Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first Vice-President of the Sudan, has been the de facto leader of the southern provinces (South Sudan) since 2005. He received this post as a result of the tragic death of the leader of the southerners John Garang.
Along with independence, South Sudan got its first President – Salva Kiir. He first demonstrated a commitment to democratic changes and freedom of human rights.
In 2012, the army of South Sudan occupied the Sudanese city of Heglig, thus ending the border war with the victory of Sudan.
Inter-ethnic clashes that began in Jonglei state in 2011 resulted in torture and harassment by the armed forces of South Sudan. The investigation was superficial. Journalists investigating military crimes were arrested and prosecuted by the police and security forces. The authorities prevented the distribution of true information by all means available.
The persecution of opposition politicians and activists began immediately after getting independence. In 2011, the authorities arrested the leader of the United Democratic Forum, Abdul Rahman Soule, and accused him of being associated with rebels.
In 2015, a wave of murders of journalists swept through South Sudan. Bodies of five journalists shot by unknown persons were found In January in the state of Western Bahr Al-Ghazali. The investigation conducted by the authorities was fruitless. The columnist of the newspaper “The Corporate” Moi Peter Julius was shot in the capital in August. The country's freedom of expression deteriorated greatly – the authorities prevented the distribution of true information on many aspects of domestic policy, including corruption among the regime's top officials.
The famine that broke out in 2017 was used by the authorities to fight the rebels. The delivery of humanitarian aid was blocked back in 2016 for that purpose. Food problems affected almost half of the country's population.
Same-sex relationships have been banned since 2008. The US State Department reported that widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians has existed throughout the existence of South Sudan, i.e. 2011.
It is worth mentioning, that this relatively young African state suffers from all the same problems as neighboring countries: poverty, economic backwardness, greed of elites, inequality, lack of democracy and freedom of speech, widespread violations of human and civil rights, authoritarian rule.
Years of rule: 2005 — 2011/2011 — present time;
Official position occupied: President;
Official title: —
Official ideology: Nationalism;
Unofficial title: —
Quotes and sayings: «The freedom of press does not mean that you work against your country/ And if anybody among them (journalists) does not know this country killed people, we will demonstrate it one day om them»;
Level of tyranny: Average;
Influence on democracy: Negative;
Results of the reign: Corruption, Police Torture, Civil War, Violence Against Women, Gender inequality, Domestic violence, Harassment and intimidation of journalists, Harassment of LGBT, Killing of Journalists, Child labour, Child marriage;
Pros of the reign: —
Salva Kiir Mayardit. Brief Chronology of the Reign
2011: South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, Human Rights Abuses by the Police Force, Ethnic conflict, The persecution of the democratic opposition, Criminal prosecution of gays and lesbians;
2012: Heglig Crisis, Attacks and arrests of journalists;
2013: Armed conflict, Silva Kiir consolidates power;
2015: Killing Journalists;
2017: Hunger in the country, Persecution of activists, Human rights defenders was arrested;
Salva Kiir Mayardit. Detailed Timeline Of The Reign
2011: South Sudan separated from Sudan (north) as a result of the referendum on independence. 98.83% of voters supported the division. [FOX News Network]
The President of South Sudan warned the police and the armed forces of the unacceptability of civilians’ ill-treatment. Salva Kiir said: “Weapons don’t give you the right to torture civilians. The police and the army involved in these disgusting acts create a terrible image for us in the international arena.” A 20-year-old woman accused of stealing 60 thousand Sudanese pounds (USD 1,200) was tortured in one of the police stations of Juba a few days before this speech. [OYE! Time]
Inter-ethnic clashes in Jonglei state. The military operation of the army in that state resulted in extrajudicial executions, violence against citizens and rape of women and girls. Journalists covering these events were attacked and arrested without charge. [Human Rights Watch]
In November, the military of South Sudan arrested the leader of the United Democratic Forum Abdul Rahman Soule and accused him of links to the rebels and plans to overthrow the government. [web archive]
2012: 82% of South Sudanese women and 81% of South Sudanese men agreed that “a woman must tolerate and endure violence in order to save the family”. [Conflict and Health]
2013: Salva Kiir called homosexuality “a mental illness” and “a stronghold of Western immorality”. [African Activist News]
2015: Five journalists were murdered by unknown armed men. The investigation was inconclusive. The authorities accused Ugandan rebels of the death of media workers. [cpj]
August 19, a political columnist for “The Corporate” Moi Peter Julius was killed with two pistol shots. The attackers did not take money or other valuables. [Global Journalist]
2017: Famine broke out in South Sudan, which was used by the authorities to combat the rebels. [The Washington Post, July 8, 2017]
South Sudan human rights defenders demanded Kenya to investigate the kidnapping of two Sudanese activists in Nairobi. The South Sudan security service is most likely involved in the incident. [SudanTribune]
Salva Kiir Mayardit. Gallery
[Photo: Vatican Pool/Getty Images, Kyodo News via Getty Images, Aaron Showalter/Pool via Bloomberg via Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images]