Home | News    Wednesday 9 July 2014

S. Sudan’s Kiir extends amnesty to former political detainees

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July 9, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said the former political detainees were free to return and participate in efforts to end nearly seven months of conflict in the new nation.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir speaking at a press conference at Khartoum airport on 5 April 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdalla)

Speaking at the country’s third independence anniversary on Wednesday, Kiir said he had invited the former captives to the capital, Juba, but wondered why they did not respond, despite showing interests.

“I had wanted them to join us in Juba so that we come and celebrate this third anniversary together, but they have not responded in the way that we have expected”, remarked the president.

The South Sudanese leader said it was important for the former detainees to put aside any grievances and join struggles to maintain peace and stability.

“We want solutions. We don’t want problems to continue,” said Kiir.

Violence broke out in the young nation mid-December last year, killing thousands and displacing over a million people. A number of key politicians from the ruling party (SPLM), including its former secretary general, Pagan Amum were arrested, jailed and later bailed over allegations linked to a coup attempt in the country.

A number of former officials, who included former ministers, a governor and an ex-diplomat, were among those detained, but later freed in the aftermath of the violence that spread to three of the country’s 10 states.

KIIR APPEALS TO REBELS

President Kiir also urged his former deputy-turned rebel leader Riek Machar to reconsider his position on military campaigns and walk the path of peace.

“I am still renewing that call for Riek Machar to reconsider his position even if he thinks that he is militarily very strong and that he can defeat the government forces. He must consider that this fighting is costing us, taking a lot of people,” said Kiir.

He however stressed that government forces would not “remain in barracks and trenches” while being continuously attacked by opposition forces. The human costs, he stressed, were enormous and SPLM leaders must take responsibility to end the raging conflict.

The president, clad in his trademark hat, said he asked mediators from the regional bloc (IGAD) to deploy the monitoring and deterrent forces in the country.

“How long should my forces remain in the trenches? What will you [IGAD] do if I do the same (attack rebel forces) of Riek Machar and move out with my forces?” he asked.

The president said it was “wrong” for the mediators to blame the warring sides for ceasefire violations “when indeed government forces are being attacked.”

“There is nobody that can be insensitive to the call of peace of everybody in the world,” he said.

HOLD FEDERALISM DEBATE

Meanwhile, the president said the debate on federalism be put aside until peace was attained with the opposition. He also equated the proposed system of governance to what he described as the “Kokora” of 1993.

He recalled the division of South Sudan into Greater Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bar el Ghazal regions, where citizens were conditioned to live in provinces.

“Will this thing [division into provinces] not happen again?” asked president Kiir, stressing that people will decide after studying federalism.

“If you agree, I will put signature to it. It is your decision,” he said.

TOO MUCH WAR

Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the only head of state at the occasion, said South Sudanese experienced too much war before independence.

“I am sure the people of South Sudan have learnt from their own experiences which they have gone through the period of liberation and after liberation,” he said.

President Museveni sent Ugandan troops to South Sudan at the onset of the conflict in December. The Ugandan forces have remained in the country, despite repeated demands by the rebel for their withdrawal.

(ST)

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  • 9 July 19:52, by Ahmed Chol

    If people accept Kiir’s request to be silent now, not to discuss federalism then It will be a big mistake. This is the only opportunity. Kiir will turn the war against whoever that brings up the issue of federalism again later on. He wants to fight that war first with rebels and will turn on you when bring federalism up in the future. think twice. it has to be part of peace negotiation.

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    • 9 July 20:27, by Rommel

      Salva Kiir is mentally sick. Why would anyone in their right mind choose to be a member of a ’government’ led by ignorant, corrupt, incompetent, myopic, war-mongering miscreants!? Twenty-thousand civilians have lost their lives because you couldn’t peacefully diffuse political tensions within your own party. How do you sleep at night!?

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      • 9 July 20:33, by Rommel

        You have been Sovereign for close to ten [10] years and we’ve not seen a smidgen of development. No highways. No schools. No hospitals. Nothing! Why should you be Sovereign for another ten [10] years!? Any tarmac or paved road was commissioned by, payed for and completed by other countries or NGOs. What crime did the ex-detainees commit that they would now require your ’amnesty’!?

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        • 9 July 20:51, by Rommel

          Salva Kiir [like virtually every African ’leader’] seems to think that he is entitled to Executive Office, and that he should remain permanently in in that position, without contest, without opponents, and without question... like a King. The ’divine right of kings’ mentality has been rearing its ugly head throughout Kiir’s toxic Presidency.

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          • 9 July 21:00, by Rommel

            Salva Kiir should resign... but if he does resign, legislation should be passed banning anyone guilty of having committed human rights violations the opportunity to participate in the political environment. We need a new crop of leaders — morally clean leaders; men and women that do not have blood on their hands. If you have made innocents bleed, you do not deserve to lead.

