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South Sudan’s Kiir sacks foreign affairs minister

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March 23, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has sacked the country’s foreign affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, a day after he referred to people from Abyei as Sudanese.

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South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin (Photo: Getty Images)

In a decree, read on the state-owned SSTV Wednesday, the South Sudan leader did not give reasons for Marial’s removal.

Marial signed a document sent to the United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights, in which Luka Biong Deng, a former South Sudanese minister for the presidency was referres to as a Sudanese national.

Biong, who hails from Abyei, fled the country in October last year after he was threatened by security agents over a symposium he organised on the controversial creation of 28 new states.

Marial denied speaking such a statement, but declined to apologise publicly. He told a press conference in Juba on Monday that Abyei, the land of nine Ngok Dinka chiefdom as a South Sudanese land. He said the Dinka people are exclusively South Sudanese.

The foreign affairs minister was criticised by opposition parties who called for his resignation.

Marial’s removal, analysts say, was linked to his remarks on people from the disputed region.

A graduate from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Marial previously served as minister for regional cooperation, commerce and industry, information and broadcasting before he was appointed in 2013 as South Sudan’s foreign minister.

He also has a short stint as minister of international cooperation in the Khartoum-based Government of National Unity from 2005 and 2006. During South Sudan’s liberation struggle, Marial held various positions, including serving as secretary of international relations representing the SPLM in the executive of National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

(ST)

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  • 23 March 2016 20:23, by Positive Thinker

    What goes round come round. This foolish sycophant liar is finally shamed by his king.

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    • 23 March 2016 21:04, by Ajongtar

      Haha said another war have erupted between Pro Kiir Nuer v Pro Kiir Dinkaz of Abyei. Missing in action, remain Michael Makui Lueth.
      If done then no more dinka borsm in SPLM Government...

      Barnaba I have spaired for u a space in my movement, I am soon launch our ambush in Nimule and Morobu.

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    • 24 March 2016 06:32, by Akuma

      I am now relieved....and Marial is not the only minister to be relieved others are following. Take Cautions

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  • 23 March 2016 21:39, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    The dismissal of Barnaba Marial Benjamin, will not solve the suffering of South Sudanese, the neutrality of Abyei, people from hands of sudanese and will not put a country into Chanel of right Democratic system.
    South Sudan will remains as human hails country under president Kiir and Riek Machar.
    God, hear us.

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  • 23 March 2016 23:05, by Mr. Right

    It was a very big mistake, Hon. Marial. It was a dejecting comment. Just accept and take responsibility for your actions.

    What is missing now, is to publicly apologize to the people of the republic to clear that mess up and for your own longevity in politics at some stages in the foreseeable future.

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    • 24 March 2016 00:33, by Dinka-Defender-General

      He made a mistake and everyone makes mistake. However, President Kiir made too by removing him from the position. Both Machar and Kiir made many mistakes and they are still in power. He didn’t kill anyone with his mistakes, but Machar and Kiir did during the 22 months.

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      • 24 March 2016 06:09, by dinkdong

        Exactly! That’s the wisest thing you have ever said Mr. General. Kiir and Riek are killers and don’t deserve to be sacking people or even be our leaders.

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        • 25 March 2016 01:44, by Dinka-Defender-General

          Dinkdong, Hamil, and Wed-Wau are cracking me up. What, in the world, you guys denied my previous peaceful comments. I always told you I love peace and all 63 tribes in South Sudan. Moreover, I don’t support either Kiir or Machar in their leaderships. I said it many times and you dismissed.

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      • 24 March 2016 07:30, by hamil

        @Dinka Defender

        For the first time you have spoken sense my advise to you is to always engage your brain before laying your hands on that keyboard to type something

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      • 24 March 2016 12:29, by Wed-wau

        Dinka-Defender-General,
        Wow!!! Today you make me to read your comments three time, just to be sure I’m not dreaming. Brother, thank you for your comments. When you defending our country, everybody defending you; but when you defending individual or certain group, you are creating enemies. Please, allow me to call you (Peace-Defender-General).

