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IGAD official tells rebel leader “stupid” comment was misquoted

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July 14, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – A senior official of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said he was misquoted in the media about a “stupid” comment that he allegedly uttered against South Sudan’s rival leaders.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar Teny, and his delegation posing a picture with Djibouti president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, at the State Palace, Djibouti,July 13, 2014 (ST)

Mahboub Maalim, IGAD executive secretary, on Monday expressed regret to the South Sudanese rebel leader, Riek Machar, in Djibouti in which he explained he never said such an “uncivilized” remark, blaming the media for misquoting him.

The official was quoted in the media last month as saying the two leaders, president Salva Kiir and his rival Machar were stupid if they thought they would end the war militarily.

The envoy allegedly spitted out the insult directly to the delegation of the South Sudanese government while in a heated argument with them in Addis Ababa on ceasefire modalities in the IGAD-mediated peace talks.

Machar’s spokesperson told Sudan Tribune the official refuted having made such a comment in a meeting with his boss in Djibouti on Monday.

“Ambassador Maalim met our chairman Dr Riek Machar in Djibouti on Monday. He refuted the comment which was attributed to him in the media. He also regretted the inconveniences the allegation has caused,” the rebel leader’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said on Monday.

“He [Maalim] said such a comment was “uncivilized” which a diplomat could not use against the leaders,” Dak further said.

The Djiboutian diplomat immediately visited Juba on 17 June after the media circulated the alleged comment, but was reportedly prevented from meeting president Kiir.

South Sudanese government also boycotted the peace talks in protest of the alleged insult in which president Kiir wrote a letter to the IGAD chairman and Ethiopian prime minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, demanding an official apology.

Dak said the meeting between Machar and Maalim also discussed the ongoing mediation process and its modalities.

SPLM TO ATTEND IGAD SUMMITS

The rebels spokesperson said the opposition leader and IGAD envoy agreed on the importance of representing SPLM [in opposition] in IGAD regional summits whenever issues pertaining to South Sudan are part of agenda.

“Representation of SPLM [opposition] in the regional summits is very important in order to avoid making disputable decisions in absence of our representatives. Such non-inclusive consensuses in which resolutions on South Sudan are passed by IGAD in the absence of SPLM always risk further disputes,” he said.

He said the envoy saw the proposal as genuine, adding that the matter would however be finalized with the IGAD chairman and prime minister of Ethiopia.

DJIBOUTI REPRESENTATIVE

Dak further revealed that the SPLM in opposition has assigned a representative to Djibouti on Monday as the rebel leader concluded his three-day diplomatic tour to the IGAD member country.

“The visit to Djibouti was a great opportunity. Dr Machar and president Ismail Omar had a prolific consultation on the need to support the peace process and end the war,” he said, adding that the visiting delegation also met with other senior government officials in the country.

He said a representative for his group was accepted in the country.

“We now have a representative in Djibouti. Dr Gatwech Koang Thich is accepted to represent SPLM in Djibouti,” he further disclosed.

Gatwech, who holds a PhD in petroleum engineering, was previously in charge of oil pipelines department in the ministry of petroleum and mining in South Sudan.

THREE OIL PIPELINES

Earlier, the rebel group expressed the desire for future constructions of two additional oil pipelines, one to port Mombasa in Kenya and the other to port Djibouti via Ethiopia.

Dak said the two other pipelines would be in addition to the current pipeline to Port Sudan, adding there is promising huge oil reserves in South Sudan as well as other exports and imports by the landlocked country, justifying the need to access three river ports.

“The plan to have three oil pipelines to the different river ports is necessitated by the geographical locations of such oil reserves and proximity to the respective neighbouring countries. There is also need to access the three river ports by either roads or railways for the purposes of exports and imports,” he further explained.

“South Sudan is the size of Kenya, Uganda and Burundi combined,” he said.

Currently there are oil reserves in the three states of Unity in the north, Upper Nile in the northeast and Jonglei in the southeast, all in the former greater Upper Nile region.

Machar spokesperson further said the rebel group wanted the war to come to a speedy end together with the “tyranny and corruption” in Juba so that a governance system that would be based on a constitutional democratic federal state should be installed and usher in development.

