The message behind President Kiir’s press briefing

BY: Elhag PAUL, SEPT/28/2015, SSN;

15th September 2015 was a day of anticipation for the war battered people of South Sudan. The country was earlier prepared through the media to expect a special speech from the President of the republic, Salva Kiir.

Radio Tamazuj like other media outlets informed the country a day earlier about the intended President’s address through an article under the heading ‘President Kiir to address the nation on economic hardship’

Eventually when President Kiir delivered the speech, it turns out to be a squelch of a man being dragged screaming and kicking to the implementation phase of the Compromise Peace Agreement he wholeheartedly detests. file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/STATEMENT%20OF%20H.%20E.%20PRESIDENTSALVA%20KIIR%20MAYARDIT.pdf

The heroics he attempted to display in Addis Ababa on 17th August 2015 by refusing to sign the agreement ended with his tail between his legs. In less than a week, President Kiir begged IGAD to bring the agreement to him in Juba to sign.

Since then the president has been whingeing like an insecure toddler. Being in that state, President Kiir disingenuously claims in his speech that “the purpose of his press briefing is mainly to share ideas with you (the public) in order to find the best strategies to restore lasting peace in our country.” Really?

If this press briefing was for finding the best strategies, how would it be operationalised and achieved? Crucially, the president has not explained the mechanism for achieving such strategies.

This supposed purpose for the press briefing ends in the introductory part of the briefing and it does not cascade into the body and the conclusion. It stands out alone, disconnected from the other issues the president raised and emphasised.

As is the case with any written work, the public receive it and interpret it according to their understanding based on their own historical knowledge, values and beliefs. Regardless of the types of lenses or tools used to make sense, President Kiir’s message conveys three points clearly.

First, is the capitulation of the regime to the regional body (IGAD). The song of ‘reservations’ and explanations about violation of South Sudan’s sovereignty is an acknowledgement of a reality that he president Kiir has no power to stop the gathering clouds of peace.

Here, he is between the rock and the hard place. Power is just slipping away gradually as the agreement gets implemented. The absolute powers he gleefully wielded in the last decade issuing decrees left and right, threatening members of parliament with ‘roaming the streets’ and sacking elected governors have been drastically curtailed in the agreement he signed.

The act of signing away one’s own illegally obtained powers is the ultimate humiliation of the man and the Jieng Council of Elders. It is the loss of this power and the status that goes with it which the agreement has brought that is making President Kiir shout: ‘Help please! Help please! Our sovereignty is being violated!’

He and the JCE expect South Sudanese to be receptive to their cries and rally behind them. No, Sirs. Nobody is getting duped. Nobody is buying his crocodile tears.

True, South Sudan’s sovereignty is being tampered with but why should South Sudanese care since he (President Kiir) and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) were the first to violate it. The JCE is a body of Jieng elders composed of Jieng intellectuals and semi-illiterate self styled military officers whose objective is to further the interest of the Jieng tribe at the expense of the whole country.

It is not far fetched to argue that it is the JCE that actually has been running the affairs of the country. Unlike elders anywhere in the world, the JCE is violent and kleptocratic.

In contrast, the global elders composed of dignitaries such as Mr Martti Ahtisaari. Mr Kofi Anan, Mrs Ela Bhatt, Ms Gro Harlem Bruntland, Ms Hina Jilani, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, Mr Fernando Cardoso, Mr Jimmy Carter, Mr Nelson Mandela, Arcbishop Desmond Tutu etc devote their invaluable time to promoting peace and harmony among the people of the world.

They work tirelessly for world peace and they handle issues with care and prudence. This is what is expected from real elders and not the violence of the JCE.

Back to the issue of sovereignty, President Kiir and the JCE have hijacked the sovereignty of South Sudan and they freely use it to advance Jieng interest in detriment to the whole country. The Compromise Peace Agreement is actually a product of abuse of sovereignty of South Sudan by this same group.

Right after IGAD took over the mediation of the talks, President Kiir with the advice of JCE consistently denied the other stakeholders in the country to partake in finding a solution to the conflict.

For example, the denial and violation of the right of travel of people like Mr Peter Sule, Dr Lam Akol and others from going to attend the talks in Addis Ababa. The question now is: why is President Kiir and the JCE seeking support from those they trashed and abused? The centuries old adage – you reap what you sow applies here.

