President Salva Kiir is to blame for the current Crises

BY: Joana Adams, RSS, DEC/24/2013, SSN;

Former US envoy to the Sudan and South Sudan, Princeton Lyman, has taken off his diplomatic hat and squarely blamed South Sudan president Salva Kiir, for the current violence engulfing the country in a BBC interview, says Sudan Tribune (23/12/13). Mr. Lyman has just publicly pronounced what many world leaders have privately admitted.

The people of South Sudan and the world at large have been watching in horror the potentially deadly event unfolding in the new republic since March 2013 when the X-VP turned rebel leader Riek Machar and other leading figures in the SPLM Politburo expressed their desires to unseat him from the chairmanship of the SPLM party in preparation for the upcoming presidential/general elections in 2015.

Since South Sudan is a democratic republic and not a hereditary monarchy, it is the constitutional right of every citizen to contest for the highest office in the land.

It is absolutely shocking that the president who was himself elected by the people would become so enraged about being challenged politically.

Since then the President went on the rampage by:
1. Unconstitutionally relieving the VP along with the entire cabinet in August 2013.
2. Unconstitutionally suspending the Secretary General of the SPLM Pagan Amum
3. Blocked every avenue for dialogue within the SPLM by refusing to convene the SPLM Political Buro meeting to internally discuss SPLM and to set agenda for the Liberation Council meeting.
4. Issued an order to dissolve SPLM structures namely the Politburo and the National Liberation Council forcing the press conference on the 6th Dec by those opposed to him and also affected by this monumental dissolution.
5. And finally convening a surprise meeting of the NLC to divert attention from and obstruct a public rally to be staged by the opposition forces within his party. Riek and company suspended the public rally in response to calls from religious leaders, attempted to attend the NLC meeting but were further humiliated by an ignorant and arrogant president Kiir which resulted in their walk-out.
6. A day later it now transpired that Kiir ordered for the presidential guards to be disarmed and then only the Dinka presidential guards to be rearmed which directly led to the military confrontation between Nuer and the Dinka members of the presidential guards.
7. He further gave a criminal instruction to his militia to indiscriminately attack and kill Nuer soldiers, civil servants or citizens in Juba.

With this brief narrative, it is very clear that President Kiir is to blame for the violence that has engulfed the country.

Specifically, President Kiir must be investigated on the charges of inciting and authorising ethnic cleansing in a desperate attempt to silence Riek’s opposition to this dictatorship.

Even before these latest developments which have unfortunately led to loss of innocent South Sudanese lives, President Kiir has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he is unfit to be a leader of all South Sudanese.

By his own statement he confirmed that he is a president for his Dinka Warrap clan when he told them in an exclusive gathering which he addressed in Dinka, rephrased here, that, “this power I have belongs to you…..you fought and died for it and now some people want to take it away from you,… will you accept it?”

How on earth can any sane president who was voted into power by all the nearly 70 southern tribesmen and women, make such a shocking statement?

To me, by this statement alone Kiir has shown as we have always suspected that he is nothing but a tribal chief.

Our young country needs a president who will have the heart to accommodate all the southern peoples and treat them equally.

During the eve of independence in July 2011, President Kiir demolished the Interim Constitution and created a Transitional Constitution which has given him all the state powers.

In effect, President Kiir is the president of the republic, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the speaker of the assembly, the commander in chief and the chief of staff of the SPLA, the governor of the bank of south Sudan and the minister in charge of the national security.

He is also the standing governor of all the 10 states of South Sudan!

Even the Transitional Constitution 2011 does acknowledge that South Sudan is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. The CPA and the Interim Constitution 2005, gave South Sudan a framework upon which a just and fair society could have been founded through equitable sharing of power and wealth whether by ethnicity or by states.

President Kiir and his advisor, fake lawyer Telar Ring, have totally disregarded the interests and political needs of other communities and have wrongly sought to promote a sectional hegemony which is totally unseen in the short history of South Sudan.

This being the case, the people of South Sudan with exception of those who have directly benefited under the patronage of Kiir, have totally lost trust in the ability of Kiir to continue to be the president of the republic.

I personally support the call of the opposition urging him to step down to allow resolution of the crises created by him.

