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S. Sudan presidency denies elders asked Kiir to step aside


July 1, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudanese presidency dismissed as “manufactured lies” reports that the Greater Bahr el Ghazal council of elders had allegedly asked President Salva Kiir to step aside from power in a bid to preserve unity and avoid disintegration.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, gestures during a news conference in the capital, Juba, on 18 December 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

“This statement is nothing other than another sequence of manufactured lies aimed at creating a certain situation. There was no suggestion from the Council of elders from Greater Bahr el Gazal whatsoever that asked President Kiir to step aside”, presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny clarified in an e-mailed response.

He said the elders from the region were instead on record for fully endorsing a proposal backing president Kiir to stand for a second term in the next election.

“In accordance with the resolutions of the two Greater Bahr El Gazal Region Conference, the elders were the first to endorse Kiir’s leadership to stand for second term, comes 2015”, said Ateny.

The official further added the elderly politician quoted to have said they approached the president to stand down from the presidency was “speaking out of vacuum”.

However, while the presidency denied the proposal, many observers and senior members of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) maintained that the elders indeed approached the president with the suggestion as a way to avoid disintegration of the country.

“I am not a member of the council because it was formed on the basis of the age, exclusively limiting it to elderly politicians and traditional leaders from the region, but I have heard that the president was approached several times over the matter", a lawmaker from Bahr el Ghazal region said Tuesday.

"This started before seession and it is actually this proposal, compounded by the rumours that the president Kiir himself is reported to have told former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, that the he would stand down was what motivated some of the SPLM leaders to declare their interest to contest the position of the chairperson of the SPLM”, he added.


The legislator, who did not want to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter, said even though the elders may not have approached the president with the proposal, the region seen as the support base of the latter was already experiencing “significant dissident voices”.

“Even though I am not sure of the authenticity of the proposal itself, the fact the region has already experiencing significant dissident voices can actually be another cause of concern. Already the two regions of Greater Equatoria and Upper Nile have indicated their preferences. The Equatoria region, as you know has already come out to advocate for federal system and whoever comes up to support their call for federal system will be the person they will support. Riek Machar saw this as the opportunity and he came out [but] the leadership rejects it," the lawmaker told Sudan Tribune.

"This situation, I think will divide the support to the leadership if it is not addressed well”, he stressed.


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  • 2 July 2014 06:53, by wang

    Well, we have been wanted that alcoholic president to be capture alive….

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    • 2 July 2014 07:13, by Chol A.

      @Wang you never know who will be caught alive whether Dr hopeless Raacbai and Kiir. Please your made up article it full of nonsense to read! Why elders from Kiir asked him to step down? What of your Nuer elders why are they don’t asked your Dr. R greedy to stop spreading them liars that is fighting for Nuer democracy? His Kiir was elected by Bhar el Ghazal only? Wang your community shame us so bad

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  • 2 July 2014 07:29, by George Bol

    EQ are not fool to follow Riek Machar power hungry wish. They must learn why Joseph Oduho died in Riek camp.
    Govt Sudan is not joking with Nuer rebelion- this is going to be the last rebellion in ss for they have learnt really well in Dec15

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    • 2 July 2014 10:10, by Malakal county Simon

      Both regional and the international community, should recognizes the SPLM/IO as the legitimate government because they are representing the interests of South Sudanese than the current government in Juba!!!!

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      • 2 July 2014 17:16, by Hardlinner

        Malakal simon. Don’t make yourself a laughing stock. Unless your comments are meant for nuer audiences. Otherwise the composition of oppositions speak for itself. It is indeed 99.99% in representation of nuer only. Irrespective of riek calls for federation, I don’t think he could ever get support from equatoria because there 10,000 of equatorians that r well educated, can stand for top position.

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        • 3 July 2014 03:59, by Malakal county Simon

          Hardline or whatever you called yourself, you’re well behind but you will be surprise later!!

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    • 2 July 2014 18:20, by Ito

      BOl, Myself am from the late veteran politican and a great patriot Hon. Joseph Oduho village of Lobira, the largest village in Latuka. Oduho has no tribe, he loves all south sudanese and he sacrifice himself for all instead of taking millions of dollars that were offered to him plus position in Khartoum like Abel Alier. Oduho drafted the SPLM manifesto in 1983. Garang killed him, not Riek.

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      • 2 July 2014 18:23, by Ito

        He was the first Chairman of SPLM and was touring europe to seek for financial, logistical and political support. Upon returning back, Garang and mengistu put him in Jail for almost 9 years straight, for what reason? POwer and power and tribalism. When the two doctors rebelled against Garang in 1991. Oduho was mourning his son. SPLA went to my village to try to kill him and we resisted and fought

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        • 2 July 2014 18:25, by Ito

          hard and beat them back. Oduho friends and son and peace loving people sent a helicopter and night to pick him up and to to hospital in nairobi as he was suffering from diabetes. The doctor said he could have been there had it been delayed by 1 hour. His son ask him to leave politics, but he said I quote " I am the Father of South sudanese and I cannot leave without making sure that my sons,

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          • 2 July 2014 18:27, by Ito

            Garang and Riek reconcile so that they can meet the arabs with one heart." He said once he reconcile them, he will quit politics. He wrote letter to garang about his intention and then flew to Nasir to talk to Riek’s group to reconcile. Because Garang know through the letter, he set an ambush which got him kill. He was captured because he could not run due to age and then slaughtered.

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            • 2 July 2014 18:29, by Ito

              Now can anyone tell me why kill someone who tries to bring peace to south sudanese? It was a sad news to the entire world who have known him since 1950s as a fighter for south sudanese rights and freedom. Funeral was held in Nairobi, Dr. Riek and Lam attended. Garang did not attend and order that no one from his group attend. Please don’t twist the story because it can curse you.

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  • 2 July 2014 10:11, by AbuDeng

    I said some days ago I didn’t believe this lie, this Story and it seems so. The President’s region will not turn on him, in any situation - even when he is failing the nation, even when his civil war started for Power kills thousands of innocent people - that is unfortunately the ancient culture of South Sudan:

    Tribe, clan supersede all things, including national interests.ad

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