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Machar says “Salva Kiir’s war” spoilt Independence Day joy

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July 9, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, who leads a resistance movement against the government of president Salva Kiir, has congratulated the people of South Sudan on the third anniversary of the country’s independence, adding that celebrations were “not joyous” due to the ongoing seven-month-long conflict in the young nation.

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South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar gives a press conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 12 May 2014 (Photo: AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

He accused president Kiir of plunging the country into “abyss” while expressing his desire that the next fourth anniversary celebration will likely be conducted in “a peaceful federal state” of South Sudan.

The armed opposition leader decried what he said were the repeated “ills" which the people of South Sudan fought against for the decades, coupled with the presence of foreign troops and mercenaries which have “undermined the hard earned sovereignty of the country”.

In a press statement he issued on Wednesday, a copy of which Sudan Tribune obtained, Machar accused Kiir of putting his energy on establishing a dictatorship rather than developing the young nation, describing him as “visionless.”

“In the last three years of our independence, Salva kiir used state power and resources to establish dictatorship and pushed the country into what has become a civil war. His visionless leadership is endangering the very future of our country. Our country witnessed nothing but dictatorship, anarchy, corruption, tribalism and lack of development and service delivery,” Machar said in a statement at a press conference in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.

“South Sudan is now ranked a failed state,” he said.

He further accused his former colleague of fabricating a coup on 15 December in order to do away with his political opponents, adding that the “dictator” has now further unleashed his security operatives to ‘target citizens of South Sudan who express their views on federalism in order to assert his rule.”

The regime in Juba, he lamented, has divided the country and created ethnic animosity, suspicion and distrust as well as economic marginalization of the majority of South Sudanese people.

He however reassured the commitment by the opposition to “a process of reconciliation, healing and accountability in order to foster the unity of the people and preserve the territorial integrity of the country.”

THE WAY FORWARD

The rebel leader further expressed his appreciation to the IGAD countries, friends in the regional countries and international partners for supporting the peace process, calling on the IGAD mediation team to resume the stalled peace talks in Addis Ababa and “review the selection of the stakeholders so that it is transparent, representative and inclusive.”

He also expressed recognition of the “great work done and role played’ by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) under the leadership of the outgoing Hilde Johnson in protecting the lives of the people of South Sudan in UNMISS camps.

Machar vowed to restructure the young nation into a federal state, saying he envisioned a state in which “never again shall a dictator be allowed to thrive nor take the country to a civil war or target any ethnic group.”

He called on the South Sudanese to join the resistance movement and change the status quo.

“We encourage all South Sudanese to join in the struggle for the transformation and establishment of a democratic federal state. We regret that we are celebrating the third anniversary under the tyranny of Salva kiir. However, it is our desire that we will all celebrate the fourth anniversary in a peaceful federal state,” he said.

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Machar speech on the 3rd anniversary of South Sudan’s independence
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  • 9 July 20:18, by Mr Point

    Riek Machar has done terrible things in 1991 and learned from them.

    Salva Kiir has done terrible things in December 2013 and has not learned from them.

    In their actions and words Riek is like an adult and Salva is like a child.

    If Riek had become president there would be no civil war now because he is a better politician.

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    • 9 July 21:17, by Rommel

      Mr Point:

      Ah, so Riek has ’learned’ from his many mistakes!? He massacred tens of thousands of civilians! Has he ’learned’ from that!? Need I remind you that Riek only conceded responsibility for the 1991 massacre twenty [20] years after the fact!? Could Salva Kiir be considered an ’adult’ if he admitted responsibility for the killings in Juba twenty [20] years from now!?

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      • 9 July 21:19, by Rommel

        Riek also said this about Salva:

        You are a discredited leader, you have committed massacres, I hope he accepts that," Machar said. Didn’t Riek not too long ago admit to committing massacres in the 90s when he put on a spectacular show, in which he apparently broke down in tears!?