Kiir is the principle suspect in this turmoil and hence cannot be a part of the solution.

Yes, ultimately the crises can only be solved through political dialogue but such dialogue should be properly planned and not rushed into.

Rushing into any negotiations will be tantamount to squandering the only opportunity that now prevails to once and for all correct the political situation in the country.

Since this is a national issue and all of us have stakes in it, my suggestions to the opposition are as follows:
1. Do not focus on short term personal or group interests but national long-term interests of South Sudanese.

2. As far as it is politically expedient, an interim national government must be formed to prepare the country for elections 2015. Under no circumstance should the elections be postponed.

3. An Interim Constitution should be put in place to restrict the powers of the president especially the powers to remove elected governors.

4. The presidency should be restructured to accommodate our ethnic/regional diversities.

I’m of the opinion that the current president be moved to the position of head of state with ceremonial powers and executive powers be invested in a prime minister to be deputised by two deputy prime ministers, all the 3 must come from different former regions of south Sudan to give semblance of political power sharing between the regions.

5. Powers of the states must be restored as was under the Interim Constitution 2005.

6. Powers of the legislature should be restored.

7. The national government must be a lean government; and revenue must be diverted to the states for real infrastructure development and provision of services. The scenario of the national government spending 90% of the national budget should never be repeated.

8. The second chamber of the assembly the Council of States should be disbanded.

The leader of the opposition rebel group, Dr. Riek should be mindful of those who recently joined his fold for personal gains.

Some of these formers ministers have participated in looting our national resources and some are arch-tribalists who are there to seek personal protection from foes from Salva’s camp and may stand against any genuine political transformation in our fledging nation.

It will be a gross mistake to negotiate just for ministerial positions to accommodate them.

What the country wants is real democracy, freedom of speech, personal security, provision of basic services and equal opportunities in resources allocations as well as allocations in national and state political and executive structures.

Controlling the powers of these political comrades may earn you some internal opposition but in the long run it may earn you trust of the country.

After all you have already raised the people’s expectation by enumerating your 6 points against the current regime of Salva Kiir.

The long suffering people of south Sudan will want to know that unlike Salva Kiir, you will not let them down but will deliver on your promises.

Joana Adams
RSS

18 Comments

  1. Tyson says:

    It is long overdue that the international community is now waking up to Kiir syndrome.
    Kiir has to bear responsibility for mass killing in Juba and other parts of the country. The decapitated SPLM party is to blame for the mess in the country. It is the same SPLM leadership and Parliament that gave Kiir the powers to steal and kill. In other countries with functioning Parliament, it could have impeached Kiir, request for interim government and prepare for elections in 2015.
    In addition, the points raised above, I think it is time to seriously look at federalism as a solution to the political crisis in South Sudan.

  2. Duku Emmanuel says:

    So u think Dr Riak will rule this country? Hahaha, impossible!….What is talking in u is serious hatred n mind u Riak knew that he was going to fail in the election n that is why he staged the failed coup..If u claim he was not behind the coup why is he leading a rebellion nw?…Try to talk about another politician but not this traitor….he will soon be defeated n u will mourn his death..

    • Machar says:

      Duku Emmanuel,

      Whic coup are you talking about, because there was inly one coup staged in South Sudan-this particuar coup was launched by wanted presidnet Kiir who tried to scuttle democratic transition for South Sudan to strengthen totiltarian regime allowing his thugs from Gogrial and, Agar and Atout to steal and kill with impunity. It is unfortunate to name these tribes/communities because many have fallen victims to their greedy leaders but it is the truth. The coup Kiir is claiming is now the proverbial Achilles heel that will bring his kelporatic, patrimonial, clientalist regime to its demise. Mr Telar claimed he could deliver SPLM dissident in a golden plate but instead he has delivered president Kiir to the ICC together with his ministers of defense, interior and national security. I am hearing Dr. Martin Elia speaking louder than the rest but when it dawns to him the magnitude of the crimes committed by the regime he is supporting , I think he will flee silently to the UK and practice veterinary science healing donkeys and monkeys which he failed to recognize when he was in cabinet. It is unfortunate that he would have a case to answer in court for concealing evidence and claiming that the Nuer were not killed in Juba. What a foolish politician who attempt to conceal something as visible as the sun for the sake of power. May God heal our beloved countries and may he bring wisdom to communities sucked in the conflict fighting the dirty war of their selfish leaders

  3. Elijah Samuel says:

    aha Joana, May the almighty bless you for an amazing message! I hope the oppositions and the world leaders will take it to heart. I particularly like suggestion #4.

