February 11, 2004 (SSNA) — After the untimely death of Dr. John Garang in a helicopter crush in July 2005, Salva Kiir got the ascension to the post of President making him the most powerful man in the land. The position came about surprisingly to many, if not, to Salva Kiir himself. The reason was that no one had ever planned for him to come this position, neither did he ever dreamt about ascending to this position. When Salva Kiir assumed the Chairmanship of the SPLM, the First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, and the President of ROSS, a cripple move, yet essential had begun to emerge. Although the move was unprecedented, the peaceful settlement to the long time problem between the North-South came to its full undertaking in his custodianship as a President.
But, little was known about Kiir’s personality; neither did people know how capable his being a leader in a country that harbored sixty four (64) tribes was going to be. Some says Kiir is a person of genuine character and can handle the country’s affairs fairly well. Yes, this personality could have been on the basis of personhood and the way he relates with others. Others delineated him as responsive individual with utmost patient. Responsiveness and patient are total different words, and one can mean “sensitivity” and the other “tolerant.” Whereas others say, Kiir is better than Dr. John Garang because he listens to, if not, cares for the people. Of course, listening to and caring for the people are somewhat important, if not, the crucial steps toward making sense of one’s leadership. Thus, many accounts have portrayed Kiir as the new Jashua of ROSS, entrusted by God to bring his people out of the bondage. Such virtually came about as July 9, 2011 marked the significance of all other days which had happened in the past. With the company of Dr. Riek Machar Teny who championed the Self-Determination for the people of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir succeeded, earning him the credit.
While the boat was about to sail to the other side of the river, South Sudanese were met with lots of challenges, if not, most difficult situations ever than they had witnessed in the past. Corruption scandals, embezzlement of monies, nepotism, vandalism, and a total failure of the rule of law in the country have begun to sky-rocketed. Tribal political affiliations emerged and consistently become the political loopholes setting the road of prosperity to nothing but tribal domination. A road too perceived to reform President Salva Kiir began to spring out, creating a gap too wide enough to close. The deformation of the BIG MAN in the country had begun to take shape, either because the people around him were so naïve or else, his intellect began to crumble. Quickly enough, with him, the pride of leadership to Dinka Bar el Gazal, became an all out mechanism to coerce other tribes by bringing into open the system of dominance. Old wounds were cracked open one way or another on a numerous occasions as the said tribe began to chant/beat the drum of war using the slogan “1991.” Ethnic targeting high-jacked the course of liberation struggle and prevented it from achieving the Millennial Development Goal.
Those who tend to disclose the reality were subjected to torture or killed. The freelancer in the name of Isaiah Abraham lost his life for expressing his dismay over the use of the country’s resources and poor governance in the ruling party. Breaking into houses and killing of individual commentators arose in the capital Juba on a daily occasion. Media censorship has rampant with Nhial Bol being the scapegoat every now and then. When asked the president about why all this, the President always promised to bring the “culprits to book.” Such phrase has become a mere rhetoric, yet a mechanism to curve the reality to get the justice undone.
Salva Kiir utterly promulgates that the appointments were on the basis of individuals’ merits, but when looked at, the patronage and nepotism, tribal royalty/loyalty have proportionately subscribed to a weak institution. Shoulder pushing for the strong with the weak, the educated with illiterate, and competent with incompetent has heightened the political atmosphere in the nation’s capital Juba and the surrounding areas.
When question arose as to whether the SPLM should be reformed, it became a political invasion to President Kiir and his loyalists. He then began to receive advice from the incompetent chauvinists, and visionless crooks whom have nothing good to be taken from and thought he was advised, not knowing they were only digging his own grave. The proclaimed advisers fell short of all the wise advices, and could not produce partial political understanding. Their simple job is to fool the president subscribing him to fully become deformed beyond reasonable reform.
Because of all the ill-advices, Kiir fired his longtime colleagues creating the political vacuum till he filed in the gap. The “YES MEN,” but very manipulative got their luck out of Salva Kiir’s deformation by being appointed to their long held dream jobs.
The deformation then continues to wide spread unwaveringly, yet crumble signs in the system began to emerge sporadically. Self-proclaimed advisers, incapable of giving wise advice, began to mushroom and occupied the kitchen table. Dictatorial tendency infamously clung into the heart and soul of President Kiir Mayardit, molding his ever character portrayed in many accounts as “GOOD MAN” to a political monstrous individual devouring his own fellow citizens for control of the power and resources. Greed and lack of future ambition simultaneously grew parallel in Kiir’s mind. Now, the President swallowed a chunk of meat which became a big chunk of Adem’s apple making it uneasy to swallow. It is a total damning. In a sudden move, the transformation has moved to a full-blown deformation beyond repair which no one other than Salva Kiir could alter.