The president and his Jieng short-sightedly antagonised the majority of South Sudanese. They never thought there would be hard times. Now, hard times are here, they want support of the very people they abused and deprived. No, that support will not come.

In fact they first need to account for destroying the country. As they have sowed killings, hatred, mega theft of public resource, ethnic cleansing, expansionists policies etc they now must reap “rebooting” of governance in the country with thorough accountability.

Thus as South Sudan is being rebooted South Sudanese really do not give a damn about a ‘hijacked sovereignty’ serving the interest of a single tribe: Jieng.

The second message President Kiir is passing to South Sudanese is that SPLM/A has ceased to be what it was. This is most welcome news because this Jieng machine (SPLM/A) is the real cause of all the sufferings of South Sudanese people. There is no need to talk about its evil because it is obvious.

Time and again South Sudanese have been warned that the SPLM/A will destroy them, but this message keeps falling on deaf ears. Its leaders in the person of Pagan Amum and his group are now on the run for their dear lives from it.

For those who do not know much about the SPLM/A they should check the World Wide Web for the plethora of information about this criminal organisation.

President Kiir declared, ‘It must be stated clearly that the reality of political difference within the SPLM which has been cemented in the peace agreement, and accepted cheerfully by our colleagues in the opposition; requires us all to organise ourselves on new basis. This simply means “The SPLM will never be one again as long as we follow the implementation of this Compromise Peace Agreement.”’

While this notification comes as a massive relief to majority of South Sudanese, President Kiir must be held to account for the role he played in destroying their beloved machine of terror. The whole calamity that hit South Sudan ignited by the SPLM meeting of 5th March 2013 is a direct result of his gross negligence, poor leadership, and refusal to accept to be guided by party rules. His obsession to remain “the flag bearer” without following the party rules landed the country into the current chaos.

President Kiir can not just now use the bitter pill of the Compromise Peace Agreement administered to them to place the blame of SPLM/A break up on Pagan Amum and Riek Machar.

He laments, “This IGAD prescribed peace document on the resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan is the most divisive and unprecedented peace deal ever seen in the history of our country and the African continent at large.”

This may well be the case but President Kiir should look himself in the mirror on the issue of division. This ‘scarcely literate’ President forgets that he has been one of the most divisive figures in the country.

Since he came to power in 2005, Kiir has presided over the division of various ethnic groups in the whole country to promote Jieng expansionist policies. For instance, in Upper Nile, he blatantly decreed Chollo land of Pigi county to the Jieng of Padang. In Nimule, Eastern Equatoria, he promoted through violent means resettlements of Jieng of Bor and so on.

On the area of law and order he has allowed the Jieng to kill members of other ethnicities without accountability. Tragically, in December 2013, President Kiir displayed his hateful traits by ethnically cleansing the Nuer in Juba. Not only that but he imprisoned the survivors in the UN Protection camps to date.

So what division is President Kiir talking about? The Compromise Peace Agreement actually unites all the people of South Sudan if anything. Cynically, President Kiir attempts to convey a false picture to the world that South Sudanese before the Compromise Peace Agreement were united. He and his JCE are the architect of divisions in the country with their vicious practice of violent tribalism.

As the SPLM/A is now heading towards a break up, the members of this dysfunctional organisation from the other ethnic groups should seize on this opportunity to free themselves completely by severing ties and joining other political groups.

This will ensure that the state powers the Jieng capitalised on under the SPLM/A becomes something of the past. Let the JCE remain with their “SPLM “ and let the people see how they will gain votes from other ethnicities to accede to power again in a genuine election.

The third point subtly delivered is a threat or rather a declaration to obstruct the whole process of the transitional period. President Kiir is a well known hypocrite. He is fond of doing the opposite of what he promises or says.

During the celebration of South Sudan independence on 9th July 2011 he emphatically promised South Sudanese peace. Before his words could be forgotten, he embarked on disarming all the other ethnicities and re-arming the Jieng. The Nuer being the majority in the army by then also did the same.

Within five months after independence the country was thrown into a tribal war between an alliance of Jieng and Nuer against the Murle. President Kiir and his Vice Riek did nothing as if nothing seriously damaging the credibility of the state had happened re its duty to protect.

