Home | News    Wednesday 25 June 2014

South Sudanese presidency warns against federalism debate


June 24, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese presidency has issued an appeal cautioning proponents and advocates for federalism to cease debate on the proposed system of governance, saying the need to achieve peace and social harmony was the country’s first priority.

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South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson speaking during a press conference in Khartoum on 2 March 2014 (Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP)

Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, told Sudan Tribune Tuesday that the country’s leadership under President Salva Kiir, seeks support from the proponents and opponents of federalism prioritising peace as first thing to be achieved.

He however said president Kiir was not opposed to federalism as a system, but did not want the attention of people from Equatoria region to be diverted over federalism, a system he said was being advanced by South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar.

"President Kiir appeals to the people of Equatoria to suspend the demand for federalism and focus on peaceful settlement of the current crisis first. The issue of federalism should be allowed to South Sudanese from all diverse tribes to decide in a referendum the type of governance system they want afterward”, observed Ateny.

He [Kiir] remains committed to forming a transitional government of national unity within sixty days as per the 10 June, 2014 agreement with the rebel leader, added the presidential aide.

The government, Ateny said, was still awaiting the outcome of the petition it recently filed over what was described as the "inappropriate" comments allegedly uttered by a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) towards president Kiir and Machar.

“The government delegation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is still waiting for IGAD’s apology for which one of its executive secretaries used inappropriate words, calling leader of one of IGAD’s member state stupid, was totally out of context and unacceptable”, said Ateny.


Last week, the South Sudanese leader directly criticised the people of Greater Equatoria region over their growing demands for a federal system of governance, alleging that they were “set up” by rebels loyal to his former deputy-turned rebel leader Machar.

In his speech to the country’s national assembly members, president Kiir said the people of Greater Equatoria were speaking aloud on the rebels’ demand for federalism as if they were the first and only southerners to demand for the system from north Sudan in 1947.

He claimed rebel leader Machar introduced federalism as a strategy to split the position of the government.


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  • 25 June 2014 08:07, by Sir King

    No apologies, You are still stupid and there should no reason for apologising because your stupidity has reached the highest degree.

    Sorry even the person apologizing will be stupid if he does so. Please they are really stupid and that is all.

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    • 25 June 2014 08:45, by Paul Chadrack

      those stupid bhar el ghazel don’t want federalism but it will happen in their watch because it become a pobular for demand for almost all the states in this country except foolist greedy bhar el ghazels fews the so call rulling states.

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      • 25 June 2014 11:56, by Tong dut

        @ Mi dit,
        what is wrong with that stupid dinka of yours?
        He is not the only president who will rulr for ever.

        If I put a snack and Dinka, which one will you pick?
        Reply me.Any one who read this?

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    • 25 June 2014 08:46, by Malou Manyiel

      Ateny Wek, South Sudanese are confused between the government and the rebels. The hide and seek of peace process between the 2 groups has disappointed us. If the first priority is peace and reconciliation, when are we going to see it? It is not a matter of who wins in the peace talks but the matter of those suffering in camps in and outside of the country and general conditions of all S. Sudanese.

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      • 25 June 2014 09:27, by Mi diit

        Look at this stupid Ateny resembling stupid Kiir Kuethpiny. They pretend to want peace after starting the war on Dec 15. They want their stupid leadership confirmed so that they later on reject discussions or implementation of federalism. Now they are murdering Equatorians in Juba against their right to demand federalism. Are they not really “STUPID?”

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      • 25 June 2014 20:34, by jubaone

        Kiir has no moral rights to warn Equatorians not to discuss federalism. Who gave him the rights to decide whether Southerners and specifically the Equatorians wanted "decentralization"? Those not wanting federalism can just get out of Equatoria and go to their luaks. That is our RED LINE!!

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    • 25 June 2014 14:05, by Rami Tot

      the Dinka begin to murder Equotorian day and night now they working to eleminate them one by one now on their watch what will happen maybe worst to what they did to nuer people who were have no weopon

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    • 25 June 2014 14:45, by Ajongtar

      So whattttttttttttttttt???? If you are afraid of the call for Federalsm by the Equatorians then, temper to fire one of the elected Governors of the Equotorians if is really Mayardit!!!!!!!!!

      Let your Stupidity wolk on your head Mr. Kiir

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      • 26 June 2014 01:43, by Nyesi Ta

        If Kiir is really man enough, let him temper to fire one or all of the governors of the three states of Equatoria. Equatoria is remains the determining factor whether Kiir stays or leaves. Federalism is debatable, whether the tribal chief like it or not The Equatorians had had enough from this culturally barbaric president, he must go.

