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.

U.S. strongly condemns bloodshed in Tigray region, orders withdrawal of Eritrean troops

The United States demands immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray region | USA Embassy

The United States has expressed deep concern over disturbing reports of ethnic killings, sexual assaults and forced displacement in the Tigray region at the hands of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

“The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia,” the Biden-Harris administration said in a statement.

“We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray.”

Washington called on the Ethiopian authorities to put an immediate end to hostilities and engage in meaningful dialogue with the TPLF leadership.

“We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis. The United States has repeatedly engaged the Ethiopian government on the importance of ending the violence, ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray, and allowing a full, independent, international investigation into all reports of human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities. Those responsible for them must be held accountable.”

“The United States acknowledges the February 26 statements from the Ethiopian Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promising unhindered humanitarian access, welcoming international support for investigations into human rights violations and abuses, and committing to full accountability. The international community needs to work collectively to ensure that these commitments are realized.”

The United States demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Eritrean forces that have participated in the ongoing military operations in the Tigray region since the onset of the conflict on November 4, 2021.

“The immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray are essential first steps. They should be accompanied by unilateral declarations of cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict and a commitment to permit unhindered delivery of assistance to those in Tigray.”

“The United States is committed to working with the international community to achieve these goals. To that end, USAID will deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Ethiopia to continue delivering life-saving assistance.”

“We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the UN and other relevant bodies. The United States remains committed to building an enduring partnership with the Ethiopian people.”

Tigray community hails UN, S. Sudan for saving their sons from “death-trap”

Ethiopian contingent serving under the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan |Photo: Courtesy

Members of the Tigray community in the United States issued a brief statement this evening, commending the South Sudanese authorities and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for protecting their sons from what they described as a premeditated “death trap” planned by the Abiy administration.

“We appreciate the Republic of South Sudan and UNHCR for providing protection to our sons after the Ethiopian government had premeditated a “death trap” against them as part of the ongoing Genocide in the Tigray region,” the diaspora community lauded South Sudan in a brief statement extended to Thessherald.

On Monday, a bitter fist fight ensued at Juba International Airport after 15 members of the Ethiopian contingent refused to board a plane, citing fear for their lives.

The brief fighting between the Ethiopian troops serving under the mandate of the United Nations Mission has been confirmed by a top UN official.

“This morning, 169 members of the Ethiopian contingent were due to rotate out of Juba and (be) replaced by fresh contingents, a part of a normal rotation,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric during his daily press conference.

“We’re trying to get the details, but I do understand about 15 members of the contingent chose not to board the flight at the Juba airport… They’ve asked to stay,” he said, adding that “any person in need of international protection has the right to seek asylum.”

“They are receiving support from the South Sudanese Ministry of Refugee Affairs,” Dujarric continued, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is “aware” of the situation and in contact with South Sudanese authorities.

Troika calls for credible & fair post-transitional elections in South Sudan

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar | Photo: File

The Troika countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway issued a press release on Monday during the commemoration of the First Anniversary of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

“Today (February 22), marks the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU). This was a major step toward restoring peace in South Sudan. The Troika welcomes all efforts by the RTGoNU in implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), most notably the appointment of a unified Cabinet, Governors, and Deputy Governors in all states.”

The members of the Troika welcomed the recent resolution of the Council of Ministers that endorsed the formation of the African Union Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

“The Troika further welcomes the endorsement by the Council of Ministers on January 28 of a roadmap for implementing Chapter 5, including the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan; the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing; and the Compensation and Reparations Authority.”

“Much work remains and there is an urgent need to implement R-ARCSS in full. Progress made over the past year has been too slow and too limited. Critically important is the immediate formation of State Governments and the re-constitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and Council of States. Implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements and true security sector reform should commence immediately.”

“The Troika endorses and reiterates the call made by African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ambassadors to improve conditions in training centers and accelerate the graduation and deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces. We will continue to work closely with IGAD and the regional guarantors to reach common objectives on the peace process and an agreed roadmap for implementation.”

“The Troika calls for the commencement of the permanent constitution-making process and the start of preparations for peaceful, credible, and inclusive post-transitional elections. There is an urgent need to continue implementation of reforms envisaged in Chapter 4 regarding transparency and accountability, including through the Public Financial Management Oversight Committee.”

The Troika voiced its concern over the ongoing intercommunal violence in different parts of the country.

“We welcome the appointment of three women as Deputy Governors but note with disappointment the failure to ensure 35 percent female representation as stipulated in R-ARCSS. While the national ceasefire has generally held, the level of violence across the country, including conflict caused by defections, is unacceptable.”

“We urge all parties to the Rome process to ensure adherence to the Cessation of Hostilities and pursue political dialogue. We are deeply concerned that violence is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation, where 7.2 million people are facing severe levels of food insecurity and more people are in need of assistance than in any year since South Sudan’s independence. We call upon the Government to ensure immediate de-escalation of sub-national conflict and unhindered humanitarian access.”

“We acknowledge the challenges posed by COVID-19 for the implementation of the R-ARCSS and more generally. We welcome efforts by the Government to respond to a new wave of cases. The Troika will continue to work in partnership to respond to this crisis. We look forward to continuing working in close partnership with the RTGoNU to support the full implementation of the R-ARCSS.”

UN expert calls on FBI to investigate the death of US journalist Christopher Allen

FBI SWAT members captured while on duty | Photo: FBI

A UN human rights expert has called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe into the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen and hold the perpetrators responsible.