Neglectfully, neither of the two called or instituted an enquiry. That was the first sign of failure in leadership of both President Kiir and Riek and the failure of state to protect its citizen.

Fresh from this debacle, President Kiir unnecessarily went into a wild adventure of invading the Sudan and eventually retreating to remain in the disputed Panthou. He crowed to Mr Ban Ki Moon that he would never withdraw.

Within a day he pulled out. Please see, ‘Panthou war: the reflections of unnecessary war’

In 2012 President Kiir promised to address the problem of rampant corruption. He even produced a list of 75 alleged thieves. What has he done? Nothing!

Then in 2013 he recruits a private militia popularly known as Dootku Beny/Mathiang Anyoor/Gelweng. It is this militia that became responsible for the cleansing of the Nuer in Juba sparking the current vicious war that has consumed tenth of thousands of lives and displaced over two million people.

It is clear from these few examples that President Kiir is definitely a hypocrite.
Now read this excerpt from the Lord of Darkness’ briefing.

“Having made our reservations and expressed our disappointment on the provision of the Agreement, I (President Kiir) finally signed the Peace Document with reservations to return our country back to peace and development. With that signature, I had fully committed the government to faithful implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. All institutions of government in the country shall be bound by this Agreement and shall be expected to carry out the functions stipulated for them therein. I believe you are aware of that National Council ministers has already endorsed and adopted the Agreement and that the National Legislature has ratified it as well. In my capacity as Commander-In-Chief of the SPLA, I have already issued a cease fire order for SPLA troops to stop any military offensive in the conflict zones unless on self defence.”

Anybody who is a close observer of the president will be worried by what he has outlined. His weasel words signify troubles. President Kiir as a hypocrite may not be promising peace. He may be declaring obstruction to the implementation of the peace agreement.

It is not a surprise therefore to see his troops aided by Uganda People Defence Forces using helicopter gunships to decimate the Chollo villages in Upper Nile and Unity states to clear land for resettlement of the Jieng. This is a serious violation of the peace agreement.

Equally, he has unleashed his dogs of war on Equatoria while deceptively preaching peace as in his press briefing. Equatoria now must face the reality of its predicament resulting from non active political engagement in the country.

The three points in the message sums up a declaration for a protracted obstruction to derail the Compromise Peace agreement. In effect SPLM-IG and the evil forces running it have wedged themselves on the road to peace in South Sudan.

The implementation of the peace agreement is not going to be an easy one. The road ahead will be bumpy with unexpected dangers along the way.

Will Dr Riek Machar manage travelling on this road? There is a big question mark. Riek does not appear to grasp the dynamics emanating from the new reality created by the agreement.

In some state of lullaby dreaming of becoming a president, this pretender without any skills and knowledge of leadership is a disaster waiting to happen.

Instead of taking serious note of the violations by Juba so far denting the agreement and making it questionable, he is nowhere to be heard or seen.

Riek should by now vigorously be engaging the IGAD, South Sudanese people and the international community by delivering relevant national statements and holding conferences to highlight the numerous violations of the peace agreement with recommendations of what should be done.

Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be heard or seen. Sadly, he leaves this vital job to his spokesman.

Riek now jubilantly goes around with wide smiles deluding himself that he has achieved a victory. Anybody who followed Riek’s behaviour after he signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997 can not fail to see the same naive behaviour surfacing again in him.

Back then he carried himself as if he wielded real power in Khartoum. His tribalistic actions were everywhere to be seen with posts dished out to close family members and some favoured Nuer.

That experience in short ended bitterly as he had to run to Dr Garang in 2002 with his tail coiled. South Sudanese are about to be administered a dose of similar behaviour in a very fluid and dangerous circumstances whereby the oppressors of the people are geared to fighting to the death.

If Riek wants to win this battle in order to realise peace for a democratic transformation in the county, he must be pro-active, constantly alert, highly communicative and actively engaging the stakeholders, drafters and guarantors of the deal to breath fire on the regime in Juba.

Otherwise his credibility and limited support will be a foregone conclusion.

