Quote: “Satan’s substitute for repentance is man’s rationalization of evil” (anonymous)
By Deng Riek Khoryoam, South Sudan
March 25, 2011 (SSNA) — The events leading to July 9th, the date during which South Sudan is going to be officially proclaimed as a ‘republic’ are not going to be pretty. The continuing unfolding events, right after the popular vote on independence, are a threat to peace and stability in the nascent state, proving yet another challenge that needs a robust leadership to tackle them since it threatens the very viability of the new-born nation.
It was exactly two weeks ago when the fighting broke out in Malakal town between militiamen under the command of Oliny and the organised forces (The Police, Prison, Wild life and the SPLA). Since then, I’ve decided to mull over the issue before one could express his opinion regarding this unfortunate incident that happened in the middle of civil populace. There are a lot conflicting reports regarding what could have caused this – but, it was said to have been triggered by the resentment of this militia leader called Oliny following the removal of the former commissioner of Panyikang County in Upper Nile State. That is according to the sources that we talked to on the ground, and who gave us first-hand information about this, though there are also other contributing factors as well!
One or two days later, Pagan Amum, the SPLM secretary general and the minister of Peace and CPA implementation in the government of Southern Sudan started pointing fingers at NCP, accusing them of giving all sorts of support to the militia groups in order to destabilize South Sudan. First, he told journalists in a press conference that he found concrete evident suggesting that NCP in the North were plotting to overthrow the government in South Sudan before July 9th. It remains to be seen how a President of the republic of Sudan can overthrow his first vice President. It can only make sense if it’s put the other way round! Because we still maintain the current status quo; and that is: Sudan is still one Country with two systems as provided for in the CPA and the interim national constitution of the Sudan, till July 9th.
Second, he went further to accuse SPLM-DC of being behind that incident in Malakal, and he tried to support his claims by showing the forged animated documents that he said he got from the intelligence. It goes without mentioning that these baseless accusations were driven by political motives and were thus a cheap propaganda characterised by Pagan’s personal problem with the leader of the SPLM-DC, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin. Because if that is not the case then what is the connection between a militia group and a political entity or organization with no military wing? Or should it be because the commander of that militia group who launched an attack on Malakal hails from Collo community, just like Akol and Pagan?
George Athor is also a militia leader; he mercilessly massacred at will innocent civilians in Fangak on February 9th, and no one dared said he was acting on the instructions of Salva Kiir or any other person because they come from the same tribe. It doesn’t make any sense. And furthermore, for one to arrive at this conclusion it has to be proven otherwise! I see this as a deliberate effort or attempt by Pagan to divert public attention from the SPLM own failures, with his own Machiavellian politics at the top of this. SPLM/A has failed to provide security to its citizens since they came to power in 2005, thus they are trying to use NCP as a scapegoat, which is unacceptable.
Pagan’s communist ideologies are not desideratum at this juncture and I thought he should know this by now. His only problem is that Dr. Lam is coming closer to H.E. Salvatore Kiir, the first president of ROSS, and that is why he is working day and night to dismantle this relationship brought about by the last year political parties’ conference. He was the very person who ill-advised Salva Kiir in 2009 to have SPLM-DC banned from carrying out its activities as a political party, a move which was challenged in the constitutional court and which the court declared it “null and void”. Pagan is fond of always crying foul, opposing anything and making noise without any good reason. He doesn’t know that it makes people have a very low opinion about him and people would be right to adjudge him based on his dealings! This is what one can only call a senile dementia of Pagan Amum and his mentor!
On that very day, he announced that they have pulled out of the negotiations on post referendum issues citing these claims of the plot by Al Bashir’s NCP party to overthrow his first vice president. The question that poses it here is: how do you pull out of the negotiations because of this claim, when in fact this should have been the right forum for addressing the issue and resolve or settle it once and for all? In fact this is what I said before that if Pagan is the one heading SPLM delegation for talks on post referendum issues, nothing fruitful will come out of these discussions because Pagan is immodest. And this is a fact!
Kiir needs to be very extra careful when dealing with people like Pagan since everything is at stake now. He (Kiir) has legal advisors to take advice from, and should not entertain nonsense from people like Pagan and Adwok Nyaba, who are pursuing their self-fish interests over the interest of South Sudan. In retrospect, I remember vividly it was the very same Pagan who made that irresponsible and arrogant remark describing Sudan as a “failed state” forgetting that he was part of the Sudan; and if Sudan as a country is a failed state, then it would follow logically that Pagan as a leader is also a failure. Kiir should detach from these people otherwise it will cost us dearly because their advices are always full of malice and hatred against certain individual personalities, which is driven by their tinny self-fish interests, overriding that of the nation.
In conclusion, the country is now on the edge of precipice, that threatens our very peaceful co-existence if Kiir does not wake up to the present realities with his trademark hat. I thought five years of political oblivion are enough and that he should by now draw lessons from it! These hawkish politicians like Pagan and the likes are a real (not perceived) threat to peace and stability in South Sudan. The international community is watching events very closely and with keen interest, to see whether those who were raising concerns that Southerners cannot rule themselves are right, and whose statements can now be vindicated!
Pagan and the likes need to rethink their position and alter the way they think and do things before it plugs this young nation of ours in-waiting into something only God knows. We cannot always blame Jellaba for our own failures; those days of blames and counter blames are long gone, especially after we voted for independent South Sudan. And I want to make a statement here to those SPLM hooligan supporters/sympathizers, who see Pagan as a ‘messiah’ and who should not be touched or crucified for his blunders. That I am not a member of any political party in South Sudan; neither SPLM nor SPLM-DC, I am not ascribed to any. I am simply an independent thinker and a concerned citizen!
The author is a concerned Southern Sudanese currently in Juba. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org