Part III: Who Needs Peace Between Riek Machar and Salva Kiir?
By Deng Elijah,
November 02, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — Although politicians like Dr. Luka Deng Biong and Mama Rebecca Nyandeng, the wife of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, who should know better, want the nation and sympathizers to believe that it is Dr. Riek Machar or the Nuer that do not want peace in the country, none of them has lost what Riek Machar has lost in this conflict.
In term of personal lost, Dr. Machar lost his own son, very close relatives and bodyguards when he was rounded up in 2016 at Salva Kiir’s stronghold, J1. His less than 150 bodyguards fought to the last man. They were outnumbered and outgunned. Almost all of them were killed, and Dr. Riek narrowly survived because the bodyguards inside the palace did not exchange fire knowing that all the leaders that were inside the hall including Riek, Kiir and Malong would have been killed. After surviving in J1, he was pursued through thick and thin to Democratic Republic of Congo, a journey that took almost 40 days without any basic supplies.
Back in Unity State, his hometown of Leer has been erased. Private hospitals and schools are destroyed beyond recognition, his people are displaced to swamps, women are raped, boys are castrated, cattle are raided and other animals are displaced. It is not only Leer that has been destroyed by the government machineries, which were hired from multiple countries in the region, but nearly over 90% of the major towns in Upper Nile and mostly in the Nuerland. While this is a catastrophic lost to Riek and his people, who bear the pain, this destruction is celebrated along tribal lines on the other side of the river and to Salva Kiir, it is an achievement that shall live as a legacy amongst his stone-age minded tribal supporters. So far over 50% of the Nuer population is displaced to the Internally displaced camps and Refugees camps in the neighboring country. This would be the first time in history that any part of Nuerland was scorched earth to this extent. It is a destruction like no other; however, the Nuer young men and women, who form the majority of the SPLA-IO, would rather die standing than surrendering. Majority of them are waving a NO-NO to the formation of the government on November 12, 2019.
On the other hand, Salva Kiir has been living at large since 2013. This would be the first time for Salva Kiir to have had complete dominance over the resources of South Sudan. His family runs more than 13 multinational corporations. According to the recent Sentry report, The Taking of South Sudan , “The local kleptocrats and their international partners—from Chinese-Malaysian oil giants and British tycoons to networks of traders from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda—have accumulated billions of dollars. The country’s natural resources have been plundered, lethal militia and military units responsible for atrocities have received financing and kleptocrats have lined their pockets with untold billions of dollars allocated by government programs meant to improve the livelihood of some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world. The spoils of this heist are coursing through the international financial system in the form of shell companies, stuffed bank accounts, luxury real estate and comfortable safe havens around the world for the extended families of those involved in violence and corruption.”
The Sentry report clearly highlights that “Kiir’s relatives have multiple partnerships with foreign investors. Corporate records reviewed by The Sentry indicate that Kiir family’s business portfolio includes dozens of companies, some of which list young children as shareholders. Members of the Kiir family also own stakes in banks, foreign exchange houses, airlines, oil companies, logistics firms, private security companies and more—often partnering with investors from across the globe. These business partners hail from more than a dozen countries around the world. There were joint ventures with several high-profile business people and politicians. Just two months after the December 2013 massacres in Juba, Conex Energy Co., a company controlled by Kiir’s daughter Adut, his son-in-law Nardos Ghebeyehu and Akot Lual Arech—a close advisor to the president affiliated with the NSS—formed the joint venture Caltec Corporation with South Sudan-registered Lukiza Limited.115 Gideon Moi, an influential senator who is the son of former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi, has a partial ownership stake in Lukiza.116 Caltec’s website describes the firm as a “Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to specifically engage in the provision of services in the oil sector.” Waste management, drilling, logistics and air transportation are among the services it says it provides”
Certainly Salva Kiir is living in heaven on earth at the moment and by any chance if he succeeds to eliminate (kill or arrest) his main rival, Riek Machar, then he would have killed three birds with one stone, and definitely that would be a dream of a lifetime for any self styled dictator. It would ceil his declaration of supremacy and he would rule with untouchable iron fist for as long as he would want like Kim Jong Un of North Korea. None would have wished any otherwise if one were to be in his shoes, unfortunately, this peace agreement could be the last chance, not just for Dr. Riek Machar as Luka Biong wants us to believe, but also for President Salva Kiir. More than anything else, this R-ARCISS guarantees Salva Kiir at least another eight (8) years in J1(presidency) but if he bottles it, there are no guarantees that he would maintain the status quo for another eight years.
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