Rejoinder to Mr. Isaiah Abraham: Why the SPLM-DC Must be Banned 29 May 2012

03 June 2012

Juba, June 4, 2012 (SSNA) — The whole issue really should not be about chest beating as Mr. Isaiah Abraham is trying to demonstrate here.  However, one wonders whether Mr. Isaiah even knows all those people who physically participated in the liberation struggle. If not why then did he single out only SPLM-DC members who are now returning home after a successful referendum which eventually led to the declaration of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th July 2011.

Secondly, the war leading to the liberation of a people witnessed in Sudan is not any different from other wars that took place around the world. The argument brought forward by Mr. Isaiah Abraham clearly attests to the fact that unless one got the chance and physically participated in the armed liberation struggle which gave birth to a new country called South Sudan you have no place in the present South Sudanese society. This is cheap politics indeed!

Thirdly, I am not going to touch the part directed towards the SPLM-DC Chairman, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, it is up to him to respond if he feel it necessary to do so. I know he is capable of defending himself. Please note that your information is not correct about the position of SPLM-DC towards our soldiers now in the front line. First, our party issued a Public Statement on the matter, and later followed by financial support amounting to 20,000.00 (Twenty Thousand South Sudanese) that was delivered to the Office of the President by myself in my capacity as Acting Secretary General on the 28 May 2012. Mr. Isaiah Abraham, stop misleading the public, especially on such sensitive issues.


I became a member of the SPLM like everybody else; at the time in 1983, a situation which led to my arrest and 11 others from our work place in Upper Talanga Project in 1985 and brought to Torit army barracks. We were even arrested by our own people, some of whom are holding high positions today in the government. This happened before late Arok Thon Arok took the first SPLA forces to Acholi area. Is this not liberation struggle, Mr. Isaiah Abraham?. The coming of SPLM-DC members from the Diaspora should not worry anybody. They are coming home to a country they fought so hard to liberate.

So, when the war intensified I left for Egypt in 1989 with the intention of going to Ethiopia. As a proof to show that we were serious, when the SPLA delegation came to Cairo in 1990 comprising Yusuf Kuwa, Deng Alor and Dr. Mansour Khalid, I and Dr. Agrab (deceased), Jimmy Mulla (in USA) went to meet them, and especially to ask for assistance in form of tickets to enable us proceed to Ethiopia. We were directed to meet a certain Majok who later disappointed us. None of us got the assistance we wanted, and Dr. Agrab left for Denmark, myself to Finland and Jimmy to the USA. Is this not part of the liberation struggle, Mr. Isaiah Abraham?

While in Europe, I did not stay idle. I represented the Movement for seven good years, and when late John Garang spent one month in Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden) I was there to facilitate the visit. If you want proof ask Deng Alor, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng or Ambassador John Andruga, because he was the SPLA representative in Scandinavia. I made use of my stay in Finland by bringing Mr. Bona Malwal and his wife Madam Salwa twice, Dr. Peter Nyot, and Bishop Paride Taban respectively to meet people and give lectures about the political situation in the Sudan, and especially the South at the time. Is this not liberation struggle, Mr. Isaiah Abraham? When I moved to Norway from Finland in 2002, I also organized several seminars about Sudan that brought people like Dr. Betty Achan Ogwaro, the current Minister of Agriculture. Is this not liberation struggle, Mr. Isaiah Abraham?

Really as I mentioned elsewhere, the issue should not be about chest beating. It should be about discussing matters related to the common men on the streets. It should not be about who is who. If I may ask you Mr. Isaiah: do you know all those that fought in the war which brought peace and eventually independence for the people of South Sudan in person? My friend your article reminds me of another great man, Mr. Gismau (not sure about spelling) of East Timor. This man after the war in his native country, and being a leader of a liberation movement which brought peace he was reluctant to take up any leadership position. So, when the Timoris asked him to become their President, he told them that he did not go to the bush to liberate the country for himself. Now, if we are to apply the same here it should mean that those calling themselves liberators in South Sudan did not liberate the South Sudan for themselves.

The fact that you are now accusing SPLM-DC members who have been outside for more than 21 years, are you trying to suggest that they have no place in South Sudan because they have not made any contribution during the liberation struggle? Mr. Isaiah Abraham, the liberation is not about shooting people. There are other means that people can use as a tool to assist them to liberate themselves. So those who did not get the chance to participate physically in the bush used at least one of those means. In the Diaspora, several discussion groups were created by Southerners. People really made use of the internet. I remember when Torit fell to the enemy, people were asked to collect money that was supposed to assist the SPLA in shooting down the Antinov. Professor Elias Nyamlell Wako, now a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took the lead, and a lot of money was collected and sent to the frontline. This is just one example. So, you do not have the right to write them off from the list of liberators.


Again, you are now calling for the banning of the SPLM-DC because according to you, the SPLM-DC party is engaged in a campaign to eliminate the Dinka and Nuer communities. I am the Acting Secretary General of the party. Believe me, if what you stated in your article is true, some of us would have left long time ago. I do not know how old you are, but that is not the issue here. Personally I had the chance to work with some prominent leaders of both communities and found them to be nice to work with. If you want to know, they are: Bona Malwal (Sudan Times in Khartoum), Dinka, Dr. Michael Wal Duany (RDC, Juba), Nuer and late Amassador Ambrose Wol Dhal (People’s Regional Assembly, Juba), Dinka, who hails from your area (do not think that by hiding behind the name Isaiah Abraham we do not know who you really are). Do you think some of us would be in a party whose agenda is to get rid of certain ethnic groups in South Sudan? What is your reason for being in politics then? A politician is a man of the people as we all know.

Just for your information, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has two deputies and they are: Hon. Mark Atem Awol, Dinka and Hon. Thomson Teny, Nuer. Again do you think they would still be in a party that has plans to kill their tribesmen. Mr. Isaiah Abraham, the accusation about militia is not new. It started soon after the formation of the party in Khartoum on 6 June 2009. But we are not shaken because we respect and pay allegiance to the current Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan which does not allow political parties to use militia for the advancement of their political objectives.

Recently my colleague Hon. Joyce Kwaje uttered the same, but as usual we always say that if any body has concrete evidence let him/her come forward. It is not enough just to point fingers at an institution such as SPLM-DC about militia, they existed before it was born. The right place to address such an issue is a court of law. Yes, it is true SPLM-DC is an official opposition with members in the National Legislative Assembly. The militia thing is just a mere tactic invented by some of you in the SPLM to scare people from joining the SPLM-DC. Well to some extent the tactic has worked, but this will not remain forever. Finally, next time avoid diverting the attention of the public from more pressing social issues such as the looming hunger which is going to affect South Sudan badly this year, high food prices in the market, lack of fuel and lubricants, etc. If not handled carefully the streets of Juba will be empty due to lack of fuel.

Sisto Olur Erista
Acting Secretary General
SPLM-DC General Secretariat
Juba, South Sudan
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