  4. jay johnson says:

    Joanna Adam,

    I concurred with you in condemning ethnic target killing of Nuer and Dinka jonglei by presidential guard in Juba. I hope you would also join me in condemning also the killing of Dinka civilians in Bor town, Akobo and western Upper Nile, which you deliberately failed to acknowledge due to your hate of Dinka and opposition to Kiir administration.

    I believe that you are aware of what is known as retrospective justice. If Kiir is to be investigated for inciting and authorizing ethnic killing as you alleged, it is equally vital that Dr. Riek should also be subject to retrospective justice for ordering, authorizing and blessing the ethnic cleansing of Jonglei Dinka in 1991.

    I am not trying to justify what happened in Juba but to point out that injustice done 50 years or 20 years ago should not be wished away. I am not a supporter of Kiir and I do not think Dr. Riek is the alternative as I have argued in my article, published by south sudan nation in march 2013. Prosecuting Kiir and Riek will send a strong message to prospective politicians that killing of civilians is unacceptable. Would you please join me?

    you, the opposition, can dress up what happened as much as you like. But it was a coup that had been in the pipeline since the untimely death of Dr. Garang. Dr. Riek had been plotting against Salva Kiir since then, including assassination option as revealed by wikileaks. Please check paan luel wel website!!!

    While I am disappointed with president Kiir’s administration and management of our country, I do not think coup or rebellion are the solutions. it will instead produce the opposites results. Coup and rebellion are political shortcuts whose benefits can be realized in the short term.

    You can not as a rebel and as an opposition demand a transitional government while you control only 5% of the country. that call is insanity!! for the government to even listen to the idea of transitional government, it had to lose 40% or 50% of the country.

    By the way, are you supporting the transfer of power through violent means?

    • Joana Adams says:

      Johnson,

      Don’t try to blackmail me. I am not interested in politics of personalities which is a sign of political backwardness. Why on earth would I hate any tribe in South Sudan? We are in a crisis situation created by non other than Salva Kiir. I do not support Riek at a personal level but the country needs change. The whole world knows that regardless of what Riek might have done in the past (And believe you me Kiir and Garang were not innocent either), this time around he has been consistently provoked but kept his cool. The president is a habitual liar. How can we be ruled by someone who has unleashed his illegal militia upon defenseless Nuer civilians. This is ethnic cleansing. Salva has been repeatedly advised to amicably solve the problems in his party, to no avail. If he is a son of a cattle keeper raised in Warrap he ought to know that what he was stirring would end up in endless cycle of violence. Whose fault is that?
      There was no coup attempt only a ploy to crack down on his opponents. You cannot therefore ask me whether I support the transfer of power through violent means. Ask your self, do you want Kiir to stick to power through violent means? There is a crisis in our country and I like any other citizen reserve my rights to air out my opinion about what I believe is a reasonable way out. It is only an opinion, neither the opposition nor the government needs to act on it but it could do them well to heed to some of the suggestions. Do you have any constructive ideas other than defending your own kins and kith?

      Joana

  5. Bagire Jacob says:

    It was Kirr who created all the mess we are seeing today. Although Equatorians are criticised for not responding to the current situation, forget that we are with the government. We understand what the son of Garang said, Dr. Riek is not fighting for Nuer, and he is not fighting for himself neither. But He fights for democratic South Sudan and that is what we want to see. The people who are criticising Dr. Riek, are you blind? Dr. Riek chaired the gathering because he is the most senior among the people he sat with. That is why they acknowledged him.
    Most people criticised him for the 1991 incident, but for us as Equatorians, we look at what he have to invest in the national building. Look at Kirr, what have he done than firing people from their positions. Created all the situation and he is accountable to loses we are going through as a country. Very Shameful. Dr. Riek defected in 1991, and recently before he was fired from his position, he explained to Dinka Bor community what happened in 1991 and he accepted accountability with apology. That exactly what a leader of the people must do if something went straight in the country. But for Kirr, he told his new cabinet that they “must teach people to love their leader”. By this statement, he makes no difference with Iddi Amin of Uganada-1992-1997. Dr. Riek will succeed and we are ready for something new and different.
    Bagire Jacob
    Tombura-Yambio
    South Sudan

