Political vendetta: The history of bad blood between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar

Posted: October 5, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

“If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.” Abraham Lincoln

By Gatluak Khot Keat, Kampala, Uganda

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October 5, 2016 (SSB) — Having contemplated and pondered over the chronological record of events between Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, I feel that I must put down in black and white my analysis and share with the virtual audience. It must be recalled that 99 per cent if not 100 per cent of this article is one sided and the author has apologized in advance for any inconvenience the partiality of this writing causes – given that funs of the singled out character will also read.

However, I ask the readers to have courage in getting the truth of the subject and taking note that the post is neither tribally nor politically motivated. I am sharing the practical events with backed by evident. It wholly goes without saying that there has existed deep ethnic hatred by Kiir towards Dr. Riek and in return, there seems to be profound love by Dr. Riek towards Kiir. The two opposing situations still hold; notwithstanding several attempts of assassinations and survivorship. The truth can be traced back with evidences and rewritten on this post.

From the word go, Kiir in 2004 rebelled and set to be against peace on hearing rumors that he would be removed and replaced with Nhial Deng Nhial. His rebellious actions were manifested by his rejection to meet the Chairman, Dr. John Garang De Mabior in Ramciel, Yirol and Nairobi respectively. That development based on grapevines was later made not to see the light of the day after the intervention of Dr. Riek Machar, who did not want the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to collapse. The loving Dr. Riek took courage to meet the about to be lost one sheep and manage to see the one hundred sheep flocking on the same grassland.

In the year 2005 post tragic death of our late icon and statesman, Dr. John Garang, the SPLM leadership sat to choose who would succeed Dr. Garang as the SPLM Chairman, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) President and the First Vice President (FVP) of the Government of National Unity (GoNU) of the Republic of the Sudan (RoS). The loving Dr. Riek in cooperation with the entire leadership unanimously nominated Salva Kiir to become the successor. A significant move Kiir could appreciate as he was being loved by the ones he today considers as perpetrators.

The love for Kiir was not limited to South Sudanese. The entire citizens of the Sudan did love as well as entrust him for the top leadership of the SPLM. Unfortunately, Kiir betrayed the people of Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile by dropping the need to continue with the implementation of the outstanding protocols i.e., Abyei Referandum and South Kordofan and Blue Nile Popular Consultations as stipulated in the 2005 CPA. Kiir again could not appreciate that love.

In 2008, the second National Convention (NC) of SPLM was held. Dr. Riek brotherly and in comradeship nominated Kiir for the Presidency of the Movement. A proposal supported by a like-minded Pagan Amum Okiech. It was such a moment Dr. Riek Machar and Nhial Deng Nhial unconditionally withdrew their declaration of candidacy against Kiir. What a love! Kiir himself could not measure its magnitude, yet he honestly continued to reward Dr. Riek with hatred.

In 2010, Kiir, provided in Part II (2.3.7) of the second Chapter – Power Sharing Protocol was elected the President of the autonomous GoSS and automatically became the FVP of the RoS in the GoNU. At that critical moment, Kiir was expected to contend with Omer Hassan el Bashir for Presidency in the Republic of the Sudan. However, with lack of confident to win and fear to lose the elections, Kiir decided and was compromisingly allowed by the SPLM leadership to contest for Presidency of the GoSS. The SPLM then nominated Yasir Arman on their ticket to rival with the National Congress Party flag bearer who was none other than Bashir. That was another loving chance unconditionally provided to him that he could not still appreciate.

Came the year 2011, Kiir as a matter of compromise and cooperation among the people of South Sudan was confirmed the first President of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) and allowed to finish the five years term ranging from 2010 to 2015. Without the love of his comrades, his legitimacy would expire with the CPA he made expired too. That was yet another crucial aspect he could appreciate.

