President of Sudan and South Sudan
Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan becomes an independent country. Salva Kiir becomes President. In the late 1960s, Kiir joined the Anyanya in the First Sudanese Civil War. By the time of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, he was a low-ranking officer. In 1983, when John Garang joined an army mutiny he had been sent to put down, Kiir and other Southern leaders joined the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the second civil war. Garang had little military field experience and relied upon the more experienced Anyanya veterans, including Kiir, to actually carry out the ground war. Kiir eventually rose to head the SPLA’s military wing.
An attempt to remove Kiir from his post as SPLA chief of staff in 2004 nearly caused the organization to split. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement formally ending the war in January 2005, which he had helped start, he was appointed Vice President of Southern Sudan. Perhaps significantly, former Southern Sudan president John Garang like Kiir is of the Dinka people, though of a different clan. After the death of Garang in a helicopter crash of 30 July 2005, Kiir was chosen to succeed to the post of First Vice President of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan. Kiir is popular among the military wing of the SPLM for his battlefield victories and among the populace for his unambiguous pro-secession stance.
Comments by Kiir in October 2009 that the forthcoming independence referendum was a choice between being “a second class in your own country” or “a free person in your independent state” were expected to further strain political tensions. Reports in January 2010 that Kiir would not contest April elections for Sudanese president, but would focus on re-election as president of Southern Sudan were interpreted to mean that the SPLM priority is independence.
Kiir was re-elected with 93% of the vote in the 2010 Sudanese election. Although the vote on both the national and sub-national level was criticized by democratic activists and international observers, the overwhelming margin of Kiir’s re-election was noted by some media as being “Step One” in the process of secession. Following his re-election, Omar al-Bashir reappointed Kiir as the First Vice President of Sudan in accordance with the interim constitution.
Omar H.A. Al-Bashir, President of Sudan
President, 30 June, 1989 – Present
Omar H.A. Al-Bashir – 1945 – – A sudanese political and military leader. He is currently the President of the Sudan. Al-Bashir comes from a rural and working class background. He was born in the town of Hoshe Bannaga, 100 Km North East of Khartoum. He did his high school education in the Ahlia Middle School in Shendi. His family then moved to Khartoum were he did his secondary school education. He supplemented his education and family income by working in a motor garage. After his Secondary education, he was admitted into the the military academy as a pilot. He earned his wings in the Airborne Forces, and then transferred to the Infantry Brigade. He holds two masters degrees in Military Science from the Sudanese College of Commanders and Malaysia
In 1988, he was put in command of the 8th Brigade in the South of Sudan, fighting the rebellion in the South of the Country. In June of 1989, with a group of middle rank military officers, he staged a coup d’etat against the elected Coalition government of Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
His policy of Islamization of the Sudan and implementation of the Islamic Law (Sharia) has enraged and fueled the already ongoing war in the South of the Country. Due to the misguided economic and political policies of his government, the economic downturn and the degradation of the state and social institutions in the Sudan continues.