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  • 25 June 2014 08:22, by Mr Point

    The South Sudan president says the need to achieve peace and social harmony are the country’s first priorities.

    Why did he fake a coup, start a civil war, stand behind the cold blooded murder of thousands of civilians in Juba Dec 13 -15?

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  • 25 June 2014 08:29, by tootke’bai-ngo


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    • 25 June 2014 08:47, by Malakal county Simon

      Is Kiir threatening Equotoria people’s????

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  • 25 June 2014 09:00, by hamil

    The "STUPID" comment carries some sense because it makes us all look stupid in the eyes of the world. If this senseless power struggle that has claimed many innocent lives is not brought to an end, we will always remain stupid because we fight for no good reason

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    • 25 June 2014 09:36, by Mapuor

      Generalization is not good.Those who are fighting the legitimate government are stupid.South Sudan wouldn’t have fallen into this senseless war if rebels didn’t rebel.Any one who generalize is stupid and have no common sense.

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      • 25 June 2014 13:00, by Mr Point


        You said : "South Sudan wouldn’t have fallen into this senseless war if rebels didn’t rebel".

        Did you realise that the rebellion was started by Salva Kiir? There was no rebellion until Juba citizens were massacred December 13 - 15.

        Salva Kiir is against federalism because it threatens his position.

        Salva Kiir is for senseless tribal warfare because it supports his position!

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      • 26 June 2014 01:52, by Nyesi Ta

        Any one who did not know this rebellion is imposed on those who rebelled is an idiot and more stupid to join the stupid club of the stupid president. If any one supports the president because he belong to his tribesmen is also stupid. To be called stupid does not need one to learn rocket science "stupids".

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  • 25 June 2014 09:33, by Ambago

    President Kiir and his tribesmen like Ateny Wek are now taking the fight directly to the Equatorian camp. However what they fail to see is that any attempt to silence the discussion on federalism only opens the door wider for more dissent against this rotten regime.
    Equatorians who never saw Kiir’s use of dictatorship in order to remain in power are now asked to see and hear for themselves.

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    • 25 June 2014 09:47, by Mapuor

      Equatorians are not as stupid as the current rebels.Most Equatorians and Bhar El Gazalians are rational,individualistic and goal oriented.They will never follow any selfish thug who is using federalism as a way of harassing the current leadership.Federal system will be decided by the people not by few individuals whose motives are dubious

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    • 25 June 2014 12:39, by Ito

      I really doubt if dictator Salva Kiir and Ateny Wek understand the language they are using or the intention of their message. First and foremost,federalism is an overdue demand by equatorians and it has no connection with the demand by the rebels. The interest of equatorians and rebels happen to be one, federalism and there is no way for us to turn back on this demand. Why should we abandon

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      • 25 June 2014 12:43, by Ito

        our demand and put the interest of our people at stall just to make Bar el gazal people happy and to continue sitting on public money for more years. This is unacceptable and no fair minded person would buy the madness. What peace and social harmony is the presidency talking about, when one tribe is monopolizing everything in the country, bullying and threatening other tribes on daily basis.

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        • 25 June 2014 12:49, by Ito

          What Salva and his tribemates did in Juba against Nuer is worst than Rwandan genocide because in Rwanda, Tutsis were not force or ask to eat their fellow human flesh like what happen in Juba, In Rwanda a pregnant woman’s stomach was not practically cut and a baby taken and killed like what happen in Juba, in Rwanda husbands were not ask to have sex with their spouse infront of the soldiers.

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          • 25 June 2014 12:54, by Ito

            Why were the innocent Nuer targeted? simply because they are Nuer. Some of them support the government but were not spared. Today is Nuer tomorrow is Equatoria or any other tribes. If the fake coup was by an equatorian, what happen to Nuer would be happening to equatorians, it is simple sense. 5 Dinkas were suspected of coup but no single Dinka was killed. Ya Jamaa, think properly.

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            • 25 June 2014 14:28, by John The President

              who spearhead Federalism between RIEK CAMP and the Equatorain? I am seeing conflict between these to group. assuming that federalism take effect to day, who do you think will lead federal gov’t? Riek or a member from equatoria, the word federalism is seem a street talk issue for Equatoria since there is no single leader to lead the process. this gives Riek a chance to advance the federalism...

