Gen Taban: Kiir Smear Politics to Taint Opposition’s Image

Gen. Taban Deng Gai
Leader SPLM/SPLA Peace Negotiation Team

GovTabanFormer Unity State Governor, Gen. Taban Deng Gai. (Photo past file/reuters)

March 11, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — It has come to our notice that the regime in Juba has resorted to clandestine ways of tarnishing the image of the SPLM/A and its leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny

The beleaguered regime of General Salva Kiir Mayardit, which three months ago had assured its supporters that they would crash the revolution in a matter of weeks, has devised two strategies to drive sympathisers away from the SPLM/A.

One of these strategies is an email circulating in South Sudanese online discussion fora.

The email alleges that Dr. Riek Machar Teny has formed an interim government-in-waiting under his leadership.

A fictitious list is then published with names of the supposed ministerial post holders – exactly the same number (21) as that of Kiir’s current cabinet.

This is of course false and mere smear politicking.

The intention of the regime is ostensibly to upset the spirit of the growing number of our supporters, especially from the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr-el-Ghazal regions.

The sham list purports that Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s ‘interim cabinet’ is comprised mainly of Nuer, which would give it a tribal tone.

The email was then disseminated to die-hard supporters of the regime who in turn posted it to South Sudanese online discussion fora.

Of course, it appears some people who received this email, started to despair and to lose hope.

The SPLM/A hereby assures its body of sympathisers and the entire citizenry of South Sudan that it has not even met officially to form any movement structures, as it is giving the ongoing peace talks mediated by IGAD a chance.

The SPLM/A believes strongly in democracy and that its Leader Dr. Riek  Machar Teny would not be falling into the same cheap and undemocratic methods of Salva Kiir of ruling by decrees.

The SPLM/A is willing to sign the Declaration of Principles in the peace talks, which includes a provision for a popularly elected interim government.

We are, therefore, aware that forming any government at this early stage is ambitious and unwarranted.

The Juba regime’s other cunning method to discredit the revolution, is when Salva Kiir recently announced that he formed a reconciliation committee from members of the SPLM Political Bureau (PB), including the undersigned and other members whom he had detained on allegations of a ‘coup plot’ and are on bail.

It is to be noted that Salva Kiir recently dismissed the undersigned and some of the Politburo members who since joined the revolution from the party; of course unconstitutionally.

The decree issued has not been revoked to-date. Thus, it is only a mockery and cheap antics to mislead the public opinion.

Was it not the same Salva Kiir who undermined the party structures by dissolving them that we cried foul against?

Is it not the same Salva Kiir who hunted down the revolutionary leaders, not even caring about the grievous consequences in terms of loss of many lives?

Of course, the sly plan flopped miserably even before it saw the light of day.

In fact, we saw the said plan for the SPLM Politburo to meet in Addis Ababa on the internet and no formal communication to us.

It was alleged that Ethiopia’s ruling Party and South Africa’s Former President Thabo Mbeki would facilitate the said meeting in Addis Ababa last week.

When Salva Kiir’s emissary came to Addis Ababa to meet with us, he was quickly shrugged off, because in the first place, the gesture had no reasonable basis.

It was window dressing and indeed to send a message that those opposed to the governed we ‘disgruntled’, as Kiir claims.

In this regard, the SPLM/A condemns these immature tactics of Salva Kiir’s government to buy for itself legitimacy and score cheap political mileage by attempting to mislead public opinion.

In the same vein, the regime should awaken to the reality that we will never allow ourselves to fall prey of manoeuvres to maintain a despot in power.

We are closely monitoring the events at the seat of the government in Juba.

We are convinced that the government is not only quickly losing popularity and sympathy, but is also messing itself up remarkably. Indicators of a failed state and disintegration of supporters, including the government controlled army, are signs looming in the air.

Knowing that we represent the aspirations and hopes of all South Sudanese, we cannot afford to act foolishly.

We, therefore, assure all the well-meaning citizens of South Sudan to desist from believing anything the government and its supporters attribute to us.

Long live the struggle on behalf of the down-trodden people of South Sudan!

SPLM/SPLA Oyee
VIVA-SPLM-VIVA
Gen. Taban Deng Gai
Leader SPLM/SPLA Peace Negotiation Team
Addis Ababa- Ethiopia

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