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A critical critique on Salva Kiir speech on the issues facing South Sudan

By Sarah Thomas

March 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- This article present critical discourse analysis of Salva Kiir speech at a public rally on March 18, 2015 at John Garang Mausoleum in Juba. The speech has been expected to take place at early stages on the breakdown of the peace talks, but rumors had it that, close aides had demanded dysphemism to intenerate the language otherwise we in the “IO”, the “G-10” as well as those who want to impose sanction would have been faced with harsh abomination. Thus, the variorum text was changed. In his capacity, Salva was educating the audience and demystify some justifications as to why he did not potent the deal with the rebels’ chief on March 5, 2015. During the delivery, presenter seem to be knackered or that might be a laziness on one’s eye. The speech is met with enormous criticism both at home and abroad.  Many commentators including Pagan Amum:  former secretary general of the SPLM, termed the speech as a declaration of war.  Salva started his magniloquent grandiose speech with boastful showy style and ended it with the same excessive pride. Although the speech began with historical memories, chunk of it was largely spend on how Riek became obstacle to peace in Salva’s view. Below is the actual text and the critique underneath colored with purple. The critique is so brief but critical to such claims made by the credit proclaimed leader.

I would like to begin by thanking all of you; members  of my government, youth, women, business  community, religious leaders, chiefs, civil society  organizations, artists, trade unions and the entire  population of Juba for turning up in large numbers  in support of, and solidarity with my government and I, which I deeply appreciate. My fellow South Sudanese On 9th July 2011, we celebrated the birth of the Republic of South Sudan and closed the chapter in our history where we struggled and lost over two million lives. Our liberation demanded a lot from all of us; from those who left to fight and never returned; to those who were injured in the battle front, orphaned or widowed and those who supported the struggle with whatever resources they had. Today we remember all of them in a spirit of gratitude. Let us stand up and pay tribute to all of them.

In the above statement, the speaker show the world that he still has a support where indeed, majority among his audience are defectors. He seems to acknowledge the suffering South Sudanese had endured throughout the struggle period.  Salva sound like he is indeed caring for the plight of South Sudanese. If he does, why has it been so difficult to care for orphanages, widows, widowers and most importantly our wounded heroes and heroines who lost limbs during the struggle. Majority of these brave men and women fell they have been ignored by Salva administration during interim period and after independence. Do Salva really care for the plight of south Sudanese? Not real! He care in words and not in action. In Anyanya one era, armumations were lacking. Many people were carrying only sticks to the war field. The ring leaders at the time were struggling to find military equipment which could help them operate or fight the war effectively. Nothing comes easy for them. Philosophically, the movement’s leaders had planned the creation of a tactical way of luring young people in villages. They encouraged young people to join the movement and bring their guns with them if they own any. This encouragement was based on the idea that individuals, who have done this, will be remembered in an awaited independent south Sudan and in the future, they shall be compensated once freedom has been attained. Did Salva administration track down these very people in his tenures in the office as the head of the State? The answer is no! Salva does nothing, this made his above assertion lack factual. They are only being remembered in spirit without meaningful practical work that is being done on their behave, which mean, the family of those who paid ultimate price and limb miser heroes are struggling to meet their day today living with insufficient necessities.

Dear compatriots

It is the memory of the losses endured by our nation and every South Sudanese family during the struggle that has strengthened my resolve to defend and protect the gains of our liberation struggle. For the same reason, I accepted to negotiate peace with those who took arms against the state, under the auspices of IGAD and the INTRAPARTY dialogue, facilitated by Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa. Negotiations under the auspices of IGAD have been going on for over a year. I can understand why our people were very disappointed when the deadline of 5th March 2015 set by IGAD to sign the peace agreement was not met. This unfortunately means that we are still in a state of war; our people continue to suffer and die – something Riek and I could have ended on March 5th if it were not for his intransigence. At the same time, and as a result of not reaching a peace deal by 5th March 2015, the international community is threatening to impose sanctions on us. As your President, I feel that you the people of South Sudan deserve to hear from me about: my efforts to bring peace, why a peace agreement between the government and the rebels was not signed by 5th March, 2015, the impact of the proposed sanctions; and more importantly where do we go from here?

To be honest, Salva does not remember the fade of the suffering South Sudanese has gone through, he had definitely increased their suffering. What is Salva actually defending when he is in fact the warmonger who plunge the country into this horrible crisis by running tribal structured government, where people who are benefiting are only his tribesmen and those sycophants who do not care of anything else other than whatever gain they may grasp?   

In regard of acceptance of peace, Salva was not willing, but he was persuaded to agree with the dialogue. On Thursday December 26, 2013, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn: flew to Juba to visit 11 former officials who have been detained out of alleged coup plot; and also wanted to consult with Salva Kiir as the region was making itself ready to find ways to mediate peace among the divided SPLM party. In the previous week after Sunday December 15 when the war broke out, envoys from Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda converged in Juba trying to find ways to help tackled the new nation crisis. Which indicate that, Uhuru and Hailemariam visit the week after, was to add more weight to the already mediation efforts their respective foreign ministers together with regional delegations that went to Juba had started. After the end of their visit to detainees and consultation with Kiir, Kiir assured them that, he is willing to negotiate with former vice president Dr. Riek Machar, however, it has to be an unconditional negotiation. Salva had no choice during that particular period, given that the whole world demanded an immediate peace talks, the same goes to Riek. Hence, accepting a peace negotiation is not something he should brag about.

Was the reason of missing the dateline for Riek intransigence, or Salva included?  The two sides were at odd over a number of issues ranging from security arrangement, wealth sharing, national dept., governance and power sharing in a future transitional government. Salva was rigid on all these issues and couldn’t compromise, how could you termed it as a one side when as well are not willing?