What a complete deformation? Then for President to play smart politics, the ill-intended politics began to incline and made the OLD MAN become num and dump; damning his political ego-centricism. The recruitment of tribal militia in the number of 15,000 men, and the orientation of to illuminate others sized the most undesired objective (the nation building). The interest of the Gogrial kitchen gangs and few other elements grew to nothing yet disastrous cost. Either the Gogrial gangs or Kiir blindfolded one another in the name of fear to lose their food on the kitchen table.
What happened on December 15, 2013, was a fulfillment of a premeditated plan by these gangs in the like of Telar Ring Deng, Kuol Manyang Juuk, Daniel Awet Akot, Makui Lueth, Salva Mathok Gengdit, and Paul Malong Awan. Than for them to politically handled the incalculable plan, they then pointed their fingers against Dr. Riek Machar, accusing him of what seemed to be their weakness and political failure. Such, resulted into ordering an arrest of Dr. Riek’s Group. Before the plan could be executed, Kiir instructed his tribal commander (Marial Cinoung) to disarm the Nuer elements amongst the presidential guards. Such created a hot heated tension which would later break into opening fire against the Nuer guards for objecting the order. The intentional killing of Nuer civilians came days after few Nuer Presidential Guards were forced out of the Capital City Juba. Nuer men, women, and children were gathered together in groups and shoot at them indiscriminately.
On December 16, 2013, the militia in the name of Doot Ku Beny, began their dirty campaign raping women, burning houses, and killing innocent civilians with the order from the President. Identity search was carried out from door to door and on the streets of Juba once they realized that many Nuer have gone into UN Compounds. Those who didn’t speak the Dinka language were subjected to interrogation until they would prove that they are Dinka. Failure to speak in Dinka is a possible answer to an individual getting killed. Some Equestrians and Dinka Padang respectively were targeted as well only because they were protecting/sharing the same tribal marking with the Nuer.
The man went on accusing the UN and the US for running a parallel government only because the Nuer sought shelter in the UN compounds across four States in South Sudan. Upon realizing the wide spread violence and the advancement of Gatdet Yaka’s force toward Juba on December 16-19, 2013, he quickly requested help from the notorious dictator (Yoweri Museveni of Uganda) who bluntly accepted to intervene without a proper authorization from the world bodies (AU, EU, IGAD, UN). Of course, the violence took a different tolls affecting majority of innocent civilians all across these war ravaged regions with the death toll rising from 1,000 to 10, 000 people. However, hundreds of thousands were forced to exile with majority of Dinka fleeing to Uganda, and Nuer to Kenya and Ethiopia.
Did President Kiir realize that he was too deformed by his advisers? No one knows for sure except Kiir who happens to be the head of State battling against itself now. But in summary, President Kiir once thought of being the Jashua for delivering the people of South Sudan out of bondage, has lost touch with reality. The patientness in him turned to be a lack of knowledge to run the government affairs. Maybe it was because he was a follower during the liberation struggle; maybe it was because he had no identified portfolio in the liberation struggle. Being chief of security is an assigned job; however, that did not actually prepared Kiir for the tough job in the country.
Salva Kiir’s responsiveness quickly becomes sensitivity which later resulted into intolerance. He failed to accept the transformation of a political party which would have earned him the highest respect in the country. Perhaps, he would have succeeded if he had accepted the convention to take place. He could have called for the reform to ease the political tension instead. He could have not fired Dr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, and Rebecca Garang for expressing their political stances. He could not have fired the national Ministers for an uninvestigated corruption which was suspected of having roots from him. He couldn’t have provoked the fight by accusing his opponents for unfounded “coup.” He couldn’t insist that it was a coup when the international community has displaced such an attempt as unfounded. He couldn’t have accused the UN for running a parallel government, something the UN did not do. He couldn’t have ordered the killing of civilians (Nuer). He couldn’t have involved the UPDF in his country’s affairs. He could have asked for neutrality of all other stakeholders in the peace process like Dr. Riek Machar did.
Whatever the case maybe, President Kiir shrank in decay and completely become too deformed. The only viable option left for him is to surrender himself to his deepest fear, the political transformation advocated for by his colleagues (Dr. Riek Machar, Rebecca De Garang, Pagan Amum Okech, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Gier Chuang Aluong, John Luke Jock, Eng. Chol Tong Mayay, Wiyay Deng Ajack, and you name it) because he lost legitimacy and cannot rule a united country again. Should he starts to think smart, he would chase away the crooks around him and ask for mercy from God to ensure his soul goes before the heavenly thrown. I am saying all this because Salva Kiir Mayardit of our time is finish under the guidance of Moron Advisers and has nothing left to offer. He is too deformed to be reformed. That was why he trashed his colleagues who were trying to reform him to become the second Mandela in the continent of Africa to junk-yard. His intellect failed him to recognize that; therefore, President Kiir MUST GO and reform himself in the grave.
Nhial K. Wicleek is a columnist and a contributor into South Sudanese affairs. He can be reach at [email protected].