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        • 9 July 21:19, by Rommel

          Those crocodile tears were apparently meant to be received as genuine expressions of regret, when they were just derivatives of cynical and artful political calculation. Riek’s use of words like democracy, human rights and equality is insincere and altogether meaningless, when his past statements -and more importantly- his actions, are put under the microscope.

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          • 9 July 21:22, by Rommel

            Riek so unconvincingly but so strenuously denied that he received weapons and supplies from Khartoum. Riek also dismissed the Bor massacre as mere propaganda, despite mounds of grit-edged evidence from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch... And it took him over 20 years to acknowledge that his forces did indeed commit massacres.

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            • 9 July 21:23, by Rommel

              Riek quite laughably also dismissed Dr. Lam Akol from his movement for collaborating with Khartoum, despite the fact that this was precisely what Riek was doing. Riek is an incompetent, a hypocrite, an un-convincing liar and a capricious sod.

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              • 9 July 21:26, by Rommel

                Why was Riek condemned for authoritarianism by his own colleagues when he was in charge of his own faction in the 90s!? Why did he fail to create democratic institutions!? Why did he fail to institute greater transparency and accountability in the Nasir faction!? If Riek became President... the war would continue. It would be more intense than its even been. He is an unacceptable alternative.

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                • 9 July 21:28, by Rommel

                  A cursory examination of Riek’s record reveals a man that utterly failed to deliver on his promise to deliver a greater degree of democracy and plurality in his own faction. His human rights record is abysmal and his leadership skills are sorely lacking.

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                  • 9 July 21:30, by Rommel

                    Riek failed completely as a man that so strenuously promulgated his *pretended* belief in democratic ideals and institutional reforms for political gain. Riek did not introduce greater transparency and accountability in his movement; he didn’t create any democratic institutions. He committed egregious human rights abuses on a wide scale.

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                    • 9 July 21:31, by Rommel

                      Riek’s colleagues, in his Nasir faction, condemned him for concentrating power in his own hands — authoritarianism. Among these detractors was Joseph Oduho; a widely respected political mental giant. Arok Thon Arok and Dr. Lam Akol also voiced the same opinions. In fact, prior to Joseph Oduho‘s death, the respected elder lambasted the Nasir faction leader for being authoritarian.

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                      • 9 July 21:37, by Ito

                        My brother Rommel, I beg you my dearest brother to be cautious on this topic. I know you are educated and we can even elect you to be leader of this country. In this regards, Dr. Riek is saying right things here. The past is the past and we cannot go there to create hatred if we want to move forward. Today we fight, tomorrow we reconcile and forgive. Now he is better choice than Salva.

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                        • 9 July 21:40, by Ito

                          When I read what Riek say here, I don’t see anything bad, but if there is anything that I fail to see in what he said, can anyone correct me here. We much embrace the spirit of standing with righteousness. People are not robots, they change. Someone can change from bad to good. If salva cares about the country. He can leave since he already has billions in his account. Why stay to let more die?

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      • 9 July 23:08, by Mr Point

        Rommel:

        Salva Kiir tells a different story at morning, noon and night - or depending whether Telar Ring Deng or Malong Awan last spoke to him.

        Riek was, up to the fake coup and assassination attempt of December , using only political means to move forward. And he does have ideas, perhaps too many ideas. You may remember he headed a reconciliation committee until Salva stopped it.

        .

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        • 9 July 23:11, by Mr Point

          Rommel:

          So .... Who in your opinion would be the best person to bring peace and reconciliation since you disqualify those leaders, Kiir and Machar, who have blood on their hands?

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          • 10 July 20:24, by Rommel

            Mr Point:

            Riek Machar is guilty of virtually every offense and vice that people have identified with Salva Kiir. There are people in this country that are suitable for Executive Office — people that haven’t murdered a single human being. People like Dr Richard Mulla, Bishop Paride Taban, Peter Sule and many others.

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    • 10 July 03:59, by Wensi

      To mr Point, you did say the good point about the two men, but Can I tell you this, Riek Machar didn’t learn anything from 1991, otherwise he would have not allowed himself to be forced to rebel again. Had he chose to fly to a foreign country on that day of December 2013, overwhelming majority of citizens would have stood with him. But he chose a very unfortunate path that will hand him nothing.