Liberation  

My government has done everything possible to protect the gains of our liberation struggle and end the war. We have remained engaged with IGAD, AU, UN and members of the international community since January 2014, when I gave directives to my negotiating team to go to Addis Ababa to negotiate peace with the rebels; in good faith and without preconditions. I am also sure that heads of other political parties can remember the number of times I have invited them to J1 and the Freedom Hall for consultations on the positions of the government on national issues prior to the return of the negotiating team to Addis Ababa. Furthermore, I have allowed for the participation of a wide range of stakeholders in the IGAD peace talks; faith-based groups, civil society organizations, youth, women and political parties to ensure inclusiveness and ownership of the peace process. I am glad that some of you who participated in the negotiations under IGAD are in the audience and can bear testimony to that.

Sincerely, Salva agreeing to peace talks as mentioned above was not seriously about resulting the conflict, he was buying time and blindfolding IGAD, AU, UN and the international community at large that he is for peace while he is not. If he directed his negotiating team to negotiate in good faith as he try to claim here, they won’t refuse Ugandan army withdrawal and the release of the former detainees during the startup of the peace last year in January. He is deceiving everybody trying to outsmart them when of course Kiir suffer the low-IQ on earth which is the reason why he only completed 4th grade education. In regard of other political party’s issue, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that Salva made consultation to other political parties, but he has done so to show the world that he is working with other political parties, when he is indeed working with parties that could not correct his wrong doers. Wasn’t it possible that Salva blocked individuals who have a brain to flight to Addis out of the fear that these individuals may agree totally with opposition group demand of federalism which he refuse. Dr. Lam Akol is a victim of that madness from brainless elites.   

Dear compatriots I would like to thank the IGAD and AU heads of state, particularly my brothers President Yoweri Museveni, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, Uhuru Kenyatta, Paul Kagame, Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and other leaders in the region, for keeping peace in South Sudan at the top of their priorities. My fellow country men and women I have lost count of the number of times our delegation has been to Addis Ababa since January 2014.And as your President I have not missed any meeting scheduled by the IGAD mediators or IGAD heads of state concerning peace in South Sudan. During the first round of talks, the rebels demanded a transitional government, public sector reforms, Constitutional Review, federal system of government and security arrangements. Our delegation agreed to these broad areas as a basis for negotiating peace. However, in the course of the negotiations, the rebels kept changing positions on issues even after they have been agreed to and signed by Riek and myself. My government made significant compromises on its original positions in order to reach a settlement with the rebels. A good example of my flexibility was accepting the portfolio of prime minister to be included in negotiations, a position that does not even exist in the South Sudan Transitional Constitution of 2011.

Look at him, he put CRIMINAL Museveni’s name first inline to illustrate that he trust him more than others and Museveni is the one who spoil the mind of other IGAD members to consider retaining Kiir. Salva has indicated that he had lost count to how many times him and his delegations been to Addis Addis Ababa, this is what happen when you are uneducated, and you don’t keep records properly. Base on the rebel demands last year in June during the first direct talks, it is true rebel had tabled  issues of public sectors reforms, federal system of governance and security arrangement, constitutional review as well as transitional government. Salva and his group said some of those issues will be agreed upon by the citizen, they cannot be tabled by the rebel leadership. It is understandable Salva does not agree with any change, he only believe on the so-called presidential decrees that caused this mess.

I also initiated the intra-party dialogue for all the (SPLM groups (SPLM –IO and SPLM Leaders FD to be facilitated jointly by the CCM of Tanzania and the ANC of South Africa, which was aimed at narrowing the gap between SPLM leaders, providing an opportunity for working together to end the war and agreeing on how to take the country forward. The efforts of these sisterly political parties in the region made it possible for the SPLM reunification agreement to be signed on 21st January 2015 by all three SPLM groups. On my part, and in the spirit of the Arusha agreement, I directed the implementation of the SPLM reunification agreement, and gave a general amnesty for all those waging war against the state. I want to take this opportunity to welcome back the former spokesperson for the rebels, Brigadier  General Lul Ruai Koang, the group led by Joseph Gwado Ador and the widow of our late hero Ngachigak Ngachiluk, Cde Bangout Amum, who responded to the general amnesty and returned to Juba.

The intra-party dialogue was not initiated by Salva Kiir, the rebels did. At first, he was hesitance to join in until when he was persuaded by Yoweri Museveni to get involve, he could not had involved. This is not an issue you would claim credit for.  In regard of those who return to rotten regime in Juba, their departure will not affect anything in our organization. Salva believe in his narrow minded thoughts the so-called amnesty which will not be responded by sound minded people but those who just want to swallow the price, will attract people to return.

Obstacles to peace

Dr Riek’s ever shifting positions have been a  real challenge to attaining peace, as this made it extremely difficult to reach consensus on contentious national issues.When Riek refused to acknowledge the SPLM reunification agreement, which actually provided answers to political, leadership and organizational issues and proposed reforms in security, economic  social and public sectors, it became clear that Riek and his group were only interested in negotiating themselves back to power and cared less about reforms. In the last round of talks, the rebels demanded two armies during the 30-month interim period followed by amalgamation rather than integration of forces as should be the case. They also demanded in power-sharing the position of 1st Vice President and 50/50 share in government. In addition they demanded Federalism to be implemented at the start of the 30-month interim period. In regard to the political system South Sudan will adopt, we believe this should be dealt with in the permanent constitution following broader consultations with the people. Riek also introduced a new formula for wealth sharing and demanded that South Sudan pay the debts the rebels incurred during the war. My question to you South Sudanese is: How would you feel if I had signed an agreement for two armies in the country? Would you be happy?

