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S. Sudan’s Salva Kiir returns home amid health concerns

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November 5, 2013 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has returned to the country after reportedly traveling outside for a medical check-up.

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There is ongoing speculation that South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, pictured here in the capital Juba on 10 June 2013, is in poor health (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

He returned on Monday aboard a Kenyan Airways flight accompanied by high level officials, including his advisor for legal affairs, Telar Riing Deng.

Kiir, who turned 62 in September, was received at Juba International Airport by cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomuro who was flanked by a line of cabinet ministers and armed generals.

No press statement was, however, made about the trip previously broadcast by the state-owned SSTV as an official visit to neighbouring Kenya, allegedly for bilateral talks with its government’s leadership.

However, conflicting reports later emerged over where the president had travelled and for what reasons.

In a broadcast on Monday, SSTV said Kiir was returning from a visit to Kenya, although no official comment was provided regarding the nature of the trip.

There was also no mention of the outcome of the scheduled meeting between Kiir and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta or any related news in the Kenyan and South Sudanese media outlets regarding the trip.

A close presidential aide who did not want to be identified told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the president was suffering from exhaustion and had taken a “short leave” to attend “a general medical check-up” on Saturday outside the country.

The aide said the president had experienced difficulties in sleeping and loss of appetite, as well as unusual changes in his unusual physical appearance and voice.

According to the aide he approached several colleagues with his concerns about Kiir’s health, but the president put the symptoms down to a demanding work schedule and lack of rest.

“The president was not really sick but he experienced difficulties in sleeping for two days. That was on Thursday and Friday nights. One could see from the general appearance that he was not well but he insisted [on] going to work”, the aide said.

Government officials have so far refused to confirm or deny the reports.

Speculation over the president’ health has intensified on social media sites in recent days and reports have also emerged friends and relatives were paying him a courtesy visit on the development.

HEAVY WORKLOAD

In an apparent move to downplay public concerns, an armed general, widely known as a close and long-time ally of the president since, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the president was “simply tired from his] workload and needed rest”.

“Anyone can feel tired and become weak from working too much, which is normal – even you in the media, there are times you feel tired [and need] to take rest”, he said.

“There is a lot work in that office and if you are not careful, especially if you want to ensure that you attend to every single issue like what president Salva is doing, you will definitely fall sick. The body itself needs rest and this is what I have been telling those in the office, especially his personal doctors, to be constantly observing the president and advise him accordingly. He needs to reduce [the] number of meetings [he attends]”, the general added.

The comments appeared aimed at countering speculation that the president’s possible health problems may affect his ability to run for another term in office in the 2015 elections. Reports from other sources close to the president indicate that he suffers from fatigue and low blood pressure and that his doctors have ordered him to reduce his workload. However, his office has yet to issue any statements about his health, prompting questions about whether he has a more serious illness.

Meanwhile, pictures broadcast on SSTV showed Kiir, who appeared in good health, disembarking from a Kenyan Airways flight on Monday.

Sudan Tribune was unable to obtain any official confirmation on whether the president had in fact travelled outside the country for medical attention, with officials at the presidential press unit declining to comment, describing it as a private matter.

“My friend, I think you better leave me. I cannot make any comment because it is beyond my assignment. What you are asking is a private thing and I cannot make any comment on private affairs. It is strictly prohibited and I will be in trouble”, a press officer who did not want to be named told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

COUNTRY AT CROSSROADS

Garang Mawien, a native of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state currently in Juba, dismissed reports that president Kiir was “unwell”, despite there being no public statement on the matter.

“I do not want to speculate about the health of the president. I will wait until I get [an] official statement from our government then I [will] make my comment about it,” he said.

“I want to reserve myself because there is an overwhelming feeling that South Sudan is at a critical crossroad and we need a strong leader, a president who could tackle all these challenges. President Salva has proved that he commands public support at the moment and any irresponsible talk about his health will certainly undermine his image and standing in the public eyes as our leader”, he added.

Various opposition leaders have also avoided making any public comments on the matter, although there are reports that some individually contacted the president to send their “best wishes”.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 November 2013 07:01, by Chol A.

    Sudantribune should prefessional website why are you collected incomplete information on street and post them to your site while not correct. I don’t know where are my desprent colleagues who are celebrating saying Kiir is dead does he now rose from dead? Shame to you guys and you will always remain hopeless waiting that leadership from Kiir which you not get sorry Ahahha.

