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S. Sudan hires US firm to improve foreign relations

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March 15, 2014 (JUBA) - Faced with the seemingly deteriorating relation between its government and the United States administration, South Sudan has reportedly hired a Washington-based public relations firm to improve its diplomatic ties with the former.

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Riva Levinson speaking to friends and clients of KRL at the firm’s fifth anniversary party (krlinternational.com)

Juba’s decision, Sudan Tribune has learned, comes in the wake of its government’s tainted image with the US and remains optimistic that KRL International would help communicate its viewpoint on the ongoing negotiations with the country’s rebels.

Highly placed sources confirmed that the country’s minister for the presidency, Awan Guol Riak indeed sought services of the reputable firm.

"We really need to improve our relations with the west and the media. If this firm can do that, especially this time of this crisis, it would be a big diplomatic achievement," an official who declined to be named told Sudan Tribune Saturday.

Established by L. Riva Levinson in 2007, KRL International reportedly strives to meet the growing demand from decision-makers looking for comprehensive services to bridge the divide between the US and global emerging markets.

President Salva Kiir, sources told Sudan Tribune, believes the firm would develop communication with the Obama administration, international donors, the media, non-governmental entities as well as multilateral institutions in order to provide support in efforts to consolidate peace, reconciliation and development priorities.

The firm will reportedly advocate for direct communication between authorities in Juba and key officials close to President Obama and the Congress in Washington.

STRAINED RELATIONS

Relations between Juba and Washington began to shows signs of strain in 2011 immediately after South Sudan seceded from Sudan following its self-determination referendum necessitated by 2005 peace deal, which ended its over two decade conflict with Khartoum.

But many independent analysts and observers attribute the growing uneasiness in relations between the two countries, to claims that the South Sudan leader during one of his official visits to Washington after the country’s independence misled his US counterpart about Juba’s alleged support to Sudanese rebels fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

At a meeting with the US leader, President Kiir reportedly denied that his country was maintaining any links with the SPLM-North rebels, which were until South Sudan’s secession from Khartoum, part of Juba’s ruling party (SPLM) and its army (SPLA).

Some observers have, however, attributed the strained relations between Juba and Washington to the emerging undemocratic tendencies, which critics say has stalled internal reform within the country’s ruling party.

Many South Sudanese citizens say the US and other nations have overlooked the SPLM’s growing authoritarianism, as well as numerous violations against human rights and press freedom.

In mid-December last year, differences within the SPLM spilled over into the army triggering fighting, which President Kiir and his supporters claim was a coup attempt. This has, however, been denied by those accused of instigating the conflict, including former vice president Riek Machar.

All the accused deny there was any coup attempt and many of them are now part of a rebellion against the government.

The Juba administration has relentlessly been trying to convince the international community of its version of events, albeit with very little success.

PUBLIC REACTIONS

Deng Mawien a native Northern Bahr el Ghazal commended the decision of the government to hire lobbying firm with close links with officials from different western countries, including the US.

“This is a good development if what is said is true. Our government is beginning to grow and started realizing the importance of having lobbying group in key countries. There is no free service. This should have been done long time ago to complement the work of our diplomats", Mawien told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

Deng Wilson Wieu, a native of Warrap said the money being given by the government to hire lobbying group should have been used in the past to lobby for western and regional support during the border conflict with neighbouring Sudan in 2012 as well as the unresolved post-secession issues.

"The money being ditched out at the moment to Uganda and the lobbying firms as a result of this conflict would have added a value if used to support the tilt in western and regional opinion on border conflict with Sudan instead of internal matters," Wieu told Sudan Tribune in a separate interview on Saturday.

"A solution should never be imported but exert necessary effort to find [an] internal solution", he added.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 16 March 10:40, by tootke’bai-ngo

    SOUTH SUDAN CAN HIRE BOTH GADHI & NELSON MANDELA TO SELL THEIR LIES ALL THEY WANTED (may Almighty rest their souls in peace).
    HOWEVER, WITH KIIR IN POWER, THE DEMAGED FACE OF S.SUDAN WILL NEVER BE REPAIR, MAYARDIT HAS TO STEP DOWN, PERIOD.

    repondre message

    • 16 March 12:19, by Sir King

      We need government which embraces professionalism, diplomacy, promote education, government that is free from corruptions, government that provides health services, government that promotes justice, government that cares for its citizens, government that provides employments to its people, etc but those are fictitious in Kiir’s administration. What a worse government!