When the peace talks were reconvened on November 6-7 last year, IGAD was the one that came up with the idea of creating Prime Minister Positon and gave it to warring parties for discussions, that was the reason why the parties were told to conduct consultation conferences. In that IGAD proposal, the idea of having separate army and sharing wealth and power was availed for further discussion in conferences, Kiir convened his conference on the 24 of November where he reject every proposed ideas by IGAD and said, No two army, prime minister must take third position and the wealth cannot be share with one tribe. Is Salva not the one who delay the peace in the above painted picture? On the side of opposition, only the idea of retaining Salva as the president with executive powers was rejected, other IGAD proposals were agreed upon. In the above paragraph, Salva blame everything on Riek while ignoring his rigid stance.in some comments, he had indicated that he is not willing to compromise. The question he asked tell it all. How would he feel, had the Sudanese government refused to allow existing of two army, would the CPA be signed? That could not happen right! On November summit last year in Addis, when the issue of having two army is agreed upon by mediators, Salva and his stooge elites argued that only one army under one command and those who defected will be the only one to be integrated, the rest who later join will not be allowed; something that could not be stipulated by a person thinking on his/her right mind. What would happen if the Sudanese government during the CPA negotiation demand only army who were defected in 1983, be reintegrated, would they allow it? I bet they would not. And if that is so, why are they want to integrate Riek army, isn’t that the plan to killed him freely as they had about to do in Juba in 2013? It will not happen that a peace will be signed without making sure that SPLA-IO army are staying separate.

The way forward

Dear compatriots, in my way forward I would like to emphasize that when we set out to liberate this country, we were fighting for a better South Sudan and I believe this is still our ultimate goal. And liberation as we know it is not a single event nor does it stop at independence. Each milestone we reach allows us to do more to confront other challenges, overcome them and take us closer to our goals. I therefore would like you to see the challenges this country has been going through since December 15th2013, as challenges of transition that together we will overcome. I am therefore calling upon all of you; political parties, faith-based organizations, civil society, organizations, artists, the business community farmers, youth, women and chiefs not to despair but to join me and my government in the efforts to unify the internal front through national dialogue forgiveness, reconciliation and building consensus on a development path that will lead to harmony, political stability and an economy that allows all of us to prosper. I call upon the SPLM General Secretariat to support the SPLM leadership to lead this process. As for community dialogue, reconciliation and harmony among our people, the faith-based organizations have always taken the lead. My special message to you religious leaders is that, our people need to embrace a culture of tolerance peaceful co-existence and hard work, so that they can be at peace with themselves.

Rebuilding trust under Salva Kiir is impossible. Salva has betrayed south Sudanese people. After many painful decades of war of liberation against successive oppressive regimes in North Sudan, nobody would have thought of going back to war after South Sudanese people gained their hard won freedom on July 9, 2011. If Salva knows that we were fighting for a better South Sudan, which he cannot really say because he was fighting for better Sudan, he could not have driven the country to war. He could not have chosen to be a dictator following the fade of those he was fighting with in North Sudan. And how he also would call on political parties when he always worked against inclusiveness of all other political parties to work hand in hand whenever political demands are on the raise. Let take 2010 constitutional review, he refuse to allow the view of other parties that demanded more democratization within the transitional constitution.  For him to call for reconciliation is the joke! Why did he stopped and ordered the suspension of proposed national reconciliation in April 2013 and formed his own committees who fail to do anything?  Does he think our wild population would listen to those who are carrying bibles? Not at all, we only listen to encouragement of the authority that would backup its policies with the use of force had those who are being reconciled refuse to implement the content of the reconciliation document. Hence, the murderer president is day dreaming, he will try to send those pastors and yet, they will not convince anybody; let them try Lakes State for example, the reconciliation will stuck right there.

I also know that every citizen and particularly our private sector have been hit hard by the economic conditions caused by the ongoing conflict as well as global economic conditions. I want all of you to know that even if we were to sign peace today, the economic conditions in our country would not improve automatically, because it will take some years to reach the level of oil production before the war. The oil prices are likely to remain low for some years to come, as the supply of oil in the world is high and demand is low. This leaves us with few options for addressing this economic hardship. We need to look to what we can do by ourselves,  I urge our people and private sector to double their efforts in tilling the land – starting from this agricultural season – and to earn our living from our land rather than depending on oil and importation of food from the neighboring countries. Our Ministry of Finance must also double its efforts in mobilizing non-oil revenues and use wisely such revenues for making our economy to function, particularly investment in agriculture and facilitating credit to our private sector firms interested in agriculture, as well as settling their debts. On my part, I promise to do everything possible to ease hardship on our people. But peace remains the only option for alleviating the suffering of our people. I am also aware about the demand of lecturers in our public universities. But I expect them to understand better than the rest of us, the conditions facing our country. This is the time our intellectuals and elites need to show us how we can address the challenges facing our country. I call upon our lecturers to call off their strike as this is hurting our country and affecting our students, who are the future of our nation. Let me assure the lecturers that their demands can only be fully addressed when our country has recovered from the impacts of war and global economic conditions.

Without any doubt, South Sudan economy is draining out, no matter what, it will keep falling as the violence conflict is continuing. The economy has suffered since the outbreak of the conflict due to the fact that oil production facilities have been damaged in the fighting and some have fallen under rebel control.  Hence, the oil production has been cut by 60 percent. Already, the downturn forced the government to delay salaries of civil servants. People are working for free while Salva use the country money to pay Ugandan soldiers so that he must remain in power for life. It doesn’t matter what try to do, the downfall must keep hammering the economy and those who are crying such as lecturers, need more tear to drop otherwise they will be troubled with dry eyes problem. Salva give all money to Museveni that is why even his army are not paid.

I am asking the people in UN camps to return to their homes, where they will be assisted to resettle by relevant government institutions. At least, the situation outside the UN camps is more conducive for bringing up your children. The same appeal goes to refugees and IDPs. Come home, let us work together to make South Sudan a safer, better and more welcoming place for our children. On the other hand, I know some of you are bitter against the people who took up arms against the state, but we should be ready to accept ourselves and to make more sacrifices for the sake of peace. Let us be ready to forgive and work together, if we want to see peace in this country. I am therefore reiterating my call to all those who have taken up arms against the state to take advantage of the general amnesty I declared on 24thFeb 2015, which ends on 31st March 2015. I particularly call upon SPLA officers and NCOs who joined the opposition to take this golden opportunity of general amnesty to return back to their units with their previous SPLA ranks. I know you must be facing a lot of hardship in a war that does not have any meaning to you; and I know as well that your families and children must be suffering. I have ordered General Malong Awan, the SPLA Chief of General Staff, to send clear directives to all SPLA units to receive you back to your former units and provide you with the necessary assistance.

