Home | News    Saturday 14 December 2013

Kiir’s foreign trips for strategic national interest: spokesperson


December 13, 2013 (JUBA) – The spokesperson for South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has maintained that a series of foreign trips made by the leader were for strategic national interests.

JPEG - 28.5 kb
South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, addresses the media in Juba on 2 May 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Paul Banks)

In a statement aired on the state-owned SSTV, Ateny Wek Ateny downplayed claims that the president’s trips were “politically” planned to deny people a chance to meet him.

The president has visited Kuwait, France, South Africa and most recently Kenya, where he attended its golden jubilee celebrations, in less than a month.

Ateny said the president’s schedule did not include any upcoming trips and it was his intention to celebrate Christmas with the South Sudanese people.

He said Kiir’s recent trips were concerned with issues important for South Sudan and it was therefore in the country’s best interests that the president attend.

Ateny stressed that South Sudan was not on an island and must work together with other nations and leaders to strategise on issues of importance for the country’s peace and prosperity.

He cited Kiir’s recent trip to South Africa, where he paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, describing the latter as an “international icon”.

“The visit [of the president] to Kuwait, as you know was for investment, which is also important to the country. All these trips were strategically important for the country”, Ateny said.


However, Simon Deng, a native of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, said the president’s attendance was not required on all occasions.

“We have ambassadors and the minister of foreign affairs to represent the country. I am not saying the president should not travel, but you know that the president and his entourage travel on the expense of the public resources”, said Deng.

“When he (Kiir) travels, he goes with [a] huge delegation, even those who should not have travelled”, he added.

William Subek argued that the president should only travel on issues of significance, such as his recent trip to South Africa, saying an ambassador could have represented South Sudan at the Kenyan celebrations.

“That was why they were appointed. They are to represent the country on such functions and occasions in their host countries. It does not require [the] presence of the president”, said Subek.


Meanwhile, a senior government official told Sudan Tribune that he had not seen the president in eight years, despite several attempts to arrange a meeting.

“I have never met comrade Salva since he went to the presidency. It is now eight years. The last time I was with him was on 4 May 2005 in Rumbek. We met again in July after the death of our chairman, John Garang, and I have never met him again”, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“I have issues of national importance to share with him, but it has been difficult getting [hold of] him”, he added, saying he only sees the South Sudanese leader on television and in newspapers.

The unnamed official was among those in Kiir’s headquarters when the latter was still a rebel commander during the over two-decades long civil war with Sudan, which ended with the January 2005 peace accord.

He also claimed the president may not have been informed about the appointments he has made since December 2005.

“I don’t think comrade Salva whom we were together in many places [would] deny meeting me. We shared rooms during the operations of Kurmuk and in the first operation to take Rumbek. Late comrade Dominic Dim Deng and I were in the headquarters of comrade Salva, who was the overall zonal commander. So I don’t think he can really turn down [a] meeting [with] me even if his busy schedules are tight like what”, the official said.

“What I think is happening is that he may not have been informed about these requests to meet him”, he added.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 14 December 2013 10:00, by NO PEACE

    kiir mean some thing empty.

    repondre message

    • 14 December 2013 10:08, by NO PEACE

      There is now peace in south sudan according to the kiir situation.

      repondre message

      • 14 December 2013 10:36, by moto


        repondre message

    • 14 December 2013 10:40, by Tong dut


      repondre message

  • 14 December 2013 10:54, by dude

    why do you have to meet with the president. he is under the pressure and under security. There is no point of meeting him. Kiir is wasting money. I do not agree with him traveling. Maybe he miss traveling for fun. Kiir is very careless about the people of south Sudan. Kiir is just enjoying his life knowing that he will die soon. We need a real leader but not KIIR. I do not LIke Kiir

    repondre message

    • 14 December 2013 11:46, by omoni jr.

      How about Riek machar? Do you like him?

      repondre message

      • 14 December 2013 11:52, by Tong dut

        @ Omoni,these two guys are criminal brother Kirr and Riek Macher.

        repondre message

      • 14 December 2013 11:59, by Akook

        Riek as hungry as he stood infront of cameras, is doing so, not for money. I am convinced he already had enough, he is hungry to swirl this young nation into a right direction. That means Riek love South Sudan and there will be no point for South Sudan, not to love him back! Kiir is exhausted and has got nothing new to offer to S Sudanese people! He had a great legacy as freedom fighter!

        repondre message

        • 14 December 2013 12:02, by Akook

          Kiir needs to retire now! The sooner he does this, the better for the nation!

          repondre message

    • 14 December 2013 11:58, by Bentiu son

      Broh Dude,you must know that Kiir is a big corruption international icon, he is just enjoy with his recent stolen 4.5 billion US dollars he had looted from South Sudan in name of austerity measures loan which was officially denied by the Senior SPLM members.Kiir had been looting Unity State 2% oil revenues since his term in Office. What a corrupted President on the earth? Under him,no peace

      repondre message

      • 14 December 2013 12:08, by Tong dut

        @ Bentue, you are very cleaver man,that uncle knows that he is going forever, and will not come again. Soon he will sold south sudan to jalaba back.Not only that Dinka Bor is under fire from him. How corrupted our president is?

        repondre message

  • 14 December 2013 17:36, by SouthSudaneseviews

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

South Sudan: Revenge Killings is not the basis for building a modern nation 2014-04-21 05:39:31 By Steve Paterno April 20, 2014 - The theme of this article develops as a result of my extensive research and writings on a culture of revenge killings among South Sudanese communities, (...)

Humanitarian groups in Darfur continue to be targeted for expulsion 2014-04-21 05:30:12 By Eric Reeves April 20, 2014 - On Friday, April 18 Radio Dabanga reported that Khartoum had expelled yet another critical humanitarian organization working in Darfur, this time Merlin (UK). The (...)

Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan under international law 2014-04-19 09:37:28 Is there foreign policy principle justifying Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan civil war and under whose authority could the exercise be carried out? By Kuajien Lual Wechtuor April (...)



Latest Press Releases

SDFG mourn the loss of a Sudanese activist 2014-04-20 09:02:39 The Sudan Democracy First Group mourns the loss of Osman Hummaida, a towering figure of the human rights movement in Sudan, and a tireless campaigner for democracy and peace in the country. Osman (...)

UNICEF supports emergency response for children in Sudan with 89 tons of life-saving supplies 2014-04-19 09:47:06 Khartoum, 18 April 2014 --- Today in Khartoum airport, UNICEF received 89 tons of life-saving supplies to support the humanitarian response to children affected by emergencies in various hot (...)

Letter to the South Sudanese government on the ratification of the African Charter 2014-04-16 06:24:18 Letter to the Government of South Sudan on the ratification of the African Charter H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit President of the Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan CC: Dr. Barnaba Benjamin (...)


Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.