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      • 10 July 12:33, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        Wensi. Why should a leader of a people go for self-exile for standing for natural social justice, political freedom and economic freedom? The political differences in SPLM was not seen as a thing that would have culminated into a blood-bath if logic had prevailed among the leaders of the party.

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    • 10 July 04:10, by Gat Gan Kiir

      If Dr. Machar became President of Federal Republic of Sudan Sudan through bullet, let the people continues dying. Anybody who still think this man can’t lead, let him or her prepare for the worse.

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      • 10 July 05:24, by Mi diit

        Rommel?

        Ah, Rommel, the ’spin doctor’ you will never cease to express your jealousy. You are nothing to Dr. Riek Machar whom reputation you try to tarnish so desperately. I assure you that you will NEVER succeed in your negative tribal mission. You said you are from Twic East and Riek killed your people 23 years ago? True sons of Twic East like Mabior Garang de Mabior are with Riek!!!

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        • 10 July 06:19, by Mi diit

          Wensi,

          So your dream with your uncle "visionless" dictator Kiir was to fake a coup, try to assassinate a visionary democratic politician, Dr. Machar, hoping that he would just run away to foreign land and leave you to mass murder people and silent them. You are wrong! A true nationalist puts a resistance for the people. And you have it now!

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          • 10 July 06:24, by Mi diit

            In addition, selfish opportunists like the so-called Rommel and his "former detainees" camp, who want to pick fruits falling from a tree shaken by Riek Machar, will NEVER be an alternative leadership. Rommel can cry day and night insulting Kiir and Machar with his reckless behavior but in vain. We don’t need greedy selfish opportunists like them.

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            • 10 July 06:29, by Mi diit

              And above all, these lazy, coward and selfish opportunists in the "former detainees" camp, the ’spin doctor’ Rommel included, are not able to tell the people of South Sudan who among them is the alternative leader to take over from Kiir and Machar. This is because they are not confident of themselves, as rotten and immature as they have been known. People will vomit hearing one of them.

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              • 10 July 07:08, by Mi diit

                It is true that you, Rommel, always have difficulty in understanding unavoidable hard and painful choices a political leader sometimes takes in maneuvering his group’s mission’s survival for the long term benefit of all. You insinuate and literally interpret things, which sometimes makes me to doubt your intellect and judgement. This is why you always condemn Riek for joining Khartoum 23 yrs ago.

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                • 10 July 07:16, by Mi diit

                  You seem to be judgmental on things you don’t understand well. If I ask you: God chose David in the Bible since he was a child. King Saul of Israelite didn’t like David. He wanted to kill him. David joined the enemy, Palestine, killing his own people. God continued to love David despite his defection and finally made him better King of Israel. Can you explain why God did not condemn David?

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                  • 10 July 07:23, by Mi diit

                    I am saying there are certain situations that are beyond understandings of human mind. They look criminal, condemnable and immoral, yet God understands how they come about, imposed, and puts the blame on the opposite. Riek ran from Garang to Khartoum, put forward self-determination and came back, now independence achieved, no matter how zigzagging the roads were. They all led to his Rome.

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        • 10 July 16:14, by Rommel

          Mi diit:

          You are a complete waste of time. A complete retard. Riek was ’cheated’ by Khartoum and was played like a fool for years on end. I have nothing to be ’jealous’ about. I don’t have to do anything to ’tarnish’ his reputation. His stupidity and schizophrenia has been documented by historians. Mabior Garang is an idiot. He doesn’t represent the people of Twic-east.

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          • 10 July 16:19, by Rommel

            There is no point of referencing what king David did or did not do. The man was not infallible, and the mistakes he made cannot be used to excuse similar mistakes. You believe in Ngundeng and his supposed ’prophesies’, and so you really shouldn’t be disparaging the intellect of others.