IDPS in U.N Mission in South Sudan are there because Salva is hunting them. Why would you invite those who are fearing you to get out, don’t you think they could prepare dying away from you or live in danger elsewhere in order to avoid your aggressiveness?  In several occasions, Salva call these refugee rebels, which was the reason why Makuei Lueth intruded in Bor IDPS’s camp last April that culminated into the massacre of unarmed civilians on April 17, 2014. One do not sure anyone including those soldiers he is trying to lure can understand him and Paul Malong who secretly train 15,000 militias out of Salva Kiir order.

To Riek Machar; I say, peace in this country lies in your and my hands and the men we command. In the spirit of the SPLM reunification agreement which we both signed, let us end the suffering of our people and reward them with peace. What good is power to you if what it does is to finish our people? To the Former Detainees; I say come home and let us implement the SPLM reunification agreement, which we signed on 21st January 2015 in Arusha Tanzania. To the international community; I want to confirm my government’s commitment to end the war in South Sudan. I look forward to your continued effort to bring peace to my country and I am ready to negotiate peace with Riek Machar anywhere and anytime appointed by IGAD or the AU. But while I very much appreciate the efforts of the international community to bring peace, I am disappointed in the mobilization by some members of the international community to impose sanctions, rather than encouraging peace building processes after failure to meet the deadline of March 5th 2015. My concern is that sanctions at this time will not only devastate the economy, but increase economic pressures on people who are already suffering and are desperate.

If Salva know peace lied in his hand, he cannot keep saying I refuse this and that repeatedly, that kind of language will not help him to bring peace. It only will perpetuate the war. Riek and former detainees could not accept such a naïve call, you totally failed and want to call people to the same fail system without reform, who grantee you will not arrest or kill people again? Salva has also spoke lengthily about how Equatorians would rebel if the position of first vice president is given to Riek. Does he think Riek demand the position of vice presidency? No, Riek demand Salva chair but for the sake of peace, that why he accepted the second seat. As of now, we don’t want you to be retain as the president again, we want the seat that you are abusing. Moreover, Salva spoke about sanction and how he could take care of it. In his own word, he said, "International community can sanction us but they cannot sanction the rain." In other words, South Sudan will exist so long as rain is there to provide for the food. Really? What Salva doesn’t know is that, there is an iodide chemical that can be spray on sky and prevent rain from raining in some part of the world. That sort of product can be used and Salva hope of resisting the sanction would be meaningless.

In summing, Salva Kiir in the above speech, has reveal his true color, he indicate that, he has planned this war for a very long time to revenge 1991 incident in Bor which was carried out by white army without Nasir faction leadership order. As the compensation for the people he has killed was demanded in Addis, Salva has also demand the compensation of Bor victims. If Salva does not keept bygones and bygones, he will also has to compensate Gaatjaak civilians who they have discriminately killed in the period of 1984-7. Thought-out that time, more than ten thousands were killed, many livestock were taken and women and girls were subjected to discriminate sex, either in Jekou, Mangok and Chatyier, Makuach, Bilpam, Pinymo, Maker, Itang or Gambella. This is a serious crime that cannot be bygone if the Salva dwell in the past. In addition, Salva in this speech approve to be a self-proclaimed leader. He claim credit on all paragraphs, it is widely believed that in every society there must be a leader who is mandated to take care of the community concerns. Salva Kiir being the representative of South Sudan, does not qualify to be a leader who is there to do the job, but in power for credit. He avoided responsibility for every action occurred in the country which is actually caused by him. A leader is a person who takes the leads in blame situation rather than credit and that leader is not Salva Kiir Mayardit

Sarah Thomas lives in Canada, she holds a bachelor degree in sociology, and she can be reach at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Problem with Salva and his Unreasonable Cronies

By Riang Yer Zuor Nyak

March 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- It has been reported by many media outlets that Salva Kiir and his group had a public rally in Juba on the 18th of March 2015. It is reported that the purpose of the rally was for the president to inform the public of why he had returned to Juba without a peace agreement signed. The contents of his long speech, plus other shorter ones made by his entourage, have been reported by many of these media outlets. They are more or less similar, which makes one to begin to believe that the contents are authentic. If this is the case, then let a look be taken at parts of the speeches.

Salva’s Speech

Salva spoke on a number of issues. Nevertheless, he never had the intention of addressing them to display what had really transpired at Addis Ababa talks. Instead, he used them to twist the truth to achieve a goal that is as murky as his ideas in resolving the war. Below are some of the excerpts, not in any particular order.

On Two Equal Presidents

In his speech, Salva blamed the failure to reach peace on the issue of positions. He stated: “We could not reach peace because of positions. Riek wants to be equal with me and recognized as head of state. There is no country where there are two presidents”.

Throughout the whole period of the last talks, it has never been the case that there should be two presidents. The SPLM/A has never come up with such a proposal; the government delegation has never made such a proposal; nor has IGAD or any other party proposed the possibility of two presidents. Where did Salva bring such a position from as one of the causes for the failure to reach peace? He must have been thinking that ordinary South Sudanese were not able to closely follow the progress of the talks, and that they could take any statement from Salva at face value.

On Shifting from the Position of a Prime Minister to that of a 1st Vice President

“We could not agree on the structure of government since August last year. We said Riek would be number 3 in the hierarchy but he refused and said he wants to be executive Prime Minister. We accepted but I said there should be 3 deputies…Riek again left the first idea of Prime Minister and demanded to become a first Vice President…Riek always want to be number two to me so that when I go outside the country he remains acting.”