Christopher, a young American freelance journalist, was brutally murdered in late August 2017 in the line of duty, but the government has since denied any responsibility.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The UN expert urged the South Sudanese government and the United Nations to work together and identify the culprits responsible for his killing.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

She appealed to the US security service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to discharge its mandate and obligations by investigating possible war crimes believed to have been committed against Allen.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.
The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.

Makuei denies corruption ranking, terms watchdog groups as blood-suckers

Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information addresses the press after the African Union heads of state and government summit held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa |Photo: File

In response to the latest corruption classification released by Transparency International, Information Minister Michael Makuei says that corruption has become rampant everywhere in the world, even in the United States and Germany.

“Even America and Germany are corrupt,” said Michael Makuei in an interview with Sudans Post.

He accused Western watchdogs of making millions of dollars and profiteering from conflicts. “These are people who write like that so that they earn their living on our blood.”

On Thursday, the Berlin-based investigative body released its annual report on corruption perceptions, ranking South Sudan and Somalia as the most corrupt countries in the world, scoring 12 points out of 100.

“Yes. I don’t deny that there is [no] corruption in South Sudan like other countries, but it is not the most corrupt,” Makuei said in an interview this morning.

Makuei admitted that there are corruption cases in South Sudan, like any other country around the world.

“Yes, South Sudan as I said early like other countries, even America is corrupt. There is corruption even in America, even in Germany. So we can’t deny that there is corruption in South Sudan but to rank it as the most corrupt country is unacceptable,” he said.

The South Sudanese Minister of Information, who is also the government’s spokesperson, accused Transparency International and other researchers of making up baseless and nonfactual reports without supporting evidence.

“These NGOs and UN Agencies are the most corrupt and their reports are based on what. So I don’t really believe these are genuine reports. After all, it is after studying the corrupt countries all over the world and then you begin to rank them. Do they make that or they reach their conclusion,” he wondered.

South Sudan slipped into conflict in 2013, and has been ranked first on the list of the most corrupt countries in the world, since 2019.

Breaking: Trump gets impeached for inciting coup at Capitol Hill

Donald Trump has become the first US President to be impeached twice, following a House of Representatives vote today — January 13, 2020 in Washington DC.

The decision follows his alleged “incitement of insurrection” during unrest at the Capitol Hill, leaving four dead—including a police officer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said: “The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country.

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

The vote went largely along party lines – but a few Republican Congressmen broke ranks, voting to condemn the leader of their own party.

It makes Trump the first President ever to be impeached twice.

President Museveni declares victory ahead of elections

As the people of Uganda are prepared to choose their next leader on January 14, the incumbent President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, says he has no doubt he will win the election by an overwhelming margin.

“Two days to victory,” declared Uganda’s long-term President— who has ruled with an iron fist for more than three decades.

Museveni faces stiff opposition from a 38-year-old musician, Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known by his stage name as Bobi Wine.

With only two days left for Ugandans to exercise their constitutional rights, the United States is concerned about reports of intimidation and repression against civil society groups.

“The U.S. government remains concerned over disturbing signs that civic space is closing. With the election only days away, restrictions on civil society organizations (CSOs), delayed accreditation of domestic observers by the Electoral Commission, and interference with non-partisan voter education programming funded by Uganda’s international democratic partners have raised serious concerns about Uganda’s preparedness for a transparent, inclusive election,” said U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown.

“We remain particularly concerned over how Ugandan institutions continue to block the bank accounts of several reputable and well-known CSOs, on questionable bases, preventing their important work on voter education, domestic election observation, public dialogues, and tracking and preventing election-related violence.”

“These are globally accepted non-partisan elections activities funded by the U.S., the European Union, and other international partners who are merely supporting the Ugandan people in living up to their own constitutionally mandated election standards.”

In recent months, more than 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the wake of an altercation between the Ugandan police and supporters of Bobi Wine.

U.S. officials want Trump impeached after failed coup at the Capitol Hill

Outgoing US President Donald Trump |Photo: File

Most U.S. officials, including diplomats, seek to hold outgoing President Donald J Trump responsible for planning to cling on to power by inciting riots and destruction at the U.S. Capitol Hill.

“What should happen right now is an emergency cabinet meeting to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office. Donald Trump has incited violence against the people’s representatives. Law and Order means no person, not even the President, is above the law,” said Joseph N. Sanberg, an American entrepreneur and founder of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC).

On Wednesday, an angry mob mobilized by Trump stormed the Capitol Hill Building, leaving ugly pictures and trials of vandalism that tarnished the reputation of the United States, a country known for its belief in democracy and human rights.

As stipulated in the U.S. Constitution, the 25th Amendment, allows lawmakers to remove a president who is sick or otherwise unable to fulfill his or her duties.

U.S. presidents are limited under the Constitution to four-year terms that end on January 20 after an election year, however Trump wanted to overstay his term after failing to reach 280 votes in the recent US elections.

Trump blocked from using Facebook, Instagram after riots at the U.S. Capitol Hill

Outgoing US President Donald Trump |Photo : File

The outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, has been banned indefinitely from using Facebook and Instagram in the wake of recent violence by his supporters at the US Capitol Hill, according to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden. His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Mark explained in a Facebook post.

Mark noted that Facebook had taken decisive action and removed Trump’s hate speech on Facebook to avoid fueling more violence in the country.

“We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – – and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.”

“Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.”

He further pointed out that Trump had been allowed to use the platform despite his repeated violations against the rules and regulations governing Facebook.

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies.

We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

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