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    • 6 November 2013 07:20, by Malou Manyiel

      There is no where president Kiir can avoid his duties with this political madness in South Sudan. He either give up and allow the rest to take us on, and at least go for his private life as Nelson Mandela did. Else, his health situation may worsen meanwhile we don’t want him to die.

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    • 6 November 2013 08:16, by Yuol

      Mr President, your health is precious to our Nation. you need to delegate some of your duties to other people in order to have enough time for rest and good thinking.

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    • 6 November 2013 08:34, by cholabdi

      Mr. President is HIV positive

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      • 6 November 2013 10:41, by Joseph

        Cholabdi,
        That is the fact know to everyone, but people just want to downplay it. Most of the ministers, governors, MPs and army generals are all HIV positive and that is why the keep on siphoning public funds for treatment abroad and their families.

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      • 6 November 2013 13:03, by yong madhal

        mr dog choladbi you are mad and stagnant person,president kiir health is so crucial in our nation

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        • 8 November 2013 03:08, by cholabdi

          Hey bulshit yong, your uncle president is not able to rule the nation because of his dog head, anyone can get Hiv, take for example your uncle kiir

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      • 6 November 2013 13:58, by EES Kingmaker

        Choladi
        You are crazy. President is the symbol of any nation. Denigrating him is an insult to South Sudan. Personal grudges with him should be treated as such. In some countries if you are aware insulting the head of State, especially insult that targeting his personality and image is punishable. People of your ilk may not feel it is a reckless adventure until you see angry teeth of the law.

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      • 6 November 2013 13:59, by EES Kingmaker

        Choladi
        You are crazy. President is the symbol of any nation. Denigrating him is an insult to South Sudan. Personal grudges with him should be treated as such. In some countries if you are aware insulting the head of State, especially insult that targeting his personality and image is punishable. People of your ilk may not feel it is a reckless adventure until you see angry teeth of the law.

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        • 8 November 2013 03:03, by cholabdi

          HIV doesn’t have an eye, president can get it son

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    • 6 November 2013 08:38, by viper

      As Nationals or patriotic citizens, we don’t wish you death as head of our state. such deaths are sometimes a curse to the nation. we just want you to leave the palace like Nelson Mandela of south Africa. The other thing you should do is to make good hospitals here so that those minor medcal check- ups should be done locally in our country. Do that or else khawajat will Rest you in peace in foreig

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      • 6 November 2013 08:46, by viper

        n hospitals as they did to so many people who use to go to their countries for medical attention. wishing you no death does not mean that we want you to keep on messing up as the head of state, but want you to leave that precious office and go to pay your attention to your health in Awan Chan Nyal as a normal citizen but we will be paying you visists in that village as a former head of state

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        • 6 November 2013 09:59, by Mi diit

          Well, as far as I know, incompetent Kiir is almost doing nothing in that palace. He doesn’t research, initiate policies or critical discussions on governance. So how can he experience the work fatigue and exhaustion? His main problems are heavy drinking, anxiety over failure to analyze the current political trends & disease. That is all! The man is getting weaker and weaker every day...

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    • 6 November 2013 16:34, by parajok

      NEEPHAT. Next times South Sudanese will heard good. Kir will not survive from HIV AIDS and chronic incess, he has been know to have sex with young kids including his own. I wished him dead

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      • 6 November 2013 20:09, by Peacocktail

        Midiit is A Nuer from Ethiopia while Parajok is a Ugandan, they are spy on ST mind you dear South Sudanese. DO NOT RESPONSE TO THEIR MESAGES.
        We did Election to bring our President H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit as National symbol and we dare to support him till time come for him to leave the power to legimate Leader NOT to UGANDANS or Ethiopian Like Midiit Uncle Machar. Long Live President of Republic,

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  • 6 November 2013 07:04, by Nguntap

    Lair General! These are hypocrite and doesn’t make any sense to me.. Why do you fraud the public Mr General? Whom do you think you are fooling? President felt tried and need to rest? Reduce the activities and meeting President is attending? This is just a joke! Whom do u think general will ran national affairs if President reducing his daily activities and meeting on national issues?

