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Machar says “stupid” comment should not stall peace talks

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June 19, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The South Sudanese ex-vice president turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, said the recent “stupid” comment allegedly uttered by the executive secretary of the East African regional bloc (IGAD), Mahboub Maalim, should not be made as an excuse to stall the peace process to settle the six-month conflict in the new nation.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar, addresses a press conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 12 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Maalim, during a confrontational argument on the peace talks with president Salva Kiir’s delegation in Addis Ababa last week, reportedly generalised the rival leaders as "stupid" if they thought they would settle the crisis militarily.

In reaction the government’s delegation suspended their participation in the talks and president Kiir personally wrote a letter of protest to the IGAD chairman, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, asking for apology on behalf of his junior official.

South Sudanese armed opposition leader, Machar, who dismissed being stupid equally said the comment was “unfortunate”, but said it should have been overcome and not affect the peace process.

“I have not been known for being stupid,” he said in a BBC interview this week.

“That reference was very unfortunate and I would have thought Mahboub would apologise and we would continue with the peace process,” he further stressed.

The rebel leader, who in 1982 obtained his PhD in Strategic Planning in the University of Bradford in UK, said the war was imposed on him by the dictatorship and its subsequent crisis which he said was orchestrated by president Kiir using a “fake coup.”

He however added the conflict would politically be settled in a peace agreement that would restructure the state on the basis of a federal system.

The remarks have attracted public reactions with many wondering how the South Sudanese war became particularly stupid when many IGAD countries have had internal wars in the past and present.

In a press release, dated 19th June 2014, seen by Sudan Tribune, addressed to the IGAD mediation team, the deputy spokesperson of the SPLM/A in Opposition, Mabior Garang de Mabior, said the rebels were ready to continue with the peace talks while their concerns on inclusivity are being addressed by the mediators.

“However, we want to express our readiness to continue direct negotiations with the government delegation while you address the issues we have raised in our letter. In addition, we want to reiterate our commitment to inclusivity of other stakeholders by engaging them in consultative manner as stipulated in the May 9, 2014, Agreement,” partly reads the statement.

The two rival factions have agreed to negotiate a peace agreement that will lead to formation of an interim government within the next two months. The negotiations are inclusive of the other South Sudanese stakeholders.

OPPOSITION DEMAND FAIR INCLUSIVITY

Machar however demanded fair inclusivity in the IGAD peace process and criticized the manner in which the selection processes were done for the civil society and faith-based groups that are to join the talks.

Machar said the “victims” who want change in the country have been left out when the delegates were mainly selected from the government-controlled areas without considering those who fled abroad, demanding that the process be reviewed.

“Those who felt things are not right and want a peace agreement and a change in the government structures are the ones abroad. They are the victims,” he pointed out.

He explained that those who remained in Juba and lived without coercion for the last six months of violence were probably pro-government groups and shouldn’t be seen to represent the divergent views in the peace talks.

The rebel leader further argued that while it was right to bring civil society organizations from the government’s side, it was equally important and right to select from the civil society groups that have fled the country and live abroad.

(ST)

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  • 20 June 09:15, by Mi diit

    Emotional Mahboub Maalim was maybe told by the other emotional opportunist Pagan Amum and cohorts to insult the two leaders as stupid, forgetting about their own stupidities. IGAD countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, etc fought wars. Were they stupid too? Fighting a just war is not stupid.

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    • 20 June 09:19, by Mi diit

      Besides, Dr Riek Machar is not stupid. Actually when he came here to Washington DC he was praised for being visionary. He is a better thinker than most of the African leaders. I cannot however speak on behalf of the village chief Kiir Kuethpiny. He has to carry his own cross.

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      • 20 June 09:25, by Mi diit

        What I know is that Dr Machar’s zigzagging strategies on self-determination in the past brought about the independence of South Sudan. His current strategy on democracy and federalism will also succeed. He is a super thinker, but those who don’t understand how he plays around his strategies cheaply choose to underestimate him for failure to read his mind.

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        • 20 June 17:26, by Rommel

          Mi diit:

          Ah, so Riek was regarded as ’visionary’ by the Americans? Please direct me to the primary source. You have a checkered history of distorting the pronouncements, judgments and positions of Nation-States, organizations and individuals... and so I don’t regard anything that you say [without a source] as even remotely trustworthy.

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          • 20 June 17:38, by Rommel

            The description of Riek as ’visionary’ by the Americans must exist outside the mere contours of your morally and intellectually bankrupt, imaginative mind. Provide *evidence* of this high praise for Riek — a man known for being a mass murderer and a vapid opportunist. I repeat my request, direct me to a primary source.

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            • 20 June 17:40, by Rommel

              You better stop spinning and find some documents, fast! I have a feeling you won’t be forthcoming in this regard. Two things can happen: 1) You will answer my request for evidence, and if you’re forthcoming, I will thank you for enlightening me. 2) You will not answer my request, in which case you will have again re-affirmed your penchant for dishonesty.

