South Sudan’s President Kiir bans singing National Anthem in his absence

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has banned anyone from singing the national anthem unless he is present, according to a government minister.

Confirming the ban, the country’s Information Minister Michael Makuei said President Salva Kiir believes that the national anthem, which was composed shortly before the country gained independence in 2011 is being abused, especially by some government officials in his absence.

“For the information of everybody the national anthem is only meant for the president, in a function only attended by the president, not for everybody,” Makuei said.

He said Kiir’s order was passed during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Makuei said that with the exception of South Sudan’s embassies, which represent the president, and schools where children are taught the anthem, no one was allowed to sing the song in Kiir’s absence.

The minister said that military leaders have also been banned from addressing the public when in uniform.

He did not give details on what the punishment would be if the orders are not followed.

“These are orders and of course when you disobey the orders of the president then you carry your cross,” Makuei said.

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