The Road to Presidency: Is Dr. Machar the Anointed Jashua?

By Nhial K. Wicleek

March 21,2014 (SSNA) — The famous quote “no man is an island” resonates equally well with all mankind. But deeds are somewhat different partly because people hold different personality traits. For example, personalities associated with leadership, distinctly measure individual qualities. However, in this juncture, people differ because individuals’ qualities vary across lifespan given the divergent gifts we all have as humans.

To begin with, culmination of an individual to certain positions always measure one’s capability partly because the gifts bestowed in each one of us tend to fulfill the required competency to carry out the expected task. Being competence is a complete acknowledgement from others who seemed to have an account regarding the person’s level of competency. Alas, Dr. Machar’s road to leadership signs have shown significant portion of descriptions in both ways (e.g., competence or incompetence). One wonders how Dr. Machar’s competency in leading the country would make him the next anointed one.  In a move dated back to 1985 when Machar joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), various accounts had recorded none, if not less, about his political ambition (e.g., Self-determination through democratic process). According to the ranks and files of the SPLM/A, Machar was the least popular individual, if not, last with whom others would know. 

In the advent of his promotion as the regional commander of greater Upper Nile, leading a force that overran Meluth in 1989, Machar had begun to gain popularity amongst fellow military personnel/community members alike. Nonetheless, Dr. Machar felt some disappointment over how Dr. Garang was pursuing what seemed to be unwelcomed objective, the “New Sudan.” Hence, Dr. Machar started to pursue Self-determination foretold by the prominent politicians and as well leaders with whom their interest was to pursue Self-determination for the people of South Sudan. Samuel Gach Tut, the well known Nuer politician slain by Dr. Garang after a split in 1983, was at all time a separatist. Although most separatists have gathered together around the bush, bush life to them was like a taste of democracy and freedom of speech & press. The suppression and oppression they have had over many years diminished political status and therefore, liberating the self resulted to liberating the whole, and the whole was to liberate the whole SUDAN which was not blessed by South Sudanese. 

Dr. Machar’s quest for the change of ideological path Dr. Garang had invested time and energy attracted both Drs. (e.g., Riek Machar & Lam Akol), and the birth of SPLM Nasir Faction took place, which became a counter insurgent between the newly split faction and the mainstream fitting Nuer and the counterpart the Dinka. Although both buffalos (Dr. Garang/Dr. Riek) played cat and mouse game in the bush of South Sudan, the popularity of the first and the later strikingly become momentous. However, Dr. Garang felt the hard hit and the split resulted into a thorough political scorches, identifying the weakness previously covered. Dr. Machar, a human at heart and a gifted individual in understanding the civilians suffering, re-approached his longtime rival (Dr. Garang) who understand the system of governance, but almost entirely groomed by the lust of leadership to eventually accept to opt for the merger. The later ironed their differences and completely became less than zero enemies against each other. One way or another, the first subsequently emerged supportive to self-determination, and the later had given up on the quest for chairmanship simply because he (Mr. Machar) wanted to bring calm and operate altogether as one movement. 

Could one say it was because Dr. Machar’s popularity faded? Given the demand Dr. Machar vehemently had asked for, Dr. Mabior agreed to his quest for a change to his political ideology (whether it did not happen in practices). However, then both men compromised their ideological differences. The road to Self-Determination for the people of South Sudan had begun. It started with both men forgiving each other after incapacitating themselves militarily, indicating to each other that one cannot move on without the other.  The political bandwagon had now become the Self-determination through SPLM’s bandwagon making the ride easier than having to operate in two fronts unsuccessfully. Dr. Machar’s political maturity was seen at the top, and graded utmost simply because he has a heart to liberate the so-called South Sudan. Dr. Garang’s political ideology was mature, but only to somewhat undesirable direction simply because it was TOO BIG a DREAM to South Sudanese. 

After concluding the Machokos agreement in 2002, bringing the once rivals together under the auspices of the IGAD and through the involvement of the international community, both MEN emerged the fathers of the scorched land violence had swiftly passed through for decades. However, bringing an end to the ever growing conflict which divided South Sudanese along tribal line resulted in the birth of too many agreements signed thereafter. The road to independence South Sudan on July 9, 2011, came about only because Self-determination was strongly advocated for by none other than Dr. Machar. What did Dr. Machar earns out of such agreement was a total credibility in a move which anticipated much needed excitement by the South Sudanese. Machar was seen the future icon, and a leader at heart whose vision is to bring South Sudanese to their full sense. Although first formation took a slow process, Machar and his allies were going smoothly well and professionally conscientious in every step of the way. The unfortunate death Dr. Garang had witnessed brings about the final rough road beginning with Salva Kiir Mayardit assuming the unexpected leadership. Where is NEW SUDAN VISION now, a move seemed to be executed by Kiir Mayardit? WHERE IS SPLM VISION at this particular juncture when things are plundering before the King of hypocrites in Juba? Should Dr. Garang, who seemed to pursuing a just cost, but only because it was a wrong just cost, arose from the dead, he would have blamed Pagan Amum, James Hoth Mai, Oyey Deng, Dr. Majak De Agot, Dr. Majak Ogot, Gier Chuang Aluong, Deng Alor Kuol and Mama Nyandeng for having let loose the flag and landed it in the wrong hand (Salva Kiir). He would have blamed Riek Machar, and Lam Akol for allowing the empty minded Salva Kiir Mayardit, molded by Gogrial Gangs, to play with the country. He would have asked the notorious dictator to back off and not to violate the geopolitics. 

Given the reformation which would have taken place late last year 2012, things would have been smoothly handled, and the flag bearer would have come to open. In this, expressing a political stance does not equal violence. Political opponents are always everywhere. Even Kiir’s community has opponents opposing to the way things are run, if not check with his community. It is nonetheless that one could rush to killing his rivals who are simply armed politically not militarily. This, itself, is a political setback to Kiir; however, it is a big boost to Machar. Okay, if Kiir dully decided to opt for military action against his opponents, why incarcerated and killed innocent civilians, some of whom were technocrats flogged into the country only to help rebuild their mother land? Hearsay has it that Dr. Machar pointed out one day that Mr. Salva Kiir will be his campaign manager. Did that happen?

In summary, Salva Kiir, fired Dr. Machar and his longtime colleagues who were once affiliating politically against Dr. Machar. This increased Dr. Machar’s weight because the noted are prominent politicians and as well, the lone wolves in the history of South Sudan who could have not been sidelined. It was a mistake to fire them without any proper charges in place. Training a private militia while the country was about to witness political transformation had posed a series of suspicion amongst South Sudanese, particularly the politicians. Killing innocent civilians, particularly NUER in Juba, was the fulfillment of the long planned campaign Dr. Mahcar had projected about Kiir’s campaign role for him. That as well brought the upper hand locally and internationally to Dr. Machar and the Group. Inviting UPDF without the consent of the IGAD, AU, and international players bring about down falls to Kiir’s regime. Therefore, Dr. Machar’s blessing has already begun starting with the dull move Mr. Kiir Mayardit had inculcated. Where will the poor Salva Kiir go when Guandit, Gat-Machar, the next Joshua comes to power? 

Nhial K. Wicleek a contributor into South Sudanese affairs. You reach him at [email protected].

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