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Salva Kiir Mayardit

Date Snippet Page
2014/07/09 President Kiir warns that federalism would lead to expulsion of certain ethnic groups from certain states, such as Dinka from Equatoria. Referring to such a process in the early 1980s he calls this 'korkora'. Snippet: President Kiir warns that federalism would lead to expulsion of certai....
2012/07 to 2014/05/12 Six NBGS state MPs are expelled from the SPLM and hence lose their positions as MPs in July 2011. One of them blames it on the fact that they tried to impeach the state finance minister in 2011. In February 2013, President Kiir directs NBGS governor Paul Malong to reinstate the MPs, but he does not do so. After the transfer of Paul Malong to another post, Kiir again orders two of the MPs to be reinstated, which is done. (One of these MPs had apparently apologized, and the constituents of the other had apologized on his behalf. The other MPs say they do not know why they should apologize.) Snippet: Six NBGS state MPs are expelled from the SPLM and hence lose their pos....
2014/05/16 In his SPLA Day address to the nation President Kiir says that nobody who murdered can claim that it was to support him or the government. They must be identified by the Human Rights Abuses Investigation Committee and sentenced to death. Snippet: In his SPLA Day address to the nation President Kiir says that nobody ....
2014/05/13 The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announces President Kiir. This, he says, is to allow time for national reconciliation and the creation of a permanent constitution under a transitional government, following preliminary agreements to end the current rebellion/civil war. Snippet: The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announc....
2014/05/09 Salva Kiir and Riek Machar sign a peace agreement in Addis Ababa. The agreement (proposed in outline by mediators from the Government of Ethiopia on behalf of IGAD and negotiated in detail by shuttling between the two leaders) involves a truce to take place within 24 hours, and the formation of a 'government of national unity'. It also pledges respect for humanitarian corridors and the UN. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the US State Secretary both call it a 'breakthrough' in the peace process. Snippet: Salva Kiir and Riek Machar sign a peace agreement in Addis Ababa. The ....
2014/05/06 UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon meets President Kiir in Juba. A GRSS press release states that Kiir commended the role played by Hilde Johnson as head of UNMISS and that GRSS is committed to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the humanitarian Month of Tranquility in May. A 'top aide' of Kiir also says that Kiir agreed to the idea of forming an interim administration with Riek Machar and others, according to Sudan Tribune. Snippet: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon meets President K....
2014/05/04 SPLA recaptures Nasir and Bentiu, and repulses a rebel attack on Renk. Amid diplomatic pressure to implement the 23 January Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, the presidency claims that the SPLA marched into the towns after they had been deserted by the rebel forces. However, other reports had spoken of heavy fighting. Snippet: SPLA recaptures Nasir and Bentiu, and repulses a r....
2014/05/02 US State Secretary Kerry meets President Kiir and reports that Kiir has committed to take 'forceful' steps to implement the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and to engage in discussions on a transitional government. Kiir is also ready to meet Riek Machar in Addis Ababa next week. Kerry also emphasized the importance of stopping verbal attacks on humanitarian workers. He reveals the extent of his personal communications with Kiir since 15 December and says the US does not 'put any kind of equivalency' between the elected government and rebels who sought power by force. Snippet: US State Secretary Kerry meets President Kiir and ....
2014/05/03 Salva Kiir and Riek Machar both showed lack of concern about the risk of famine, while prioritizing their personal power struggles, says the UN Human Rights Commissioner, reporting to a meeting of the Security Council after visiting both leaders in South Sudan. She warned the leaders that investigations will examine how far they and their colleagues 'either knew, should have known, or failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity'. She points out that UNMISS still lacks agreed funds and personnel which are 'desperately needed'. Snippet: Salva Kiir and Riek Machar both showed lack of con....
2014/05/01 US State Secretary Kerry says he sees risks of both genocide and famine in South Sudan, and was 'frankly disappointed' by the responses of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar when he discussed these matters with them. Snippet: US State Secretary Kerry says he sees risks of bot....
2014/04/30 Ann Itto, acting Secretary-General of the SPLM, apparently takes a position contrary to President Kiir, in welcoming possible US sanctions targeted against individual wrongdoers, and not seeing this as sanctions against South Sudan. Snippet: Ann Itto, acting Secretary-General of the SPLM, ap....
2014/04/29 The UN Secretary-General speaks by phone with President Kiir, stressing the need for an urgent end to fighting, prosecution of the perpetrators of atrocities, and urging him to call a halt to the negative campaign against UN staff. Snippet
2014/04/29 Riek Machar recently received a delegation of African, US, British, Norwegian, UN and IGAD envoys at his base in the field. Some are trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting between him and President Kiir. Snippet
2013/12 to 2014/04 Security officials seized the entire print run of the Juba Monitor newspaper four times between 15 December and late April, when it ran stories critical of President Kiir, according to its editor, Alfred Taban. Snippet 1883
2014/04/26 to 2014/04/28 President Kiir and other GRSS ministers attend the annual Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, which this year focuses on illicit financial flows. There is opportunity to meet other African leaders. Among Kiir's meetings are ones with the leaders of Ethiopia and Sudan. Snippet 1879