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    • 10 July 06:03, by Augustino

      It is very good that you never celebrate the Independent day in any way because you are the trouble maker. You failed to form your party from which you can win more votes including mind democratically but decide to rebelt against Dinka only and not a system. you are talking of violent against ethnic group but it is Nuer who did it.even if the Federal is going to come still Dinka will lead you.

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      • 10 July 06:42, by Mi diit

        Augustino,

        If you are not insane, which I doubt, why would you in your right mind opt for Riek to dismantle the historical ruling party SPLM and form his own party (win majority votes as you said) while what he wanted was simply a fair, democratic constittutional competition within the party? Was it better to divide (kill) SPLM than to remove Salva Kiir? Is this visionless Kiir above SPLM party?

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    • 10 July 07:50, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Riek open accountability! Wow" two period genocide of 1991-2013.
      Please, Riek, and terror groups, Kiir is not a vissioless leader, he made historic accountability of defeated Arab and other enemies against south sudanese, president Kiir defeated them.
      Riek Machar said useless word, he is crying of his failure.

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      • 10 July 08:07, by Mi diit

        Ayuiu,

        When did this visionless incompetent Kiir defeat enemy? Was it not Garang and Riek who toiled for self-determination until Garang signed the agreement in 2005? Was it not Riek who chaired the implementation of the CPA? Was it not Riek who chaired the taskforce on referendum until it was peacefully conducted with 98% votes for independence? Kiir was just drinking and enjoying the title.

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  • 9 July 20:21, by Kim Deng

    “May I draw your attention gentlemen, chiefs, of all tribes, elders, citizens present in this house, I should like to know whether you in this house want to be slaves or it will be better for you to be poor and free and happy?” Diu was quoted as saying. Who can declare that if not from Nuer who don’t fear none, but God?

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    • 9 July 21:35, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      You’re an idiot. Buth Diu was an individual. There were individuals from every tribe that voiced the same convictions. You do not have a monopoly on virtue. If your people only feared God, why then did tens of thousands of Nuer civilians run to Bahr el Ghazal to escape Matip and his allied Arab militias!? Was Matip God!? If not, why run!?

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      • 10 July 06:08, by Emporio

        Unfortunately south sudan going through difficult period, we had independent in right time but was in the hand of wrong people’s the ex-commonder in chief of oildfield guards became Vice president intelligence operative of late dr garang made it to presidency now south in a big catastrophe,that mean we are product of only two Ideology the example of that like a militants mentality of mr "kim

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        • 10 July 06:21, by Emporio

          Cont....of mr "kim deng,ito , mi diit" and so on, on the other hand we have product of late garang like mr" Rommel"a very strategic thinker try educate the rest who dont want to learn the truth of south history reik is the same person using the strategy of "make your dog hungry it will follow you" and it works

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          • 10 July 06:52, by Mi diit

            Rommel,

            You are very weak in reading between the lines. You completely missed Kim Deng’s remark and misinterpreted it. To only fear God doesn’t mean you cannot run away from an enemy. It means deep in your heart you only fear God’s command, but not man’s. You can run away from the immediate harm by enemy, but still not fear or respect that enemy.

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            • 10 July 06:58, by Mi diit

              For example, Buth Diu was a member of parliament in Khartoum in 1953. But because he did not fear Jalaby, but God, he had to speak against whoever tried to suppress God’s given rights of his people. But if Jalaby came in that meeting shooting at him, he would run away to save his life, and yet he would continue to resist in any form and speak about federalism and separation.

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              • 10 July 07:04, by Mi diit

                It is true that you, Rommel, always have difficulty in understanding unavoidable hard and painful choices a political leader takes in maneuvering his group’s survival for the long term benefit of all. You literally interpret things, which sometimes makes me to doubt your intellect and judgement.

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                • 10 July 07:37, by Mi diit

                  Maybe you were brought up like that, critical of any thing that comes across, without deeply thinking into it first. I understand that Nuer speakers make statements that are sometimes hard to grasp unless you read between the lines. Well, Isaiah 18 says we are a people with strange speech. Could the Nuer be among such people of South Sudan with strange speeches that need angles of understanding?

