Susan Nyabunze Herald Reporter
South Sudanese Ambassador Gabriel Jok Riak — whose country is reeling from a bitter civil war — has hailed Zimbabweans for upholding peace for the past 35 years.
Speaking to The Herald at the Staff College last Thursday, Ambassador Riak said despite socio-economic challenges Zimbabwe has faced since attaining Independence in 1980, peacehas always prevailed in Zimbabwe.
“Bravo to Zimbabwe for having maintained their peace up to now. It was heartbreaking in the time when there was crisis with the opposition in 2008 to 2009. It was not good because everything came to a standstill and it was made worse by sanctions, as well as the drought,” he said.
Ambassador Riak added that it was important for the nation to maintain peace as war has devastating effects as is the case in his country, South Sudan.
“All that was constructed since 2005 has been destroyed especially in three of our states. They have even destroyed some of the oil wells.”
He said three hypocritical western countries (unnamed), have had a hand in fuelling the conflict, financing war lords who promised them oil in return.
“They are the ones behind it all, financing the war as they stay in hotels and offices.”
He added that Zimbabwe supported South Sudan before and they have continued to offer moral support among others.
“I believe that President (Mugabe) has met with our President on the sidelines of African Union in Addis Ababa and what he had in his mind, he conveyed it to the President.” South Sudan attained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and has suffered civil unrest since 2013.