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Kiir’s legal advisor wants VP Igga appointed chief negotiator

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June 1, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir’s legal advisor, Telar Riing Deng has proposed that vice-president, James Wani Igga be appointed government’s lead negotiator in the ongoing peace talks with the country’s opposition forces.

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Telar Deng (L) congratulating the new vice-president James Wani after his appointment on August 27, 2013 (Photo Larco Lomayat)

Telar, in a confidential letter to the president, argued that Igga’s appointment would woo and court Equatorians in favour of Kiir’s administration.

He further said it was time to court the vice-president into a “more useful role”, stressing that such a move would overturn the widespread misconception that the talks were tribally-based.

“We must find a role for the vice -president to participate in the talks. As the negotiations in Addis move to considering substantive issues of power sharing leading to interim period etc, it is essential that the vice-president takes the lead in the peace talks”, party reads the letter entitled, “My perspective on the current situation in South Sudan”.

The undated letter, which makes reference to the recent framework agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, is seen as an approach and strategy to ensure president Kiir remains in power.

“In essence, the political quarrel concerns the position of the vice president. The rebels eye this position and the vice president must be in the forefront defending it”, wrote Kiir’s legal advisor.

“We do not want to be blamed later that we gave away positions in government”, further noted the letter.

According to Telar, involving vice-president Igga in the talks would demonstrate national unity and that involving Equatorians will take away the notion that these negotiations are a Dinka vs Nuer affair.

Currently, the government lead negotiator at the talks is Nhial Deng Nhial, a Dinka, who hails from president Kiir’s home state of Warrap.

The conflict, observers have argued, appears to have put the spotlight of appeasement on Equatoria as the government tries to come up with modalities and tricks by offering or trading ministerial positions in exchange for loyalty and security at the helm.

Already, sources have hinted, a reshuffle plan has reportedly been put in place with some names and regions being proposed against the portfolios of key ministries such as finance, interior and defence.

Telar, in his letter, suggested that the finance portfolio “should remain within greater Equatoria” and that if it was necessary to replace the incumbent minister, a fitting candidate be identified.

David Nailo Mayo, a member of parliament from the Didinga tribe in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state, has already been proposed.

Mayo not only solves the problem of representation in Eastern Equatoria, but he is also “competent and loyal to [the] leadership”, Telar argued.

ATTACKS CABINET MINISTER

The president’s legal advisor, however, had no kind words for Jemma Nunu Kumba, a cabinet minister from Western Equatoria state who is also on the new list for ministerial position in the region.

In his missive, Telar expressed dissatisfaction with minister Kumba, saying she has been “a disappointment”. He also doubted her usefulness and popularity, wondering “how much support she can muster” in the area for a government keen on clinging to power.

As such, the president’s legal advisor was of the view that Western Equatoria region be represented in cabinet preferably by the country’s former interior minister, General Alison Manani Magaya.

EQUATORIANS SLIPPERY

Telar, however, warned that any political strategy to court politicians from Equatoria region to ally with president Kiir and deny rebel leader Riek Machar a support base in the region, must be treated carefully.

“The Equatoria has a history of becoming slippery”, he wrote in his strongly-worded letter, and that they “must not be trusted in totality”.

“In the wake of the 1991 Split, the SPLM/A leadership successfully courted Equatorians that is Professor George Bureng, Steven Wondu, Dr. Samson Kwaje etc) to deny the Nasir Faction any tangible support in the region,” the letter further said.

“Under the current political climate, we need to pursue this kind of policy,” added Telar in his letter to his boss.

(ST).

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  • 2 June 09:27, by J P Puok

    Eh Eh Eh feathers are rumblings ? Equatorians are slippery?
    9 Subuni not competent ? Nunu Kumba not reliable ?
    what reliability do Mr Telar meant? an MP proposed for replacement? Are they tools(people from equatoria)? According to Telar these guys can be used for solving Algebric equations?

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    • 2 June 11:25, by Fundamental Change icon

      It will not suprise us if Wani Iga is once again appointed as the chief negotiator coz this old man is just used by the Dinkas as a condom for protection purpose and once the game is over, he will be dropped and forgotten as usual.Cheer idiot.An for the information of the

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      • 2 June 15:58, by Mi diit

        Who told that fake lawyer called Telar Ring Deng that the rebels are after that cheap position of vice president? Nonsense! They are for Salva Kiir’s head. So let Telar continue to insult Equatorians by such statements, but should not lie on what the rebels want. Vice president’s position is a thing of the past.

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  • 2 June 09:50, by Adodi Jotuwa

    The insistence on being recognized as a professional legal advisor without professional academic documents is extremely "unfortunate". Why did he fail parliamentary vetting? What is wrong with the current Chief Negotiator Deng Nhial Deng, who is experienced and knows a lot about negotiation strategy of CPA-2005 than being seen as something between Dinka vs Nuer affairs. What is the substance here?

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    • 2 June 09:59, by Adodi Jotuwa

      We may agree or not that this is not a tribal war since Dr. Fool Riek Machar plays his card cautiously on international arena while on the ground the fighting forces of rebellion are predominantly Nuer who know the reasons better than the Presidential Legal Advisor, who either pretends to know nothing about or simply wants to add more fuel into fire to simply retain his controversial appointment.