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      • 17 March 05:27, by Mi diit

        Hiring a super-diplomat? Ahahahaaa...What happens to the more than 90 Dinka diplomats deployed around the world? Have they failed to convince the world including USA to believe the Juba lies about a coup attempt? They are wasting hundreds of millions already, why hire another scum agent to waste additional tens of millions of US dollars? A lie will always remain a lie, no matter who speaks it!

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        • 17 March 06:04, by Mading Makuac

          you will keep on barking but your excellency kiir will not step down

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          • 17 March 06:14, by Mading Makuac

            Riek will never become president in S.Sudan. It is enough for him to kill innocent civilians in 1991 & even now.

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  • 16 March 11:12, by Bentiu son

    Waw!very interesting,what goes around comes around.Now!Awan Chan Nyal thieves of Warap are worries for their unlawful, barbaric,anti democratic,authoritarian tendencies and unfaithful mismanagement of South Sudan resources which led into the current poor international relationship.You had been busy looted the oil money without plan in place.Hired mercenaries UPDF,World body won’t rescue ur regime

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    • 16 March 12:09, by Sir King

      Unless Obama’s administration wants South Sudanese die all, when he will accept to leave Mr. Kiir in power. Kiir can not, will not, will never do anything better to South Sudanese citizens. Our Dinka politicians should stand firm and reject Kiir’s dictatorial government must go to remain in peace.

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  • 16 March 11:23, by whatsayyou

    Many can talk
    Let give them money cash rather then promise money by Riek Coup plotter in the young nation. It must be noted that Although Kir stand down Killer and power hungry Riek will not rule this country

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  • 16 March 11:25, by Jubawe

    Kirr should step down to let citizen of South Sudan enjoy their freedom of life, Kirr and his looter put poor citizen suffering in Bor, Malayalam and BGS, let citizen of SS live in peace like Equatorian otherwise with Kirr government there will never be peace in South Sudan

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  • 16 March 11:28, by whatsayyou

    When will Nuer stop lies? It is too much of you guys, this cries has made you professional lies. Your master Riek is the chairman of lies.

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  • 16 March 11:32, by Jubawe

    Kirr should step down and no more Amy president in our nation, national parliament should have power to solve internal issue not Uganda, no more president who doesn’t follow constitution, issuing wrong degree and sacking governor who should be sack by parliament, we need leader who care about people first not oil. No Kirr or Riak, new generation leader

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    • 16 March 11:45, by Darkangel

      K. Riva Levinson, a Washington lobbyist and public relations specialist who received federal funds to drum up prewar support for the Iraqi National Congress. She has close ties to Bartel and now helps companies open doors in Iraq, in part through her contacts with the Iraqi National Congress.
      Great plan GSS - Pay the Jews to do your dirty work in Washington. Its bound to work !

      repondre message

    • 17 March 06:57, by Letigolight

      Any government, company or institution that owes moral responsibility to humanity will never partner with this Kiir government in its effort to remain in power! This MUST sound clear in the ears of any US citizen!The position of the US advocacy group to the Obama Admin that the Kiir government should never be given any chance to remain in power is very clear and MUST hold!

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  • 16 March 11:58, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Have we now built paved roads, good schools and hospitals so that we can toss the wealth the country to prop up a leader who is not doing his jop properly? It is sad we have to continue with this rubbish after decades of suffering under Jallaba!! This phase of suffering should be stopped immediately.

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  • 16 March 13:45, by Awei-ngok

    Breaking News!The general information I have is that Mi diit has been killed between Vancouver and Ontario in Canada this morning.The unidentified assassin claimed he was very unhappy with Mi diit because of the psychological warfare he was engaged in destabilising South Sudan given the current crisis that engulfed the new nation and killed thousands of people innocently.Assassin is a Canadian.

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    • 16 March 14:31, by chol

      Clearly you don’t know what you talk about you should check Canada map before you lie Vancouver is nowhere near Ontario fools.you are waste of time just drink your beer and go sleep.

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    • 16 March 22:09, by Wani khooto

      Good news,
      i have never celebrated a death of human being even during my time as SPLA soldier but let me celebrate the death of MIDIIT,so this man was been hiding in Canada and pretended to be in the south.idiot nuer rest in HELL,i hatred u my dog,why support war while u are even not there.peace will come now.we are SOUTH SUDANESE.

      repondre message

  • 17 March 14:43, by Niggorota

    You insult Americans yet you come back to them for advice.

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