In conclusion, President Kiir’s press briefing is a serious message of a wounded bull whose future has been blown by the IGAD document. It is a declaration of a fight to the death. Therefore, South Sudanese, the drafters of the agreement and the international community must take note and be prepared for the worst.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul


  1. Kwacha says:

    Both so called Commanders in Chief are busy promoting Senior SPLA Senior Officers to the ranks of Generals. How many generals shall we have in South Sudan?

  2. False Millionaire says:

    Bravo,”Truth hurts but it is also liberating”.
    Hell fire,SPLM/A status quo,yankees on the fence and many more years of exile for RSS expatriats.
    Bonne chance mec!!!

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      I agree with you Mr Elhag on the future of our country. In fact Nuer are braved nation. The only problem that facing nuer today in their struggle is a good leader. Reik leadership doesn’t fit in saving nuer . I sometime wonder how did Reik reached to the level of obtaining PhD with this dumb mind. Probable ,he must have earned his high education through Christian missionary recommendation otherwise his knowledge should reflect on his decision making.
      The war that killing nuer now was obvious before December 2013 because things wasn’t going right at that time but their ( he and James Hath ) ignorance had lead to this tragedy. Now, he is yawning for power and seeming not to pay attention to Dinka and their friend with evil plan.

  3. Elhag Paul,

    I agree with everything you said in this article. I agree with you President Kiir is the very person who divided South Sudanese along ethnic line. President Kiir, Malong Awan, Daniel Wet Akot, Kuol Manyang, Makuei Lueth, Salva Mathok, Bol Madut———–etc are the members of Jieng Council of elders while they are military leaders and head of state ministers. They always passed the laws benefit Dinka only while hurting other tribes. Now president Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders are promoting Nuer in the government more than ever before to face Nuer rebels when they come to Juba.

    In response to this illegal promotion by illegal government, instead of promoting mostly Nuer in the rebellion, Riek Machar must promote Equatorian and Western Bar El Gazalian youth who took up arm against the government to highest positions no matter how small were their ranks in the government, so they cannot be minority again when the two armies emerged. Because these youth took up arms against the government, they deserve to be highly promoted so they should not be mistreated when the two armies amalgamated. Their leaders such as Martin Kenyi should all be promoted to Lieutenant generals.

    I agree with you South Sudan must be rebooted. In my opinion, the rebooting of South Sudan must include change in the design of currency and flag. Riek Machar and his groups must include term limits in the compromise peace agreement.

    I also agree with you that “If Riek wants to win this battle in order to realize peace for a democratic transformation in the county, he must be pro-active, constantly alert, highly communicative and actively engaging the stakeholders, drafters and guarantors of the deal to breath fire on the regime in Juba”.

  4. Guet Athina Guet says:

    Mr. Elhag Paul,

    Your article is very disappointing because of your hatred of the Dinka tribe will never help you and your clans. Mr. Paul, if you want south Sudan to be a good country that’s runs by all, your article is not helping. We need to figure out how to build the country without pointing to a particular tribe. Your wish of ethnic cleansing of the Dinka tribe will never materialize. You can write 100 pages of nonsense against the Dinka tribe, and all will never agree with you because you’re hypocrite to the core!. I am sorry to tell you Dinkas are not going any where, they are here to stay.
    May god bless president Kiir and keep him safe and may god bless south Sudan.

  5. Choromke Jas says:

    Vintage Paul! I must admit, James Dak is doing a superb job. I must add my voice about complacency normally associated with Dr Riek Machar. It appears he does not want to keep his mind engaged with future tragedies. The silence he showed when Kiir was illegally recruiting a private army is one example. The other example is his silence in the current illegal an authorized recruitment by Kiir of the so-called Red Army. Members of the red army are purely Dinka and yet, the Kiir government is recruiting them into the army in contravention of the Peace Agreement. Dr Machar needs a think tank of committed and engaged group to track the faithful implementation of the agreement. Otherwise, your predictions will, unfortunately, come true.