    • Joana Adams says:

      Jacob,
      Yes I understand the position of most of Equatorians. I also know that Equatorians would have risen up in arms a long time ago had they not been militarily disempowered by the SPLM/A since 1983. This is not the time to revisit the atrocities committed against Equatorians but the time will surely come if a genuine healing and reconciliation is to take place in the new nation.
      My heart is bleeding at the moment. But Equatorians cannot support a government that has consistently oppressed them since 2005. Wani Igga was only made a Vice President because Kiir had fallen out with Riek. For a long-term solution to the country’s chronic political tribalism, and to protect the interests of Equatorians, this is the time to join hands with the forces of change to bring about the changes we desire. We have tried Salva who has failed this nation. There is nothing wrong in trying someone else even if it has to be Dr. Riek Machar. If he fails people in 5 years time, he too will be voted out.
      Equatorians must never underestimate their political power. We are 1/3 of the country in terms of population and geographical territory. We cannot afford to wait on others to give us what ought to be our rights. I am not urging for taking up arms because we are disadvantaged in this regard but let us start preparing for elections, educate our people especially those in the rural areas to vote Salva Kiir out. Today, he has turned against Nuer’s tomorrow he will turn against us.
      Dictators always do.
      Lastly, no one should be forced to love a a leader especially one who is a murderer. Leaders can be liked and disliked depending on their performances in fulfilling their election pledges. Leaders are elected to serve the people. They are servants of the people and not masters as Kiir’s misguided leadership depicts.

      Joana

      • nikalongo says:

        Joana, there is a campaign to win over Equatoria and all will fail. Equatoria understand the need for change but it does not believe that change can be achieve through ethnic violence nor is Riak necesssarily a person to bring about such a change. Events since 15 Dec suggest both Riak and Kirr are insincere about what took place. Kirr calimed a coup attempt. Riak is leading rebel commanders bend on overthrowing an elected government. Riaks innocent colleagues now in custody including Nyandeng, are actually the only ones who did not know the militaristic aspects of Riak’s plan. Kiir knew a rebellion was coming and planned to crush it. Riak planned a rebellion and intends to fight it out. Riak had an opportunity to disassociate himself from the rebel commanders. He did not.

        Equatoria is not about to pick up arms not because they have a vice presidency nor do they understimate their resourcefulness as Joana will want us to believe. In Equatoria, people are ashame of having to share South Sudan with people who have no regard for the sanctity of human life and dignity. We think the upcoming talks should include a provision for the division of South Sudan with a new nation in Equatoria so that those who want more bloodshed and destruction can take wars to their backyards. It is possible the prophecy of Ngundeng was meant for the Nuer nation. The rest of us should be left in peace. Riak can keep his Oil and Kiir can withdraw with his militia gang to Gogrial.

  6. Manoon Thonchol says:

    Kiir is surrounded by cowards who love talking and conspiracies. Look how soldiers sent from Bhar el Ghazel to retake Bor spent all these days between Juba and Bor without reaching Bor until troops under Abraham Jongroor of Bor community who were sent after them recently reached and retook Bor.
    These cowards only love corruption, talking and conspiring against people of South Sudan. All they are good at is stealing money and creating tribal divisions for no reasons at all. Shame on them all.

    • Major says:

      Dear Manoon,

      Bor could never be recaptured by the Kirr’s government troops if Ugandan military might were not involved. The Ugandan dictator is the one destroying our nation while the regional and international community are turning blind eyes to condemn him.

  7. Major says:

    Dear Joana Adams,

    thanks you so much. You have said it all. Kirr behavior towards his opponents and democracy was well documented worldwide. But the world does not like us to enjoy the same status of prosperity delivery by good governance through democratization. They want Kirr to be the leader as long as he will never take the RSS forwards. The direct involvement of Ugandan president through military campaign against those who are fighting to change Kirr’s regime, and the silence of the world superpowers’ leaders to condemn Kirr and his government about the massacre committed against civilians in Juba, is one of the hard evidence of this conspiracy.
    It’s only God the almighty who creates the people of RSS as nation; will determine what will be the solution of this crisis in the few coming days or months.