Before August of last year, the issue of a position of a prime minister was never on the table. There was only the issue of the president. The question that the Parties were dealing with was who that president should be. Should it be Salva? Should Salva leave the government, as he was responsible for the genocide committed in Juba in December, and allow Dr. Riek to reunite the country that Salva had disunited?

The idea of the prime minister was introduced in August by the IGAD as a middle ground. Their idea was for Salva to continue as president and SPLM/A to nominate the occupant of the office of the prime minister. In their minds, Dr. Riek was not even the envisioned prime minister. He was to wait outside the Transitional Government of National Unity so that he could run for the highest office in the land at the end of the transition.

In the name of peace, the SPLM/A made a concession by dropping its previous position that Salva should step down as president. Instead, the IGAD proposal was accepted with the counter-proposal that the prime minister be executive, and that the two Principles (president and prime minister) should work together without deputies. The idea was that the two needed to work together as the ones solely given the responsibility for the smooth implementation of the peace agreement. This was to eliminate excuses later that ‘we failed to implement this or that because of so and so who did not do his work’. The government and IGAD refused such a counter-proposal.

The idea to drop the creation of the office of the prime minister and replace it with the office of the 1st Vice President also came from the IGAD. Both the SPLM/A and the government were surprised at the February 1st Summit with the proposal. IGAD failed to explain why it suddenly changed its previous position on the president-prime minister arrangement. People were only forced to speculate as to the reason why the change came about. There are those who think that the change came about due to the SPLM/A demand that the prime minister should be executive, and the IGAD does not want that to be the case. There are also those who think that the idea to remove deputies, including the vice president, was not sitting well with some IGAD heads of state who started presenting themselves at the August Summit as the voice representing the South Sudan region of Equatoria. They see Wani, the current vice president, as the representative of Bantus in South Sudan, and the two principals as representatives of the Nilotics.

It is difficult to understand why Salva wanted to mislead South Sudanese in his rally that it was Dr. Riek Machar who demanded the position of a prime minister in August and, then, dropped it for the position of the 1st vice president. Again, in the name of peace, the SPLM/A did not see the reason to make that an obstacle so long as the 1st vice president could share the executive powers with the president.

I cannot, possibly, believe that Salva was not aware of what was going on in Addis Ababa. His delegation must have briefed him of all developments as to the progress of the talks. I believe that he was deliberately being dishonest. But, what could have been the reason for lying? Could it be to achieve a political goal?

On the 2002 SPLA/M Merger

“They want to take Wani’s position but what if Equatorians take up arm against government? I told Riek we will not appease you and give you Wani’s position again…I told him we will not repeat the 2002 agreement we displaced Wani and put you in his place…IGAD and other countries want me to throw away my Vice President Wani Igga in favour of Riek Machar. If they make Riek the 1st Vice President and I die, then Riek would automatically become the president but if Riek is the 2nd Vice President and I die then Riek would not be the president. That cannot happen”

First, I find it difficult to understand why these people associate positions with individuals. There is no such thing as Wani’s position. There is the office of the vice president, and Wani just happens to be the current occupant. It does not belong to Equatorians, and as such Equatorians do not need to take up arms for that position. They are democratically, as of right of citizenship, eligible for any position—including that of the president.

Second, the 2002 merger was not a situation where Wani’s position was given to Dr. Riek Machar. The agreement was a merger between two movements (SPDF and SPLA/M). The initial idea was that the two principal leaders were to make an arrangement where one would lead and the other would follow. Salva was against that, areguing that the two men (Drs. Garang and Riek) were both from the Greater Upper Nile. He saw such an arrangement as a way of the Greater Upper Nile dominating his Greater Bahr al Ghazal. He wanted Garang to lead as a member of the Greater Upper Nile community followed by himself (Salva) as representative of Greater Bahr al Ghazal. Who followed him was not his business. Interestingly, he conveniently forgot that he and Dr. Garang were members of the same Dinka tribe. He did not see the possibility of other South Sudanese to see two Dinka men one following the other as dominating other tribes.

Eventually, the crisis created by none other than Salva himself was resolved by saying, ‘Look, we are all members of SPLA/M. We only split in 1991. Since we are now reuniting our ranks, let us go back to the SPLA/M hierarchy.’ Dr. Riek believed that the issue was not the positions. Instead, it was the issue of uniting the Southern front and demand self-determination together with one voice. He believed the he could do whatever that he needed to do to make the war a success in any position. He compromised. Dr. Garang remained in his previous SPLA/M position as number one, Salva who was then the number two (after Kerubino and Nyuon had died) remained number two, Dr. Rek remained number three, and Wani remained number four. The only person who was the victim of this compromise was Dr. Lam Akol who should have been number four after Dr. Riek and before Wani. I am not sure why it was not done that way. It could probably be that he rejoined late after the arrangement was completed.

So, there was no Wani’s position that was taken by Dr. Riek Machar. It was the agreement that the previous SPLA/M hierarchy should be used to break the deadlock created by Salva who was not in favor of two people from the same region to be numbers one and two respectively, but was in favor of two men (himself and Garang) from the same tribe to be numbers one and two in the movement’s leadership hierarchy.

Third, from his statements, it appears that Salva does not see the issues. The only issue that he sees is personal. It is about Dr. Riek Machar’s possibility to lead South Sudan as president. This is what he seems to be fighting against. His political issue is ‘Riek’; his social issue is ‘Riek; and his economic issue is ‘Riek’. But, what about real issues that are facing the people of South Sudan? What do South Sudanese think about the issues affecting them on daily basis? Criminals are killing the people in Juba on a daily basis, and Salva was not able to tell the audience how he plans to deal with it; the ever-shapeless economy is deteriorating on daily basis, and Salva did not tell the rally what his immediate plans are; and health and educational services are in their ever-unproductive states. These are in addition to the war related issues. South Sudanese think about all of these things. Should their thoughts matter?

