NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – The South Sudan government has dismissed reports that President Salva Kiir is unwell, saying he is in robust health.
In a statement, the government denied reports that the President had suddenly fallen ill during a meeting in Addis Ababa and had been rushed to hospital in the Ethiopian capital for treatment, saying the reports were false and farfetched.
“Today, Thursday, January 29, 2015 President Salva Kiir Mayardit is again having another face-to-face meeting with the rebel leader Riek Machar ahead of the Heads of States and Governments of IGAD Summit which is scheduled to start today at 3pm Ethiopian local time from which the political crisis in South Sudan is on the top of the agenda,” read the statement.
Kiir “is doing his duties trying to restore peace”, his spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told AFP.
The government is now threatening legal action against the Sudantribune, which published the story as it has written stories akin to these and which caused panic around the war-torn country on several occasions.
“The Office of the President has discarded previous rumours that emanated from the same electronic media, as we believe the people who have read them are capable of ascertaining the reality from fabricated one,” read part of the statement.
It went to state that “ this time around and given the damage inflicted on the people of South Sudan through the false reports often published by the Sudantribune that the President was sick, we are considering legal suit against Sudantribune.”
The Press Secretary said Kiir was going about his normal duties as head of State stating that since his arrival in Addis Ababa to days ago, he had attended several meetings and was looking forward for the commencement of the AU Summit Friday.
Kiir is reported to have also had a meeting with rebel leader Riek Machar in a bid to come up with peaceful solutions to the crisis that has rocked Africa’s youngest nation since gaining independence.
The South Sudan crisis will be among the top agenda’s in the summit.