south-sudan

By Tafi Mhaka

An unfathomable systemic failure sealed his destiny.

A dark moment of aviation madness killed the soul of a young nation.

The proverbial umbilical cord tying a nation to its founding father was brutally snapped.

The grieving birth pangs of a distraught nation bellowed profusely from Juba to Aweil.

The Mi-172 helicopter crash which killed longtime SPLA leader John Garang propelled the wolf of Juba to the fore of South Sudanese and African politics.

The unassuming figure of Salvir Kirr fortuitously emerged from the deadly shadows of civil war to assume the leadership of a tenacious war-mongering SPLA.

Kiir – a soldier by profession – had gallantly fought alongside the late Garang from 1983-1992, as the SPLA fought for South Sudanese independence from Sudan.

Born in Bahr el Ghazal on September 13, 1951, his military career began when Kiir fought with the Anyanya battalion in the first Sudanese civil war in 1972.

He joined the SPLA in 1983, as a low ranking officer, but quickly through the ranks to become SPLA commander.

Garang’s untimely death paved the way for Kiir, who, in 2005, was appointed first vice- president of Sudan in 2005.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan after a referendum held in 2011.

Then – around 98.83% of the population voted for independence.

Juba was deeply overwhelmed by jubilation.

South Sudanese refugees around the world rejoiced.

Africa heaved a euphoric sigh of relief.

Hope pervaded the hot and humid air over South Sudan.

But Kiir and his henchmen had other plans.

His brief tenure in power has been profoundly disappointing.

It has been punctuated by intermittent bursts of brutal civil war, state-sanctioned extra-judicial killings, corruption at the highest levels of government.

The blood-curdling South Sudanese narrative is unambiguously straightforward: wandering from the path trodden by Kirr’s gory inner circle is a definite no-no.

“Freedom of the press does not mean that you work against your country. If anybody does not know that this country will kill people, we will demonstrate on them, ” declared Kirr.

Just seventy-two hours later – Moi Peter Julius, a political reporter for a South Sudanese newspaper, The Corporate, was found murdered late on the night of August 19, 2015.

Earlier in 2015, five journalists by the names of Musa Mohamed (the director of the state-run radio station Raja FM), Adam Juma (reporter and presenter for Raja FM), Dalia Marko and Randa George (reporters for Raja FM), and Boutros Martin (a cameraman for the Western Bahr el Ghazal of South Sudan Television) had been murdered while traveling as part of a convoy, along with six other people.

Political positions at odds with the ferocious group of leaders are unwelcome and barely tolerated in South Sudan.

Riek Machar, the sacked vice-president, has left the country.

He’s on the run.

He understands well what the dire consequences of political dissent are.

The kleptocratic mob demands total capitulation from the masses.

And man they are killing people.

They are killing it.

They are making a killing.

Blood is the new currency.

War is the new financial market.

Juba is the new Wall Street.

Money is the drug of choice.

Salvir Kirr is the wolf of Juba.

5.1 million South Sudanese citizens need food aid.

Roughly 2.3 million are displaced from their villages and towns.

Fifty thousand people are dead.

Women are being sexually violated.

Still – the mission is perfectly clear: loot the loot.

The strategy is dead simple: Kill the peace deal.

The endgame is nothing new: Get rich.

Get mega rich, baby.

The rules are somewhat clear here: there are no discernible rules.

So kill the women.

Kill the children.

Kill that peace deal.

Kill those South Sudanese child soldiers.

This is about the Benjamins.

Sacked Vice President Riek Machar has several multimillion luxury villas in Nairobi and Kampala.

Gen. Malongo has a $2 million mansion in a gated community in Nairobi, Kenya.

Gen. Malek Reuben Riak has a luxury villa just a few miles away.

Gen. Paul Malong Awan has a lavish $2 million villa in Nyari Estate in Nairobi.

Gen. James Hoth Mali has a $1.5 million villa in Melbourne.

Salvir Kirr’s children attend exclusive private schools in Europe.

They ride ski-jets, drive luxury vehicles and party on luxury boats.

They are making it rain in Paris, Munich, Oslo and Milan.

The wolf of Juba is killing it, baby.

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