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South Sudan downplays global pressure to reach peace with rebels


July 31, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has downplayed possibility of a peace agreement soon with the armed opposition faction led by his former deputy, Riek Machar, criticizing the compromise proposal from IGAD-Plus as a designed document to perpetuate the war in the oil rich Upper Nile region.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir is received by senior members of his government at the airport in Juba on 6 March 2015 following his return from peace talks in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa (Photo: Reuters/Jok Sulomon)

President Kiir told an audience on Thursday, predominantly members of his cabinet and party senior officials, that the power sharing proposal will not stop the war, arguing that minority groups in the oil-rich Upper Nile region will allegedly not be sharing power with the armed opposition fighters if Machar’s faction will control 53% of power sharing to manage the resources and affairs of the three states of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei in the region.

President Kiir’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Peter Bashir Gbandi, who has been assigned a committee tasked to study the new peace proposal by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), said on Friday that the regional body had not changed any text from the previous proposal which both government and the leadership of the armed opposition had already rejected in the past.

“The committee looked at the documents of the new proposal and it found out that much as they tried to work around the documents, they did not do much to call it a compromised proposal. They just worked around the documents and called [it] compromised. Nothing has changed from the texts,” Gbandi told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Gbandi, who is one of the leading members for the government negotiating team, said the proposal sought to perpetuate the war and undermines unity of the country and efforts to arrest the conflict.

“If you look at the texts and examine them carefully, words by words and page by page, you will realize that nothing has changed. It has been drafted in a way that will perpetuate the war and undermine peace and unity of our people. It will not work. Our people will not accept to divide the country,” he said.

“Yes they want peace but it must be a peace which promotes harmony and love, not more division.”

The official further narrated that the government had asked the international community to work together with the regime in Juba to convince the armed opposition faction led by Machar to show leadership and exhibit commitment to resolving the conflict through peaceful dialogue.


Also, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, warned on Wednesday at a function observing the red army day that he would not accept a security arrangement that replaces ethnic Nuer colleagues in the army whom the government had been using to fight in Upper Nile region against the armed opposition fighters.

“We are not going to discard and victimize the sons of Upper Nile who have remained defending the constitution,” said Awan.

“We are not going to accept to replace Stephen Buay, who has resisted in division one, and then Nhial, Batong, PulJang, and two sector commanders: Gong Biliu and Chathath Lam. We will not replace them with those who have rebelled,” he said, as he was naming senior ethnic Nuer army commanders who had been fighting on behalf of president Kiir’s government in Unity and Upper Nile states.

The comments from the senior government officials, including the president appeared to be a direct response to the remarks of the US president Barrack Obama during his recent visit to the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he argued the two principal leaders to end the conflict with the signing of a peace agreement next month. Obama warned of consequences should the two leaders refuse to sign a peace agreement by 17 August.

President Kiir was not invited to the IGAD leaders’ meeting with the US president Obama.

The US special envoy for South Sudan and Sudan, Donald Booth, also told journalists on Thursday that his country and the region had run out of patience and that the proposal was a good chance for South Sudanese leaders to make peace.

“We fully support this compromise proposal that has been put on the table. As I said if it can be improved upon by the South Sudanese parties, we will also support that,” Ambassador Donald Booth told a press conference in Juba.

“But otherwise, we expect that there will be an agreement by the 17th of August,” he added.

He said his country and the international community was running out of patience, stressing the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of the 20-month old conflict in the young nation.


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  • 1 August 2015 07:39, by Mi diit

    Kiir should stop lying as if he cared for minority groups in Upper Nile region. He stole their oil money and never built them roads, schools and hospitals. Under Riek Machar’s rule, the minority groups in Upper Nile will benefit from the oil for the first time.

    repondre message

    • 1 August 2015 08:46, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      The IGAD proposal is already trashed, rejected by 95% of our population. so august 17 will be just like this day.no hope, get prepare for summer offensives.

      repondre message

      • 1 August 2015 09:08, by Eastern


        Where did you get that figure of 95% from? A large proportion of South Sudanese don’t understand the proposed agreement, many are outside the country, some don’t care, etc.

        repondre message

        • 1 August 2015 09:47, by Lotodo Awino Odug

          we explain to them in Dinka and Nuer and they say no to the contents. Equatorian were not part of survey because they can’t understand anything no matter how you break it down.

          repondre message

          • 1 August 2015 10:09, by Eastern

            Now stop that shameless lie! The dinka and Nuers you lied to does not constitute 95% of South Sudan’s population. Try a better one next time!

            repondre message

          • 1 August 2015 11:03, by Akook

            The regime in Juba is very very weak! Dinkas are not together! In fact International community and the region should not waste time to deadly sanction this corrupt group of thieves in Juba who robbed South Sudanese billions of dollars. Look how ignorant they are, threatening a document supported by whole world

            repondre message

    • 1 August 2015 15:50, by Clausewitz

      Mi diit:

      You are a despicable hypocrite. Riek [delusional as always] proclaimed during the 1991 split that the Nuer "would destroy all the Dinka"... and yet you expect us to believe that he would treat them with respect? He also said it was the right of the Nuer to encroach on the lands of the Anyuak and occupy those lands and that he could not stop the Nuer from occupying Anyuak land.

      repondre message

      • 1 August 2015 15:55, by Clausewitz

        Here are some quotations from Riek:

        A lot of Nuer die in all kinds of wars, but they are still many. Whose problem is this Nuer expansion? Do the Nuer consider it as a problem? Not really. I do not consider it so either! Anyway, even if I want to stop them expanding, I cannot.

        repondre message

        • 1 August 2015 21:06, by Clausewitz

          Allow me to provide the entire citation so that everyone understands who this man really is. You will see just how delusional he is and how much of a Nuer nationalist he really is:

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          • 1 August 2015 21:08, by Clausewitz

            There is something intriguing about the Nuer culture. Had it not been for the British, the whole of Southern Sudan and beyond would have become Nuer. Some cultures are strong, others are not. The Nuer are expanding not by force, but through peaceful exchanges with their neighbours. It is a human right for Nuer immigrants to ask for their political recognition.

            repondre message

            • 1 August 2015 21:09, by Clausewitz

              What is wrong if they ask to administer their own affairs? Let others also expand demographically and do like the Nuer. Why are the Anyuak not many? A lot of Nuer die in all kinds of wars, but they are still many. Whose problem is this Nuer expansion? Do the Nuer consider it as a problem? Not really. I do not consider it so either! Anyway, even if I want to stop them expanding, I cannot.

              repondre message

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