Home | News    Tuesday 6 January 2009

Sudan’s Kiir meets Bush to bid farewell

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By Daniel Van Oudenaren

January 5, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House on Monday morning.

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George Bush greets Salva Kiir in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

Bush said that the two leaders spoke about two subjects: the North-South peace agreement and the crisis in Darfur.

The U.S. president said that Kiir had given him a clear briefing on Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and the challenges facing its implementation.

According to Bush, Kiir and he also discussed Darfur and the Sudanese leader spoke about the initiative he had taken in Juba to attempt to unite some Darfur rebel factions.

Bush then informed the Vice President that he has provided a waiver to the State Department so they can begin to move 240 containers’ worth of heavy equipment into Darfur. The outgoing U.S. president added that the Defense Department will be flying Rwandan equipment into Darfur to help facilitate the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission.

He then went on to make a statement about Gaza and concluded with a compliment: “I told the Vice President his hat made me feel very much at home,” joked the president warmly.

Speaking after Bush’s remarks, Kiir, who also serves as the president of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan, noted “mostly we came here to thank him and his administration for the commitment they have shown to the people of Sudan to bring peace and continue to monitor that peace which ended the 21-year war. And that peace will remain in his record, that he was the only one who was able to continue monitoring the peace, negotiating it, until it was signed.”

“This peace is now in existence. And we came to thank him and the whole administration, and wish him the best of his life in his private mission that he’s now going to take up after the assignment in the White House,” he added.

“We have also told His Excellency the President that the people of Southern Sudan, the people of the marginalization in the whole Sudan, will never forget him for all that he has done for them,” said Kiir, referring to the Bush administration’s role in brokering the North-South peace deal.

“And the people in Darfur, in particular, will still be looking forward to seeing to it that peace is brought to Darfur. It is a joint mission that we have taken upon ourselves together with them that we have to bring peace to Darfur, the way we have brought peace to Southern Sudan.

Kiir also mentioned that they had discussed the Lord’s Resistance Army, a cultish guerrilla organisation he labeled as terrorist, which the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan and Uganda recently launched joint strikes against, prompting retaliatory massacres in jungle villages.

The former Sudanese guerrilla fighter concluded, “So this is in brief that I came to the White House, to pass to His Excellency the President of the United States of America, and to keep Sudan very close to his heart, even if he becomes a private citizen in this country, because he has a role to play. And we came to pass him also our Christmas and New Year’s greeting, to see if you have enjoyed your Christmas.”

The Sudanese delegation then proceeded to the State Department.

Salva Kiir Mayardit was a senior commander in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement, and he took over as SPLM leader when founder Dr. John Garang died in a helicopter accident in 2005. Kiir was accompanied to the Oval Office by Blue Nile Governor Malik Agar, Southern Sudan Defense Minister Nhial Deng Nhial, SPLM Deputy Secretary General for Northern Sector Yasir Arman, Garang’s widow Rebecca Nyandeng De-Mabior, Government of Southern Sudan Head of Mission to the United States Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

Bush was joined by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer and the U.S. President’s Special Envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson.

Kiir and other ministers spent the evening with many members of the Sudanese community from the Washington area and elsewhere. He is expected to meet tomorrow with visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

(ST)

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  • 6 January 2009 07:17, by Gatbentiu

    Well done Mr.VP it sounds good that you presented some of our problems here in Sudan and in South Sudan in particular to American president.As Bush himself is going out of the office soon,did you managed to meet with Obama?
    We Southerners needs clear message from the incoming president of America,a message of assurance about the continuation of peace process in Southern Sudan,otherwise your meeting with Bush will have no meaning if you did not meet with the incoming regime.

    The writer can be reached at:dholbentiu@gmail.com

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    • 12 January 2009 14:54, by mayen kuoi

      Bravo Bravo Mr. president Mayardit for visiting out going President G Bush.You are a true Dinka man who knows how accompany someone from your house.Your farwell to Bush will contribute something to CPA implementation.