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      • 2 June 10:07, by Adodi Jotuwa

        To Nuer the war is completely tribal as of 1991 although few non-Nuer participated before ending up in Khartoum and signing bogus agreement of KPA-1997. I have repeatedly said that Dr. Fool Riek machar is always reluctant to follow a Non-Nuer leadership, instead he jumps off the bandwagon by making his own repeated demands of "step down, this leadership is not democratic".

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        • 2 June 10:14, by Adodi Jotuwa

          The targeted killings of Dinka in Bor Massacre in 1991 and again in 2013/2014 in Bor, Akobo, Malakal and Bentiu is a clear reflection of tribal war waged in the name of innocent democracy or poor governance. Lack of democratic transformation or good governance that Riek claims, made him one of the richest politicians among Nuer in particular and south Sudanese politicians at large.

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          • 2 June 10:23, by Adodi Jotuwa

            In this context, what proves that the negotiations with the rebel leader Dr. Fool Riek Machar is not moving in the right direction under Deng Nhial Deng and his delegation? Our problem is not that the "negotiation team is undemocratic"; it’s poor coordination of communications between relevant government institutions because the West got opportunity to listen more to Riek than the Government.....

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            • 2 June 10:31, by Adodi Jotuwa

              ....and got disappointed by the activities and propaganda of the same man, Riek who claims to be championing democratic transformation in the newly-born nation. It ’s the government and its diplomatic mission abroad to be on the same page to keep reminding international community about Dr. Fool Riek’s political record of switching sides since 1991 for his own interest.

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              • 2 June 10:53, by Adodi Jotuwa

                If it were not because of Riek’s ill intention to govern RSS at any cost is not his priority, why would he fail to get institutional foundations built first while the outstanding issues with Khartoum be resolved peacefully. Capacity building or service delivery is one of the challenges facing our government. Riek ignores all this because he knows that he will definitely die before ruling South.

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                • 2 June 11:02, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  Let’s say if Riek dies today, will there be no Nuer intellectuals with a PhD elected to govern South Sudan? Or Riek’s death will be the end of Nuer intellectuals in political arena? South Sudanese desperately need peace, stability, development, NOT a senseless tribal war waged against elected government while targeted killing of one tribe, Dinka is the order of the day.

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                  • 2 June 12:10, by Bravo Nuer

                    Adodi your unfortunate Dinka-ism tribal mentality is too blind and too deep rooted. Telar and Kiir will be better than you in term of folly if three of you see psychiatrist.the suggestion of Telar doesn’t mean Nhial Deng is incompetent to negotiate.but is to reverse this Dinka dominated tribal govt of Kiir President, Malong Chief of Staff, Akol Kur Security Director, Marial M.I Director and ETC

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                    • 2 June 12:18, by Bravo Nuer

                      never delude or lie to yourself that the world view kiir as an illegitimate president but as a Dinka president by luck has unfettered access to RSS ready resources (money and food )and is being surrounded in pretext by the greedy and gluttonous money lovers of other tribes whose stomachs are within and whose hearts are without.know this fact from today people from other tribes including some Dinka

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                      • 2 June 12:29, by Bravo Nuer

                        are purely loyal to money not to kiir tribal govt.if money dries up today Riek Machar can be the better enemy to kiir than those opportunists who some even are part of kiir inner circles and influence kiir misguidedly and intentionally to dive with his headfirst into bottomless pit.Telar,Aleu and Ateny Wek the ex archenemies of kiir are on the top of that list to settle their old humiliated scores

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                      • 2 June 12:35, by Bravo Nuer

                        never delude or lie to yourself that the world view kiir as a legitimate president but as a Dinka president by luck has unfettered access to RSS ready resources (money and food )and is being surrounded in pretext by the greedy and gluttonous money lovers of other tribes whose stomachs are within and whose hearts are without.know this fact from today people from other tribes including some Dinka

                        repondre message

  • 2 June 10:19, by Jubawe

    Mr Telar too late for guys looming, we already decision not to support fail government, your letter to Kirr because Equatorian leaders came out with good outcoming last month to support Dr Riak idea of federation otherwise they’ll take arm if needy to defend the states. Equatorian are tool to keep Kirr in power. Dinka’s history of Equatorian, we don’t want to repeat again.

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  • 2 June 10:20, by Jubawe

    Mr Telar too late for guys looming, we already decision not to support fail government, your letter to Kirr because Equatorian leaders came out with good outcoming last month to support Dr Riak idea of federation otherwise they’ll take arm if needy to defend the states. Equatorian are tool to keep Kirr in power. Dinka’s history of Equatorian, we don’t want to repeat again.

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    • 2 June 11:31, by Simon Puok Nyang Tutjiek

      I laugh by tears, there is saying , A man beating a drum for a mad man is not better than a mad man ( Telar is not better than Salva Kiir)

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  • 2 June 11:30, by Ajongtar

    Why the VP while we have competent poeple in Equatoria who meen to negotiate this Dinka Vs Nuer war and bring them to total peace to mention few, are Brig; General Francis Latiu, steven Wondu.

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  • 2 June 12:59, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Please learn to be logical. Who initiated the liberation of South Sudan as an entity. You should know that Equatorians are not your political footballs. They know where there interests lie. Who are you to scoop positions to them? Wait for your fate. You have destroyed it. For that you must answer and pay.

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  • 2 June 20:50, by Zeki

    Dear Sudan tribune
    You better close this collunm of commend , because it is use by useless people as place to talk nonsense.
    Otherwise, Telar Ring is very correct to request for VP to Participate in peace talk, not because of post but for many reasons since he is very senior SPLA/M and one of the founders.

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