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              • 25 June 2014 14:33, by John The President

                ... on the talk is Addis ababa, remeber the rebel demand were merely to transform SPLM, after they careful evaluated the situation and gethered views they comeup with Federalism to win Equatoria, to me I know deep in my heart that Equatoria can never follow Riek on what they initiated themselves and if so, don’t think Riek will reject anyone else leading the federalism negotiation, this how I come

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                • 25 June 2014 14:37, by John The President

                  ..to conclude that there will be a conflict on whom to lead federalism which will break the country further than the current crisis. and the only solution is that, the Equatoria should remain patience and call for rebel to drop the federalism since its was the initiative of 2013 equatorian conference, the rebel will go back to negotiating their transformation of SPLM and after that when everything

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                  • 25 June 2014 14:42, by John The President

                    ..federalism should be debated in the south sudan parliament and taken out for referdum when even the IDPs,those seeking refuge in foreign countries and politician have return home. all these groups should participate on how they should be govern not portion of the population to decide at this time when actually those most affected voices will not be catered. for me if KIIR makes a mistakes to...

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                    • 25 June 2014 14:47, by John The President

                      .. allow another mess, we all peace loving south sudanese walk into that stat house and carry him away. our people should get home first. unless Equatorian have chosen to be followers, the Federalism will get back to them if they do like I suggested above. and you Ito should have learn something from my comments, no abuses, it’s a real talk.

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          • 25 June 2014 14:02, by Foxtail

            you’re among the worse and most povocative citizens I’ve met in this country. you’re not a soldier or anything to propagate such allegation! over my dead body, you witnessed nothing horrible. can u imagine someone raping your G.ma and inserted a wood into her vagina after killing her?

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  • 25 June 2014 10:01, by Modi Lo Laja

    To: Kiir & Ateny,

    Your criticism is useless and baseless against Greater Equatoria Region’s people demand on Federal System. This system was demanded in both two Equatoria Conference in Juba while in present of Rebel Leader who was representing the Government here in Juba.

    Why Kiir insisted that this is rebel demand? He (Kiir) has some copies for the demand before rebel of Riak.

    You should not

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    • 25 June 2014 10:02, by Modi Lo Laja

      be stupid. This how your government goes wrong always. You always listen to your family advices and not government advisors.

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  • 25 June 2014 10:19, by Ajongtar

    So whattttttttttttttttt???? If you are afraid of the call for Federalsm of the Equatorians then, Let the Stupid president Mr. Kiir temper to fire an elected Governors of the Equotorians if is really Mayardit!!!!!!!!!

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  • 25 June 2014 12:01, by Tong dut

    A good Dinka is the dead one.but dont trust a dead Dinka. burn it out so that you may be save in south sudan.

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    • 25 June 2014 14:49, by Ajongtar

      Hahahahahahah @ Tong Dut you remind of Famous_Logic_ Boy, words. He said when ever they are cleaning Juba and the Urgly Dinkas are dirting it from behind.

      Now that Equatorians are colling for Federalism to quel the atrocities in the Country those of Ateny and Makui are dirting the language from behind. What a hellll.

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  • 25 June 2014 12:31, by wani

    waoooh, by intimidating our right for freedom of expression and participation is total dictatorship which the president is continuing dressing in by violating our constitutional rights.
    Federalism is the best approach to South Sudan plight,the most appropriate community based intervention strategies and participatory through decision-making.unconstitutionality mannerism is the creed

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  • 25 June 2014 12:34, by wang

    Too bad Mrs. Kiir M7, your warning, redline etc. are all nothing to us, federalism system will be happened in this country through your watch

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  • 25 June 2014 16:44, by Kim Deng


    Your first King, Mr. Marxist-Leninist Garang refused to accept "self-determination" for the people of South in 1983 until he was forced and made a U-turn 8 years later (1991). Now, your second coward King, Mr. Slava refuses the right of the same people to claim federalism, but he will be forced to make a U-turn.

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    • 25 June 2014 17:26, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      As always, you [a toad of a ’man’] wants to posture and call other people cowards as though you were brave... when you’ve actually never picked up a gun, never used it, and never served in any military capacity. You are a war virgin. You are an ignorant, death-deserving, slippery, fifth-columnist weasel.

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      • 25 June 2014 17:34, by Rommel

        The late Dr. John Garang wasn’t ’forced’ to accept anything... And he certainly wasn’t forced to accept the right to self-determination from a man that we defeated in the 90s. Why would Dr. John Garang have to be forced to accept the principle of the right to self-determination in 1991 when he already affirmed -in 1972- that we had the right to secede!?

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        • 25 June 2014 17:40, by Rommel

          Why did you rely upon the grace of a political unit that you so ostensibly wished to distance yourself from!? You cannot seek independence from someone when you’re wholly reliant upon them for every nail, every litre of oil, every platform, every box of ammunition and their logistical support.