President Kiir however expressed reservation on adoption of federalism, warning officials in his government to stay away from such demand, which he dismissed as a strategy used by the rebel leader to split and dismantle the “internal front.”

Machar while marking the third anniversary of independence on 9 July called on the South Sudanese people to join the resistance movement and dismantle dictatorship with its accompanying “ills” in the young country.

He returned to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday.

(ST)

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  • 14 July 23:17, by Ito

    An intellectual, a visionary like Dr. Riek Machar would not return empty pocket like the tribal government in Juba. Dr. Riek is leader for all and this is the fact. The cry for freedom, democracy, justice, peace, equality and development will soon be history after Riek become captain of the boat, but until then, South Sudanese will continue to bleed. I hope reasonable citizens would quickly join

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    • 14 July 23:21, by Ito

      democratic forces in order to achieve the objectives for which the SPLM was fighting for since 1983 as those principles have been thrown into dust bin by the money loving and murderous regime in Juba. For those of you who care about south sudan, the road is clear: This is a way between all against all, between pro-democracy and pro-equality against under Dr.Riek and pro-dictatorship anarchy.

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      • 14 July 23:24, by Ito

        under Salva Kiir. Those who wants equality, democracy, justice, peace and development should join Dr. Riek and those who wants tribalism, corruption, a one man dictatorship should join president Salva Kiir. The road is very wide for us to choose.

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        • 15 July 03:12, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

          Peter Getdat Dak and his boss Riek Machar are lying.
          His trip was fruitless,
          what promoted him, the rebel to represent SPLM, Riek and his group were already expelled out from party officially.
          He is not still as an SPLM member,

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          • 15 July 05:15, by Mi diit

            Dr. Machar is the able leader and true diplomat the world admires and respects. He is visionary and skillful diplomat. An American friend of mine working here at the White House whispered to me just 10 minutes ago that when it comes to able leadership in South Sudan it was either late Dr. John Garang or Dr. Riek Machar the US government could have confidence in. True, I do agree!

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            • 15 July 14:57, by Rommel

              Mi diit:

              As usual, you’re lying. There are no diplomats or statesman [of international significance] that hold a treacherous and vapid mass murderer [Riek] in high regard. This ’world’ that supposedly ’admires’ and respects’ Riek, does not exist... It is merely a figment of your own imagination. Stop comparing Dr. John Garang to Riek. There are no grounds for comparison.

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        • 15 July 08:50, by Adodi Jotuwa

          Ito,
          History is one of the best tools dat u don’t want to revisit. If Dr. John Garang De Mabior were to surrender the popular SPLM/A to Khartoum in 1991 as Dr. Fool Riek Machar did with his Nasir Faction, where would we/RSS have been today? Leadership conflict would have emerged between Junubin on who should Bashir appoint to lead South Sudan in exchange of the very Khartoum Oil Agreement/KPA-1997

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          • 15 July 08:56, by Adodi Jotuwa

            Unlike the so-called "white army", why and how do u expect reasonable citizens to emotionally join the murderous movement in the history of South Sudan since 1991? Junubin desperately want peace, security, development and stability, not positions or leadership position dat Dr. Fool Riek is obsessed with since 1991. Any Junubin who needs position can easily join Riek, but not me.

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            • 15 July 09:06, by Adodi Jotuwa

              Do you believe dat touring African, Asian, Middle Eastern, South America and European countries including USA or Canada would make Dr. Fool Riek Machar popular or would lure Junubin to join him. Do the math correctly without excluding Bor massacre of 1991, KPA-1997 and Riek’s return in 2002 to the very popular movement/SPLA/M dat he branded undemocratic. Who is fooling who here, please?