  6. taban lowani says:

    Everything can not be the same forever. Always there is a beginning and the end If it’s not being handled very carefully its may demise utterly. President kiir has to be very careful with his advisers and jiang council elders with the notion that, we born to rule. That’s a ridiculous thinking. Where is sadam Hessian, gadafdi, mubarak and many other murders. They are all in the hill with their sons and daughters. Some of their kids were scattered all over the world and became homeless. South Sudanese leaders may not be differ from the above leaders l mention above. The suffering of south Sudan people may not just go away without God judgement,especially those innocent civilians who had been killed for no reason or committed a crime. May the God rescue south Sudan and his innocent people.

  7. wau nar says:

    I think Guet Athina .I am sure your from dinka councel of elders that is way what alhag wrote pine you,and it appear from the way you react,(a dinka man or a woman is like fish can not change it’s smaill).

  8. Guet Athina Guet says:

    Yes sir, you’re right ….. Mr. or Ms. Wau Nar .. first you need to drop your fake name “wau nar” because coward used devious name because they are afraid … I was born in Wau … my home and you’re no body dude!..

  9. Eli says:

    Mr Paul;
    Superb, incredibly all truth to the core. However the painful truth is that majority of South Sudanese are short-sighted people, we tend to reward evil with good; which was supposed to be the teachings of the Scriptures. But, unfortunately the “enemies of peace” i.e Dictator Kirr and his JCE dinkocrats are unbelievers but rather Animist ideologues.
    This is the truth about dinkocracy; (if you welcome a Jieng into your home, he or she thinks you are actually surrendering to them your house), it’s just their culture; to believe they are better than others, they think the opposite. By the way this has nothing to do with tribnalism or hatred for them but just plain truth about my in-laws.

    After, all these years you may think our people have learnt their lessons; I bet you 99.9% if an election is cast today, Kirr will win. Ask me as to, why I make such an absurd speculation? This is based on the visual survey today in the country. Our people are actually so naive believing it is Kirr who signed the peace, (some are saying Kirr brought peace to Juba while Riek is seen as an outsider, it was a well played psychologiscal winning gesture on behalf of SPLA-Juba). Instead of thanking the International Communities; thousands of people took to streets all over the country protesting slogans anti UN, IGAD Plus and the IC, just weeks before Kirr was dragged kickin’n’scrmin to the table.

    Although you made a good point that Riek Machar should keep up the enlightenment, I think this time it’s more than just Riek alone. I think Dr. Riek is smart to take the backbench, the more he talks the more he may sound like SPLA-IG or Juba group. But; what needs to happen is, like Mr Ramaran(bravo) suggested;

    “In response to this illegal promotion by illegal government, instead of promoting mostly Nuer in the rebellion, Riek Machar must promote Equatorian and Western Bar El Gazalian youth who took up arm against the government to highest positions no matter how small were their ranks in the government, so they cannot be minority again when the two armies emerged. Because these youth took up arms against the government, they deserve to be highly promoted so they should not be mistreated when the two armies amalgamated. Their leaders such as Martin Kenyi should all be promoted to Lieutenant”

    Yes, Dr Riek needs to unite all the minority groups and all those left out behind him, he must differentiate himself from those chauvinists in Juba. He needs to let not only Nuers fight his wars but rather rest of the marginalised groups as well.

  10. Manyiel Atem says:

    Dr. Riak Machar has been fighting a losing political Civil war without clearly spelled agenda for Twenty months.
    This tells us morw about him and his Nuers people.

  11. El-Hag, there should be no worry, the peace agreement will be implemented. What we should worry about is what will happen after the 30 months. By signing the agreement Riach Machar has emerge so far as a hero.There is so much euphoria about him by die-hard, but will he deliver to south Sudanese? On the other hand, Salva Kiir feels humiliated and embarrass by the agreement, he wants total control of south Sudan, so that his “Awulad El-Beled ” continue to loot the resources of the country. We have seen how his VP Wani Igga and the entourage were frustrated at the UN. If south Sudan is to prosper, all these guys must go. We need new hybrids of leadership in south Sudan: young, educated, impartial, western oriented,developmental mind, and those who have our country at heart. For now, we see only war in Salva Kiir and uncertainty in Dr. Riak Machar. May God bless South Sudan.

  12. BILL KUCH says:

    Elhag Paul,
    You and likes can celebrate as you want, but you must know that, Dinka tribe is not going anywhere apart from being here forever in South Sudan. Or neither the population of Dinka would reduce. I am sure we will share whatever awful or happiness equally in this country regardless and no doubt about that. Good luck with your dream of get rid of Dinka people!!!