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          • 25 June 2014 17:42, by Rommel

            The late Dr. John Garang very well understood that you couldn’t possibly be taken seriously by Khartoum and achieve a political settlement with the Ignaz Nazis, without an independent army... with an independent source of funding, a separate source of weaponry and ammunition and a separate line of logistics.

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            • 25 June 2014 17:44, by Rommel

              Dr. John Garang made it very clear that autonomy or independence couldn’t be "guaranteed by a few phrases scribbled on some sheets of paper stapled and bound together and christened “The Constitution”." Dr. John Garang wrote that in 1972 — in a letter to Joseph Lagu, warning that the Addis Ababa Agreement would be dishonored in its entirety if the South didn’t have a truly independent army.

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              • 25 June 2014 17:45, by Rommel

                Any Southerner who holds the mistaken view that Arab Nationalism now sincere, now means good business, now gives the South local autonomy in good faith and that this autonomy will be guaranteed by a few phrases scribbled on some sheets of paper stapled and bound together and christened “ The Constitution”...

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                • 25 June 2014 17:46, by Rommel

                  ..that Southerner either suffers from acute historical myopia or else advocates the treasonable stand of opportunism, national subjugation and continued Arab Chauvinism and domination; in short, such Southerner calls for surrender in a camouflaged form. (Captain John Garang Letter to Gen. Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972)

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                  • 25 June 2014 17:47, by Rommel

                    In that very same letter, Dr. John Garang also said this: "It must be clear to Southerners that the retention of the right to secede from such a federation must be guaranteed by the federal constitution and by the existence of a physical Southern Armed Forces."

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  • 25 June 2014 18:03, by Kim Deng

    After the arrivals of “Newcomers,” as Anya-Nya II call them in 1983, two camps were formed within “New-arrivals/Newcomers.” Camp A was under the leadership of Lt. Col. Sammuel Gai Tut Yang, Mr. Quot Atem and CDR. William Abdalla Chuol Deng. Meanwhile, Camp B, led by Col. Dr. John Garang, CDR. Kerubino Kwanyin Bol and CDR. William Nyuony Bany. The factious between the two camps it is noteworthy...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:05, by Kim Deng

    mentioned and it was due to two critical following factors. 1) What should be the sole objectives of the movement and its principles? 2) Who shall lead the movement (SPLA/M?) Camp A, proposed that, the objective of the movement shall be “self-determination-meaning complete separation of the country into two independent and sovereign states juxtaposition with Egypt and the North along the...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:06, by Kim Deng

    Nile Valley and the movement SPLA/M shall be led by Mr. Kuot Atem follow by Lt. Col. Samuel Gai Tut ,” instead Camp B, did not only rejected that proposal, but came up with its own ideology, an ideology of “United Socialist Secular/New Sudan, and the leader of the movement shall be Lt. Col. Samuel Gai Tut Yang follow by Col. Dr. Garang.”

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  • 25 June 2014 18:08, by Kim Deng

    It took the two camps few months before camp B rushed to use force against camp A due to fact that, the Ethiopian government which sealed a conspiracy and surreptitious deal with Garang against the separatists was acting behind the scene rather than being a mediator between the two rivals. From their last meeting CDR. Rhino William Nyuony Bany who doesn’t care about the human life pulled out...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:11, by Kim Deng

    his pistol and hold it with his right hand while pointing it at Lt. Col. Samuel Gai Tut and CDR. Cobra Abdallah William Chuol Deng, and said “from today onwards, anyone who appears to oppose Dr. Garang’s leadership and the objective of the movement ‘New Sudan,’ must not be silenced by talks, but bullet.” Camp A, took technical withdrawal from the area (Itang) without a fight.

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  • 25 June 2014 18:13, by Kim Deng

    To make the matter worse, after Col. Dr. Garang’s group secured its position against Lt. Col. Samuel Gai Tut’s group, the seizure of Lt. Col. Samuel’s group by Mr. Marxist-Leninist Garang group did not satisfy Garang’s appetite, but went further and channeled his doom plan to annihilate the [Anya-Nya II] in Bilpam by force due to fact that this secessionists’ movement shared the same principles...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:15, by Kim Deng

    and objectives with camp A. Therefore, to secure the “New Sudan,” vision fully, “the Anya Nya II HQTRs, Bilpam must be destroyed and/or dislodged from its foundation,” Garang declared. And on other hand, Mr. Mengistu Hailemariam of Ethiopia, a man who got separatist rebels’ movements [Woyane & Shabiah] in his own backyard seemed to forget that his government had her own chestnuts roasting...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:16, by Kim Deng

    in the store for it, impose his socialist ideology on southern Sudanese and that mission must be fulfilled by someone who believes in that vision; “Dr. Garang must be the right person,” according to calculation of “Dergue” regime base on its interests and bipartisan issues between the two allies.