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            • 10 July 07:32, by Ahmed Chol

              Rommel,
              You are stupid. You think like a retard. Which assembly is going to pass a legislation against Kiirs? Kiir himself is the parliament, he is everything. He has gotten rid of those who kept him in check. Most of them are from Upper Nile and he has destroyed them. You are wasting readers’ time with your gibberish.

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              • 10 July 16:04, by Rommel

                Ahmed:

                You are in no position to insult me, you capricious fool. You were supporting Riek not too long ago, but shifted your position after your people were killed in Bor. Did you even read what I said!? I said that Kiir should resign, and after he’s gone, legislation should be passed prohibiting those guilty of human rights violation the opportunity to participate in the political environment.

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        • 10 July 10:40, by Logic

          Rommel,

          Who are those ‘blood free leaders’ in S.Sudan? global politics demands weak scruples leaders who can be manipulated at will. Kiir’s main problem is his lack of assertiveness and firm handling of matters of national importance. Who do you think is a good replacement? The rebels n former detainees are just as guilty of mismanagement as Kiir himself.

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          • 10 July 20:31, by Rommel

            Logic:

            I agree with you. I don’t at all think that the rebels and ex-detainees are suitable alternatives. We need new leaders. 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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    • 9 July 21:46, by Ito

      Mr. President there is nothing for you to ask from rebels in order to bring peace in this country. You know what majority of people needs and what to do but you are reluctant to do it

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      • 9 July 21:48, by Ito

        The way you approach federalism in this speech shows that you lack understanding of what federalism mean and it is unfortunate. Someone once ask a question that "Should we wait for thousands of years for some to be educated before we can move forward?" The answer is No. Let those who know move forward and you move behind them because blind and without a torch on top is crippling the nation.

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        • 10 July 05:42, by Mi diit

          To sum it up:

          1) Kiir Kuethpiny wants his former captives (opportunists) to come back for jobs, blackmail them, or rearrest them.

          2) Lies that his forces are in trenches, not fighting, including UPDF?

          3) Clearly states future war against federalists if he ends war against "Riek Machar."

          4) Invites ONLY Museveni to show that he has co-president of South Sudan.

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          • 10 July 05:52, by Mi diit

            Rommel,

            You are a lazy, coward. Don’t dream that Kiir will resign without military pressure. Kiir himself told IGAD leaders there was a plan to kill former detainees, but he refused. This is because he did not catch Riek with them and war is raging. International comm will not make him resign. You will not do it, begging. Join the armed resistance to force him out. Learn from past dictators!

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  • 9 July 20:09, by Mr Point

    Kiir wonders why the detainees, who he had imprisoned for months on entirely false charges, have failed to respond to him.

    Kiir has asked Riek Machar , who he tried to assassinate on December 13 at the start of a general massacre of Nuer civilians, to walk the path of peace.

    Is Kiir stupid?

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  • 9 July 21:37, by Dengic

    Rommel or whoever,all the former detainees are thieves who have squandered million of dollars for your information.Do you want Salva Kiir to tarmac the roads or build hospitals using the grass?...Riek Machar was in the government for eight years,what did he do diffidently apart from rebellion that has claimed thousands of lives?..Don’t forget that Machar is also another thief.

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    • 9 July 22:04, by Ito

      Yes, Machar was in the government and he fight inside to bring about democracy, a corruption free country but he was threaten always and December soldiers were sent to assassinate him and that is why he is leading a rebellion. Is this not heroism? He is not giving up on his fight for freedom. He is doing anything to free the marginalized. Garang say oppressor has no color, a brother can oppress yu

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  • 10 July 02:37, by Philosopherking

    It is Kirr who needs Amnesty, for waging war against the South Sudanese People. Kirr needs to answer for the crimes that range from destruction of lives and property to corruption. Please Kirr, leave South Sudanese alone. Those detainees didn’t do any thing wrong.

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  • 10 July 02:40, by Philosopherking

    Whats is even more stupid is Kirr thinking, he can bring peace to South Sudan without the discussion on federalism! What a loser. The call for federalism is part and parcel of the solution to ending the current crises. Saying hold the debate is like saying, lets fight a little more. What a waste of time!

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  • 10 July 03:45, by Emporio

    Was so sad to see kiir speechless and surrounding by some bahr el-gazal thugs an independent hv no real present of leader was like show for sstv seriously cowboy need to hospitalised

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  • 10 July 06:57, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Kiir equates Kokora to Federalism!! What an ignorant, visionless leader!! Is preparing war against those calling for Federalism? I hear he is importing weapons from China and are on the way to South Sudan. Are those armaments coming for genocide against South Sudanese? Equatoria demands Federalism with or without those weapons that are destined for intimidation and Genocide of South Sudanese.

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    • 10 July 10:44, by Machiek

      It is not a call for federalism, it is the real what president mean. I had never heard the Equatorians voice so louder like this during the struggle of 21yrs! why today their voices are heard in every corner?

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  • 10 July 10:17, by Machiek

    We re rally behind u Mr. President! The peace is what we re after . Do anything u can to restore peace and stability.

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