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              • 20 June 17:50, by Rommel

                There’s not a single impartial historian that asserts that Riek’s foolish alliances with Khartoum directly laid the groundwork for our independence. History does not agree with you, Gatwech. Prove to us that you are not as clueless as you appear to be by explaining why accounts by impartial historians don’t agree with you. Historians have described Riek’s political strategies as schizophrenic.

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                • 20 June 17:53, by Rommel

                  You seem to desperately want to believe that Riek knew exactly what he was doing after having failed so miserably. Did he know what he was doing when he committed the folly of being so desperately reliant upon Khartoum’s supplies, weapons, ammunition and logistical support!?

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                  • 20 June 17:55, by Rommel

                    Did he know what he was doing when Khartoum increased its military presence in the oilfields, in an absolute, definite and conspicuous display of contempt and disregard for Riek after they promised him control of the oilfields!? Did Riek know what he was doing when Khartoum used Matip to force him out of Unity State!?

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                    • 20 June 17:58, by Rommel

                      Did Riek know what he was doing when he admitted that he got "cheated" [his words not mine] by Khartoum into thinking that they had any intention of honoring any part (s) of the agreements that he signed with them!? He didn’t know what he was doing.

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                      • 20 June 17:59, by Rommel

                        "The government benefited substantially from the split inside the SPLA. The government had encouraged the split by sending false signals that it might let the South secede." (Sudan-Contested identities, Ann Lesch)

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                        • 20 June 18:01, by Rommel

                          Once the split occurred, the government developed a four-prong strategy that encouraged Riek machar to fight the SPLA. It backed away from offering independence, mounted large scale offences against Garang’s forces and used the disintegration of the SPLA to facilitate its repression of the African people in Southern Kordofan, Darfur and Southern Blue Nile. (Sudan-Contested identities)

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                          • 20 June 18:04, by Rommel

                            Why did you rely upon the grace of a political unit that you so ostensibly wished to distance yourself from!? You cannot seek independence from someone when you’re wholly reliant upon them for every nail, every litre of oil, every platform, every box of ammunition and their logistical support. You didn’t know what you were doing! Even your precious idiot idol admits that he was ’cheated’.

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                            • 20 June 18:21, by Rommel

                              Riek did not deliver Self-Determination to the people of South Sudan — he delivered internecine tribal war and our oilfields to Khartoum. That’s his legacy. The legacy that allowed Khartoum to arm itself like never before with sophisticated and devastating weapons, to the tune of billions of dollars and to the attendant lost of tens of thousands and the misery of millions of lives.

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                              • 20 June 18:38, by Rommel

                                The late Dr. John Garang very well understood that you couldn’t possibly be taken seriously by Khartoum and achieve a political settlement with the Ignaz Nazis, without an independent army... with an independent source of funding, a separate source of weaponry and ammunition and a separate line of logistics.

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                                • 20 June 18:50, by Rommel

                                  Dr. John Garang made it very clear that autonomy or independence couldn’t be "guaranteed by a few phrases scribbled on some sheets of paper stapled and bound together and christened “The Constitution”." Dr. John Garang wrote that in 1972 — in a letter to Joseph Lagu, warning that the Addis Ababa Agreement would be dishonored in its entirety if the South didn’t have a truly independent army.

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                                  • 20 June 18:56, by Rommel

                                    You quite laughably try to justify Riek’s stupidity by saying that he succeded in getting Khartoum to enshrine the right to self-determination in the ’constitution’. Khartoum doesn’t regard documents, conventions and constitutions as worthy of compliance in the absence of force. Does it have any regard for the Geneva convention!? Of course it doesn’t...

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                                    • 20 June 19:07, by Rommel

                                      .. So what makes you think that they would regard the KPA with even a smidgen of sanctity!? Riek is a third rate warlord. They played that fool like a banjo. He was trapped. He couldn’t do anything without their approval. He needed Khartoum to supply him with platforms, weapons, ammunition, fuel, food-relief... everything!

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                                      • 20 June 19:18, by Rommel

                                        A genocidal, State sponsor of terror doesn’t give a damn about some flimsy document, otherwise they wouldn’t have murdered millions of people in contravention of the Geneva convention.

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                                        • 20 June 19:20, by Rommel

                                          Allow me to quote Garang’s 1972 letter to Joseph Lagu: "There is no reason, absolutely no objective reason for clearheaded Southerners and Northerners alike to believe after eight years and more of continuous warfare and the repeated failures of some forms of constitutional guarantees that paper constitutional guarantees are now going to solve the war in the Sudan."

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                                          • 20 June 19:23, by Rommel

                                            Any Southerner who holds the mistaken view that Arab Nationalism now sincere, now means good business, now gives the South local autonomy in good faith and that this autonomy will be guaranteed by a few phrases scribbled on some sheets of paper stapled and bound together and christened “ The Constitution”...

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                                            • 20 June 19:25, by Rommel

                                              ..that Southerner either suffers from acute historical myopia or else advocates the treasonable stand of opportunism, national subjugation and continued Arab Chauvinism and domination; in short, such Southerner calls for surrender in a camouflaged form. (Captain John Garang Letter to Gen. Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972)

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                                              • 20 June 19:33, by Rommel

                                                Dr. John Garang also said this: "It must be clear to Southerners that the retention of the right to secede from such a federation must be guaranteed by the federal constitution and by the existence of a physical Southern Armed Forces."

