Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 19 May 2018

Salva Kiir’s cunning strategy


By Duop Chak Wuol

Salva Kiir likes to preach democracy to confuse people, looks for ways to legitimize his atrocious regime, uses deception to promote his despotism, and calculatingly waits for the right time to obliterate his political rivals. His supposed recent quest for peace through the reunification of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) appears more like a cunning strategy.

The recently concluded SPLM reunification meeting in Juba was a good gesture, but the conference was not meant for party reunification as Kiir would like people to believe. The move was an elaborate deception intended to validate Kiir as the only leader of the SPLM and to legitimatize his tyranny. What Kiir is trying to do is to build trust between himself and his rivals using a fake party reunification so that he can later purge of them permanently. Kiir’s cruel attitude is a copycat of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s, who is known for killing his political adversaries and blaming their deaths on unknown gunmen, car accidents, heart attacks, or strange illnesses. The reunification plot worked in Kiir’s favour after he successfully tricked his First Vice President Taban Deng Gai into signing the bogus reunion pact. Kiir also won when Taban ordered his fighters to be integrated into government forces. If the agreement between Kiir and Taban is a genuine deal, then we can logically conclude that there is no such a thing as the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) between Taban and Kiir because the two men now represent the infamous Juba regime.

The people of South Sudan know very well that the reunification process managed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is not a credible peace. Museveni and el-Sisi are using the reunification card to fool other SPLM leaders into believing that the party is united under Kiir and that the conflict has ended. Their strategy is questionable since the two men have known interests in South Sudan and the East African region. What the Egyptian and Ugandan leaders are doing is keeping Kiir in power so that Kampala can continue benefiting from South Sudan’s war while Cairo manoeuvres on how best it can prevent Ethiopia’s Nile dam from being completed. Unity of the SPLM cannot be imposed on the party leaders by known supporters of Kiir’s regime. Museveni and el-Sisi have South Sudanese blood in their hands. Any person who thinks rationally would not accept such a self-serving strategy. Museveni and el-Sisi should just keep their immoral investments in Juba’s atrocious regime. The South Sudanese know the two men have been fighting alongside Kiir’s regime against the armed opposition, SPLM/A-IO. The Egyptian President must know that his opposition to Ethiopia’s Nile dam project will not succeed by supporting a murderous regime in Juba. Addis Ababa has the right to build its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam since Cairo does not own the Nile.

Salva Kiir’s leadership only brought more destruction to South Sudan. Under Kiir, the Republic of South Sudan has become like a mafia corporation. Kiir’s leadership is all about deceiving, purging, looting, killing, torturing, raping, and destroying. Salva Kiir fits the persona of a cruel tyrant. His refusal to allow peace to prevail in the country is deeply rooted in his mythical belief that he can win militarily against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The fact is that the war is still raging on, and millions of South Sudanese are still living in United Nations-run camps in South Sudan and neighbouring countries. There is no justification for Kiir’s SPLM reunification. It is clear, however, that his call for peace through SPLM reunion is nothing but a fishing tactic to lure his opponents to Juba, eliminate them, and remained unchallenged. Peace under Kiir is not feasible because he knows Uganda, Egypt, and Kenya are backing his regime. If the international community wants peace to prevail in South Sudan, then it must impose stiff sanctions on Kampala, Cairo, and Nairobi.

Kiir is a leader who cannot be trusted when it comes to South Sudan’s peace. The man has a habit of claiming without any evidence that rebel leader Dr Riek Machar and other South Sudanese political leaders who oppose his leadership are not for peace and that he is the only one who wants peace to return to the country. Kiir is the one who does not want peace. For instance, prior to signing the 2015 peace deal, he broadcasted a list of ‘serious reservations,’ claiming the agreement was not fair to his regime. Those reservations were a part of his plan to impede peace implementation. Kiir was also laying the groundwork for his next move, which became the July 2016 assassination attempt of Machar. His failure to demilitarize Juba as stipulated in the 2015 agreement was also part of his “serious reservations” tactic. This is exactly how Kiir’s mind works. Kiir is unquestionably a cold-blooded leader who would cut someone’s throat and smile as if he did not do anything. His recent announcement that he has forgiven Machar and that he wants him to go to Juba without a single soldier shows that Kiir’s manipulative personality is beyond common sense. Kiir is not fit to forgive people. The people of South Sudan are the ones who have the choice to forgive Kiir because he has committed tribally-motivated massacres against South Sudanese. What Salva Kiir is trying to do is lure Machar to Juba in a pretext of peace and then finish him off politically. Kiir is clearly not for peace. He recently instructed his peace negotiation team to work for a deal that will only accommodate rebels and other opposition leaders. Kiir is only interested in prolonging the conflict so that he can keep looting the nation’s oil wealth.

Kiir has no vision for the country and his regime is morally bankrupted to the core. His sense of reality is solely focused on seeing himself ruling the nation as long as he lives. The people of South Sudan have had enough of his disparaging ego — his political demise would be a blessing to the country. Those who believe the reunification of the SPLM is the only way to achieve peace in the country are wrong. Reuniting the SPLM entails that Kiir would remain as the chairman of the party; this process can only be accepted by conscience-stricken people. Allowing a murderous tyrant to lead the same party he once used to slaughter innocent people is not acceptable. Those who want SPLM to reunite under Kiir should first explain to the people of South Sudan why they want a killer to lead again. Kiir’s cunning mentality is a known fact throughout South Sudan. The man is too ruthless to win back the hearts and minds of the South Sudanese. He must not be allowed to deceive people again. His destructive presidency style does not permit room for opposing views. Kiir’s mind seems to be only capable of consuming praise and glorification of his brutality. South Sudan’s rebels and other opposition leaders must not allow Kiir to use a bogus SPLM reunification to extend his vicious rule. SPLM does not belong to Kiir, so those who want the reunification of the party while Kiir remains as its leader are the same people who conspired during the December 2013 Juba massacre. This reunification nonsense must be rejected until the tyrant exits the presidency or drop all his misguided plans against the peace process. Salva Kiir is not interested in real peace. His main goals are to eliminate any potential South Sudanese leaders and to surround himself with sycophantic and tail-waving politicians, rendering him a disgrace to the people of South Sudan.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.

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