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                  • 10 July 16:28, by Rommel

                    Mi diit:

                    That was all just gibberish. The Bible has never mentioned the Nuer people! This just proves [if proof was at all needed] that you have a screw loose in your head. The Nuer [or any other Nilotic population] have no connection to the ancient kingdom of Kush.

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                    • 10 July 16:32, by Rommel

                      South Sudanese [as a whole] have long tried to associate themselves with Kush, but you seem to think that Isaiah 18 is solely in reference to the Nuer. LOL! At what point were the Nuer pharaohs!? When did you have a written language that wasn’t a derivative of the Latin alphabet!? At what point did the Nuer conquer Kemet [Egypt]!? Stop deluding yourself.

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                      • 10 July 17:40, by Rommel

                        The Nuer of Unity State genuinely feared Paulino Matip, and it wasn’t simply a byproduct of the exigencies of self-preservation; the Khartoum compliant warlord was not questioned by the Nuer people of Unity State at any point. When allied Arab militias engaged in rape and forceful eviction of the civilian population... you said nothing. The Arab militias were of course, allies of Matip...

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                        • 10 July 17:47, by Rommel

                          ..When Matip assisted the very same Ignaz Nazis that annexed oil areas on the border... you said nothing. When our oil was used to purchase arms to devastate and further displace our population, you were quite. Now, you either agreed with everything that Matip was doing, or you were gripped by fear. Choose one. You people have a laughably inflated image of your own community.

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                          • 10 July 19:36, by Rommel

                            If you are going to moralise by way of a Biblical example, please do so with an attendant elementary understanding of the Bible and of the matters therein. The people that existed at the time of King David were the Philistines, and they were wiped out. They have no connection to the Palestinians.

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                            • 10 July 19:37, by Rommel

                              The Philistines were a non-Semitic, Aegean people who disappeared after having being absorbed into the Neo-Babylonian Empire by Nebuchadnezzar II. The Romans re-named Judah "Palaestina" in homage of the extinct Phillistines, after a large Jewish revolt (Masada) so as to humiliate the Jews and conspicuously superimpose the name of these former enemies of the Jewish people onto the Jewish homeland.

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                              • 10 July 19:50, by Rommel

                                You seem to think that I regard the Old Testament as anything more than the fanciful tales of ignorant desert people. That the God of the Old Testament supposedly regarded King David’s dalliances with the the Philistines with insouciance, means absolutely nothing to me. I’m not a Christian, and so I don’t have to place a premium on ancient Jewish myths.

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                                • 10 July 20:02, by Rommel

                                  King David [as far as I know] didn’t subject his own people to wholesale slaughter. He didn’t issue deluded, sickening statements in which he boasted that a segment of his people could wipe out another segment of his people. Do you realise just how absurd you appear comparing Riek to religious *characters*!?

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                                  • 10 July 20:13, by Rommel

                                    King David became a bandit and a mass murderer, and you think that this somehow excuses what Riek did because a ’man of God’ did the same!? If Riek felt that his life was genuinely in danger, he could have defected without massacring thousands of civilians from a particular segment of a tribe that he boasted he could wipe out as a whole.

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  • 9 July 20:21, by Kim Deng

    "It is better to burn down this Jungle (South Sudan) to ashes than being called Dinka Kingdom," Kim Deng declared.

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  • 9 July 20:51, by Mapuor

    President Kiir never surrendered to Jallaba during the long war of liberation; he persevered in the struggle till the CPA time. This is one of the most important qualities of a leader .Selection and maintenance of aim is the most important principle of war. Leadership is not only determined by the years you spent studying, it has something to do with the movement of adrenalin in your body. Igniting wars and fleeing leaving the less educated behind to fight for you is not a quality of a leader.

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    • 10 July 09:20, by Mi diit

      Mapuor,

      Kiir is not creative. He always gets stuck and becomes loyal to any one as long as his own self interest is not affected. He was loyal working as a spy for Khartoum while in Malakal until when his life was in danger and joined Garang in Itang. He became loyal to Garang but rebelled in 2004 when he was to be replaced with nhial Deng. The man has no vision but a selfish follower.