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      • 24 March 2016 14:19, by Hardlinner

        sacking Marial is to harsh. perhaps kiir should have ordered him to apologize or resign if doesn’t want to. we were looking for an apology not sacking.

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  • 24 March 2016 00:41, by lino

    The first ever right decision by the President since he took helm.
    Abyei Issue is a National concern for the people of South Sudan, for they have died for it.
    South Sudanese have even a right to fight Ngok of Abyei if they would have decided in their Community Referendum of October, 2013 to joint the North, but the decision of Ngok was to stay as South Sudanese by 99.9%

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    • 24 March 2016 05:34, by Freedom Fighter

      You’re Damn right, Lino

      Freedom Fighter

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      • 24 March 2016 06:01, by dinkdong

        Don’t you think Kiir should also resign, Mr. Damn Right? Or how is someone calling people foreigners worse than someone who kill? You are corrupted, tribalists, and bad judges.

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        • 24 March 2016 14:28, by lino

          The accountability is coming brother for the killings of 2013 and beyond; everyone involved should be accountable!!!

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    • 24 March 2016 14:28, by Hardlinner

      Lino instead of sacking Marial, we would like to see south sudan government tabling all conditions including military intervention to force bashir to let go of Abyei. but kiir like primitive equipped army have no teeth to challenge Bashir. we need two fronts(military and diplomacy) to combat bashir hold on to Abyei.

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      • 24 March 2016 18:52, by lino

        You got it right Hardliner; I have been saying that we South Sudanese wasted our time, money, and lives by killing ourselves like animals than facing Bashair to let go Abyei and other areas and territories that belong to South Sudan.
        It is hard to believe that same comrades fighting themselves and killing their own. Who is going to benefit from the country then? Enemies??!
        SS still has a chance

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  • 24 March 2016 00:56, by Deng II

    He(Marial) has to go. The President did an other astounding decision after 28 States. Most countries on the world need more people and land, but South Sudan leaders cowardly wishful people and land to be taken by other countries, what cowardly leaders.

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    • 24 March 2016 01:10, by Deng II

      Marial made a gigantic mistake than kiir and Riek. Kiir and Riek Killed people but some will be left over on their land, compare it when you wish people to go away with their land, it like you an exterminates them and it going to reduce your population and land mass.

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    • 24 March 2016 06:08, by jubaone

      Barnaba Marial spoke the truth; Abyei is NOT South Sudanese. Now these very jaang enjoy privilegdes from both Khartoum and Juba. It was These very jaang who were reluctant to vote for separation,all were comfortable with Khartoum. Abyei has been taken over by Mesiriyah, bye-bye

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  • 24 March 2016 01:55, by Maper

    The position belongs to FDs anyway. Marial made a mistake. He should have apologised and be forgiven. But it is all fine because Deng Alor is going to be a foreign minister whether Marial is there or not.

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    • 24 March 2016 03:04, by Nyesi Ta

      Marial use to run his mouth a lot, but this time around he said the truth, but the truth is always bitter and he has paid the price for telling the truth. Marial was a self made puppet who became the mouthpiece of the killers in Juba forgetting that his D-day is in the horizon. He thought by running his mouth in support of kiir will make him minister for life. Go home and eat your loot Marial.

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  • 24 March 2016 06:49, by Dengda

    Finally, I get relieved, it was pained and troubled me a lot. Those who said Kiir and Riek should be sack you have right. But first thing first. Kiir has to sack Marial because of the huge mistake and miscalculation of judge. Kiir and Riek will be sack by people and civilian through election or parliament. Welcome aboard Dinka General for the first to speak as urself and defending the territory.

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  • 24 March 2016 07:15, by Bol Bol Bol

    For God sack, if Abyie is not for Sudan, why he failed to recognize the outcome of Abyie referendum?

    In other hands, Marial was a good liar. He was paid to deceive world by denied the suffering of South Sudanese in his master hand.

