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South Sudanese president sets conditions for Ugandan military withdrawal

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July 9, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has set the conditions for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the country, saying the latter will only leave if a permanent peace agreement is attained.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (left) watches an Independence Day parade in the capital, Juba, on 9 July 2014 with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni (right) (Photo: Mugume Davis Rwakaringi/VOA)

President Kiir made the remarks on Wednesday at an occasion marking the third anniversary of the country’s independence from neighbouring Sudan, from which it seceded on 9 July 2011.

Kiir said the Ugandan troops had been deployed via a “sovereign agreement” and would remain in the country until their mission was achieved.

The comments have raised concerns about the commitment of the Kiir-led administration to respect a peace deal he signed last June with former vice-president-turned rebel leader Riek Machar.

“We are committed to bringing peace as the government. We are committed to negotiating a peaceful settlement to end this conflict. We are not sparing any resources and time,” Kiir told a small crowd, mostly comprising of members of his cabinet and business associates.

POOR TURNOUT

The Independence Day function was poorly attended, unlike celebrations in previous years, which saw several heads of state and government representatives in attendance.

This year, Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the only the foreign head of state to attend, with the leaders of Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Djibouti all absent.

The reason for the poor international showing remains unclear, with officials from the organising committee and the office of the president saying invitations were sent out in time.

“We have sent out all the invitations to all the expected guests in advance and we did not receive any notification indicating other commitments of the people who were invited,” Abdon Agau, the government’s secretary-general, told reporters at the conclusion of the function, adding that the event had nonetheless gone well.

“Our people came and they heard the messages of peace and unity from the president of Uganda and our own president,” said Agau.

Kiir himself also questioned why the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the peace process between the two rival parties, and former political detainees did not attend Independence Day celebrations.
“I don’t know why Pagan Amum and Deng Alor did not come. They said when they met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last month, that they would come to attend [the] independence celebration,” he said.

He said he would have asked the leaders of the intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD) how long government troops would continue to remain in their trenches when they have continued to face offensive from the rebel groups he accused to have violated the peace deal.

“I would have the IGAD leaders if they had come how long our forces would continue to remain in trenches in the light of these violations by the forces loyal to Riek and his group,” he asked.

PUBLIC REACTS

Members of the general during interviews with Sudan Tribune on Wednesday expressed dissatisfactions with the performance of the government and the governing leadership

“The attendance itself explains the dissatisfactions with our people. I did not bother to go myself because I was not expecting any new statement from the same leaders today. They were going to repeat the same things we have heard time and again, claims of liberation struggle and claims we have done this and that even though they lack trace, Deng Mathuc, a native of Warrap, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Mathuc said citizens thought independence would come with a lot of changes in form of development activities, more employment opportunities, building roads and schools.

“The expectations our people had in minds have dashed. They thought that a lot of changes would come. The young people like me were expected more things in form of employment opportunities and the people in rural areas were expecting more development activities like the construction of roads, building more schools, funding agricultural projects,” he said.

“They thought that if we get this country, then everyone will enjoy life. But as you know, these hopes have been dashed and the life has been made difficult. So people feel unhappy and this is why many are not celebrating. You can see how many people are here and the celebration is continuing,” he added.

FRACTURED LEADERSHIP

The auxiliary Roman Catholic Bishop of Juba diocese, Santo Laku, said he was not whether they leaders were serious with their messages about peace, pointing out that leaders appear more interested in preaching peace to buy time than showing leadership to end the conflict.

“Well, it is always to give fitting comments and say what you have seen. I say this country needs peace urgently and it must be brought so that this suffering is brought to an end,” said Laku.

The religious leader described the political leadership of the country as “fractured”, pointing out that the division within the governing leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) had left their followers and supporters alike wandering between who should be followed.

“Our political leader at this particular moment is fractured. People do not know who to follow,” he said.

“As we talk, the agenda of peace is not very clear. As we talk peace, there are people mobilising for war, which sends out another different messages to the people being affected by these activities and leave them confused of the current peace talks,” he added.

The influential Bishop, who was speaking to the faithful at the church, said the country was too young to be disunited, saying it was time to come together to call for peace,” added the young influential Bishop while speaking to the faithful at the church.

POLICY OF APPEASEMENT

Former Sudanese oil minister Lual Acuek Deng, now managing director of a Juba based local think tank, says that a policy of “buying peace” with a huge army and government explains why the economy of the oil producing nation has fallen into “intensive care” and sent fighters tired of waiting for services back to the bush.

Meanwhile, a release by the former political detainees extended to Sudan Tribune said the country was celebrating the third anniversary under circumstances warranting no jubilations.

“We mark this third anniversary of our independence not under circumstances of jubilation nor with the sense of pride and achievement, but in pain and sense of shame. Not only have the leadership failed our country and betrayed the ultimate and selfless sacrifice of our martyrs, but also failed our friends in the region and around the world”, a statement bearing the name of former justice minister John Luk Jok read in part.