No one thinks that Salva will die any time soon. As such, his succession should not be an issue in the peace process. Whether Dr. Riek or Wani should succeed him should be a future matter reserved to the time when his death actually becomes a reality. If he has any information pointing to the imminence of his death, he must keep it to himself so as to not allow it to be a stumbling block in the peace process.

On the Position of Vice President and Two Armies

“I don’t agree with the suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice-president. I don’t accept the issue of the two armies.”

The issue here is not whether or not Salva agrees with Dr. Riek being given the position of a vice president. Nor is it the issue of him (Salva) accepting the idea of two armies. The main issue is that the level of atrocities among ourselves has never been as high as it has been ever since the war broke out; the level of mistrust has never been as high as it has become; the level of hatred among our people has never been as high as it has been this time; and there are diverse political programs that need to be protected on both sides. The question now is how to reasonably solve this problem. He has to come up with a reasonable alternative—not just disagreeing “…with suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice president…” or not accepting “…the issue of the two armies”.

There are reforms that must be agreed up on. Once they are agreed up on, they will have to be implemented. Salva has already rejected those. But, he must accept them at the end. With his current rejection, can he be trusted to implement them later? There is a need for him to share executive powers with Dr. Riek Machar (vice president or prime minister) so that he (Dr. Riek) sees to it that they are implemented.

The two armies must co-exist. The processes of implementing the peace agreement must be protected.

On Compensation for the Victims

“There were people who supported Riek for first vice president position so that his people who died in Juba are compensated. If its about compensation, did Riek compensate Dinkas he killed in Bor 1991?

First, Salva is not clear as to the people whom he referred to as “…supporting Riek for first vice president…” He should have made it clear so that we know whether he was talking about people in the SPLM/A, people from the International Community, or people within his government. We would like to know so that a proper response could be given.

Second, no one, at all, associates any position with the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres—let alone the position of vice president. The IGAD who came up with the proposal do not seem to care whether or not the victims get compensated. The SPLM/A has never made such an indication. The SPLM/A simply believes that the victims will be compensated whether Dr. Riek Machar becomes the vice president, prime minister or president.

Third, he talked about the compensation of Dr. Riek’s “…people who died in Juba…” It is good that he has made it clear that he targeted the Nuer in Juba because he thought (and still thinks) of them as Dr. Riek’s people. It makes his motive for killing them clear. He has committed genocide by systematically targeting the Nuer on the basis of their tribal origin. Any South Sudanese who had been doubting up to the 18th of March 2015 has no reason to remain in doubt after the 18th.

Fourth, it is interesting that Salva associated the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres with lack of compensation of the Dinka people killed in Bor in 1991. Is he suggesting that he killed the Nuer in Juba in avenging the deaths of the Dinka in Bor in 1991, and that the two communities are even? Or is he trying to suggest that if the Nuer whom he massacred in Juba have to be compensated, the Dinka who had been killed in 1991 have to be compensated first? He has to be clear so that the rest of the South Sudanese who are neither members of the two seemingly feuding (as Salva wants members of his tribe to think) tribes should know what do think and do.

What about the Gaat-Jaak Nuer massacres in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987? Has he prepared himself for their compensation? The Gaat-Jaak massacres were carried out during a different war; the Bor massacre was carried out during a different war; and they have to be dealt with using different mechanisms. But, Juba massacres were carried out during the current war. As such, the peace talks that are intended to end the current war must address the issue of the compensation of the victims. It is only a blind-minded can fail to see this.

On Federalism

“Riek said we must apply federalism but we are already a federal state although we don’t call ourselves one”

If Dr. Riek calls for the application of federal system of governance and Salva believes that we are already a federal state, then what would be the disagreement? If he agrees with the call and believes in the federal system, and that he thinks that he is practicing it, then, why not calling ourselves as federal?

The truth of the matter is that we are not currently a federal state. Salva knows that. He just thinks that the people of South Sudan do not know what federal system is like. Or if he does not know, then why is he rejecting something that he does not know.

Few things that he must know are that, no national president can remove state governors and replace them where there is a federal arrangement; no national president can dissolve a state legislative assembly, as provided by the current transitional constitution, in a federally arranged state; no federal president can remove a minister at the state level in a federally arranged state; there cannot be a unitary judiciary in a federally arranged state; and etc.

Salva is simply against the idea of federating South Sudan. He knows that he is going against the aspirations of the people of South Sudan who have been demanding federal system since 1947. He enjoys controlling state power so that he is the only human being that matters in the whole country. He has to have the courage to come out publicly to declare to the people of South Sudan that he is against federalism, instead of hiding behind the illogical idea that we are already a federal state.

We need federalism now. There are those who say that federalism should wait until such time as when we embark on the permanent constitutional making process. That is unjustified. We all know what our people want. When the time comes for the making of the permanent constitution, we will still ask the people of South Sudan whether they want to continue with federalism or they want to go back to the unitary system.

On the Dissolution of Parliament

“I told Riek parliament will not be dissolved because MPs were elected by people not us. Even if they are not doing their work. I want to tell MPs here Riek doesn’t want you because he says you are doing nothing in parliament.”

First, the idea that members of the National Legislature were elected is not an issue. The whole process that is taking place in Addis Ababa is dictated by the current war situation in the country. The power-sharing that was being discussed between the two warring parties was (and is) what necessitated the idea to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature.

The SPLM/A does not believe in a big government. Big governments, unnecessarily, take away resources that should be used for development activities, which should benefit the ordinary citizens of South Sudan. For example, the current members of the National Legislature are not less than 400. If the power-sharing ratio is taken to be 50/50 between the SPLM/A and the government, and the current members are taken to be the government portion, then more than 400 could be added to be the portion of the SPLM/A. The country would end up with more than 800 members of the legislature. But, then, for what purpose should we embark on such a costly project? That would mean robbing the people of South Sudan of their resources. This is why it is important to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature so that we can maintain the same number of people as the existing one without any cost added. It is cheaper that way.