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  • 25 June 2014 18:17, by Kim Deng

    With no regret, the Ethiopian armed forces along with few elements from Garang’s group launched an assault against the Anya-Nya II position in October 1983 which caught them by surprise. The Anya-Nya II headquarters, Bilpam was not only smashed down to ground, but many separatists’ fighters were eliminated and those who caught alive were ordered to dig out their own graves before executed them...

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  • 25 June 2014 18:18, by Kim Deng

    by firing-squad if they repudiate joining the former Marxist-Leninist SPLA/M. Of course, many deserters from the Anya-Nya II joined Garang’s group conditionally, amongst them; CDR. John Kulang and CDR. Kuach Kang.

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  • 25 June 2014 18:24, by Kim Deng


    Now, are you telling me that those separatists (Samuel Gai Tut’s group) should have not search safe haven including arabized Nubian gov’t (NIF.NCP) to save their dear lives from two Marxist-Leninsts (Garang & Mengistu?)

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    • 25 June 2014 19:12, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      Is this suppose to be some kind of hard hitting riposte? Your response is both long-winded and pathetic. It doesn’t address anything and you haven’t provided evidence of any kind. You don’t seem to realise that when Akuot Atem De Mayen and Samuel Gai Tut first presented their manifesto to the Ethiopians, as a means of getting support...

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      • 25 June 2014 19:29, by Rommel

        ..The Ethiopians rejected their strictly secessionist manifesto, and so they certainly weren’t going to get any kind of material support from a country that was itself experiencing war with secessionists. No country in Africa would have supported a movement with purely secessionist objectives... because it violated the OAU Charter. African countries were nervous about any changes to their borders.

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        • 25 June 2014 19:32, by Rommel

          Dr. John Garang very well understood that the people of South Sudan wanted to secede, but he also understood that ’international’ political and military support for an explicitly secessionist movement would not have been forthcoming, and more importantly, it would have completely alienated the people of the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile...

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          • 25 June 2014 19:46, by Rommel

            You can’t achieve any political settlement in the absence of a truly independent army. It’s clear that Dr. John Garang wanted to take over all of Sudan and ensure that the majority [the non-Arabs] would not be second-class citizens... but he was adamant that the South "retains the right to secede from the federation if its interests are not adequately served by the federation."

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  • 25 June 2014 18:59, by Predicted

    Kim. Good way to Shut up Rommel and jaaang trying to rewrite history to celebrate their Garang.

    We all know the father of this great nation we call south sudan is nuer...not dinka garang who sabotaged the real movement ( of separation) which the junubeens voiced affirmatively in the referendum. They wanted what anyanya II wanted..not want Garang and his dinka soldiers wanted.

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  • 25 June 2014 19:05, by Predicted

    Eventually...the dinkas soldiers and Garang accepted what majority nuer movement AnyaNya ideology...and later tried to claim it was their idea. Shame on people who behave like this...even their intellectuals refuse credit to others where it is earned..they want to put themselves and their tribe on a fake pedestal and claim everything..these people can never be leaders...they cannot be trusted.

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    • 25 June 2014 19:52, by Rommel


      That brain-dead hick -Kim Deng- couldn’t shut me up no matter how hard he tried. Question: Was Akuot Atem De Mayen Nuer!? What about Majier Gai!? These two men were secessionist and they were Dinka. You didn’t invent secession... you merely gave lip service to it, while being paradoxically wholly reliant upon the North.

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  • 25 June 2014 22:33, by Philosopherking

    This is a clear difference between a dictator and a democrat. A dictator believes he is the only one who decides priorities yet ignoring the people’s choices and voices. The lack of peace and harmony he is crying about was brought by his failed system of governance. There is no better way to bring peace and harmony to South Sudan than instituting a better governance system

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    • 25 June 2014 22:40, by Philosopherking

      Mr. President who said anyone is listening to you? We are tired of intimidation, harassment and the suppression of the freedom to express our dissatisfaction with your failed government and its leadership. We want federalism now. You talk of peace as if you care, yet your actions and words carry your darkest dictatorial character. Stop being stupid! Equotorians shall never surrender.

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      • 25 June 2014 22:45, by Philosopherking

        This guy is nuts! He has completely lost the trust of the people he is warning! They shall never back off nor shall they vote for Kirr and his supporters in the next elections! Time for Kirr to go whether he likes it or not. If you want war, keep thwarting your dirty tongue...the negotiators in Addis must understand that only a federal interim government shall solve the crises.

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