Jok, whom many people believe contributed to the fomenting of the crisis, due to his chairing of a constitutional review committee which drafted the interim constitution that broadened president Kiir’s powers, said the occasion should be used for reflection on current events in the country, rather than spreading hateful messages.

“This independence anniversary should be a day for all to reflect on the sad and troubling events unfolding in our country; [it’s] not a day for revelry,” he said.

(ST)

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  • 10 July 09:45, by Mi diit

    Look at this coward, visionless, incompetent, selfish dictator surrendering his country to a foreign governnment and army.

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    • 10 July 10:02, by Force 1

      Midiit or mitoot
      Who are the cowards; the ones who ran to Ethiopia or the ones actually living in South Sudan? Look; you cannot call the brave men and women in living in South Sudan coward; when you ran to Ethiopia for your lives. How does that feel for a man like you to be crying like a female because you didn’t get what you want?

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      • 10 July 10:34, by Mi diit

        Force 1,
        Those who ran to Ethiopia are not cowards. They wanted to establish themselves first and come back to face you. Even Kiir and Garang ran to Ethiopia first in 1983. And you can also be a coward even if you live in South Sudan. The real coward is Salva Kiir who begged foreign army to fight for him. He doesn’t have confidence in SPLA, his tribal militias, members from other 63 tribes includi

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        • 10 July 10:42, by Mi diit

          including Nuer who fight for him. Remember that even when he started the war in Juba, his militias which he armed to teeth were chased like rats and the military barrack was captured by Nuer soldiers. It took another Nuer, Gen Hoth Mai and other Nuer generals to mobilize soldiers from Nuer and other tribes to recapture it. Then came UPDF to maintain control.

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          • 10 July 11:01, by Mi diit

            Don’t think I didn’t know what went on in Juba on December 15 from here in Washington. I was on constant phone calls with my brother who was a soldier in the presidential guards and fought to chase you from the barrack. Your uncle armed militias and civilians in Juba from his region who then turned on Nuer unarmed civilians, massacring them.

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        • 10 July 11:53, by Ahmed Chol

          This means that the Ugandan army will be there forever because there will never be lasting peace so as long as Kiir is in power. There will be more rebels in the bush in the future when he rig elections or postpone them indefinitely. Is this the power Kiir was looking for when he killed Garang with Museveni? Everybody knows now that Kiir killed Garang with Museveni.

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          • 10 July 12:30, by wang

            Ahmed Chol
            Ugandans army will not be in S. Sudan forever, these two dictators Kiir & M7 are desperately looking for the regional war which they have already failed to obtained supports from the regional block or African continent as a whole.

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      • 10 July 12:41, by wang

        Force 1
        Simply, why Ugandans army still in S. Sudan if you guys can fight Dr. Riek’s forces alone?

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        • 10 July 20:18, by Force 1

          Wang
          Uganda troops are only in BOR Town; There are no Ugandans troops in Upper Nile State, Unity State and all the States of Bahr El Gazelle region. Now what is your excuses why you didn’t capture those areas?

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    • 10 July 10:07, by Mi diit

      Kiir’s poor leadship is currently in an intensive care unit, depending on his master dictator Museveni to keep him breathing. But for how long? Kiir is disgusted by IGAD leaders and this is why they have not attended the event. The citizens also disgust him and this was manifested by the poor and scanty attendants. But Kiir is a slow learner and lacks critical analysis.

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      • 10 July 10:26, by Makjohnson

        What I know, Garang was murdered by Museveni with mod of the next of kin. Now, Nyakiir schmooze different to what Museveni ponders about him after he knew that, the fighting Ugandan carrying on Nuer at the Dinka side is, all in all a punishment. You help some helping him/herself. How long UPDF will fight Nuer whilst Dinka proved cowards? This man, Museveni will finish all the scaredy-cat Dinka wh

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    • 10 July 16:04, by Malakal county Simon

      Nothing more worthy to says, but Kiir as president, shame shame shame shame!!!!

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  • 10 July 09:53, by Chol A.

    Opposition always opposed any government event whether beautiful or good idea still negative to enemy against government. Those who do not attended celebration yesterday are in pain and sense of shame, some have plan to interrupt and many are jealous about continuation of Kiir’s leadership. But who cares no can forced any to celebrate thanks we got TV at home what is a point to attend it live?.

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  • 10 July 10:08, by Jubawe

    How does Kirr and his tribe feel when the only attend was Dinka tribe and Movseveni, why did other African country not bother to come and attend the ceremony, Kirr should ask himself, shame to Dinka Government, this government already failed, soon all of them will face justic

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    • 10 July 11:14, by Augustino

      They feel very good as you could see Dr Bol from Nuer who is the minister for education and Dr Riek Gai and more Nuer who are nationalist were there comfortably while you are in the bush starving like a sick dog. Shame on you food lovers Nuer. the celebration went on well without you and harm nothing. Kiir will be remove by ballot papers and by Dinkas not by force and not by Nuer food lovers.