  13. False Millionaire,

    Where is Nikalongo? I hope he did not get hurt from gas tank. However, I wonder if he was illegally detained by Mathiang Anyor of Malong in Juba? Please find out where he is. Call him if he cannot answer your phone call and then go knock on his door. Mathiang Anyor is a dangerous disease that break out in Juba nearly two years ago. If you do you find out that Nikalongo is in the hand of Dootku Bany, please let us know immediately so we can do whatever it take to get him out safely. So you and him can continue loot the nation natural resources in a smart way that does not cause harm to people, but False Millionaire, please advise Mathiang Anyor/Dootku Bany to not set up civilians with gas tanks.

  14. False Millionaire says:

    Bantiu Ramaran,
    U mean to say Nikalongo is one among the low moral masses who rush to food like those who got kilt in the explosion while robbing the fuel from the over turned fuel tanker truck in Maridi?
    Come on dude,get serious.
    What’s the need then for his great wisdom of a teacher who preaches to u the cause of peace and honesty among citizens in life day and night on this forum?

    U will allways be a most unhappy fellow for failing to understand that none violent people are allways wise to manage to live under honest and decent conditions even through circumstances of hell.
    So go get with him some where in equatoria where he lives as a happy free man caring for his home and familly.
    He may even be willing to teach u how he manages to survive without twisting any one’s arm!!!

  15. Joana Adams says:

    What an amazing prophetic revelation in view of the the calamity visited on the nation by Kiirs decree on 2nd October.
    I couldn’t agree more with your careful observations and analysis. Riek has been talking about Kiir lacking vision for so long that he thinks it should be self explanatory. No it is not. Kiir lacking of vision doesnt automatically translate into Rieks own vision. As a leader, we expect him to articulate his own vision and programmes and sell it to the public. But in this case, because of tyranny of Salva Kiir, many voluntarily joined him or support him on the ground, in the social media etc. Instead of embracing these people and other potential supporters, Riek often turns a cold shoulder and has left many who thought he could be an alternative to the genocidal lunatic disappointed.
    But inspite of Riek’s weaknesses, I want to keep optimistic. For me he is still the lesser evil. The compromise peace agreement which Kiir is systematically attempting to derail offers us a glimmer of hope as Dr. Lako said. Kiir and the Jieng Elders don’t like it because it is rebooting the Jieng state, and curtailing Kiir’s excessive powers and the liberty to a use it at will, as he has just done by decreeing the creation of 28 states nearly 3 times of the previous number of 10, without any public consultation, or a costed budget. In the 21 century of money economy, only South Sudanese who have been bypassed by civilisation can do such a thing! The wold must be reeling in confusion as to where these people are come from?
    Back to Riek, he indeed needs to wake up from his slumber and false sense of security. He is a grown man and should pluck the confidence to separate his party from Kiirs jealously guarded terrorist organisation. This should give him a new beginning and the opportunity to draw in those who don’t want to be associated with a tarnished organisation and criminals posing as leaders.Choromke is right, Riek needs to establish a think thank to counteract the JCE. He and the Nuer generals cannot do it alone, besides being vigilant and proactive. Riek needs to spice up his image be more people friendly and create a people based party not an elitist party of kleptocrats. Those who betrayed him 2 years ago will betray him again soon when the right opportunity arises. Riek must be realistic and identify exactly who the real enemy Kiir and JCE are pursuing, before he gets cosy with them again.

    Furthermore, Riek should not put everything at risk just to keep the support of our Jeng brothers in IO. If these brothers join him for a good cause and not self Interest they will stay with him regardless. Otherwise it is better they leave so that he can start to focus on how to unite the growing forces of opposition from all the 62 tribes. Those from Equatoria and other smaller communities Riek is dispising may well hold the balance of power in the new nation. He is ignoring them at his own peril. Riek should demonstrate leadership as the 1st Vice President designate and set up a government now, it doesn’t matter where it is to be located. He needs to double his diplomatic efforts to secure vital support and protection before Kiir runs away with everything including his near achieved victory. The rest will sort themselves out eventually.


Leave a Reply to wau nar Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.