    He deserved to be fire longtime but was lucky because he was serving Kiir’s interest and continued lying until he step on Dinka’s tale.

    May God protect South Sudan

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  • 24 March 2016 07:21, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Please, don’t blame Marial,
    Abyei has already by south Sudanese to Sudan,
    Mr. Marial, Learnt from what leadership is doing.

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  • 24 March 2016 07:26, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    If Abyei, is belong to South Sudan, then let votes of 2013 be recognised by the South Sudanese to ensure that Abyei, is belonging to S.Sudan.

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    • 24 March 2016 07:59, by Deng II

      You asked a good question, why votes of 2013 be recognized? Well, simple answer is a cowardly of leadership. But Marial is nobody,he is just an employee of the president. He doesn’t need to have an opinion or say something about something bigger than his poorly live. Why president don’t say the way Marial bravely expressed , because Abyei issue bigger than President.

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  • 24 March 2016 07:33, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear readers
    Dr Marial Benjamin was fired for nothing at all, every southerners knew that ABYEI is under Sudan administration since 1905, All ABYEI sons and daughters are considered as Sudanese’s citizens with Sudanese passports all over the world, and some of their sons are rebels in SPLA north fighting Khartoum government, there might be another reason for Marial removal

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  • 24 March 2016 07:38, by hamil

    If only these bullets and bombs were used to liberate Abyei I think we could have done something sensible but instead we wasted them on innocent civilians, defenseless children and elderly people. This is the most unwise decision South Sudan will live to regret for a long time we killed our own people and rejoiced without shame and remorse how then shall we build a nation?

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  • 24 March 2016 08:17, by William Atak Garang.

    Marial Barnabas Benjamin has right to be fired before he revealed the money he had taken from Sudanese Government. Let him go to enjoy the bribery money he took from Sudan for the denial of Abyiei nationals.

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  • 24 March 2016 09:11, by Kenyang

    Abyei, Kafia Kingi, Pan thou (Heglig) among others are 100% South Sudan. Same blood that retrieved South Sudan will retrieve these territories. Those who think Abyei is Sudan are same groups who gave up & ran back to Khartoum or never contributed. What do they know else other than fighting over food. South Sudan problem is not lack of selfless fighters.

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    • 24 March 2016 09:48, by Kenyang

      Dr. Marial Benjamin’s good nationalist whose long stand and contribution to people of South Sudan is immeasurable. No good reason what he said about Abyei can’t be treated as plain, simple mistake or made/set up. These things are often written by assistants and can be very easy to make mistake.

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    • 24 March 2016 14:41, by Hardlinner

      buy advance precision jet fighters and attack helicopters and Abyei will be yours without any need for referendum or negotiation. if the cost of war become more on side of bashir than benefit, Bashir will drop his fake claim on Abyei,

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  • 24 March 2016 15:13, by Mapuor

    Abyie was transfered to Kordufan in 1905 and has never been transfered back to South Sudan,its therefore a part of Sudan.Even if Dr Marial is removed Abyie will never come back to South Sudan given the stand of sons of Abyie on both sides.Those of Deng Alor are thieves. Pieng Deng Majok is also a big thieve who destroyed the SPLA and the Police and has forgotten Abyie.

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    • 24 March 2016 19:02, by lino

      Hahaha!!! MAPOUR, it looks as if you came from the moon yesterday.
      Go back and the the history of CPA; Abyei Protocol in particular. You will answer yourself. Don’t be like Marial who regret the following day.
      Those you mentioned as thieves just bring them to court!!! South Sudan had judges and lawyers that are executing the law.

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  • 24 March 2016 20:39, by Eastern

    One of the loud mouthed Nuer wew in Kiir’s kitchen has been shown the exit for meddling in Dinka affairs. Folks serving in Kiirs government continue to deny that South Sudan is not not a Dinka kingdom but "for all of us". Now what’ happened to this doctor from Uror for "meddling" in Dinka business?

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