Salva Kiir Mayardit (born 13 September 1951) is a South Sudanese politician who has been President of South Sudan since its independence in 2011. Prior to independence, he was President of the Government of Southern Sudan, as well as First Vice President of Sudan, from 2005 to 2011.
In the late 1960s, Kiir joined the Anyanya battalion in the First Sudanese Civil War. By the time of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, he was a low-ranking officer. In 1983, when Dr 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. Dr. Garang De Mabior had advanced military knowledge and experience from both the United States and the Sudan. President Kiir was his Deputy. Kiir eventually rose to head the SPLA, the SPLM's military wing when Dr. John Garang was killed in an helicopter crash. Rumours to remove Kiir from his post as SPLA Chief of Staff in 2004 nearly caused the organization to split...
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