Africa has had its face share of leaders, but Salva Kiir Mayardit is in a different class never seen before.
History of South Sudan
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, was once a sizeable part of Sudan, the country to its north.
The conflicts between what is now Sudan and South Sudan are often understood through their historical roots: centuries of exploitation and slave-raiding by the “Arab” north against the “African” south, followed by Britain and Egypt’s imperialist meddling.
Arab tribes first arrived in Sudan from Upper Egypt and across the Red Sea during the Middle Ages, and colonial occupation began in the nineteenth century. However, it is impossible to explain Sudan’s recent conflicts from any single angle or with any simple terms.
While religion, race, economic exploitation, and colonialism are all major elements in the crisis, none of these factors fully explains the situation.
Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan
Salva Kiir Mayardit became the first president of Africa’s newest country – South Sudan – in 2011, and within two years was presiding over a civil war that has created the largest refugee crisis on the continent and a famine.
Always seen in public with his trademark cowboy hat, the former rebel commander, who specialised in military intelligence, is an accidental politician.
A poor public speaker, he was seen as a moderate within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), and its armed wing the SPLA, during the long fight for independence from northern Sudan.
Observers say this may well have been why he was chosen to assume the leadership of the SPLM in 2005 following the sudden death of its founding leader John Garang in a helicopter crash.
The birth of South Sudan
Mr Garang’s death was a blow to the SPLM, coming just three months after he had negotiated a peace deal with the Khartoum government to end three decades of conflict.
But he proved to be a deft operator, taking the post of vice-president in Sudan’s government and making sure that it upheld the peace accord signed with Mr Garang.
This led to South Sudan achieving independence some seven years later in July 2011, securing Mr Kiir a place in history as its political midwife.
Salva Kiir timeline
1960s: First joined southern rebellion
1983: Founder member of SPLM
1990s: SPLM military leader
2005: Southern leader and national vice-president
2010: Elected president of the region of Southern Sudan
9 July 2011: Becomes president of newly independent South Sudan
2013: Accuses his former deputy Riek Machar of staging a coup; civil war begins
2015: Signs peace deal that falls apart the following year
2018: Meets Mr Machar in Ethiopia in an attempt to end the strife
His son, Munuti Salva Kiir
Munuti Salva Kiir aka Young Tycoon is the son of the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the according to reports, he has no limit on how much money to spend.
It is believed that the 30-years-old sleeps in a $2,500 suit, his lavish spending and constant display on cash especially on his social media handles is really disturbing considering the high level of poverty in South Sudan.
The war-torn South Sudan is one of the poorest countries on the globe presently. A majority of South Sudanese live below the poverty line while the president has so much money to feed the entire country.
Kenyan authorities recently arrested him for causing trouble in the family after getting drunk in neighbouring country’s capital, Nairobi.
Manut Kiir Mayardit was arrested by the Kenyan police for assaulting his sister Winnie after drunkenness in the family’s luxury residence on Manyani East Road, the Kenyan Daily Nation reported.