South Sudan Peace Agreement “not made to be implemented” – Kiir

For Immediate Use

  • Al Jazeera interviews president Salva Kiir and first vice president Riek Machar just before escalation of fighting in Juba
  • Both commit to work together, but tensions apparent
  • Kiir says peace agreement “not made to be implemented”
  • Kiir implies Machar delayed his return to delay the international community intervening so “the government will fall”
  • “I’m just like a child being ordered by everybody” – Kiir

July 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The fifth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan on Saturday coincided with renewed fighting in Juba between forces loyal to the president and vice-president. This led to fears and claims of a renewal of the civil war that started in late 2013 and has left tens of thousands dead, created over 850 000 refugees and asylum-seekers, and crippled the fledgling economy.

Just before the renewal of violence, Talk To Al Jazeera interviewed both president Salva Kiir and first vice president Riek Machar. Both said they were working together, with Kiir even calling them “friends,” and both expressed remorse over the civil war, but areas of tension remained apparent.

Kiir criticised last August’s peace deal that paved the way for Machar’s much publicised return to the capital in April this year.

“The problem, that we are not moving smoothly on the implementation of the agreement, are the issues with the way the agreement was designed,” Kiir told Al Jazeera’s Peter Dobbie. “And when I signed this agreement in August last year, I said this in front of the president of Uganda. I told him that this agreement was not made to be implemented.”

“So you signed up to an agreement that you believe was essentially wrong?”

It was wrong. It was wrong because even the – to sign it was the problem. They said that if there is a wrong sentence in English, don’t correct it. Don’t put a comma or a full stop.”

When Dobbie reported the president’s statements to Machar in a separate interview later that day, the first vice president said, “Well, he hasn’t told me that. Because we have been discussing the implementation of it. So I expect that he will respect this bargain in the agreement.”

Kiir also implied that Machar’s delayed return – in April 2016, when the peace agreement had been signed in August 2015 – was an attempt to delay funding from the international community so that “the government will fall.”

When Dobbie asked Kiir how he planned to deal with the hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers, the president admitted, “Our problem is money. We have no money.”

Dobbie replied that the donors say, “We will not give you money until you get genuine security and stability. That’s the starting point.”

Kiir questioned the logic of this. “When you deal with a hungry person, don’t expect that hungry person to be listening to whatever you are saying. No matter the nice words that you will tell him or tell her, they will be thinking of their stomachs.”

He added, “The international community have been shifting their goal posts from the beginning. They said they cannot help the government, unless you sign the agreement. We signed the agreement in August last year. They said, again that we will not assist your government until you form the transitional government of national unity. And that has been our problem. Dr. Riik Machar refused to come to South Sudan. He stayed outside. He might have been assuming that if he doesn’t come, there will be no support to the government from the international community, and the government will fall. Because the saying was that, there is no money.”

Kiir also expressed his frustration with being at the mercy of international community. “I’m just like a child being ordered by everybody.”

For more information, visit aljazeera

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4 comments

  • Professor Tag Elkhazin

    “this agreement was not made to be implemented.” How very true!

    In August 2015, I warned Dr. Machar by direct e-mail that if he signed the IGAD Document (There was no agreement), that IGAD and Mesfin will be taking him for the longest ride of his life. He did not listen. Hope John Young comments as well!!

    In over 10 long and reasoned e-mails I warned him that the security arrangements in the Document were a joke. I advised him that Mesfin and the “Mediation Gigolos” and so called experts Mesfin did not have a clue on how to work out security arrangements. He did not listen.

    I warned him and his colleagues, time and again, that the Document gave them far too much more than their weight deserves. They were upset.

    When the fighting broke out last week, the wonder was not that broke out, but why it took so long to break out!

    Options:

    1- With so much blood in their hands (both of them), then and now, both men (Kiir and Machar) should (abdicate) and let the UN sort out the mess
    2- If that is too bitter a pill to swallow: Reopen the IGAD Document and renegotiate it to turn it into an agreement. Security arrangements first and before power sharing.

    Prof TAE

  • Killer NyanKiir was and is never fully committed to the August 2015 peace period.

  • Professor Tag Elkhazin

    On April 10th 2015, DR. Machar wrote to me a signed, dated and sealed commissioning note (still in our archives) to establish a think tank for the SPLM/A-IO to help them generate credible options for the resolution of the conflict and to help them have a durable and sustainable agreement. I had assembled 4 other top international experts in Security Arrangements who agreed to volunteer and work on cost. I had lined up the funding of that cost.

    The several men and women in his team who were mandated to work with me failed the initiative.

    Arms embargo is now too little too late. There is enough arsenal in South Sudan to ignite 10 wars. And how can you enforce embargo when you have 6 bordering countries with porous borders neighbouring South Sudan?

    Ban Ki Moon is the weakest UNSG that ever managed the organization. He calls on Kiir and Machar to stop fighting. Are they the ones ordering the fighting? do they command those on the trigger?

    The IGAD Document has failed and the IGAD Group has failed the People of South Sudan. There was no IGAD and there was no mediation. There was no agreement. There was Desalegn, Mesfin and Booth and Susan Rice with a remote control.

    South Sudanese need to think outside that rotten box. Go back to Kiir’s reservations note that no one wanted to even look into. 12 pages of very valid issues. Dated 26th August 2015. He signed and he knew he could not be committed. Everyone is now playing games.

    As for the International Community, they will not give the South Sudan Government a dollar while they are squandering the little they have in paying generals and a fat rotten cabinet that was supposed to be lean and honest. Minister started travelling internationally again, while university professors are not paid.

    Over 800 generals in the combined SPLA!!!

    Anyone who reads, well, the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights dated March 10th 2016 will wish both Kiir and Machar go to hell!! Oceans of blood and crimes on their hands.

  • Kiir had his people working with the peace agreement so it was known to him.
    He signed it and then somehow seem surprised that this was not enough, now he was also supposed to implement it. Instead the silly 28 states move. Everyone laugjing at the “popular demand” rubbish proffered by Ateny Lueth and Kiir himself.
    Now that the evil macinations come put in the open ofMr Kiir, Mr Malong and Mr Lueth, the only defence Mr Kiir has is that he is like a child being pushed around.
    Laughable, you had 10 years since Cpa to do good for the country, but failed to learn how to do it. Still behaving like a child as far as the international community including neighbour states see it. It is time to vacate the chair Mr Kiir. Let others take over for the sake of the nation. You might be surprised, maybe Machar can do a better job even. And if not we vote him out next time