Prior to the 2013 war, an open letter containing a statement, “WE JOINT YOU IN YOUR FIGHTS AGAINST ABUSES OF THE KHARTOUM REGIME FOR MANY YEARS THAT WE CANNOT NOW TURN A BLIND EYE WHEN YESTERDAY’S VICTIMS BECOME TODAY’S PERPETRATORS” was written and addressed to Kiir by a group of senior US Department Officials on South Sudan Experts. Kiir had that piece of advice in one ear and out the other. As if his lack of appreciation was not enough, Kiir mercilessly decided and started to reward his own voters with senseless war leading to unceasing massacres and ultimately taking the ethnic dimension.  An incident described in the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) Report as “State policy,’ ‘coordinated” in furtherance of the massacres committed.

The report mentioned crimes against humanity, genocides and war crimes committed as the voters received high doses of reward. It was that year when hates revelation for Dr. Riek became quite apparent to an extend that he was almost assassinated at the false pretense of a coup de tat that the government manufactured as it intended to get rid of the reformists. Thereafter, the international human rights were deliberately violated.

On the 28th February, 2014, Kiir’s forces instantly violated the cessation of hostilities (CoH) the two warring parties signed on the 23rd January, 2014.It was impatiently believed that Kiir, provided his prerogative functions would respect the ceasefires and subsequently resort to bringing back a lasting peace in South Sudan. But due to his hatred for Dr. Riek, he could not cool his temperature and think about the entire nation and the suffering his voters have been undergoing as atrocities are continuously committed.

The same amount of hatred was witnessed during the signing of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) when Kiir refused to sign the agreement on the very 17th August, 2015 Dr. Riek and other stakeholders signed pending his list of reservations. Notwithstanding the lack of political will of Kiir, he was pressingly persuaded to sign the document later on the 26 August, 2015.

In the month of October, 2015, Kiir started the preliminary contraventions of the peace agreement he signed with Dr. Riek by dissolving 10 States and establishing 28 States. A measure which entirely bore inconsistence with the basis in which the pact was inked.

Another living instance that Kiir abhors Dr. Riek was the execution of conspiracy plan of Taban with the aid of Kiir to assassinate Dr. Riek. An attempt which acrimoniously culminated in the new round of war on the 8th July, 2016 as it continues to date.

Popularly known as a culture that Kiir does not respect his words or probably the fact that he fears Gen. Paul Malong, he successfully violated the ceasefires on the 19 July, 2016 that he declared on the 11th July, 2016. He then intensified his hunt for Dr. Riek in and around Juba and extensively in the Equatorial forest using ground and air forces. Unfortunately, South Sudan has neither marine nor navy forces to include in quest for Dr. Riek who was under the guardianship of less than a thousand troops.

On the 14th July, 2016, Kiir robustly rejected the deployment of the regional intervention forces (RIFs). That stance also exhibited his true dislike for Dr. Riek and rejection of peace implementation. A feeble position which shortly faded to darkness like dim half-light of the dusk. Hither and thither, Kiir has always been the epitome of hardliners that violated provisions of the ARCSS. A case of sacking Cirino Hiteng on the 14th July, 2016 apparently translated his hidden intentions.

Another unwanted action Kiir committed was his recent breach of the ARCSS by facilitating the espionage conspiracy of Taban and the subsequent replacement of Dr. Riek with the same Taban on the 25th July, 2016. That stands to reason that Kiir outrightly abhors Dr. Riek as the strong love of Dr. Riek for him significantly withstands. The bottom line in all these happenings is that Kiir hates while Dr. Riek loves.

All these circumstances surrounding the uncovered events have existed, yet the world respects and honors Kiir that he can still lead the nation. The world must be crazy. Peace or war depends on Kiir as the top man in South Sudan. Dr. Riek has done his very part to ensure that peace returns – hence the meaning of the “COMPROMISE” agreement he signed and followed by his return to Juba. He came to Juba with only 1,370 troops, but the Juba regime with tens of thousand troops still fought him. An unfortunate situation which is quite reprehensible to the peace guarantors.

