The Chairman of the Nuer Students Union in Kenya Kueth Machar Nyak leads other students in addressing a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on the 24th of December, 2013 where they condemned the Juba violence that has seen several people killed and others displaced.
A group of South Sudanese students in Nairobi now say President Salva Kiir should step down before any peace talks can begin because “he is no longer a representation of peace.”
At a press conference in Nairobi, the students under the banner of ‘Nuer Students’ Union’ (though the group argued it comprises of all South Sudanese) accused Kiir of using his private guards known as ‘Doot Beny’ to kill those considered as enemies.
“It is senseless that a sitting president would order his private army to commit massacre of thousands of Nuer civilians simply because his main opponent hails from the Nuer tribe,” charged Nyak Kueth Machar, the Chairman of the group and a namesake of South Sudan’s chief antagonist Riek Machar.
“It is a condition; we do not currently recognise him as the president because he is no longer a representation of peace.”
South Sudan descended into chaos on December 16 when an attempted coup, according to President Salva Kiir, morphed into a countrywide conflict mainly pitting soldiers loyal to the government against those loyal to Riek Machar, a former Vice President sacked earlier in the year.
Although both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar say they are ready for talks, the students comprising of 30 tall men and two women gathered at Nairobi’s Serena Hotel and leveled accusations after accusation on Kiir’s government before reminding the world that the problem began in 2012. Then they called on every international body related to South Sudan to intervene.
“We believe the world watched all steps the President took since 2012. They were all aimed at causing divisions, encouraging tribalism by running affairs of the government along tribal lines,” they said.
Intimidation of political opponents, derailment of reconciliation programmes and “a paralysis” of freedoms were all levelled against Salva Kiir.
“It is for this reason that we ask the UN, EU, and the AU to hold President Kiir and his government responsible for the death of innocent Nuer civilians in Juba.
The Kiir administration though insists that the violation is in fact perpetuated by the rebels loyal to Machar. Second, the conflict that has largely been depicted as a contest between the Dinka and Nuer has put the entire country in jeopardy.
On Tuesday, the UN warned South Sudan of crimes against humanity if the situation continued. The global Organization reported that at least 45,000 South Sudanese civilians have sought protection at badly overstretched UN bases amid brutal fighting that has spread to half of the young nation’s 10 states.
The UN boss asked the Security Council to nearly double the size of the UN mission in the country.