Second, the idea that Dr. Riek Machar wants the dissolution of the Legislature because he does not like the members is way too cheap a politics. They may be “…doing nothing in parliament” as Salva stated. But this is not an issue right now. Dissolution and reconstitution of the National Legislature is a necessary part of the power-sharing arrangement whether or not current members are doing something in parliament. Salva thinks that telling members of the legislature that Dr. Riek does not like them is an easy way of turning them against Dr. Riek. It only shows how out-of-ideas the man is.

On Sanctions

“Let them sanction South Sudan but if they will not ask God to stop rain in the country we will still prosper without aid.”

Salva talked of sanctions as if they are meant to be imposed on South Sudan. He knows very well that sanctions, as discussed by the United Nations Security Council, are intended to target individuals who are found to be responsible for the failure of the peace process. Those people will be banned from traveling; their accounts with foreign banks will be frozen; and the rest of the country will continue as usual.

If this is the case, then sanctions will not hurt ordinary South Sudanese. They have no money stashed away in foreign bank accounts; they do not even have money to travel abroad. It, simply, is not their sanction. Salva should just worry about himself and his partners in crime since they are the only ones to lose millions of stolen dollars in their foreign bank accounts, and their lucrative travel benefits.

The other interesting part of the above statement is talking about rain. This suggests that Salva is turning to agriculture. But, after what? The land has been there for our people’s benefit; the rain has been there; and food has been imported from Uganda and Kenya for all of these years. He did not see any problem with this, as he was not personally affected by the situation. He never made it a point to sensitize our people to produce their own food to stop dependency on foreign produced food. Any leader who has the prosperity of his people in mind—people who have a land such as that in South Sudan should have led a crusade of agricultural production years before the current threats of sanctions. At this time, he should be talking about himself and his partners (who are going to be subjects of the sanctions with Salva) to turn to the land to grow their own food.

Our people have been trying on their own, without any assistance from the government, to produce their food for subsistence. Those who have tried to produce more end up not getting a market for their produce due to lack of roads. Salva should come up with a solution to that problem before talking about rain. God will definitely send rain, but He will not send roads to market centers.

On the Negotiation of Equals

“We want practical solutions and now is the time to do what is best for our people. No president negotiates with rebels, but I went to negotiate with Riek because I want peace, but Riek thinks we are equal that is why he became intransigent.”

If wanting peace means going to Addis Ababa for negotiations, then Salva does not want peace. This is because he did not go to Addis Ababa voluntarily, at least for the last round. Instead, he had wanted Wani to go to Addis Ababa. He had to be pressured into going to negotiate with Dr. Riek. In fact, Dr. Riek had to issue a press release urging those who had influence on Salva to apply more effort to persuade him (Salva) to avail himself for negotiations.

On the issue of equality, Salva does not seem to understand how things work. It is not written anywhere that presidents should not negotiate with rebels. He needs to understand that unique situations need unique ways of dealing with.

The delegations of both the SPLM/A and government had been in negotiations for a long time. They tackled certain issues. However, there were issues that they were not able to decide on. IGAD proposed that the two Principals (commanders-in-chief of the two armies) be brought together to resolve these issues. The idea was to expedite the process by bringing the two heads of the two warring parties together to expeditiously take care of the most difficult issues.

Looking at the roles (commanding the two warring armies) that the two Principals play in this war, and given the fact that the process is meant to stop the two armies from fighting, the two men are equal. If he does not understand that, then, he has a problem. The fact that one is a president and the other is a chairman does not make any difference. They are just titles. It is the roles of these two Principals in bringing the war to an end that matters. Salva should not attempt to hide behind a title to avoid facing Dr. Riek. It just can’t work.

On IGAD’s Shifting of Goal Posts

“All of you have seen me going to Addis Ababa to meet with my brother Riek Machar so that we resolve the issues, but always when we go we find that the goal post has been shifted to another place. And all the time when we go and stumble on a new agenda, in such a way you don’t expect peace to come.”

This statement puts the blame for failure of the peace talks on the one who frames the agenda. This is IGAD. It is true that IGAD has not been consistent in this area. They have shifted a lot, especially in the areas of power-sharing. This has been a problem. But, it could have been overcome had the government been sincere and serious. All the IGAD positions were drafted in favor of the government. In fact, the government did not go to the talks with any particular position on all the issues. They only adopted the positions put forward by the IGAD. Even then, the delegates would not want to discuss details.

The interesting thing about Salva’s blame of IGAD for failure is that he was confusing his audience at the rally. At one point, he squarely put the blame for the failure of the talks on Dr. Riek Machar. At another point, he squarely put the same blame on IGAD. Which is which? The poor members of the audience must have been forced to read between the lines to figure out for themselves what was right or wrong.

On IDPs

“I want IDPs in Juba, Bor and other towns to go back to their homes. The authorities will give them support.”

Sometimes I wonder if Salva listens to himself. To begin with, the IDPs in Juba and Bor are survivors. Salva attempted to exterminate their kind. They are literally alive because of the UN protection. Salva once talked about these people, referring to them as rebels. He is now asking the same people “…to go to their homes” and that “…the authorities will give them support.”

Salva has not yet apologized to these people for what he has put them through; he has not given them any sincere promise that he will never kill them again if the go back to their homes; he has not withdrawn his statement calling them rebels; in his speech on the 18th of March, he referred to them as Riek Machar’s people; and he has not yet reached a peace deal with Dr. Riek Machar. How does Salva harmonize these mixtures of positions that he has taken against these IDPs and his request for them to go back to their homes?

Martin Elia Lomoro’s Speech

Martin Elia Lomoro, the current Minister for Cabinet Affairs, was one of those reportedly made short speechs. Among the statements he made, one stands out. “Citizens of South Sudan, if your remove president Salva Kiir, you will see what will happen to you…”

This scare tactic is characteristic of the regime’s officials these days. At any time, if an opportunity avails itself, these kinds of threatening statements are commonplace. They want the people to start fearing change. But, these Salva’s cronies are South Sudanese who should know South Sudanese better. There is nothing that they can say to make our people accept their current positions as spectators who are not entitled to tasting our Independence. They are made only to smell the sweet smell of their hard earned Independence. Lomoro needs to find something better to say. Or else, he should keep quiet.

