FROM: Al Jazeera et al, NOV/02/2014, SSN;
In the latest interview with Al Jazeera’s reporter Nick Clark that was aired last Saturday, Pres. Kiir adamantly reiterated that ‘there will be no sharing of power’ with Dr. Riek Machar, his former vice and now leader of the opposition SPLM fighting Kiir’s government.
Very explicitly, Kiir made it abundantly clear that in an agreement with Riek Machar that is being negotiated, the post of prime minister will have ‘NO executive POWERS AS THERE IS NO SHARING OF POWER.’
Repeatedly, Pres. Kiir stated that the position of the proposed Prime Minister won’t have any EXECUTIVE POWER AT ALL.
For Machar to accept peace, Kiir firmly stated, ‘there will be no power sharing, and that after the agreement, WE GO FOR ELECTION.’
In his characteristic sarcasm, Pres. Kiir inferred that ‘Machar wants me to resign,’ adding, ‘he, Machar, is negotiating himself in and I am negotiating myself out!’
When Al Jazeera Nick Clark reminded Kiir that in the recent Arusha meeting Kiir shook hands with Machar and both accepted full responsibility and ceasefire, he asked Kiir what it will take to achieve if Kiir is clean, Kiir simply retorted, “you ask Riek.”
Nor surprising, as usual, Kiir repeated, ‘I don’t compromise alone.’
Weirdly, in response to question as to whether the current war was due to disputes and differences in the SPLM party, Kiir dismissively refuted that the war was a result of tribal rivalries or differences in the party.
Just over three years after the world’s newest country was founded, South Sudan is in deep trouble: At least 10,000 people were killed, 1.8 million displaced, and 100,000 are in UN protection camps across the country.
President Salva Kiir has struggled to contain a rebellion led by his former deputy Riek Machar which dates back to December 2013 when vice president Machar was sacked by Kiir.
Violence erupted amongst the presidential guard in the capital Juba and sparked a series of massacres on both sides.
Now sexual violence is said to be at the worst levels in the world, child soldiers are being forced to fight and aid agencies say millions could be on the brink of famine.
There has been a series of broken deals and ceasefires. Progress was made in Tanzania two weeks ago when all parties agreed to take collective responsibility for the conflict.
In this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, we meet Salva Kiir in Juba as another round of negotiations is ongoing in Ethiopia in a bid to forge a long lasting peace. What will it take to end the bitter rivalries that have engulfed South Sudan?
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said in an interview broadcast on Saturday that the United Nations bases in South Sudan are hosting “people who fought physically” against his government, saying these people have ‘guns’ and are ‘agitating.’
This is at minimum the third time that Kiir or his spokesman have made public remarks associating the people under UN protection with ‘rebels.’ The majority of the approximately 100,000 people under protection of peacekeepers are ethnic Nuers.
Kiir made these remarks in an interview with Al Jazeera television recorded last Tuesday but not aired until Saturday. Asked about the situation of the civilians in the UN ‘Protection of Civilians’ sites he said that the suffering of these people is “something they have subjected themselves to.”
“There was no reason for people to run into the camps,” he said.
The president was then challenged by the Al Jazeera interviewer that the people were “fleeing from conflict.” Kiir replied pointing out that some ethnic Nuers in some areas “are safe – they did not die.”
Al Jazeera journalist Nick Clark challenged the president again, saying, “They ran for their own safety – there’s 27,000 still in the camps around Juba and they’re still too scared to come out.”
Kiir replied, “This is one group from the categories that ran to the UN camp. This is a group – the people who fought physically, who were involved in the conflict, when they saw that they were defeated, they ran to the UN for protection.”
He was apparently referring to defecting Nuer members of the Presidential Guard and other SPLA units who fought with Salva Kiir’s forces on the night and morning of 15-16 December in Juba.
The United Nations has reported that these ‘defeated’ Nuer troops were pursued by Kiir’s forces in the early morning of 16 December.
In a human rights report, the UN said Kiir’s troops “ chased them through civilian neighbourhoods, shooting at them on the way… Many soldiers began conducting house-to-house searches, killing, looting, and conducting arbitrary arrests.”
“Corroborated witness accounts indicate that Nuer civilians were targeted and gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law were committed in the process,” the UN Human Rights Division reported.
Apparently some of the surviving Nuer soldiers laid down their guns and uniforms and sought protection of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), along with tens of thousands of Nuer civilians.
In the interview with Al Jazeera, Kiir went on to reiterate his demand for the guns of these former soldiers to be returned to his forces. “I have been asking for their guns, but the guns have not been given back to me, up to now.”
He added that the group of people under UN protection in Juba “will not accept to come out,” adding, “they are agitating the rest of the other categories, pumping into them fear that if they come out they will be slaughtered.”
‘Rebels inside UNMISS compounds’
Kiir made similar comments in January when he accused UN peacekeepers of plotting to take over the country and harboring his enemies on their bases.
“You will get guns with uniforms [on UN bases]… People come to them with guns. I asked them to give us back our guns… so there is a problem with the international community and it is something that people will have to thrash out with them.”
Similarly, Kiir’s information minister and the official government spokesman has designated unarmed Nuer civilians within UNMISS bases ‘rebels.’
Speaking on 18 April 2014, a day after the massacre of more than 50 ethnic Nuers inside a UNMISS camp, Minister of Information Michael Makuei said, “We cannot continue to accommodate rebels inside UNMISS compounds.”
Kiir’s government has made no arrests in connection with those killings, which took place at that UN base on the outskirts of Bor. The perpetrators are known to have gathered in the government-controlled town of Bor in preparation for the attack.
The attack on the UNMISS base came after the Mission released a human rights report saying that “members of the Presidential Guard, also known as the Tiger Battalion” were seen participating in “mass killings” in Juba in mid-December.
Watch the whole interview here: Al Jazeera video