  8. Machar says:

    Dear Joana,

    your suggestions offers robust measures that would have a far reaching effect of mending eroded confidence of citizens in their govt. and definitely will restore the social fabric for coming generations. Although Dr. Riek is behind the 1991 massacre, the president bear the responsibility for avoiding 2013 version of the 91 massacre; albeit the president became a culprit and he will go down in history as the bloodiest president. I believe Telar Riing and the NCP orphans who joined the SPLM have successfully achieved their mission, weakening the SPLM, dividing the people of South Sudan and making of the president a wanted criminal who will be a copy of his neighbor Omer Bashir.
    The president could vindicate himself by ordering the arrest of the Gogrial thugs and the Atout mafia, this would at least restore his dignity, otherwise let him prepare together with his ministers of Interior, Defence and National Security to defend themselves equally with rebels loyal to Dr. Riek for atrocities committed. The three ministers have no escape route they are gone cases.
    I mentioned this before the fighting that president Kiir has thrown South Sudan to the “wolves” that will shatter it from all sides, now this is the beginning and the wheel has started to turn and many leaders would be wanted criminals in 2014.

  9. Bentiu today says:

    Ms. Joana,
    you have narrated the whole story of what happened in our country, it’s all true, no bias, no favor of any side.
    thank so much, you are for unity of people who can tell the fact.
    to Dinka government… don’t celebrate yet, i know you will cry the next day, believe me.
    i told you last time that under the cattle keeper kirr mayardit our country would be divided on the regional basis.
    this guy did not know the difference between the government and cattle camp since most of his advisers are cattle keepers who went to raid cattle in unity state during the dry season and come back in the rainy season.
    south sudan will never be the same again.

  10. Choromke Jas says:

    Dear Joana,

    This is a precise piece. The world leaders are playing with fire when they implicitly support the position of Kiir; will take this as an approval to continue with dangerous ethnic incitement as has been amply demonstrated by a lot of evidence. By now, some should have been forthright about the culpability of Kiir in starting the genocide in Juba.
    But, this is the way of the world: hypocrisy rules the wave. It is these same (similar) world leaders, who have been praising Museveni as a great leader in central Africa. Do many know how Museveni came to power? Of course they do. Museveni overthrew the government in power in Kampala even when he was negotiating in Nairobi in 1986! The message the world sent to the rest of us then was that: “Do not listen to us, Mr Museveni. Do what is right for your objective. We might make noise, but in the end we will deal with you as a de facto leader of a government in Kampala”.
    So, my message to Dr Machar is that do what is right, as you Joana, has said. It must be a national dialogue rather that an SPLM-centered affair. Dr Machar should take this opportunity to rearrange the governance issues in South Sudan. At the same time, he should engage in diplomatic conversations, because this is what a hypocritical world wants to hear. If he misses this chance again, there will be no other and Kiir will write his (Riek’s) history for him.

  11. Lagu says:

    Dear Joana,

    I personally agree about the points you noted out for Dr Riek Machar, follow in there negotiation but since you posted your article he never responded to it, we need be very alert this around, otherwise with him nobody will bring Democracy to south Sudan and tyrant Kiir with cling to power like Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
    Dr Machar never let south Sudanese down, this is time to change SPLM forever and democracy will prevail.
    we condemn with strongest possible means the killing of innocent Nuer and Jienge by tribal militias of Kiir. may their souls rest in peace.

    God bless you wherever you are.

  12. laaralik says:

    These who plan war on government side are going to take responsibility but our kiir knows only seeking wrong advice from his relatives. now the problem is already there and make sure there is no military coup.
    Mr. president, just accept your mistake and enjoy ICC.

  13. Human Dignity says:

    one advise to Mr Kiir, please do not let the Dangerous MUSEVENI destroy your country with bad advise of clinging to power permanently. Give room to democracy, do not narrow ways to your challengers by relieving them from their positions, changing constitutions etc otherwise you will experience more dangerous coups that will finally confine you to your coffin. DO NOT LAUGHT YET.

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