We’ll never pamper rebels, warns President Kiir

We’ll never pamper rebels, warns President Kiir
President Salva Kiir Mayardit. [Photo: Courtesy]

President Salva Kiir said the era of laying a red carpet to welcome back rebels with plum ranks and positions in exchange for peace has ended.

The President said the time for war had passed and that it was time to focus on peace and development to enhance the livelihoods of the citizens.

He made the statement during his meeting with a delegation of chiefs from Greater Mundri, Western Equatoria State, on Monday.

The head of state noted clearly that the government would “not” tolerate rewarding rebels with ranks or positions to lure them to peace.

“The days of people who are running to the bush and causing harm in search of compromise for high ranks [are over]. The chapter of war has ended, and we are not going to tolerate it anymore,” said Kiir. 

“We are working on peace, and we need development for our people.”

The chiefs of Greater Mundri, Western Equatoria State, assured the president of their commitment to hold dialogue with armed opposition groups to lay down guns and return to contribute towards nation-building.

The chiefs also discussed the issue of insecurity on the roads, and they promised to initiate talks with the armed groups that are roaming the roads to lay down guns for the government to deliver services to the people at the grassroots.

Held ransom

In March 2022, the senior advisor to the president, Gen Kuol Manyang Juuk, told The City Review that the government had never rested to focus on development ever since due to rebellions.

He said the government had been buying peace from rebels for them to return to the country and be gifted with high military ranks to not rebel again, thereby depriving the nation of resources.

The senior presidential advisor said that peace was a collective responsibility of all the citizens, and all should cooperate for it to be rectified.

“Peace is not the work of only one person. It [must] be done by all of us. Every one of us has a role to play in making peace,” he said.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit, during the graduation of the first batch of unified forces last month, urged holdout groups to return and contribute to the peace process.

Rome Talks

Among the holdout groups, SSOMA is engaged in Sant’Egidio community-mediated “Rome Talks” for their inclusion in Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM).

However, the National Salvation Front (NAS), led by Thomas Cirilo that is always accused of road ambushes, has not been part of the Rome Talks.

Real SPLM of Pagan Amum and the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Paul Malong was to visit Juba in August but have so far raised unsolicited claims of attacks on their positions, thus, they have suspended their return to the country.

Akot Deng Ngongdit, a media team of SSUF/A, wrote a statement to CTSAMVM, claiming that the government forces had been attacking their positions in the Bahr El-Ghazal region.

“We would like to inform the public, majority of people of South Sudan and international communities that our delegation to Ceasefire, Transitional Security Arrangements and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) which agreed to arrive to Juba on Monday by the parties involved is extended to three weeks,” Deng said.

Call for intervention

Other armed opposition movements include the Agwelek forces of Johnson Olony and the Kitgwang Declaration led by Simon Gatwech, who signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement for their inclusion in the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF).

The agreement was signed on January 16, 2022, but had been facing challenges, including the split between Gatwech and Olony’s forces that saw turmoil in Upper Nile, leading to massive death and displacement.