Home | News    Friday 10 June 2016

President Kiir’s office admits responsibility for controversial anti-justice article

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June 9, 2016 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir’s office has finally revealed that it was responsible for the controversial article which found itself to The New York Times, proposing to scrap from the peace agreement justice and accountability clauses over crimes committed during the war.

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South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

They also insisted that the article, published by The New York Times on Tuesday and later on by some other media outlets, was written in the office of the President with the agreement of the First Vice President, Riek Machar.

Ateny Wek Ateny, on Thursday revealed that the article originated from the President’s office and called on the people and the media to take only his statement as the overall spokesman in the Presidency.

“The opinion article was from the President and the First Vice President about the issue of transitional justice and truth and reconciliation,” Ateny told the media.

“After the signing of the peace agreement and formation of the transitional government of national unity, the spokesperson for the whole presidency is me," further claimed. "And it was written from my office."

The three-man presidency includes President Kiir, his first deputy, Machar and second deputy, James Wani. However, Machar and Wani also have their respective press secretaries.

Also, an ambassador, Gordon Buay, who is allied to President Kiir and works in the South Sudan’s embassy in Washington DC, issued a separate statement on Thursday, confirming that the article was sent to The New York Times by Ateny Wek Ateny and sent another copy to him [Buay].

Buay revealed that he helped in contacting The New York Times and convinced the US-based news organization to publish the article as an Op-ed.

He criticized the office of the First Vice President, Machar, for disowning the article, adding that what President Kiir’s press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, confirmed about the alleged agreement between the two top leaders to write the article was the truth.

He also criticized any other press secretary including Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, for refuting the claim over the article, echoing that only Ateny Wek is now the spokesman for the whole Presidency after formation of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU).

“Ateny Wek Ateny, who is the official spokesman of the entire Presidency, came out and said that both the President and the FVP [First Vice President] wrote the article published by The New York Times,” Buay said in a statement he circulated on social media.

Buay warned that the "government" will sue media houses who will continue to refer to comments as from the spokesperson from the office of the First Vice President.

But Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, dismissed the claims by the officials from the president’s office, saying there was no need to dictate people into accepting the “falsified article.”

“Well, what I know is that we work as partners in the transitional government. No one party should author an opinion and insert the name of the other partner as co-author. This is illegal and cheating,” Dak said.

“And this is particularly a serious matter when the other partner attempts to violate the peace agreement by trying to scrap the vital clauses on justice and accountability,” he added.

Dak also said the Presidency is composed of different offices which have separate press secretaries, dismissing the claims that the “entire” Presidency had one press secretary or spokesperson.

He also said the Presidency derived from a coalition government is united by the August 2015 peace agreement, which he said, was like a contractual agreement that no one partner should temper with.

“I suspect that there is desire by others to control the flow of information to the public or to the media no matter how incorrect the information is. However, their desire is wrong. And they should be corrected whenever they are in the wrong,” he said.

He added that there is nothing called press secretary for the entire Presidency of the coalition government composed of different partners, offices and parties, saying it is not even practical.

"There can be one information minister or government’s official spokesperson, even in a coalition government, but not one press secretary or spokesperson for different institutions or top executive offices," he said.

The peace agreement signed between the parties provided for mechanisms through which to pursue justice and accountability for the crimes committed.

The attempt to dodge accountability attracted fierce criticisms from the public who called for justice to be served by bringing to book through a hybrid court the criminals.

(ST)

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  • 10 June 2016 00:20, by Mr Point

    Kiir’s Presidential Spokesman, who has no constitutional position, is found to have issued misleading communications in the name of a Vice President who was not even consulted over the content of the article.

    No wonder Machar denied that he was involved in the writing of an unjustifiable proposal.

    Kiir’s Presidential Spokesman is obviously a deceiver. He should be sacked immediately.

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  • 10 June 2016 01:15, by Deng K A Biong

    What a mess!

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    • 10 June 2016 02:48, by Akook

      So now those of Ateny Wek are exporting their ignorant to the world stage.
      James Gatdet Dak unmasked the beast and they remain as naked LIARS.

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  • 10 June 2016 03:23, by Uncle J

    As if and only iff the SPLM-io has no idea who the Hell did not comit the war crime between Machar and president Kiir, why now push for justice when you know at the end of the day someone who ran for safety from Juba in December 13, 2013 ended up like IDDI AMINI ordering mass killing of Church congrigation assuming they are all dinka Bor tribe would also be guilty of war ? This is what happened in Kenya for 2008 election aftermass the ICC dropped convicting Uhuru because both leaders Raila and Uhuru are guilty of war crime and there’s no better one over the other to favor so the other bears charges

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    • 10 June 2016 06:49, by Joseph Canada

      This is just to show how guilty Kiir is on his own made up coup. And you Uncle J, by legality, everybody including you know that it was Kiir who started and initiated the killing. the killings in Bor and Upper Nile was just a revange. Therefore, the ring leader must face the justice. Yes they are both wrong but Kiir is more wrong than Riek.

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      • 10 June 2016 09:17, by Uncle J

        President Bashir got convicted 10 years ago by ICC and still fly in/out of his country as a free man, let peace brings healing first and then call for justice. As we speak there’s still more tensions in Juba similar to that tension when Riek started to become critic of the party he serves in 2013. SPLM-io are wasting their time trying to integrate into the SPLM instead they should register SPLM-io as an opposition party

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  • 10 June 2016 05:11, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Mr Uncle J,

    Let justice take its course. No one is above the law if we are to have a civilised, just country. People are not cows that can be taken to a slaughter house at anytime by the owner. Kiir, Salva Mathok or Machar must face the music of justice of the civilised world.

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  • 10 June 2016 07:27, by Eastern

    ...the New York Times article is the handiwork of Gordon Buay and cohorts in Washington; they are trying hard to sell the same to Dr Riek but they have failed. The crimes committed in South Sudan cannot be covered by COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, each an individual must carry their own burden of innocence until proven GUILTY. Let Dr Macher speak!

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    • 10 June 2016 08:33, by J P Puok

      you see how devilish president office becomes! this is the same channel that was used to poisoned Dr Marial Barnaba without his knowledge. they cooked dirty food under dirty tables not knowing that anything done under the darkness will be seen when light shaded into it. shame on them and shame on Bauy in particular

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    • 10 June 2016 09:17, by Dengda

      Thanks Eastern
      I was reading all and looking trust only you, Gordon is prime suspect, also the allegation came from USA where Gordon staying in. We all know that Gordon is anti-IO then why we crack our mind, while there’s obvious answer, evidenced by Gordon himself who tried to refuted the claimed uninvited. Thanks once again Mr Eastern for your Smartness. I enjoy reading your comment & Mr point.

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      • 10 June 2016 13:18, by Eastern

        Thanks, dengda for your complement. Truth must be told, how bitter. Our country needs to heal and that healing process must not be contaminated with lies and deception; Gordon Buay and cohorts may have succeeded in hoodwinking a few khawajat in Washington and the New York Time, but they certainly can’t decive the whole world.....

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