By Lam Chuol Thichuong
April 2, 2011 (SSNA) — The purpose of writing this article is to refute false allegations being spread around in Juba as a result of Dr. Adwok Nyaba’s article entitled “The wicked, the poor and the ignorant”. Dr. Nyaba wrote this article in response to March, 12, 2011 attack of Malakal town by the forces of a rebel called Oliny. Instead of condemning the criminal acts committed by the forces of Oliny in attacking the town, Dr. Nyaba narrated a message allegedly from one of the attackers warning his sister-in-law that the purpose why Oliny forces attacked Malakal was to make sure “…the flag will be raised by Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol”.
The second allegation Dr. Nyaba labeled against Dr. Riek Machar in his article is that the vice-president failed to resolve the Chollo-Dinka land dispute. In his article, he argued that “Dr. Riek Machar out of reasons best known himself has not implemented the GOSS decision making him the Chairman of the committee investigating the crisis between the Chollo and the Dinka”.
The above allegations need to be refuted one by one in order to educate the public about the ulterior motives of Dr. Nyaba in attacking Vice-president Riek Machar. Common sense has it that there is no attacker or a rebel who could call the sister-in-law of Nyaba to tell her about the impending attack. If the attackers wanted to kill Dr. Nyaba as he allegedly said, there is no reasonable person who would believe that they would divulge their plans to the sister-in-law of their target. In this case, we have to conclude that the story narrated by Dr. Nyaba is unbelievable and it begs a lot of questions.
Since no reasonable person would believe the alleged story narrated, it has to be concluded that the story was concocted by Nyaba himself to implicate Dr. Riek Machar in Oliny’s attack. What makes such a story laughable is that the Chollo Land Defence Forces of Oliny are not the creation of Dr. Machar in order for them to say that the “…flag will be raised by Dr. Riek” as alleged in the story. In his article published in February 2010 entitled “Dimensions And Implications Of The Current Emotional And Politically Charged Discourse Over Malakal”, Dr. Nyaba blamed the Dinka Padang political elites for creating the land dispute. There is nowhere in that article he mentioned the name of Riek Machar as being the creator of Chollo Land Defence Forces. Writing the article while recuperating from an ailment in a Hospital bed in Nairobi, Dr. Nyaba was in his right mind not to blame the Vice-president saying that it would be “the responsibility of the two state governments [Upper Nile and Jonglei states] should the impending conflict between the Padang Dinka and the Shilluk erupt into violence”.
The second allegation that needs to be dismissed is the accusation that “Dr. Riek Machar out of reasons best known himself has not implemented the GOSS decision making him the Chairman of the committee investigating the crisis between the Chollo and the Dinka”. It is important for the public to know that Dr. Riek was not (and is not) the chairman of the crisis between Dinka and Chollo communities. In fact, Dr. Riek is a Chairman of the Boundary and Security Committee which was not formed for the conflict between Chollo and Dinka communities of Upper Nile and Jonglei states. But the committee’s task was specifically for the boundary demarcation among states, and counties South Sudan. The mandate of the Committee was clearly speltout by the Council of Ministers Resolution. Dr. Nyaba should be forgiven if he doesn’t follow or read the resolutions passed by the Council of Ministers in Juba because he is a Minister in the GoNU who spends time in the Council of Ministers of President Bashir than with Salva Kiir’s.
As for the boundaries between states, there is already a Council of Ministers Resolution that respects the old boundary demarcation of 1956 which is also stipulated in CPA regarding the boundary between Chieftaincies. For Jonglei and Upper Nile states, they know their boundaries of 1956 and also the chiefs know very well themselves. The reason why H.E. the Vice President and his team did not implement the boundary demarcation was because it was not politically feasible because there was a proposal on hold for additional counties. This was one of the reasons that stop the demarcation of the boundaries at the time. The committee looked at it that it would have been a double work to start boundary demarcations at the time because of the fact that the election and the referendum were close. The entire committee, with the consent of the Council of Minister, decided it was better to demarcate the boundaries after the referendum.
Moreover, the people of South Sudan should know that state governments know their boundaries of 1956 that were based on the boundaries of the old districts prior to the conclusion of the CPA. If Dr. Nyaba is aware of boundaries between the Upper Nile and Jonglei states as they stood in 1956, he shouldn’t blame Riek Machar whose committee will confirm what is already known as the boundary between Upper Nile and Jonglei states. It is shocking to see Adwok Nyaba blaming others without explaining himself rationally. No Southerner would believe his allegations that “Salva Kiir and Riek Machar intended to embarrass Pagan Amum [SPLM SG] in front of the Chollo after the massive reception he received in Malakal in December 2005”.
It has to be made clear that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar did not make Pagan Amum unpopular in Chollo Kingdom. For Dr. Nyaba to blame the President and his vice for Pagan Amum’s misfortunes in Upper Nile State is like blaming South Sudanese for Tsunami which wreaked havoc in Japan. Any keen observer of South Sudan politics knows that Dr. Lam Akol gained the support of entire Chollo community because of his popularity among the Shilluk.
It is a demonstration of Machiavellian-type of politics for Nyaba to blame Salva Kiir and Riek Machar for the removal of Lam Akol as a Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was the same Nyaba who ganged up against Lam Akol and put a tremendous pressure to remove him from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When Salva Kiir attempted to appoint him as a Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the GoNU, the same Nyaba and his group objected to that until Dr. Lam was removed also from that position.
In conclusion, the people of South Sudan need to watch out and should not let themselves be deceived that it was Riek Machar, in collaboration with Kiir, who removed Lam Akol from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008. In fact it was Nyaba who strongly called for the removal of Dr. Lam from the post. Majority of Shilluk would find it interesting that the archenemy of Lam Akol in Chollo Kingdom is now shedding crocodile tears for the fall of Chollo elites from positions of power while he was the very person who created the domino effect that eventually led to removal of Oyai Deng Ajak. The same propaganda used to remove Lam Akol from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the same one which eventually led to removal of Oyai Deng Ajak from the SPLA army. Dr. Nyaba should not be the man who is telling us today that the Chollo politicians are being targeted while he was the very person who opened the window for elimination of the Chollo by ganging up with some individuals to remove Dr. Lam Akol. The crocodile tears he is shedding may deceive only those who don’t closely monitor South Sudan politics.
The author could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org