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              • 15 July 09:18, by Adodi Jotuwa

                Don’t u realize dat Junubin are tired of tribal war of Dr. Fool Riek Machar orchestrated to look like a national war of 1955 or 1983 regardless of varied ethnic representation on the diplomatic/political front designed to attract national, regional, continental and international audience? I am not worried so long as whatever Dr. Fool Riek Machar does makes him smile and looks presidential to his f

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                • 15 July 09:53, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  Why do you complain that Junubin are not decisive or reluctant to join the murderous and tribal movement composed of one military ethnic group? Do u think dat Junubin often fail like “white army” to do their political calculations before joining murderous movement that brought Bor town (twice), Malakal town (twice), Bentiu town (twice) to rubble? Stay in you cozy Addis Hotel “berrah”.

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    • 15 July 08:16, by Simon Puok Nyang Tutjiek

      Maalim was directed his mouth to government delegation not to the visionary leader Dr. Riek Machar, Dr. Riek is a God gifted man, Dr. Riek is known for his long term visions, plans, objectives that always benefit the people and is the only wise elder we have in South Sudan.
      Dr. Riek can only be compared to Martin Luther King, Mandela of South Africa and Lion King Hailesilasie of Ethiopia.

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      • 15 July 09:29, by Mi diit

        Adodi Jetowa?

        If you underrate the current diplomatic scores by Dr. Riek you must be a fool under the leadership of an alcoholic illiterate dictator. Dr. Riek is scoring goal after goal. If what these diplomatic successes do not yet send a clear message to you, then you must be dumb. Continue drinking whisky in Juba, gambling politically and diplomatically. You will soon be surprised!

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        • 15 July 10:05, by Adodi Jotuwa

          Mi Diit,

          Please, calm down; revisit the history of Dr. Fool Riek Machar dat I wrote above. Never bark like a stray dog wondering in the wilderness of Junub in an effort to lead South Sudan. History is and will be the best judge about what u and I r talking about. The President of Djibouti looks humble in the picture but those fools around him exposed their stupidity again for the sake of publicit

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          • 15 July 10:41, by Malakal county Simon

            Adodi

            You’re so behind to rely always on the past.... This nation is not in the stage where we can judge individual because of their past, otherwise, you can be describe as Kiir as stupid, if you insist to stick for what happen in the past bro simple as that....

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  • 15 July 07:16, by marie

    Mi diit
    Have you done arithmetic in you live? Add the areas and compare them with the area of South Sudan, what do you get. Thank Justice for posting the areas. We live in digital age in which all information are at the tip of your fingers. You people would use this useless statement for the villagers.

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    • 15 July 07:28, by Mi diit

      Marie,

      I am saying the estimated size of South Sudan was disputed because it was not based on accuracy but on mere estimate by calculating it from the former Sudan without putting into consideration the true boundaries. When a correct measurement is done after settling the border disputes including Abyei, which is constitutionally part of Republic of South Sudan, you will understand what I mean..

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      • 15 July 15:42, by marie

        My friend, what Dr Garang was referring to was the New Sudan which included Nuba Mountains, Angasan and all the marginalized areas in the movement but not South Sudan. Check your sources. Land mass does not increase whatever the case. Abyei is just a small piece of land, even if included to South Sudan, it would not still make any logic.

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        • 15 July 16:08, by Rommel

          marie:

          How big does Mi Diit claim South Sudan is? And what exactly is the relation between our geographical size and Mi Diit’s only concern -> Riek? Abyei is only around the same size as Lebanon. The Kafia Kingi enclave is bigger than Abyei — it’s around 14, 000 km2 and Khartoum continues to occupy it in contravention of the 1956 border and the CPA.

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  • 15 July 08:50, by Mel mosa

    If Kiir attend IGAD summit with rebel Riek together, I will believe that Kiir is more than stupid. I never heard in this world the rebel can attend the head of the countries summit. what summit really means if rebel attend? Kiir should not disappoint our country.

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  • 15 July 09:28, by Mel mosa

    I African always obey their master (white man) but not South Sudanese although some South Sudanese working hard give South Sudan resources to white. Their dream will die off.

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    • 15 July 14:13, by Gangura

      Dr. Machar your the leader of this New nation and keep the candle burning as we Eqautorian are behing you, Kirr mast go with his corrept cabinet, we really believe in you that, u can change this country into another different thing not Kirr who was thinking of changing our Country into cattle camp.

      God bless you Machar

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