Is Salva Kiir Still In Charge in South Sudan?

South Sudan's Agrey Sabuni, representing Salva Kiir at the Presidential heads of States of Northern Corridor in Kampala, Uganda(Photo: supplied)

South Sudan’s Agrey Sabuni, representing Salva Kiir at the Presidential heads of States of Northern Corridor in Kampala, Uganda(Photo: supplied)

April 23, 2016(Nyamilepedia) –—- South Sudan’s incumbent president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, whose term expired in July 2015, is recognized as the country’s president, however, whether Mr. Kiir has full authority over the current regime is still very controversial.

While his chief of army, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, has greater powers in the army, many politicians, mostly elders from his Dinka tribe, have excessive powers that leave the president with a very little say in his own government.

Malong, who has filled up SPLA ranks and files with loyalists and recruits from his own home town of Aweil, Northern Bhar el ghazal, has been carrying out many anti-peace activities including militarization of the capital and other violations of the peace agreement which Kiir reluctantly signed in August, 2015.

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Within Juba, the Jieng Council of Elders and politicians like Michael Makuei Lueth, a Minister of Information, conduct their own activities in violation of the peace agreement that Salva Kiir seems to have no approval.

Expecting his main rival, Dr. Riek Machar, who was expected to arrive in the last few days, Kiir skipped the meeting of heads of states of the Northern Corridor; a East African group comprising of South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

According to insiders, president Kiir skipped the important event in Kampala, Uganda, so that he would receive and swear-in his former Vice President, Riek Machar.

Despite, Machar’s scheduled return was again postponed in the last minute on Saturday morning. It is not clear whether or not Mr. Kiir has approval of the delayed arrival of Machar.

Announced by Michael Makuei on April 17, “South Sudan government” could not approved more than 40 presidential guards of Dr. Machar and his chief of staff, a precondition that was reversed within 48 hours.

Makuei, who holds more than three positions in Kiir’s government, further leveraged his position as the Chief negotiator for SPLM-IG to demand that Machar’s presidential guards and the guards of his chief of staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, must not carry more than 7 PKMs and 7 RPGs and must be thoroughly inspected at the point of departure in Gambella.

Although the former was rejected by the international community and SPLM/SPLA-IO, the later precondition was carried out in Gambella, the “government” still insisted that Machar could not land at Juba airport due to a “maintenance” that was not raised as issue at the JMEC meeting on Thursday.

Machar and his Chief of army are now cleared to land on Monday, April 25th, 2016; however, another politician (if not Makuei Lueth) in Kiir’s government may test his powers and set new preconditions before Monday.

It is not yet clear, who set or reverse the new preconditions but Mr. Kiir seems to have very little command over his politicians and generals.

President Salva Kiir reluctantly signed the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) in Juba, one week late, due to immerse pressure from the international community, who threatened sanctions and punitive actions.

Despite having appended his signature to the document unaltered, the president seems to have very little power to decide on how he should implement the compromised peace agreement with facing consequences either from powerful hardliners in his inner circle or from the peace guarantors and the international community.

According to critics, South Sudan president has developed “escape conditioning” to avoid important forums that address critical topics on South Sudan crises.

Instead, president Salva Kiir delegated his advisor on Economic Affairs, Agrey Tisa Sabuni, to attend the Northern Corridor of heads of states meeting in Kampala.

The meeting was attended by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.

It is not clear why South Sudan delegated an advisor to represent the African’s youngest state.

Being undeveloped and also in civil war, South Sudan has very little to gain from Northern Corridor Integration Projects.

The 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit reviewed the oil-dependent Standard Gauge Railway project which is being built to connected parts of Kenya to South Sudan’s Juba, Uganda and Rwanda.

While both Kenya and Uganda are reluctant on funding the $14.8 billions USD project using their oil revenues, South Sudan, which export no commodities in the region, is expected to fetch all its financing of Standard Gauge Railway from its oil reserves.

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4 comments

  • Don’t ask a wrong question in the right time whether Salva Kiir is in charge but I do expect you to question yourself whether Dr.Riek Machar is really in charge and control of his rebellion.
    1-If he’s in charge then where did the SPLM-IO II emerge from?
    2-Where did the FDP led by Gabriel Changson come from?
    3-Why did the military spokeman of the rebel defect to the government a very woeful thing unheard of in the history of an armed revolution?
    4-Why is Peter Gatdet still under detention in military prison in Khartoum?
    Now I think you have learned from these few questions which can advice you to remove the log in your eye first.

    • Mathiang, news flash for you all the defection including the main armed opposition under Machar initially detected from out of Juba Or the so call national army. I mean even the high ranking politicians that have joined the Oppositions came from Juba. In reality Machar has steadily gained more controls than loser Kiir. Any notable strayed few and individuals as you mentioned are obviously unfortunate collateral damages, yet are perhaps victims of their own misguided judgement of perceived notions. It happens in all struggles and one should not make a big deal out of it as you are doing. Having said that, consider the days of when Kiir use to take off for trips to other countries leaving his yes man vp want to keep the King’s seat warm as over. My guess is Kiir from now on will personally ground himself from all travels leaving South Sudan due to his scare crow suspicion that every South Sudanese wants to take a shot at sitting on that stank seat which I also believed he couldn’t be any further from the truth. It is quite clear that Kiir rule thrust decree shaved down his throat by other more power wielding thugs than him. The man(Kiir) is so clueless and non-idealistic that he makes all South Sudanese from different walks of life seems pathetic at best. Yet you Mathiang seem to argue that he(Kiir) is in control. He(Kiir) is not even in control of plagerizing his public address speech… just to remind you. The list of incidents where Kiir been overruled or spoken for by his subordinates or international actors are endless. The guy is a murdering coward that’s good for nothing. He is an unfortunate burden of liability for the people of South Sudan in general.

  • The president is in charged of this nation but he isn’t a know-all person like Riek Machar. If the president makes every decision and does everything, then what is the use of his ministers and other assistants? Wouldn’t the public see him as a control freak if he doesn’t allow members of his cabinet to do their jobs? Only a dictatorial president can do the works of information minister, military chief of staff and economic advisor. The president,unfortunately after all, isn’t a dictator, but simply a democratic leader.

    The minister of information,chief of staff, economic advisor and aviation maintenace staff, are experts on their jobs. The president mustn’t ignore what they deemed to be safety and security risks if allowed to happen. In this case the minister of information and the chief of staff are government’s agents on security arrangement and know what’s best for their party and citizens they protect . They could have allowed Riek Machar to come with hundreds of soldiers and their lethal weapons without checking the number of soldiers, types of weapons, amount of munition and the quantity of guns but Mr Makuei and Malong are geniuses, not fools as was the wish of the rebels’ camp.

    Suppose the government sends its soldiers to Fangak for the same purpose the opposition soldiers come to Juba, those who control Fangak would have had some concerns they want to address with government troops before making concessions.

    The aviation authority is responsible for the safety of runways, aircraft and passengers. If the airport needs some maintenance, it is always safety that matters first not the departure or arrival of any person and Riek Machar is no exception to such regulations regardless of his fame. The economic advisor is a government employee, a professional and a citizen of South Sudan. There is nothing wrong tasking him as a public servant to represent his country at regional or international summit on economic matters if his president or his treasurer can’t attend that meeting due to some pressing domestic matters,needing attendance of either the president or chief economic officer. Here the president has a legitimate reason for not attending that summit, as he expects Machar to arrive from Fangak so that they form a unity government.

  • Think wisely for future of the Country being favour to Kiir or Machar without ur own reality u have learned that may be will never help u u will remain behind people.