Peter Biar: “Kiir is illegitimate, he will be removed like Charles Taylor”

President Salva Kiir Mayardit | Photo: File

Responding to the recent statement issued by Kiir’s office, the South Sudanese human rights defender, Peter Biar Ajak, says the current incumbent President, Salva Kiir Mayardit is too illegitimate to rule the country and should have been dethroned.

Greetings to the people of South Sudan. I am sure by now you have seen the clear intentions of Juba. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial’s response to my testimony has only confirmed the validity of the points that I raised.

Biar said the government’s decision to withhold long-awaited General Elections is the tip of the iceberg and a sign that the parties are not ready to allow the people of South Sudan to choose their next leader.

“They want to continue to rule the country without allowing our people to have a say. This is what they want to accomplish through a crash-22 situation. They don’t want to hold elections because the country is in conflict and the peace agreement is yet to be implemented. But at the same time – they deliberately create the conflict and drag their feet when it comes to the implementation of the peace agreement.”

“So by default, elections will never happen because that’s their intention.
So, you people of South Sudan must realize this. You have a legitimate government that was never elected by the people of South Sudan – that wants to use the conflict as an excuse to forever rule there.”

The human rights defender says that Kiir has become illegitimate and does not have any mandate to run the country.

“This is not the first time. This is why the election was extended in 2015 and extended again in 2018 — and now they’re arguing again for another extension. So, it’s very clear, the objective is to perpetrate corrupt rule so that continue to steal from you, kill you and displace you. So, let me repeat, Kiir was never elected. He’s an illegitimate president.”

“They only thing that is keeping him in power is the peace agreement; and the peace agreement requires that elections be held by March 2022. If that time comes and has not held any election—his illegitimate regime and will have expired.”

“So, the choice is this, hold the elections and do whatever you want to do and, implementation the agreement or by that time we will demand a Liberian model… Just like Charles Taylor was removed, Kiir will be removed, I assure you.”

The activist accused the Kiir administration of being responsible for the death of opposition officials, Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idris, who were kidnapped by the National Security Services in Nairobi in 2016.

“Regarding the denial that they didn’t want to kill me, where’s Dong Samuel?… Where’s Aggrey Idris? — or didn’t you kidnap them, bring them to Blue House and kill them?. If you produce Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idris, you would have proved me a liar. Bring them and show them to us.”

Biar fled to the United States in July after accusing President Kiir of ordering him killed by a death squad, a claim vehemently denied by the South Sudanese government, which in turn accused him of seeking asylum in the Western world.

“No General Elections in 2022,” Kiir’s Office Declares

President Salva Kiir Mayardit | File Photo

Responding to allegations made by Peter Biar Ajak, the office of the president has said that, given the ongoing situation in the country, there will be no General Elections in 2022.

” During the recent US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State of Democracy in the World, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak testified making a series of largely unsubstantiated allegations against President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Government of South Sudan. Some of these baseless claims merit a response,” the Office of the President denied Peter Biar’s unsubstantiated claims while testifying before the U.S. Senate on Foreign Relations.

On allegations of human rights violations committed by the notorious national security services, Kiir’s office said there is no concrete evidence that innocent civilians are killed on a daily basis in the country.

“The charge incessantly repeated by Dr. Ajak that he narrowly escaped death at the hands of South Sudanese Security agents in Nairobi, Kenya is patently false. All along meanwhile under detention in South Sudan for dangerous subversive activities, he was totally at the mercy of the Government. Yet, not only did he suffer no harm both physically and psychologically, but the very same President Salva Kiir Mayardit whom he continues to vilify, showed clemency and ordered his release after hardly serving any significant jail term following his lawful conviction by a competent court of law.”

“Having said that perhaps Dr. Ajak is entitled to sorme credit after all for this elaborate ruse, probably crafted with the help of his lawyers, to enable him instantaneously gain political asylum in the US as an applicant whose life was allegedly in immediate danger. In that he has succeeded with flying colors. On the mandate of President Kiir, Dr. Ajak asserts that the President assumed power upon the country’s independence as an appointed rather as an elected leader.”

“By this he insinuates, that as an unelected leader of independent South Sudan, President Kiir lacks legitimacy. Naturally the new political dispensation ushered in at South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, was an interim arrangement that could not conceivably start in a vacuum. The incumbent Government led by President Kiir had by necessity at the time, to be entrusted with the task of steering the country through transition to elections.”

“It is fanciful to think that the SPLM should have dispensed with and proceed to organize elections immediately upon the proclamation of independence. need for an interim period The unfortunate and tragic events of 2013 denied South Sudanese the opportunity of exercising their inalienable right to go the polls and elect their leaders in 2015 as originally envisaged.”

“Had elections gone ahead as planned, President Kiir and the SPLM would have undoubtedly sought the renewal of their mandate to run the country. It is regrettable that South Sudan missed the chance of holding elections, but that is not a credible basis upon which to brand the current Administration as a regime that is undemocratic and hence bereft of any legitimacy. Legitimacy does not stem from form but rather from substance or essence. When President Kiir was elected in 2010 as the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, those who cast their ballots for him are the very same South Sudanese who would have done so again had elections been held in 2015.”

“The fact that eligible South Sudanese voters voted in 2010 in the context of a united Sudan and were expected to vote again in 2015 as citizens of an independent South Sudan, does not affect one bit, the mandate they bestow upon whoever they vote into office.”

“The constitutional and political context in which they vote is immaterial for as long as the voters remain the same people. Therefore President Kiir’s right to lead South Sudan, at least till the next elections determine the post-transition power architecture, is undiminished.”

“Furthermore, the claim that democracy in South Sudan is being stifled is totally without merit. Responsibility Sharing (Power Sharing) during the Transitional Period among multiple political entities is the bedrock of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) of September 2018.”

“These arrangements that have been embedded in the Agreement, constitute an eloquent manifestation of democracy in action. Therefore the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU), by its very nature, is a recognition and full acceptance of the reality that South Sudan is irreversibly locked into a trajectory towards multi-party democracy.”

“The call for early elections in 2022, is again without justification. It must be borne in mind that the actual inauguration of the (R-TGONU) following conclusion of the Agreement in September, 2018 took some time. Hence the time lost must be recouped so that there is adequate time to complete all the tasks of the transition before elections are held.”

“Dr. Ajak himself would acknowledge the absolute necessity of first producing a Permanent Constitution and conducting a population census as indispensable pre-requisites to holding any credible elections. And since these two processes, especially adoption of the Permanent Constitution on the basis of which elections shall be held, and others require time, there is no plausible rationale to insist on rushing elections.”