozens of heavily armed troops were deployed around the residence of the First Vice-President Riek Machar.
The President described it as “normal practice”, but Mr Machar condemned the move, saying it “creates doubt” that the fragile peace process can succeed.
Continued tension between the two men has prevented the implementation of a peace deal aimed at ending a five-year civil war that began in 2013, resulting to the death of 400,000 people and uprooting millions from their homes.
Since the formation of the unitary government, South Sudan has lurched from crisis to crisis, battling flooding, hunger, as well as violence and political bickering as the promises of the peace agreement have failed to materialise.