In view of the above scenarios, someone would ask this question, “DOES KIIR THINK THAT ENTRUSTING HIM TO LEAD SOUTH SUDAN MEANS APPEASEMENT OR FEARFULNESS BY HIS COMRADES?” personally, I do not think so though it might be what he thinks. There is a need to pay back in kind the good deeds others have done for one another so that we have a better country built on trust and appreciation.

These stand a few among others that the author has critically observed over the past years. I compose this for shall ever more reign Justice, Liberty and Prosperity.

You can reach the author via his email: Gatluakz Khot <gluakkhot@gmail.com>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

  1. mawien Magol says:

    Mr. Gatluak Khot Keat.

    I think there are some points where by I would agree with you base on the fact but the way of trying to praising the killer which is Dr. Riek Machar as a lovable man and painting another dictatorship as the only bad man is ridiculous. Look, the problem on the dictator Salve Kiir Mayardit is a lacking foreign policies and hard minds which made everything going wrong direction for years but the back-ground of both killer Riek Machar and the fool president Kiir Mayardit are not same having say that, the former vice president is the most problems making in South Sudan and he will be remembered for many years to come just for bad or the worst history.

    The former vice president made a big mistakes early time when the SPLA/SPLM was about to gained roots under the late Chairman Dr. Garang however, he was welcome back after running away from Khartoum’s peace agreement and we thoughts the guy will try to repair his Image and political interest unfortunately, he was still belief that, he did not done anything wrong according to him, he said during the Rumbek’s conference that, there is no smoking without fire caused which mean, he did not break away without reason basically, he was accused the late Chairman and after when he was been appointed by the SPLM leadership to serve as a Deputy Chairman then, he seem to disagree a very single law and the policy when he was a vice president. The man which you still supporting him is a killer period.

    The president Salve Kiir Thiik Atem or Mayardit is a fool dictatorship man who can not reasoning a simple things and there is no doubt in my mind. I am not defending him or anyone in that government just to reminding you. The differences between the fool president Salve Kiir Mayardit and the killer former vice president Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon is defection history and education. You and I would agrees that, the dictator Salve Kiir had never change cost during the 21st years of civil war in the Sudan and that is the fact. You and I would also agrees that, the former Nassir leader had been defected four time in the history of South Sudan or Sudan. I am not good at math but I don’t think it is difficult to do the mathematical by starting counting Nassir faction plus break away from Khartoum regime plus 2013 with notion that, the Nuers SPLA were controlled about 70% of national army in South Sudan’s government and the recently attacked in Gudele city follow the presidential Palace attacked by his militias. I think both leaders are bad or worst and we do not want them in my view.

    It is true that, the explanation about the difference in between the late Chairman Dr. Garang and the current dictator president Salve Kiir Thiik Atem. Indeed, the man was well known for nothing than just using Mayardit name. Every mission he went to do always a failed missions. For example, he was been assigning to command the new Division of the Intedasth in 1990 and the new Division was defeated badly until the SAF reached to Juba and they were coming from Malakal. He was told by the late Chairman to takes out all Sudanese refugees living in the Ethiopia’s camps unfortunate, he went to Itang and orders SPLA to fights rebels of Ethiopian while, the Ethiopian president already run to Kenya, some of the SPLA who went to fights Ethiopians rebels did returned back until I am speaking. He was send to Rumbek to command some of the new Division Intedpasth but the tactics which he designed were so bad and the Sudanese troops defeated his SPLA till he returned back. There are many failure records about Salve Kiir Mayardit. The late Chairam was fully aware that, his Deputy Kiir Mayardit is not only lacking leadership during all these period of civil war but also he has a bad luck clearly, since he was bear from his mother some thing that will never change. He knew that, he has a low IQ but he don’t like to let other qualified take a lead the young nation. The author must be careful when trying to give people your Ideas perhaps, you must not painting other as a bad and praising the killer as a lovable man it is outrage to balance your political in that way.


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