There shall be no peace and tranquillity in South Sudan until President Salva Kiir Mayardit owns his leadership and decisions
By Thomas Tut Doap,
May 30th, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– Th spiritual warning in the Gospel of Matthew 6:24, which warns us that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”, fits well with president Salva Kiir of South Sudan’s confusing leadership.
The writer of this piece is among many South Sudanese who are fully aware of what President Salva has been going through, in term of dealing with antagonistic groups within the narrow presidency space. The said antagonists can be divided into the following:
- Jieng Council of Elders (JCE): This tribal elites group is an offshoot of the so-called “Southern Front”, a political organization, which operated politically within Sudan for the political and economic independence of Southern Sudan from 1960s to 1970s; as opposed to Southern Sudan Liberation Movement, which had taken up arms to achieve the same.
This group had fought vigorously alongside all successive regimes in Khartoum to sabotage the Southern liberation movement’s progress outside Sudan. In 1969, when Jaafer Mohamed Numieri came to power, the Israeli government, which was at war with Arabs’ world, including Sudan, had seen a window of opportunity in Southern Sudan, through which they could use to flung attack the Arabs using the Anya Nya fighters to engage the Sudan militarily. Through the advices of Southern Front leadership, Numieeri did not waste time but stopped the war and granted a self-ruled/local autonomy to the Southern Sudanese, surprisingly to be led by one of the Southern Front founders, Molana Abel Alier. This group had been identified in Southern Sudan’s political arena as “Dinka Tribal hardliners”, who had been determined to rule the South indefinitely.
For Dr. John Garang to succeed in organizing the SPLM, he had to deal with this group first hand, by isolating and/or reorienting their members. Those who allowed the change of status quo had declared their allegiances to the SPLM’s ideology. One of those who declared their supports to John Garang was uncle Lual Diing Wol, who was secretly enlisted in the black list by the JCE for abandoning the “born to rule philosophy). Many people were wondering why Lual Diing Wol was denied an honourable burial and his remain was put in a wrong place in Juba, instead of taking it to his own home into his own grape, which he built himself. That was to show his family that Lual was an outcast for refusing to live up to the Dinka’s principle and followed a wrong teaching of John Garang, which puts all South Sudanese in equal heights based on their individual’s contribution and commitment to the revolution; irrespective of their tribes, religions, sex, colours and creeds.
To cut the long history short, this group had made big advantage out of John Garang’s death and usurped the power from the SPLM by using Salva Kiir to implement their tribal agenda by isolating those who claimed to be Bolshevists. Two Drs, Lam and Riek were brought onboard of Salva Kiir’s first cabinet because they were being identified as “anti Garang’s ideology”, who would have worked well with Salva Kiir to eradicate the communist ideology of John Garang from the minds of our people. This became the starting point of the conflict between SPLM Cadres with Salva Kiir. The mainstream SPLM had tried, in many occasions to unseat Dr. Riek from vice president position, after they had successfully expelled Dr. Lam from his Foreign ministry position, but with no tangible result until Dr. Riek was deceived by the SPLM Cadres, who were not happy with his being the vice president, to lead a fake coup, whose main objective was to cause friction and animosity between him and the president.
- SPLM/A leaders (Liberators): Many South Sudanese who became victims of current civil war misinterpreted the word “liberators” to have meant “Dinka”. That is not true in the real meaning of the word. However, some misinformed Dinka youngsters have been using the word to mean Dinka, especially during their political debate with other none-Dinka counterparts, simply to annoy their adversaries more. In actual fact, those who are considering themselves as “Liberators” are those who had been with John Garang from day one through all splits and defections up to the signing of CPA on January 9, 2005. President Salva would have been one of these liberators, but due to his revolt in 2004, few years before the end of the war, he had shown disloyalty to the leadership and he became to be seen as a “Reactionary” like Dr Lam and Dr. Riek. Therefore, he has been disqualified from being an inheritor of the party.
The aforementioned internal antagonists, in addition to external ones such as: Al Bahsiiir of Sudan and Museveni of Uganda have all been fighting each other using South Sudan presidency as their political battle base. Each one of these groups wants its political interest to be implemented in South Sudan presidency.
Due to the fact that each one of these groups is powerful enough to cause harm not only to the political future of the president but also to his physical self, he (Kiir) decided to take up a policy of appeasement, until an exit strategy is found.
Sure enough, the country has just witnessed an unexpected change in the South Sudan army’s leadership, which many political commentators received with mixed reactions. For this writer, that was one of many steps that the president needs to take in order for him to be in full control of his leadership and decides anything without external influence. The second step, if taken successfully, should be disbandment of JCE in national politics, empowerment of the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, dismantling of the current cabinet and appointment of a caretaking cabinet that would comprise of the real SPLM party, with few portfolios going to internal opposition parties and then appoint the government chief negotiator, who would revisit the peace agreement with IO and identifies what when wrong with the agreement so that it could be salvaged, if at all it is salvageable.
To this writer, President Salva should not allowed himself to be lure into Riek-Taban’s power struggle. He has all the rights to demand from Taban Deng Gai that, “two IO factions are not to be entertained”. Therefore, either for Taban to re-joint IG or mainstream IO. The president should do this because the country needs a real peace and not political game playing. For this writer, Taban Deng Gai came to where he is today as a result of July, 2016 madness, which would have ended the existence of the nation once called Republic of South Sudan. Personally, I don’t buy the notion that he (Taban) had conspired with the government to kill Riek Machaar. However, he had used his mind to serve many lives, including his own. Had Riek Machaar been killed, that night, lots of things would have gone wrong. Therefore, Taban must be congratulated and appreciated for the job well done. One must talk in the eyewitness standpoint and not speculations and hearsays.
In conclusion, it is a known fact that there is no leader on this planet earth, who must not be unhappy in a country without law and order, without peace and tranquillity, without economic development. Why should Salva Kiir Mayardit enjoys his presidency while millions of his people are driven out of their homes, thousand are in IDPs camps, others are dying with hunger in inaccessible villages due to a stoppable war. Therefore, President Kiir needs to have a courage and reclaims his own self as a liberator, a nationalist a true son of Mayardit and not a son of Museveni, a man who sacrificed and invested too much on South Sudan cause and not Dinka cause. All political opposition groups are here to help bring peace back to our beloved motherland, South Sudan, but when and only when President Salva Kiir liberates himself from those internal and external antagonists whose interests proven to be destructive to the existence of our nation.
Remember this from your own Battalions, Tiger and Timsah: “Wallaad Jinub ma bhakhof pi Yiom Shakhal, Naam, Naam Anhanu Rujal, shala nemut malu?”
You better die with your comrades while embarking on building the country you have liberated than to die while implementing a tribal program, which has already costed our nation much too much. Reclaim your leadership and decision making and your comrades are here to help. PEACE!
Thomas Tut Doap is the Secretary General of United Democratic Republic Alliance. However, the views expressed herein this article are solely are that of the writer and not be taken as the views of that party