2014/04/23 President Kiir dismisses James Hoth Mai as SPLA Chief of General Staff, and replaces him with the Governor of NBGS, Paul Malong Awan. Kiir also dismisses Mac Paul as chief of military intelligence and replaces him with Marial Nuor. Marial Nuor was in 2011 charged with a variety of crimes including corruption and abuses of military power, but has apparently not yet been tried. Snippet 1863
2014/04/16 President Kiir launches a South Sudan Food Security Council (FSC), comprising 15 members of existing government institutions. (He had ordered the FSC's creation back in May 2012). In view of fears of under-production in the coming rainy season (due to the rebellion crisis), he suggests ways of increasing production: banning games of cards and dominoes; suspending local courts; suspending other activities on Saturdays so that people may cultivate. He also announces his donation to the agriculture ministry of 1,000 tractors for distribution in all of the states. Snippet 1818
2014/04/11 'Let us all thanks and applaud President Mayardit for that' reads part of a government press release on the establishment of a General Medical Council. Snippet
2014/04/05 President Kiir visits Sudan President Bashir in Khartoum. They reportedly discuss renewed implementation of the September 2012 and March 2013 agreements between Sudan and South Sudan. Snippet
2014/04/05 A National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) is launched, said to be independent of government, but joining the work of three bodies with government mandates: the the Peace and Reconciliation Commission, the Specialised Committee on Peace and Reconciliation in the National Legislative Assembly, and the Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. NPPR is fronted by Archbishop Daniel Deng and has major support from churches. President Kiir welcomes the initiative, but VP Wani Igga suggests it has no role until GRSS has reached a high-level agreement with the rebels. Snippet 1753
2013/11/26 to 2013/11/30 President Kiir dismisses Abdallah Deng Nhial from the post of Environment Minister (after he got into a physical fight with a Warrap MP about Abyei) and instead appoints Deng Deng Yai Hoc. Snippet 1726
2014/04/01 President Kiir reportedly donates an ambulance to Kajo-Keji Civil Hospital. [The news item does not clarify whether this is a personal or official presidential gift.] Snippet
2014/03/16 President Kiir issues a Republican Order dividing some national ministries (including re-division of some that were amalgamated in July-August 2013). Snippet
2014/03 President Kiir appoints a team to negotiate South Sudan's entry to the East African Community. Snippet
2014/03 Caretaker governor of Unity State, Joseph Nguen Monytuil, challenges President Kiir over the 5th March shootings of Nuer soldiers in HQ barracks, according to Upper Nile Times. Monytuil reportedly says the soldiers had been ordered out of the UNMISS compound by President Kiir and were unarmed and requesting their pay when shot. Kiir reportedly does not comment on this but suggests all SPLA other than presidential guards be disarmed while in Juba, a suggestion Monytuil rejects. Snippet
2013/12/07 President Kiir meets UN Secretary-General on fringes of African Security Summit in Paris. They discuss the preparations for 2015 elections, security threats to UN staff and the Abyei problem. Snippet 1570
2013/12/06 GRSS makes attempts to suppress media coverage of press conference critical of President Kiir. Security personnel warn journalists against broadcasting or publishing on the event, and copies of Al Masir and Juba Monitor are later confiscated. Snippet
2014/03/05 Salva Kiir, as Chairman of the SPLM, appoints an eight-person committee to prepare an agenda for a meeting of the party's Political Bureau. He has been criticized for long postponement of any such meeting. The named preparatory committee includes four people aligned to the SPLM-in-Opposition rebels, including Taban Deng who has been charged with treason. The move thus spurs hope (but also doubt) of facilitating reconciliation and forward movement in the political process. Snippet
2014/03/05 Leading SPLM figure Luka Biong Deng calls for President Kiir to release the remaining four detained alleged coup plotters: Pagan Amum, Oyay Deng, Majak Agoot and Ezekiel Lul. Their trial in Juba is due to start soon, and Luka fears they do not have resources for adequate legal representation. He is encouraged by Kiir's naming of Riek ally Taban Deng in a preparatory committee for SPLM internal reconciliation talks. Snippet 1536
2014/03/02 Taban Deng, chief negotiator for rebels in Addis Ababa talks, claims Salva Kiir publicly ordered the killing of Nuer in a national TV address (wearing military uniform) on 16th December. Deng also admits that some rebels have killed civilians and must face the law for it. Snippet
2014/02/14 President Kiir calls for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness in a rally in Freedom Hall, Juba, but calls Riek Machar an 'enemy for peace and progress of South Sudan'. He also calls for Nuer people sheltering in UNMISS bases in non-Nuer areas to leave them and be hosted peacefully in the communities. Snippet 1376
2013/10/22 President Bashir of Sudan meets President Kiir in Juba. They agree only some general terms on Abyei, but apparently do not break the deadlock. Snippet 1367
2011/10/11 Lam Akol Ajawin takes President Kiir's recent pardoning of him to amount to a guarantee of his security, saying that it enables him to return to South Sudan. Snippet
2013/10/7 President Kiir issues a Republican Order pardoning Dr Lam Akol Ajawin, without specifying what offence is pardoned, but saying 'he is free to come back home'. Snippet
2013/10 Chief (or Reth or king) of Shilluk people in South Sudan, Kwongo Dak Padiet, meets President Kiir and urges him to promote unity rather than political rivalries. Snippet
2013/10/02 The governor of Upper Nile State, Simon Kun Puoch, meets President Kiir, and reportedly gets a go-ahead to 'direct' the state assembly. This comes after the assembly impeached its deputy speaker against the will of the governor, and the governor suspended it. Snippet
2005 to 2013/10/01 The biggest anti-corruption investigation between 2005 and late 2013 is the (unconcluded) one into Deng Alor Kuol and Kosti Manibe Ngai over illegal request and transfer of about USD 8 million, although USD 4 billion has been said to have been stolen in total. The draft Anti-Corruption Bill has not yet been passed. Snippet