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  • 9 July 21:14, by Dengic

    Kiir is visionless, Machar is a killer and rebel.Who is better?.The moment Riek sees Nuer population increasing,the quicker he master minds rebellion to decrease them like he did in 1991 and 2013,South Sudan will never be peaceful whilst Riek is still alife.

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    • 10 July 09:30, by Mi diit

      dengic,

      see, your barbaric political solution is always to eliminate your opponents. This how you attempted to assassinate Riek and started the current war. Well, if you think the nuer population is alone decreasing you are wrong. Many dinkas are dying too. And besides, God knows how to increase nuer population, maybe by giving birth to lots of children who will survive.

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  • 10 July 04:39, by Thyinka

    South Sudan will never be peaceful as long as power-hungry Riek Machar is still alive and it will never develop as long as visionless Kiir is the president. There has to be alternative development-oriented leadership.

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    • 10 July 07:51, by Mi diit

      Thyinka,

      The dilemma with you in-between opportunists, former detainees or whatever, is that you don’t come out clearly about your alternative leader. Who is that angel in hiding who is more "development-oriented" than the current Riek Machar who resists dictatorship and spells out his vision for democracy, justice, peace, equality and development of the country?

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      • 10 July 07:56, by Mi diit

        You also try to blackmail Dr. Riek, calling him "power-greedy" simply because he declared to contest democratically. Now tell me, how will your alternative leader get to the throne without declaring to contest? Will he also be described as "power-greedy." In all the democratic countries a citizen contesting for presidency is a right and democratic exercise, not a power-greediness. Educate yourself

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        • 10 July 12:36, by Thyinka

          Midit,
          I call Riek power-hungry because of his penchant for using rebellion and killing of innocent civilian to achieve political aims. It happened in 1991 when Riek decided like a dog to fight for the ’bone’ of the movement leadership instead of the ’meat’ of leadership in an independent state. In 2013, Riek decided to rebel again so that to overthrow the government of Salva Kiir. Contd...

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          • 10 July 12:45, by Thyinka

            I am not against anybody leadership ambition and opposing opinions, views and ideas are what build a democracy but to always resort to violent in order to achieve political aims is what I am against. All I can say is that Riek will never make it to the presidency of South Sudan. He will always be an act in someone’s else show and only play second fiddle.

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  • 10 July 07:37, by marie

    You dinka are very stupid people. You planned to get rid of Riak and killed Nuer in thousands and still blaming Riak for rebelling? He has every right to save his live when you people use the government apparatus to silence him. The evidence is the Amarat that you people demolished while you have not built a single government building in Juba. Kudos to Lagu otherwise, you would be under trees.

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  • 10 July 07:41, by marie

    You people keep bring the issue of Bor massacre in everything discussion as if it is the only massacre that happened during the movement. Garang mobilized SPLA against Didinga, Toposa and Madi and nobody talk about that. You people think you are untouchable. Equatoria should opt for their own state. Let Riak just declare a war of independence in Upper Nile. You would enslave Rizik Zacharia & likes

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    • 10 July 11:15, by Emporio

      @ marie
      Reik he is most professional killer south sudan history have never witness , by rebellion is killing more neur,dinka have never kill Did you ask yourself why "bor masscre" Happen Simply Because he Thought if he eleminate People of bor Which is late dr garang come from he can have chance to create naygaat kindom , you try to used equatorion strategy" sneeqe in on the back door"

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      • 10 July 11:24, by Emporio

        Cont... to pass your agenda by supporting reik to rebelled, Didinga, Toposa and Madi, try to dismantle the movement instead of join to fight jalaba because they weren’t aware of what they doing the movement attempt to target any tribe in south

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        • 10 July 12:25, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

          Emperio. if you are sensible you could see that Riek is a freedom fighter. He stands for natural justice, freedom and equality. In 1992 he stood for those qualities. He stood for the same things before interim constitution was set and he still stands for those same things. He follows principles that a genuine, patriotic leader does. He is indeed a patriotic South Sudanese leader who never changes.

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