Coup or no Coup; My Candid Conversation with Kiir and Machar

By Deng Vanang

"It is a rebellion, ho no it is a coup, no it is none of the two but revolution".

February 4, 2014 (SSNA) — The above definition marked the verbal confusion that put in an awkward position the French public grappling to define what became finally and rightly so the internationally renowned French revolution of 1789 to 1799. The popular revolution for everlasting affected French politics and modern history which subsequently ushered in the radical decline of powerful monarchies and churches due to legitimate resentment of privileges enjoyed by the clergy, aristocrats and king’s court and on the ashes of twin retrogressive systems arose democracy and nationalism. Similar dilemma hunts the minds of South Sudanese following the infamous and deadly mid December 2013 incident that violently reared its ugly head.

The coup is quite infamous unlike the French insurrection on accounts of its timing and method of execution save the two upheavals draw striking parallel on the rightful demands for change of both French and South Sudanese peoples.  In the depth of such inferno, an estimated ten thousand souls so far got lost and rather involuntarily, according to human understanding, returned to their maker. This is without saying they are all air – bound to safety of paradise or to the burning furnace of hell. However, what we are sure of as pending subject is yet to be settled truth behind the orchestrated 15th December incident. Being the actual definition of whether it’s a coup or anything closer to it or altogether is the hot air as it baffled French psyche some centuries ago. In this case President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar have in one accord agreed on the wording of the incident as a coup.

Then, what remains to be ascertained is its authenticity, why it is worth doing and who started it after all between the two if it indeed happened as peace mediators in the IGAD sub-region are prepared to get down to the bottom of what transpired last December in the next round of peace talks. Before they hunker down to business on the wheel chairs behind the closed revolving doors in Webeshabelle or Gion five star Hotel in Addis, what many are sure of is the mediators having already done the background search about the possible causes lurking behind the fast escalating crisis that has engulfed the country. To rope in the truth this calls for legions of eyewitnesses to testify on personalities involved in the heated verbal exchanges leading to the fireworks on the fateful day.

The next stage in this series of investigation is what could be the underlying causes in various forms and namely; could it be social, political, economic and militaristic or all those suspected reasons as outlined. In this case refer to my opinion piece written a few weeks ago and posted on website entitled South Sudan: The Price of Conspiracy of Silence. As the reminder it is not for any keen reader to take the suspected causes forming the content on face value but for one to make an intelligible analysis and out of which the naked truth and only truth behind the coup may be found in order to help the bewildering South Sudanese public, the inquisitive global community and the fact finding IGAD peace mediators.

And in as much as there are many South Sudanese that care to know it is undeniable the Nuer hope and aspiration as bolstered by Ngundeng Bong’s oracle that one day a Nuer shall lead South Sudan have been flown are around for well over a half century. This nonetheless has ever been an elusive dream before and after former Sudan became independent. Such a cocktail of those three ingredients, poisonous or healing, as mentioned above weighed heavily and currently on one man’s shoulders, which belong to none other than Dr. Riek Machar himself, the predestined leader and purportedly blessed grandson of Teny – Dhurgon by Nuer highly revered Prophet Ngundeng Bong.

So Mr. Rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny – Dhurgon if I may ask you, could the haste to fulfill the long awaited dream push you to the unbearable limit and prematurely realize through a military coup de tat what would still be a pipe dream? And is the alleged burden of oppression placed on the long suffering Nuer and other South Sudanese citizens by the Dinka political elite too much to bear and hence, the trigger of 15th December coup as touted around by President Kiir? Or is your sacking on 23rd last July as powerful first Vice President has negative bearing on you to try to turn things around for the good of yourself, fanatical followers and the country at large? Though, the numerated hypotheses are still difficult to justify unless we get down to the details behind the coup where the devil could possibly hide, this obliges me to direct the below illustrated scenarios to His Excellency the President General Salva Kiir Mayardit to fonder on for rightful answers about his real or fabricated coup:

First scenario: military officers in their professional knowledge know the right conditions and the right time favorable to the carrying out of any coup on the planet earth. Key among these favorable conditions is when the officers loyal to the purported coup leaders could be on duty so that they are in the full control of armory and ammunitions facilities. No one in his/her right mind can imagine staging a coup whose dire consequences are death sentence when for example it is the time officers allied to his/her opponent he/she wants to overthrow are on duty.

Second scenario: if it is not the military officer organizing a coup against the establishment, then the politician doing so must identify an influential senior military officer tasked with mobilizing fellow colleagues in order to stage a coup on his/her behalf. Should the coup fail, the establishment that survives the coup can discover and name the concerned officer tasked with doing the dirty job at the behest of the politician or group of politicians accused of perpetrating the evil act.

Third scenario: if it is not just a single politician but a group of politicians, it is incumbent that they get together in groups in possibly safe locations away from family homes on the day/night the coup is being announced lest they are caught in the act could the coup fail. Or utmost they stay adjacent to the escape routes in case the coup fails to materialize and could not live far apart from one another and in state of disarray only to be pounced up on and rounded up helplessly.

Fourth Scenario: the ring leader of the coup or others related to it in the know beforehand let alone being on the steering wheel of the coup could not afford fleeing home hurriedly together with close family members and leaving behind most of the trusted body guards to be run over by rival’s tanks and valuable property to be ransacked or destroyed.

Deng Vanang is the Journalist and Executive member of South Sudan leading opposition party, the SPLM-DC and can be reached at: [email protected]

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