2013/09 After a visit to the states of greater Bahr el Ghazal, President Kiir directs the Anti-Corruption Commission to extend its activities to the 10 states. Snippet
2013/09/30 The parliament of Lakes State re-opens after six months of recess. Under the constitution, recess should not be longer than three months. The delay was partly due to struggle over the position of speaker. On a recent visit to Lakes, President Kiir directed that the existing speaker should remain in office. The parliament was originally shut by acting governor Matur Chuol Dhuol. In re-opening it he said that security had improved but did not present evidence. Snippet
2013/08/26 Some MPs believe that the national legislative assembly was intimidated by President Kiir into conducting business on Monday 26th August without a speaker, in contravention of procedural rules. They contend that Kiir is trying to manipulate the process of selection. Snippet
2013/08/24 President Kiir threatens to dissolve parliament if it does not endorse the appointment of James Wani Igga as Vice-President. Snippet
2013/08/15 SPLM deputy secretary general, Ann Itto, announces on state TV that its chairman, Salva Kiir, has given the go-ahead for processes to review its basic documents before seeking registration as a political party under the laws of South Sudan. The process was stalled after a political bureau meeting on 5th March, where challenges to Kiir were announced. Under internal SPLM rules, the holding of its National Convention and re-election of chair should have taken place at the end of a five-year term in May. Snippet
2013/08 President Kiir acknowledges that in the past he authorized Telar Deng - at that time his legal affairs advisor - to approve USD 600 million, apparently for land for the National Security Services. The acknowledgement is made as a response to tough examination by the Legislative Assembly's vetting committee of Telar's suitability to be appointed as justice minister. Snippet 1135
2013/08/09 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks on phone with President Kiir. Subjects discussed are reported to include the new cabinet, the situation in Jonglei, protection of citizens (including against abuses by the SPLA) and Sudan's extended deadline for shutting down the oil pipeline. Snippet 1127
2013/07/23 to 2013/08/07 Pagan Amum files a petition to the Supreme Court against Salva Kiir and the SPLM for violating his rights to freedom of expression and movement (when Kiir issued a party order forbidding Amum from travelling outside Juba or talking to the media). Snippet 1074
2013/04/12 to 2013/05/07 President Kiir warns he will not tolerate government members publicly denouncing other members or the government in general as dirty while presenting themselves as clean. He appears to acknowledge that corruption and arbitrary arrest are common, but insist that government members publicly share a common level of responsibility. This follows the 12 April dismissal of Professor Elias Nyamlell Wakoson from the post of deputy foreign minister, after he had said the government was rotten to the core. Snippet 1071
2013/05 President Kiir dismisses Ajonge Perpetuar as both a presidential legal advisor and as a first-class judge. This is thought to be connected with disagreements she had with the President and his other legal advisor, Telar Deng, over the suspension of officials in the President's office over the theft of a large amount of cash. Snippet
2013/08 Military exercises are held near Salva Kiir's weekend residence at Luri. Reportedly these are for a military unit which Kiir has ordered to be stationed in the area against the wishes of army Chief of Staff, James Hoth. Snippet 1062
2013 Salva Kiir has a cattle camp at the Luri suburb of Juba, and often spends weekends there when in town. Snippet
2013/08/02 President Kiir meets state governors and asks them to follow his example by reducing the size of state administrations. Snippet 1057
2013/03/15 to 2013/08/01 On 15 and 23 March 2012, 'huge sums of money' are stolen from the Office of the President. After this fact is revealed by Sudan Tribune, President Kiir suspends three officials in the office and sets up a committee headed by SSACC Chairperson John Gatwec Lul. The report concludes the theft was done by a syndicate of office insiders, and notes a failure of office leaders to report the matter or tighten security afterwards. By 1st August it appears that at least two of the suspended officials have been reinstated. Snippet 1045
2013/07/27 President Kiir meets leaders of the 17 registered political parties, inviting them to nominate potential ministers for the new government. Snippet
2013/07/25 As Chairman of the SPLM, and under SPLM internal law, Salva Kiir orders Pagan Amum not to leave Juba or talk to the media while under investigation for misconduct as SPLM Secretary General. Snippet 1029
2013/07/23 President Kiir's sacking of Vice-President Riek Machar is welcomed by the Governor of Jonglei, Kuol Manyang, on the grounds that Machar's lack of loyalty to Kiir was untenable. Manyang says Machar had said he had lost confidence in Kiir and had told Kiir that he planned to contest his position in the 2015 election. Manyang says that Machar is now 'free to form his own political party'. Snippet 1023
2013/07/23 While dismissing his cabinet and Vice-President, President Salva Kiir also reduces the number of national ministries from 29 to 18, and relieves their ministers and deputy ministers. The moves are welcomed by the Governor of EES, Louis Lobong Lojore on the grounds that they should promote greater government efficiency. Snippet 1022
2013/07/23 President Salva Kiir issues a decree sacking VP Riek Machar and dissolving the cabinet. He also orders a corruption investigation of SPLM Secretary-General Pagan Amum. These actions are widely seen as part of a power struggle at the top of government and the SPLM. Snippet 1021
Reference Mini-review
Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut, 2014/07/08. Bibliography item: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut (2014/07/08) "Fighting Egos and Paranoia in South Sudan". (Article). South Sudan News Agency. [Article] South Sudan News Agency. Accessed online.

