Home | News    Friday 22 July 2016

President Kiir says Machar was armed at the presidency


July 21, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, for the first time in two weeks has revealed an allegation that he was almost killed by his first deputy, Riek Machar, when fighting broke out at the presidential palace in Juba on 8 July while they were in a meeting.

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South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir, seen in Addis Ababa on January 29, 2015 (Photo AFP Zacharias Abubeker)

In his first interview on Wednesday in Juba with the China Central Television (CCTV) inside the Presidential Palace, known as J1, where the fighting took place between their rival forces, President Kiir also said Machar would not have too survived if he had killed him.

The President said Machar was carrying a pistol when the fighting erupted, but added that Machar was calm and he had not threatened the president with the pistol.

“He was carrying his pistol…He did not say it, whether he wanted to assassinate me,” President Kiir told the CCTV while showing the reporter inside the palace rooms where the three leaders, including Vice President, James Wani, were meeting.

“But what happened here even if he had to shoot me, he would have not gone out of this room,” President Kiir added, implying that both of them would have been dead.

President Kiir however said he “protected” and “saved” Machar from his close bodyguards who looked aggressive, saying he was warning them whenever he saw their “unfriendly” behavior towards Machar. He did not however say where Machar’s close bodyguards were who were also inside the palace at the time of the incident.

Kiir also did not make it clear how he knew Machar was carrying a pistol whether he was holding it in his hand or in the pocket.

But when asked by the CCTV reporter whether he was worried for his life when he knew that Machar was carrying a pistol, President Kiir who also looked exhausted replied, “not at all.” “Instead I was worried about his life.”

He narrated that as soon as fighting erupted outside the fence of his palace, he told his two deputies to relocate to another room with him, in order to protect them.

President Kiir also revealed that he and Machar decided to hold their hands during the clashes, so that they were not separated, but could not say whether it was a mutual decision or they were holding themselves hostage.

The head of state said he had to bring Machar up to his car and gave him “fare well” to his residence of Jebel Kujur at night after fighting stopped, adding that his forces had to escort him.

No detailed narrative of what transpired inside the palace has yet come out directly from Machar. He however told the BBC Focus on Africa last week that the fighting at the palace was “calculated to kill” him.

Earlier, his officials said President Kiir was also ensuring his own safety by staying near to Machar inside the palace, adding that the close bodyguards of the two leaders did not fight inside J1 to target the two leaders.

The two leaders, Machar’s official said “happened to get stuck with each other” inside the palace and nobody wanted to leave the palace as fighting was raging on outside.

There are conflicting reports as to which side was responsible for the starting of the fighting, but the CCTV reporter who interviewed the president said he was told by “officials” that the fighting started at about 4:30pm when an ambulance suddenly appeared at the gate of the palace.

He said when the ambulance turned on its siren to signal the starting of the shooting, the fighting immediately erupted. He did not say which side owned the ambulance.


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  • 22 July 2016 05:01, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

    I don’t support leaders assassination. Many thanks to President Salva Kiir, FVP Riek Machar & VP James Wani for having not thought of killing each other. It’d be the greatest of all greatest disasters & rampant killings as well as genocide would follow their deaths.

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    • 22 July 2016 07:57, by dinkdong

      You don’t support leaders assassinations and you support soldiers and civilians killing, right? What a stup!d statement to say. Do you know those two fools are responsible for tens of thousands since independent. We all deserve to live.

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      • 22 July 2016 08:08, by dinkdong

        . . . tens of thousands of lives lost . . .

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  • 22 July 2016 06:16, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    President Kiir, shouldn’t die in a such a way.
    He is only God, will remove the life of president not in criminal justice system.

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    • 22 July 2016 07:34, by Akook

      Malong Awan’s calculations were to kill Riak at the shoot out in the palace or outside the gate should Dr Riek panicked and move out with his bodyguards who were also inside the fence with him.
      Kiir knew the plan and Kiir also knew if Dr Machar was to be killed inside the palace, Machar’s bodyguards would definitely kill Kiir. So their fates were tie togwther. They either choose to live or die

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      • 22 July 2016 07:41, by Akook

        Dr Riek knows he himself can not kill Kiir but he knows should Kiir’s bodyguards kill him inside, his bodyguards would react to kill Kiir too. And that is why Riek chose to remain inside despite heavy fighting in a place that wasn’t his headquarters.
        If Dr Machar had pistol for the purpose of assassinating Kiir, what then prevent him to shoot the president since they were together?

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        • 22 July 2016 08:35, by Malakal county Simon

          Ludicrously at his best!!!! You’re such a shame to be called a president of the nation......

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      • 22 July 2016 09:17, by Akuma


        For information, you better begin preparation for uncle funeral death. Riek will not come back to Juba alive and even you will not see his tomb

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  • 22 July 2016 09:03, by Eastern

    Every statement Kiir, amakuei and Ateny Wek make leaves an egg on their faces. Nhial Deng Nhial is perhaps a refined and well informed Dinka we have in the whole of South Sudan. He’s cool headed and objective. The rest are what one priest recently referred to as monkeys and devil.

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    • 22 July 2016 12:07, by wacjak

      Dear Eastern, Since you have acknowledged at least one DINKA that is enough to cool my temper against these useless idiots that have farting on this website. You have not met many Dinka except Salva Kiir. There are millions of Dinka who are smarter than the two gentlemen. I know you are singing praise of Nhial because he urged for a softer tone against the International community and nothing else.

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      • 22 July 2016 12:11, by wacjak

        how many times have we told you idiots that, the image of Salva Kiir is not that of every Dinka. If he is weak, that is him and not the Dinka people. Late Dr. Garang was a Dinka and was smarter than any other leader so far. Riek is a Nuer but not all the Nuer are like him. He is ruthless, power-hungry and traitor. The other Nuer people are not like that. We must fight this idiot (Riek).

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        • 22 July 2016 12:13, by wacjak

          Kiir does not need to be sent home through bullets but rather through ballot. He is crippling our economy and development. He condones corruption. He favours others at the expense of the nation. He has nothing in his head for development. Let us fight him as a weak leader and not a member of the Dinka people. Fighting him with the slogan that he is a Dinka will only keep him there till he dies.

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          • 22 July 2016 12:16, by wacjak

            Machar the traitor and his cohorts can attest to this. And so is the rest who will fight him in that angle. With that, he should not be singled out alone, but rather all the weak and corrupt leaders in every society in Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria. Don’t vote them to come to the national assembly. Send them home and bring on board fair personalities.

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        • 22 July 2016 16:39, by Hardlinner

          wacjak, that is well said. people in south sudan do not indeed to fight one another. if Kiir and Riek can’t kill themselves, why do we have to kill ourselves for sake of their greediness. we all should say that we are smarter than Riek and Kiir and avoid killing each other. Kiir and Riek are after leadership not people of south sudan.

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