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  • 6 January 2009 15:02, by Padhuny

    Thank you mr Mayardit for going out there and say goodbye to the out-going president of the USA (George W Bush), the man whose adminstration triggered the success of the CPA. In other words,we are now in peace with our enemy which might lead to the GOSS self determinations. However,you should also consult the in-coming president (Barak Obama) in relation to the CPA features.

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    • 7 January 2009 06:14, by Issac William

      Leaders of the world and of any country particular play crucial role to achieve real happiness of its people. Educated and capable leader leads his/her people and country to a peace and prosperity, while the cruel, erratic and incapable leader brings people to the world of sufferings and ultimately ruins a country. Leader must not only be educated and experienced but it is important to be an intelligent and sensible to the problems faced by his/her people. Leaders of the government should win the trust of people by being strategically friendly avoiding any kind of provocation or war with allies and must also allow a degree of transparency in the day to day working and the governance of the country.
      Mr. Kiir does not lead; he is being led. He is weak and seems to be controlled by other (Dink). I don’t want to hear him say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow. To be an effective leader, you must learn how to share your vision with others in a way that helps them commit whole-heartedly to the same dream. Inspire others and there’s nothing you can’t do. Lead by example; share the dream; commit to the cost; and keep hope alive. Nobody wants a leader who follows the public mood or a leader who looks like a deer on the head lights, but one who shapes it.
      In a country with a population of over a million people, it is pathetic that our leaders can’t even read. Don’t you think our country needs and can do much better than this? We still follow caste, region and reservation politics. Why do we keep selecting/electing no-good, gold diggers to power? What can we expect out of tired and septuagenarian politicians who only know how to play dirty political games and are only concerned about saving their seats of power? Why do we have illiterates and criminals making policies which affect over a million people? Is that the best that we, as a democratic nation, have to offer? What we need today are young, educated, polished and sophisticated politicians who will bring some efficiency to the political system. It is shameful to hear and read about our uneducated president and MPs using the choicest of abuses and exhibiting crass behavior in Khartoum and Parliament House. We have to start looking beyond caste and region politics.
      Before and after the British colonialism, the Sudan as a nation repeatedly failed to produce a strong leadership in each and every level of its government. Sudan have yet to experience a sincere leader that can rise up and lift its people from ground, like Gandhi, Washington, Dr. King and many others did for their people and nations. The Sudanese people have been unfortunate to have the opportunity to select their leaders, and no one ever gave them the chance to know the qualities that a good leader should have.
      Throughout the history and the biographies of the world leaders, one cannot avoid, but notice that every leader in our history had some form of education, whether elected or selected, and before one becomes a leader one must prepared for it, whether thorough schooling or acquiring leadership skills. One must also be prepared before he allows himself to assume any leadership position. Apparently, Southerner or Sudanese’s leaders fail this critical step, instead of educating or preparing themselves, they devote most of their time building tribal/clan loyalties; which in turn produces leadership conflicts that we are witnessing today.
      Couple centuries ago, when 55 delegates who attended the United States Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. They were called the Founding Fathers of the USA, all of these men were not from same tribes or clans, but they all had strong educational background, thirty-five of the Founding Fathers were lawyers or had benefited from legal training, and some had also become judges. They all had a true education and knowledge (an education or a knowledge which freed the minds out of tribalism). Again, this shows how important it is that leaders must possess some form of true education, before or if that leadership is intended to succeed.
      I think it is a time that the Southerner people to think something different. The public deserve better leadership same as the rest of the world, a well-educated and honest leader who puts his/her individual and tribal interest behind the interest of the nation. Not like dictator, illiterate, militarily oriented, tribally minded or/and uneducated leader like those who created and put the Southerner people the continuous suffering and the anarchy. South Sudan need a real chance of having knowledgeable leader and parliamentarian; it is unfortunate to see that the Southerner public to be represented by a bunch hypocrites with no college education, a bunch that cannot knowledgably and civilly hold productive discussions.

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