Short article which raises in a non-abusive way the issue of how political leaders - and the people in their countries - can become victims of natural psychological processes.

Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny, 2014/05/09. Bibliography item: Salva Kiir Mayardit (2014/05/09) "Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan". (Operating document). IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development). [Operating document] IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development). Accessed online.
HSBA, 2014/05/02. Bibliography item: HSBA (2014/05/02) "The SPLM-in-Opposition". (Report). Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. [Report] Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

This 11-page report is about more than the SPLM-in-Opposition strictly defined. It surveys prominent individuals and organized groups in opposition to the rule of Salva Kiir more broadly, as from 2005 up to 2014/04/01, and narrates their most relevant histories.

Jok Madut Jok and others, 2014/04/28. The Release of South Sudan’s Political Detainees and the Prospects for Peace [Report] The Sudd Institute. Accessed online.

In this 7-page weekly review, the Sudd Institute welcomes the government's order to stay the trial of four alleged coup-plotters as a concession in the peace process, although it recognizes the arguments that its curtailment of the case could have been to save its own embarrasment at an acquittal and does not demonstrate full commitment to the rule of law.

Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, 2014/03/24. Why President Salva kiir Must Leave Power: The Inside Story of the Meltdown of President Salva Kiir’s Regime and Collapsed [Article] South Sudan News Agency. Accessed online.

Article by a senior academic, published shortly after he publicly joined the SPLM-in-Opposition. The main thrust is to denounce President Kiir. It claims - among other things - that SPLM/A had split between Garang and Kiir factions before the 2005 signing of the CPA; that John Garang's death shortly afterwards was arranged by Uganda President Museveni; that Kuol Manyang deterred challengers to Kiir's succession with a pistol; that Kiir's irregular militias were trained by Ugandans; that Kiir ordered targeted killing of Nuer. Illustrates ethnic bias by providing lists of top office-holders.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, 2014/02/15. Kiir’s ‘one people, one nation’ speech [other] Radio Tamazuj. Accessed online.