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    • 6 November 2013 07:18, by Nguntap

      Let himself (President) clean up all he mess up, tell him not to feel tire and quite or else resign if he is not capable enough to workout all national affairs he mess w/c perhaps will relieve him from stress he been through!
      I do have experience to help the President manage his stress: from my experience, the President is just suffering from stress b/c of a lot responsibility he is not capable o

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  • 6 November 2013 07:14, by Gat Gan Kiir

    Um um! Too much Whisky and fucking young girls and old ladies Awut and Nuunu became a serious sickness to poor president, Telar and other created a lot of opposition to Kiir who could not even able to think of. Kiir must avoid reality but can’t avoid the consequence of avoiding reality. I do agree with Mii Diit that Kiir will not celebrated the Christmas as a president

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  • 6 November 2013 07:22, by dinkdong

    So what is the secret behind his traveling?

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    • 6 November 2013 07:39, by Ming Dhal

      Gat Gan Kir
      Please you will die before this Christmas believe me. Why can’t you respect your mothers? I don’t really know how are some people brought up. You people acts like street kids who doesn’t parents to give them advises. in ten commandments of God, the command number four said respect your mother and father. Shame on you God will answer to your word idiot.

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      • 6 November 2013 08:01, by dinkdong

        That’s commandment number five (Exodus 20:2-27). You must be from Catholic if you are a christian.

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      • 7 November 2013 10:08, by Nguntap

        Ming,
        And also if the father/mother is disrespecting you, noway you would respect him/her!! I am so concur with you but mark this word!
        Being honest and trustworthy is what we all need in the new nation so with all effort we can overcome the challenges facing our nation and fight these thugs invading our land!

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  • 6 November 2013 07:44, by Gat Gan Kiir

    Ming, God also command that don’t committed adultery and tell the truth all the times. Awut and Nuunu both have an affair with poor president, if you don’t believe that ask you mother if she still a life

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  • 6 November 2013 07:53, by Gatluak

    I like Sudantribune website the way they closely fellow every activities for the mer citizens to know. I love it. To come to the point, why is it shame for president’s information department to tell the public what was all about his trip to Kenya if that was not that he is sick. Kiir his live is in danger. The former NCP member plus Telar are making his life difficult by telling him liars.

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    • 6 November 2013 08:10, by Ming Dhal

      Gat Gan Kiir
      Keep talking i was just advising you to quit from useless talk since it has got a no achievement to you however, it seems it’s too difficult for you to know. God bless you and your idiot Riek.

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      • 6 November 2013 08:15, by Malakal county Simon

        To be honest, i think South Sudan without Kiir in power, would be a very peaceful Nation....

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        • 6 November 2013 08:18, by Malakal county Simon

          Kiir need to values his legacy, then his leadership. Because leadership comes and go, while legacy remains the same.

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          • 6 November 2013 08:47, by Chol A.

            To Nuer traitors guys wishing Kiir death can not solve your allergy with Dinka don’t assumed that you will get into president post if he dead. There will be another worsted Dinka president coming after him as it just happen Garang dead and nothing you will do about it.you try militia and it failed so it better to try political which you can be hopeless in because you are not trusted community!

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            • 7 November 2013 03:58, by Naath Raani

              Guys, don’t waste your time. The president can disappear for 10 years and people can still talking about he is still alive. Kiir’s friends are calling him nights and days to share some important ideas in heaven. Dinkas’s kingdom is doomed. All the orphans who are crying since the movement started while getting no help from criminals are heard by God of heaven. Kiir spent 8 years without change.

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            • 7 November 2013 04:00, by Naath Raani

              Let him go in peace and make sure, South Sudanes all over the globe projected that Kiir is gone. Just open different chapter.
              Banydit a ci maar. Nhiaalic e yen kony koc ke. Wek koc pan col Junub, wek bi nhiaar a tok ku ci raan tok bi dong cieen. Nhiaalicdit muk koc ke a ben.

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          • 6 November 2013 08:54, by Rezingving monynok

            Malakal County simon
            you are such little annoying insect with Chunky funky ass which which sticky dirty things, when will you militias this dirty ways of thinking do n`t you all guy have nothing to do , those jalaby , BIG militia mafia midiit ,Nuer dominate,,,all idoits ,

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  • 6 November 2013 08:41, by Gaddfa

    There are things worth discussing, President Kiir is very much alive and kicking. i think this unnecessary foolish thing was generated by opposition to fool the public that Mr. president is indeed very ill and will die soon. i would advise Mr. president and his guards to be very careful, because that might be a plan by his opponent who might think of assassinating him.

