Former Detainees Returned to Kenya, Pagan Denies Joining the Government!
June 25, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — The leader of South Sudan’s former political detainees, also known as SPLM-Uhuru or G10, who was recently reinstated as the Secretary General of SPLM, Comrade Pagan Amum Okiech, has returned with his group to Kenya after spending two days in Juba.
Following his rushed reinstatement into his previous position under the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit, SG Pagan delivered contradictory speeches pledging loyalty to the party, and very little to Salva Kiir government.
Sworn in by President Salva Kiir himself in Juba, majority of the observers, government and SPLM/SPLA[IO] supporters concluded that SG Pagan and his 9 colleagues have joined the government, however, Pagan denies.
Interviewed by the “Eyeradio” before leaving the country, the secretary general blamed the “warring parties or SPLM factions” for the conflict and pledges to commit to reunite the warring factions and various forces to end the war before July 9, 2015.
“Our desire is to see peace coming to South Sudan immediately, we look to a situation where a peace agreement is signed before July 9th so that the two parties, the two warring parties, as well as all the other political forces in the country give the people of South Sudan a gift of peace to celebrate the 4th anniversary under the theme and the banner towards working for peace and prosperity” He said.
questioned of why he refers to the ruling party or the government as a warring faction if he has joined the regime, Pagan clarifies that he has not joined the government.
“No, I’m not part of the government, I’m reinstated as the secretary general of SPLM” Pagan told Eyeradio.
“Yes, this war is being fought between two SPLM groups or SPLM factions, and in Arusha we have agreed as three of us to work to reunite the SPLM” Pagan said.
According to SG Pagan, his reinstatement into SPLM as the Secretary General is a ticket to engage the warring factions to sign a Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
“Towards this, we shall be working to engage the two warring parties towards signing a comprehensive agreement that will end this war and usher South Sudan into peace.” Pagan promises.
On Monday, the Secretary General also banned their identity as The Former Detainees (FD), saying that from now on they are no longer former detainees, despite that they were once detained for four months before being sent to exile in Kenya.
“Or our group that was known as former detainees, we are no longer former detainees, and we are working to make sure that the SPLM is reunited.” Pagan told the media in Juba.
After the departure from Juba, Pagan pledges to engage the SPLM in Opposition with positive attitude to reunite the warring parties to sign a comprehensive peace agreement.
Pagan and the group have also reaffirmed loyalty to SPLM founder, late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, visiting his memorial ground and remind the South Sudanese of the importance of his visions to end the conflict.
It is unclear at this point if the former detainees will maintain their position as a separate SPLM bloc in the ongoing engagements and IGAD -led peace talks, however, sources in Juba believe that the former detainees are now government agents.
“The SPLM Secretary-General traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday. He’s on an official assignment.” Eyeradio reports.
Although the residents of Juba did not want to see the FDs depart, the body language and the poor gestures shown speak the contrary. The Secretary General didn’t feel much at home.
The former detainees have returned to reunite with Mama Rebecca, the widow of Dr. John Garang, and the two other detainees who remained behind in Kenya. They are expected to meet with the Opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar in present of Uhuru Kenya this week.
Machar has also been reinstated in absentia into his position as the first Vice Chairman of SPLM, which he accepts; however, he believes that it is not the right time to travel to Juba until the conflict is resolved.