In the aftermath of the December 2013 rebellion, Kiir calls for forgiveness and reconciliation among people of different ethnic groups. He speaks of the benefit of strength which comes when military and political leadership are combined. Denies that he ordered disarmament of Nuer on 15th December. Laments AU decision to regard Riek Machar's rebels as an actor with some legitimacy. Admits that a 'reserve army' had been recruited from Dinka areas of greater Bahr El Ghazal, but denies that this was a private army. Suggests that he is personally less corrupt than many others in South Sudan.

GRSS, 2014/02/06. The Truth about the Aborted Coup of Dr. Riek Machar and his group of the 15th December, 2013; documented by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan [Report] Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Accessed online.

17-page GRSS account of the events and circumstances surrounding what it characterizes as the 'aborted coup' by Riek Machar. Includes some details of the aftermath up to early February 2014, including military developments, the prosecution of suspected coup plotters, and the policies and strategies of the government to reach peace.

Hume, 2007/03/25. Bibliography item: Hume (2007/03/25) "SPLA Chief of Staff says he might be replaced". (Operating document). USG/Wikileaks. [Operating document] USG/Wikileaks. Accessed online.

This leaked diplomatic cable recounts an interview of a US official with the then Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Oyai Deng. Oyai thinks he may be sacked soon, as he has disagreements with Salva Kiir. The cable is also of interest in detailing allegations of corruption by Mamur Mete.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, 2006/02/21. Bibliography item: Salva Kiir Mayardit (2006/02/21) "SPLM Chairman’s Resolution No. 5". (Operating document). SPLM/Wikileaks. [Operating document] SPLM/Wikileaks. Accessed online.

This text, apparently obtained by US diplomats and leaked through Wikileaks, represents Salva Kiir's first major re-shuffle of the SPLM hierarchy as Chairman, having taken over following the death of John Garang the previous year. It may be useful in tracking the fortunes and alignments of leading South Sudan politicians. A notable point is the promotion of Pagan Amum to Number 2 position in the interim political bureau and executive committee of the SPLM.


Editorial blog, 17 April 2014

Leadership and looming hunger

Last Wednesday (16th April 2014) might go down as the day the government began its anti-famine campaign. For several weeks the voices of aid agencies have been joining in chorus, warning of a potentially devastating food crisis ahead. Around a million people have fled their homes since the civil war started in December. Homes, businesses and government offices have been destroyed and looted; salary payments and imports of food and other basic goods in many places stopped or disrupted. In the growing season just begun, people over huge swathes of territory will be unable to cultivate much.

What did the government do yesterday? It launched a national Food Security Council. While one may be sceptical about the efficacy of a new bureaucratic structure, the inauguration by President Kiir was in itself a significant public signal. Kiir conveyed a sense of urgency by making several eye-opening commands or suggestions. Probably the most practical of these was his instruction to the ministers of defence and national security to dismantle the road-blocks and stop the searching of relief vehicles (Sudan Tribune, 16 April). This seems to indicate a compromise in Juba’s relations with the UN, which for the last few months have been marked by acrimony over the latter’s alleged high-handedness and lack of neutrality amid the government’s struggles against rebels.

More problematic was Kiir’s apparent impromptu banning of domino and card games as time-wasting activities during the vital farming season, and his proposal that local courts should be suspended during this period (Eye Radio, 16 April). Whatever the legal status of these pronouncements (and part of the problem is their status may remain unclear, leaving spaces to justify officials in arbitrary exercises of power), they show a dismissive attitude to ordinary principles of civil liberty and the integrity of grassroots institutions.

These measures would probably not do much to avert the crisis even if they could be implemented. Of the rural people who are lucky enough to be able to cultivate in relative safety, only some have prospects of being able to sell at a worthwhile price what they grow and do not eat themselves. In the clientelist economy of South Sudan, where getting a lucrative opportunity depends greatly on your connections, it might really be less sensible to spend your time in the garden than at the court or the dominoes table.

A good leader (says the book on my shelf) should not need to issue many reactive orders. The role is more about creating an organizational structure and culture in which people can work effectively. This requires longer-term strategic thinking and agenda-shaping. Perhaps the most important thing about Kiir’s emergency food security proposals is not what they are in themselves, but their potential to foster a sense throughout South Sudan’s government and population that the coming food crisis - which will mostly kill people among the youngest and most elderly members of poor families in the areas most affected by fighting - is something which belongs to the whole nation.

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