Kuol Manyang’s Speech

Kuol Manyang, who is Salva’s Minister of Defense, made a comment regarding the two armies proposed by the SPLM/A for the 30-month transitional period. He showed his rejection of it without supporting his position. He simply called it “unnecessary”. Anyone who wants to make a point always tries to justify why he or she is taking a certain position on an issue. It is this way that one’s position is either bought or rejected. Vagueness does not help. It could be taken as lack of justification or an attempt to keep people guessing as to one’s real position.

Conclusion

The problem with Salva and his cohorts is that they do not see politics as issue-based—issues that are socio-economic in nature. They consider it as a game of lies. They tend to think that whoever lies more wins the game. They should realize that the game does not end with the players. Players just play, and the spectators, who are the citizens of South Sudan for that matter, make the judgment. And that judgment must be based on the issues involved. If one misses the issues that matter to the people, one loses no matter how long one talks.

The issues presented to the two Principals for negotiation were the following: Federalism, Institutional Reforms, Wealth sharing, Parameters of permanent constitution making process, Reconstitution of the National Legislature, Transitional Justice, TGoNU, Leadership Structure of the TGoNU, Security arrangement, and Accountability and National Reconciliation.

Salva and his team did not want to negotiate and agree on any of these issues. The only thing that they called a compromise on any of these was for them to acknowledge that federalism is a popular demand by the people of South Sudan. However, they wanted it to be considered only after the transitional period.

Salva attempted to blame others for the collapse of the peace talks. At one time, he blamed it on Dr. Riek Machar; at another time, he blamed it on IGAD for continuously shifting the goal post. That was not true. Yes, IGAD continuously shifted the goal post. Nevertheless, the issues remained. It was Salva who refused to negotiate the issues. If his response to every issue on the table was a ‘No’, then he was the one single-handedly responsible for the collapse of the talks.

The rally on the 18th of March only turned out to be a wrong circus made of lies and threats. As such, the speakers became inconsistent, illogical, dishonest, and vague.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The lives of Murle is more valuable than that of wildlife

By: Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

March 22, 2015 (SSNA) -- The Murle tribe who are popularly famous of bravery and unity among themselves in their sub-clans of greater Pibor administrative Area (GPAA) and who also suffered in the hands of Dinka Bor community are today going to keep suffering economically and psychologically in the same hands If they will continue to watch and give a gaze at those wolves.

According to Michael Makuei Lueth, who save as the mouthpiece in King Salva's palace said that the continuous construction of the Girkidi-Pibor road would have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem and wildlife in the park.

Lueth said the ministers’ decision was made following a recommendation from the minister of interior and wildlife conversation, Aleu Ayieny Aleu.

The council of ministers suspended the construction of the road after it was discovered the route passed through Bandingilo National Park, located on the eastern bank of the Nile River.

Who were the ministers, and how were they so blind that they felt short to envision the transformation Girkidi road will bring to people of GPAA?

The road which link central Equatoria and Greater Pibor Administration Areas shouldn’t be constructed until further notice from the government. Saying the users of the road will affect the wild animals inhabiting those areas in the long run.

Makuei wanted to tannish away the little cohesion and recent peace that the people of Golgothin the mighty Murle wan to enjoy.

By the orders that led to closure of Girkidi-Pibor road, the Murle community should not just send youths to protest for 1 hour, but the elders and the leaders of the community of all the Murle sections should confront the President to call off the decision made on tribal basis by Puppet Michael Makuei and the unknown council of ministers.

My fellow South Sudanese where in this world will you fine a human being compare to animals and money? It's happened only in south Sudan and it's done by the people who won't let other people prosper and experience changes.

Murle are human beings and there will be no single day a human life will be more valueless than that of an antelopes. The road should continue to be constructed so that all valuable goods and services reach the needy on time.

On contrary President Kiir Government wanted to dishonor the recent peace agreement signed between the cobra faction and the government in Addis Ababa. And this came to be crystal clear went Michael Makuei who has nothing to do with Road, bridges and transportation jump and grabs the orders into his own mouth by announcing his filthy utters that eventually led to the shutting down of that meaningful road.

Dinka Bor Particularly should refrain from their culture of envy, hatred, selfishness, wickedness, supremacy, jealousy and other bitter things they are well known for against other communities in South Sudan for all communities deserved to be treated equally.

Bor community also shouldn't be green eyes over the Murle who are prospering bit by bit on their daily basis, Murle tribe need more time to heal the wounds you have Causes because of your cruelty and domination. They need peace, love, development, unity and among others.

My people, Murle were drag to all types of hostility, sorrows, grief, starvation, death and isolation. They live a miserly life for five good years as if they were not part of this country and this was artificially designed in Bor by the cohorts who want to bewitch them went it's should be their time to enjoy. God Forbid.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit should not relax seeing wolves tannish his almost gone legacy, Makuei Lueth should be Fire and sack for peace to prevail in south Sudan and Kuol Manyang Juuk also should be relieve from his place for he is behind the suffering of Murle since 2008 up to today date and also his involvement to recruits Jie tribe to have differences with their brothers the Murle.

The two national ministers who hail from greater Bor want to repeat the 2010 incident of envy and drag the Murle back to this senseless war impose on south Sudanese after they have failed from all the necessary process to make the Murle attack the greater Lou Nuer Areas. 

Too bad to depend on others for manpower when you cannot defense   your own eyes from the bite of Tsetse Fly.

Whereas, it's up to Bor as community at large to let the sleeping dog lie or else the Mighty Bothotnya, Titi and Lango will deal with them in the short period of time if they won't give a pause to their jealousy.

I have spoken my words and may gods of the land hear my voice...

South Sudanese need peace now not tomorrow

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Skype Cde. Sirir

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