H.E. Salva Kiir calls for unity of Southern Sudanese
Omaha, Nebraska July 22, 2006
I am happy to be here with you to day!
Before we continue, I would like us to stand up and observe a minute of silence in remembrance of our fallen heroes and heroines.
I therefore greet you all one by one, in the name of our heroic movement, the SPLM and our gallant forces, the SPLA.
As you all know, we signed peace on January 9, 2005, ending the 21 years of war in our country. The peace we signed consists of six protocols that I will not go into details of each of them, but it is important to mention these protocols to you, and they are:
This is what constitutes the Comprehensive Peace Agreement or the CPA. After the CPA, there was a pre-interim period of six months. From January 9, to July 9, 2005, when our late leader, Dr. John Garang was shown in as the 1st, Vice President of the Republic and President of the Government of Southern Sudan. But on July 30, 2005, we all were shocked by the tragedy, which claimed Dr. John’s live in a helicopter crash, just 21 days in the office!
It was a hard moment for me, the people of Southern Sudan, Nuba Mts. Southern Blue Nile and all the marginalized Sudanese, and indeed it was the worse moment for the SPLM/SPLA. This untimely death came at the moment when the implementation of the CPA was about to take its course. At that time, there were only two things done:
When the news about Dr. John’s death broke out, our enemies who have always wished us, the SPLM/A bad luck, started celebrating, saying the SPLM/SPLA was finished. They believed with Dr. John gone, there was going to be power struggle among ourselves, creating Mogadishu type of situation, where tribes in Southern Sudan, would be fighting each other. But we have proved our enemies wrong. The SPLM/SPLA leadership met within 24 hours following the tragedy, and unanimously agreed to follow the hierarchy of our heroic movement, the SPLM. As Vice to Dr. John, I was elected to take over the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA for its continuity.
1. The CPA implementation process:
The SPLM/NCP formed the National Assembly, Council of States, and the Government of National Unity (GONU) as stipulated in the CPA.
However; I also would like to let you know that the implementation of the CPA is not going in accordance to the expectation of our people in Southern Sudan in general and the SPLM in particular. Our partner in peace, the NCP of El Bashier, always resists or seems reluctant when it comes to the following areas:
2. Physical infrastructure and other developmental programs:
All of you are aware of the Oslo donor conference for the construction of Southern Sudan. There were pledges during the conference, where $4.5 billion was pledged. I want to tell you here that up to date, the GOSS has received a very little from what was pledged. The World Bank is an authorized institution, charged with responsibility of handling and managing the pledged donation. The World Bank, so far has visited Juba on many occasions in what it called assessment or evaluation missions. These missions have produced no tangible results.
We in the GOSS have decided not to wait for the World Bank, but to go ahead with our meager resources so as to start construction of the Southern Sudan. In this year’s budget, we allocated $11 million for each state to enable its developmental programs. Construction of the roads and renovation of offices has started in Juba and other towns.
3. Security Problem:
We have insecurity problems in other areas of Southern Sudan, for instance the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in Equatoria have caused a lot of suffering that range from looting, indiscriminate killing of civilians, raping etc. We also have the Mbororo in Western Bahr El Gazal.
As you all know, these elements are none Sudanese. For the so called the LRA, they came to Sudan on the invitation of the NCP with the deliberate intension of using them against the SPLA during our struggle. But following the signing of the CPA, things changed. We would not accept any foreign force in Southern Sudan. I gave the LRA three options:
Negotiate with the Ugandan government, where the GOSS would mediate
As you are all aware, peace talks are now underway between the LRA and the Ugandan government under the SPLM initiative. Some people are so critical about this move, citing the indictment of Joseph Kony and 4 of his top commanders by the International Criminal Court (ICC). But we believe it is better to exhaust other peaceful means before embarking on other tougher measures. As we speak here today, the LRA and the Ugandan government are talking peace in Juba under our initiative.
Apart from the LRA, we still have insecurity concerns in Eastern Equatoria, where there are people who, still are holding out from the on going peace process, like wise in Upper Nile and Bahr El Gazal. My message to these groups is always that our people have suffered enough, and therefore we all are duty bound to embrace the peace process that came as the result of the CPA. Our people need essential services such as schools, hospitals/health care centers, roads, clean water, and electricity. These services could not possibly be delivered where there is insecurity. Besides, we have intersectional conflicts in Bahr El Gazal and Upper Nile. On our side as government, we have a disarmament program because we believe these intersectional conflicts are mostly being aggravated by the availability of automatic weapons that are now in the hands of our civil population.
The CPA is a document signed by the two major parties in the conflict, thus the SPLM and NCP, and therefore it calls for the other armed groups to decide which side each group would like to align with. On the SPLA side, we have received into our ranks and files among them; are Major General Paulino Matip, who has joined the SPLA with all his men in what is known as Juba Declaration of January 9, 2005. Paulino Matip is now, Deputy Commander in Chief of the SPLA.
There are others who have not yet made up their minds, and these are:
We have always maintained that peaceful approach is a key to solving our differences, as such we argue those gentlemen to make up their minds and choose where they would like to belong. In Southern Sudan, we will only have the Joint Integrated Forces (JIU) and the SPLA proper or the mother SPLA. The CPA does not accept any armed group in the middle. We therefore as the grantors of the CPA, would of course see into it that no any armed group will exist in the South. We have repeatedly said that our doors are always open for those willing to join the SPLA. But our doors will not remain open for ever, time is running out. Any failure by these groups to decide, we shall then ask them to leave the Southern Sudan peacefully. But none adherence to our peaceful approach in this matter, will only leave us without any option, except the military one.
I am also glad to inform you that in the Security Arrangement Protocol, we are going on, well. Just in June 2006, Equatoria Military Area was handed over to the Joint Integrated Units (JIU), and just recently before I came to the United States, Bahr El Gazal Military Area followed suite, it was also handed to the Joint Integrated Units. We expect handing over of Upper Nile Military Area very soon.
During my recent tour of the Greater Bahr El Gazal, I visited the following cities and towns:
There are intersectional conflicts in most of these areas, which arise as the result of cattle raiding; I have directed that this must stop forthwith. My main message there was to those involved arguing that anybody, who has taken somebody’s livestock, must return it to its rightful owner before the legal investigation committee starts its work on this matter. Those involved will be investigated and tried in the competent courts of law, where the law will take its course including application of the Capital Punishment, where deemed necessary. This was specifically to those who are responsible for the death of innocent people. Upon my return from here, I will tour the Greater Upper Nile and Equatoria, carrying the same message to them.
Before I conclude, I would like to point out that our people have been critical on us, the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) for various reasons. However, no government is spared of criticism. Some of the issues raised are those which, I personally, will not tolerate. For example on the issue of corruption, I would like to assure you that our government has adopted zero tolerance policy on corruption. As evidence, of our seriousness, we have just formed various commissions, one of which is the anti Corruption commission.
Lastly, but not least, my most important message to all of our people inside Sudan and those of you in the Diaspora is that, unite! Our disunity is our greater enemy. I appeal to you all to reject your tribes, and unite under one tribe, the SPLM!!! Our disunity will not overcome the challenges ahead of us. Our disunity will not make us vote properly, and wisely when the day of the referendum comes. You all know that our final destiny depends on our unity. No nation in Africa and other parts of the world is built by one tribe.