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      • 10 July 19:30, by Malakal county Simon

        You’re new to this website, but ur just another idiot like ur name hahah!! Salva kiir if he is smart enough like any normal human being, he Kiir should simply resign without questioning period!!

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  • 10 July 11:36, by siddaw

    What a failed leader interlocking horn with a lunatic Riek? Why destructing the nation with the foreign powers yet u train ur soldiers. What objective are they trained for? Just for the end month salaries? Kiir for sure. South Sudan has fail because of u

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  • 10 July 11:42, by siddaw

    IF WE WANNA FREE SOUTH SUDAN FROM THE CURRENT STATE, THEN LETS GET RID OF KIIR MAYAR & RIEK MACHAR. THEY ARE BOTH RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR INSTABILITY. YES. I MEAN THEY SHOULD GO TO THEIR GRAVES EVEN.......

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    • 10 July 13:59, by Mi diit

      Siddaw,

      You can get rid of Kiir who has proved to be a visionless dictator. But to also attack Dr. Machar is tribally motivated because he is a known visionary politician. He was forced into this war by Kiir who wanted to assassinate him. Who else do you want to come and loot the resources like Kiir? No, no, opportunists, please.

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      • 11 July 10:46, by siddaw

        You’re blindingly following your empty-headed Riek & failing go execute the facts although thousands of important Nuer are perishing without any clear objective. Are they (deceased Nuer) not important to u, Bustard Mi-Dit? Why do u always love to backslide Junub for a crazy Riek? Why can’t we embrace peace?

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  • 10 July 12:41, by Jalaby

    The south is hopeless case and am not gonna waste my time and comment here!!!!

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    • 10 July 15:35, by hamil

      Jalaby

      I am afraid you have already commented and this makes you look a real fool. If i were you i would just shut up and not try to gain anyone’s attention. If you stop commenting that would be great for everyone posting comments here. The shape of the world won’t change either if you refuse to comment but one thing is for sure you are going to post your trash anytime soon

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      • 10 July 16:10, by Malakal county Simon

        Salva Kiir since he is has a dull head, he must defeat through both isolation, and bullets. Period!!

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    • 11 July 10:54, by siddaw

      Jalaby
      Useless prat. Do u think Sudan is better off, than us? Why can’t you leave us alone and convince ur visionless Bashir to work for the betterment of ur Sudan? Since when have u become a South Sudanese to be talking shit here? please quite before we work on you, silly Jalaby.

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      • 12 July 03:57, by Northern Sudanese

        Sudan is light years better off than South Sudan. South Sudan is facing Africa’s largest famine in history , is now ranked the worlds number 1 failed state replacing somalia, as you see yourself you are too pussy to defend yourself and need a foreign army to protect Juba your own capital from Machar. all that including the fact that the south went from bad to worse since independence.

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        • 12 July 05:49, by siddaw

          Oh! Just that? I thought u would accentuate the real facts about South Sudan but if it’s just the above confabulated lies, then we don’t have to worry. we’re not the 1st in the list of a fail states. we emerge 4th whereas u (Sudan) emerge 3rd. thus, puzzling me of who is better among the 2... Don’t credit Sudan over what they don’t possess. They failed before our exi. Why re people leaving Sudan f

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  • 10 July 16:41, by Kim Deng

    Abraham Tut Mayak Kai, Juba UN PoC Camp resident: “I would rather live in Khartoum than South Sudan. I don’t want to stay in South Sudan, the security is not good for us Nuer.”

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    • 12 July 11:49, by dengdanger

      @ Kim Deng
      LOL SO NOW YOU WANT TO RUN TO KHARTOUM HUH NOW THAT THINGS ARE GETTING TOUGHER I THOUGHT U ARE A TOUGH GUY U ALWAY ON EVERYBODY BUSINESS SO YOU ARE NOT TOUGH AFTER ALL HAHAHAHAHAHAH

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  • 10 July 18:21, by Mapuor

    South Sudan is a sovereign state and can go into military protocols with any country of its choice.USA did it,Soviet Union did it,all other countries including Sudan did in the past.Ugandan forces will remain in South Sudan indefinitely come what may.All those thugs who destroyed the SPLA by selling soldiers food,uniform,guns etc will soon be laughed at in all places in the country.

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    • 10 July 19:41, by Malakal county Simon

      Mapour

      I don’t blame you to stick-up with idiot person like unwanted president Kiir, because its your step-father and the only income source you have hahah!! Shame shame!! Selling ur own integerity because of money hahah. Shame-on you brother!!

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  • 12 July 04:03, by Northern Sudanese

    So south sudan has gone down to the level that it needs a foreign army to protect its capital Juba from Machar? how much more embarrassing is this? SPLA of kiir is full of cowards!

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