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  • 6 November 2013 08:41, by Jalaby

    I told you before and I’m not kidding, Mr. Kiir is suffering from hypertension, high blood pressure, and more importantly, deep depression, you know "the president had experienced difficulties in sleeping and loss of appetite,as well as unusual changes in his unusual physical appearance and voice" all these symptoms of deep depression, Dinka Ngok are to be blamed

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    • 6 November 2013 08:46, by Jalaby

      for the deep depression that the president Kiir is suffering now, Mr. Kiir medicine for the deep depression is to get rid of the root cause of the disease, the 3 axis of evil of Dinka Ngok boys:
      1. Deng Alor
      2. Luka Biong (he knows himself (DR)), and
      3. Edward Lino

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      • 6 November 2013 09:23, by Peter Mading

        When some is stressed, he is mindful about what to do to his people. What do his people want and sometimes it is a result of low capacity. President should have a relaxation of mind and think freely because, those who are causing chaos were failures of the movement and they were not loyal to the course of liberating this nation. Wish good recovery to President.

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  • 6 November 2013 10:00, by wang

    Cattle keepers do not know their birth days? Common Dinka, why fooling yourselves in broad daylight...Kiir has never celebrated his birth day because he doesn’t know the exact year he was born…hahahahahhahahah funny stuffs are surrounding the chief of alcohol

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    • 6 November 2013 20:15, by Peacocktail

      Wang,
      what is Birth Celebration? have you ever celebrate yours and why force others to celebrate out of their interest. President of Republic deserve greater Respect from Nuer community. Do not be jealosu of his performance as head of state... Ethiopian Nuer are many in South SUdan and confusing us, we must dealt with them sweptly annd deport them with immediately.today I believes Nuer lok on foo

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  • 6 November 2013 10:07, by wang

    If the Mr. President didn’t go to S. Africa for medical reason then help us here about what hell he went to S. Africa for and he should be charges for wasting the public money on the personal entertainment… Kiir deaths is on the corner

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  • 6 November 2013 12:45, by Ping Yes

    Thanks to our leaders who have shown leadership maturity by not making irresponsible comment. This webside mandate should be reviewed by the parliament.Sorry to those who made irresponsible and disorganized comments.

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    • 6 November 2013 15:09, by dude

      Well wishes to our president. May God helps him from what ever disease is bothering him. Mr President, the time has come for you to go home and rest. South Sudan does not need a sick Leader. We need a leader that is young, active and running to get things that done that we really are needing in emergency.

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    • 6 November 2013 15:29, by Anna

      Mr. President Kiir, thanks for your hard work and courageous
      (but unpopular...) actions recently taken for the good of our Country. Take courage and God, who knows the heart of peoples, will be with you if you are committed to the common good of all South Sudanese. Get well!

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  • 6 November 2013 16:04, by Ping Yes

    Remember, whatever irresponsible comment you make just bear in mind that it will still haunt you wherever you are.This is because you are part and parcel of the very place and people you are trying to bring down with your rotten mouth. Do not think when you are out of S.Sudan you are better off,You are wrong,birth identity will never change.Be good citizen

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  • 6 November 2013 16:05, by Ping Yes

    Remember, whatever irresponsible comment you make just bear in mind that it will still haunt you wherever you are.This is because you are part and parcel of the very place and people you are trying to bring down with your rotten mouth. Do not think when you are out of S.Sudan you are better off,You are wrong,birth identity will never change.Be good citizen

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  • 6 November 2013 16:38, by Kim Deng

    "To Nuer don’t assumed that you will get into president post if he dead. There will be another worsted Dinka president coming after him."
    You’re very right because this Jungle is Dinka Kingdom, which means any non-Dinka who wants to be a president of this Jungle must come through "Blood and Iron."

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  • 7 November 2013 03:44, by Naath Raani

    Guys, don’t waste your time. The president can disappear for 10 years and people can still talking about he is still alive. Kiir’s friends are calling him nights and days to share some important ideas in heaven. Dinkas’s kingdom is doomed. All the orphans who are crying since the movement started while getting no help from criminals are heard by God of heaven. Kiir spent 8 years without change.

    repondre message

  • 7 November 2013 03:47, by Naath Raani

    Let him go in peace and make sure, South Sudanes all over the globe projected that Kiir is gone. Just open different chapter.

    repondre message

  • 7 November 2013 03:54, by Naath Raani

    Banydit a ci maar. Nhiaalic e yen kony koc ke. Wek koc pan col Junub, wek bi nhiaar a tok ku ci raan tok bi dong cieen. Nhiaalicdit muk koc ke a ben.

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