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President Kiir apologises for the December 2013 war


January 7, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, has apologized to the people of the world’s youngest nation for dragging them into 21 months of war which erupted on 15 December 2013.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir prepares to give his speech during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 (Photo AP/Bernat Armangue)

President Kiir made the rare apologetic remarks during a speech he delivered at the opening of the extraordinary convention of his faction’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which convened in the national capital, Juba, on Thursday.

"I apologize on behalf of the SPLM to the people of South Sudan for the suffering they are going through as a result of war,” said president Kiir in his speech broadcasted on the state-run South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Thursday evening.

The head of state, whose bodyguards known as the Tiger Division who sparked the war and resulted to massacres of thousands of innocent civilians in Juba and in other states, said he also agreed that those responsible for the crimes committed in the deadly conflict must face justice.

"People will have to account for the crimes they have committed,” he said.

The African Union’s report on crimes committed during the war called for establishment of an hybrid court to try those who will be found responsible for gross human rights violations including war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war.

Kiir however called for reconciliation and forgiveness and for the factions of the SPLM, whose internal debates over reforms turned violent, to reunify as one organization.

General Taban Deng Gai, former elected governor of the oil rich Unity state and current chief negotiator for the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of the former vice president, Riek Machar, appealed for relinquishing power to the younger generation.

"Comrades, I am appealing to you that we must leave power. We have to leave power and we must incorporate that into the SPLM constitution that we must retire at some point. We have to leave power to the younger people coming after us,” said Gai in a speech also delivered at the same event on Thursday.

Former cabinet affairs minister, Deng Alor Kuol, representing former detainees, also spoke at the event and reiterated calls to end the war and move the country forward through implementation of the peace agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the country.


Rebeca Nyandeng, wife of late John Garang de Mabior, founding leader of SPLM which split into three separate factions in 2013, decided not to attend the Thursday’s extraordinary convention of the party.

It was not clear why Nyandeng, popularly known in the country as mama Rebecca or mother of the nation, decided to keep away from attending the event.

Also as the three factions include SPLM in government, SPLM-IO and SPLM former detainees, it was not clear to which faction Nyandeng belonged.

She could have however participated in the convention in her capacity as a member of the political bureau, the highest executive body of the party.


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  • 8 January 2016 08:44, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    No, no, pleases president, don’t apologized, you are not a problem,
    Riek Machar, is a problem of 2013 to up date.

    repondre message

    • 8 January 2016 09:51, by Eastern


      Kiir’s apology is in place and accepted by all peace loving South Sudanese. If all Dinka men are like Kiir their won’t be rampant killings as is happening in Tonj South, parts of Lakes state, Twic East and other Dinka villages. Kiir is going to introduce the word SORRY into Dinka vocabulary!!!

      repondre message

      • 8 January 2016 10:08, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

        Kiir, apologized because he is a head of state and government not matter that he killed people, president Kiir, didn’t make anything wrong.

        repondre message

        • 8 January 2016 11:13, by Eastern


          Then Kiir’s apology is in place! People need to be able to apologise; its human to err. When South Sudanese learn to apologise and people genuinely accept their apologies the country will move forward.

          repondre message

        • 8 January 2016 23:51, by Mr Point

          Kiir faked a coup to avoid political discussion.
          He stood behind terrible kilings of civilians.
          He started a two year war that killed many and broke the unity of the new country.

          You don’t see anything wrong?

          You are an idiot!

          repondre message

      • 8 January 2016 18:12, by Khent


        The people of Twic-east [my people] are not violent people and are not killing themselves and should never be mentioned alongside Lakes State. The people of Twic east have generally peacefully coexisted for centuries; two sections clashed 3 years ago and dozens died but it was quickly resolved...

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        • 8 January 2016 18:29, by Khent

          ..Dozens die in Lakes State every month. There is no basis for comparison. The only time people get killed in Twic-east is when Murle tribesmen attack Twic east to steal cattle.

          repondre message

      • 8 January 2016 23:47, by Mr Point

        After detailed investigation the African Union investigators found, and published in their official report, that the massacre of civilians in 2013 amounted to state policy.

        Of course there are illiterate idiots who do not seem to know this history.

        repondre message

    • 8 January 2016 09:57, by Akuma

      President Kiir should apologize because he is the chairman of the SPLM and none couldn’t apologize if he don’t. His apology don’t qualify him having or causing problems in South Sudan. Dissident Riek Machar must now carry his own cross for greedy of power

      repondre message

    • 8 January 2016 10:07, by Malakal county Simon

      Foolish president Kiir caused the senseless war by creating a fake coup...... His apology is a major step in terms of reconciliation and forgiveness in order for people’s to build trust amongs themselves again...... But he need to make that apology formal and public so maybe people’s South Sudan, may forgive him and not be trials.

      repondre message

    • 8 January 2016 10:45, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      You write like a person who is unpatriotic and a modern day murderer. The ghosts of the innocent dead wild always torment you. May it be so!

      repondre message

  • 8 January 2016 08:47, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    No, no, pleases president, don’t apologized, you are not a problem,
    Riek Machar, is a problem of 2013 to up date.

    repondre message

  • 8 January 2016 08:57, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Nyendeng, is war mastermind, she is even helping nothing to nation and to the people of South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 8 January 2016 09:17, by dinkdong

      Stop blaming Nyadeng, she didn’t started the war. Your up-to-no-good uncle, Kiir, did. After all, she don’t have a post in the government anymore, so she have the right not to attend any dang convention.

      repondre message

      • 8 January 2016 09:27, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

        Kiir is not a problem
        President Kiir, apologized due to his being a head of state and government not matter that he killed people.

        repondre message

  • 8 January 2016 09:10, by dinkdong

    Really, did Kiir apologized?! He doesn’t sound like he is admitting the wrong doing. He just sounded like Riek Machar when he apologized to the Bor people for the 1991 massacre few years back. They both need to go and do it in front of ICC.

    repondre message

  • 8 January 2016 10:02, by Bol Bol Bol

    Mr Chairman, citizens were expecting you long ago to apologize for your bad leadership that lead to subsequent massacre of the Nuer, but its not to late to accept the responsibility.

    As citizens, our primary concern is a genuine peace implementations & accountability for the crime committed against the citizen by your SPLM/A party & your very bodyguards. Then we reconcile.

    Love for Peace for SS

    repondre message

  • 8 January 2016 10:39, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    This childish apology is worrying because it proves that there was no coup d’état and the killings was deliberate. To me the apology can be truthful if it translates into reality by GOSS being? reinstituted. No tribalism, no nepotism and no corruption. Army, security, police is multi-ethnically officered and recruited.

    repondre message

  • 9 January 2016 06:12, by Joseph Canada

    God’s willing the country become peaceful, The top leaders (Kiir& Riek) Plus their generals who have no Patriotism but money greeds should go to Hague to be answerable to ICC for the killing of young men and women in Juba and those who lost life fighting each other to keep the two in power.

    repondre message

  • 9 January 2016 08:10, by Black Africa

    I am confused about Kiir,how does he feel when most leader are looking at him like a dumb,uncivilized,animal and etc, he still sit with them ,travel to their country without any shame in his face and they are talking behind him that this Gorilla is here or is coming to us,giving him no value and at the same time his own people hates him except people from his tribe if it was me I would have resign

    repondre message

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