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                                                • 21 June 06:48, by Mi diit

                                                  Rommel,
                                                  You know I don’t depend on books written by foreign bias writers who were hired at the time by you people with money to write nonsensical history about my own country. I witnessed history unfolding myself. Why do you depend on foreign writers, foreign troops, etc, for everything. Yes, we allied with Bashir because he was not foreign by then, but now you are proud having foreign Museveni, k

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                                                  • 21 June 11:16, by Rommel

                                                    I know, facts usually are tiresome, to people who place too much effort into disregarding them. You must be exhausted then. No one is buying your excuses. Try again. It’s fun watching you squirm. You can’t debate. You can’t cite sources . You can’t even counter facts. You’re only good for laughs.

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                                                    • 21 June 11:22, by Rommel

                                                      Historians have to follow a high scholarly standard; they don’t just absorb pieces of information like a sponge. Historians disagree with your ahistorial accounts, and no amount of dishonesty and conspiracy theory will help you. You can cry until your eyes drop out, baby boy. Historians weren’t paid — that’s just your embittered and delusional paranoia speaking.

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                                                      • 21 June 11:25, by Rommel

                                                        If you had evidence that would eviscerate my assertions, why is it that your posts consists only of rhetoric, but not of actual evidence of any kind? You’re not -playing dodgy-. It’s clear, you’re simply stupid. Your arguments fail miserably. You do not even have a good basis for inductively maintaining a conclusion. You are a joke.

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                                                        • 21 June 11:27, by Rommel

                                                          So your alliance with Khartoum was justified because it was an all Sudanese affair!? How does it change the fact that you went outside the family and begged for assistance from the enemy!? The only reason that anyone ever appeals for assistance from a third party is that they’ve judged themselves to be too weak to prosecute the war on their own.

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      • 20 June 09:38, by dinkdong

        I don’t think either of them (Kiir and Riek) is smart. You can tell by the way they plan, speak and execute things. I am with whoever called them "stupid."

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      • 20 June 11:19, by Ayom Ayom

        I wonder why an officer who work for the president insulting his boss as stupid, I am worried this guy may risk losing his job or either be subjected to disciplinary action

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    • 20 June 16:17, by Tong dut

      The stupid boss who started the war by killing his own political party by accusing them that it was a coup?
      Now his new name is the first and last STUPID SALVA KIRR, THE FIRST AND LAST STUPID PRESIDENT IN AFRICA.

      Let him go to school and come back if he will rule again.

      Corrupted gang of south sudan,Remove him this month.

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    • 22 June 06:07, by Hardlinner

      Mi Diit, fighting a self centred war is indeed labelled as stupidity. if you support any of these leaders(riek and kiir) then you are stupid too. riek should know that there is differences being educated and stupid. the decisions you make either make genius or stupid irrespective of your qualification.

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  • 20 June 09:21, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    Maalim should have used " hyperbole" instead of a well known word like stupid.

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  • 20 June 11:48, by wang

    You write a protest letter when you know you are supernatural stupid….yes Mrs. Kiir M7 is a stupid man by birth and that is a reason he had taken this word (stupid) seriously…

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    • 20 June 12:43, by Robot

      Bashir called us "insects", this idiot has repeated it, as for Riek he has many shameful misconducts when he was in and out being used by NIF, therefore it isn’t a surprise to him, what would it amount to if u r being paid n used to kill your brothers, literally u r like a dog that vomits n again eat its vomits.... This qualifies automatically as state of stupidity.

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      • 20 June 15:13, by Moc Nyickedenloi

        Yes they r stupid more especially Riek who kills thousands every after 8yrs n doesn’t regret his action, Kir looted his own country thinking that pple were not seeing him w.wide. But i wouldn’t expect a foolish Arab product to mention that b,se they even fuck animals and do other things which are inhuman but they r not being describe as stupid.

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        • 20 June 15:21, by Moc Nyickedenloi

          .president Bush said in 2002 that "if all the worst things done by Sadam Hasssen of Iraq can not be considered as evil, then evil has no correct definition". If Riang Machar (Riek Machar) as the name suggests in Dinka, can’t be considered as evil leave a lone being stupid, then evil has no special definition.

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  • 20 June 15:16, by Bolong

    Both Riek and Kiir supporters called this leaders "stupid" once way round, what is wrong when Mahboub Maalim called them stupid too?. These are consequences of unnecessary war, let’s talk peace.

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  • 20 June 21:51, by Mapuor

    Its the one who is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder who is stupid.President Kiir is not stupid.When Kiir joined Anya Anya one movement,he was annoyed by cowardly behavior of South Sudanese and decided to fight,was that stupidity?Again he left for Bilpam and formed the SPLA in 1983,was that stupidity?Nyagats are the ones who are stupid.SPLA OYEEE

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