June 2, 2014 (SSNA) — Comrade Pagan Amum has been talking indirectly here and there that, he want reforms within the SPM as the party and moreover his interest is to be the Interim President of the Republic of South Sudan (inside his heart) incase President Kiir step aside as many diplomats globally are pushing for it. However for those who do not know Amum very well, let me give you small highlights about Pagan Amum who want to become the interim President. Well, Amum speeches in the media these days, you find the gentleman is diverting or digressing from the main point which he (Amum) and Dr Machar were looking for. What a disgrace from Amum?
Each and every one in South Sudan knows that Pagan Amum Okech was the former Secretary General of South Sudan’s ruling political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a position to which he was elected by the National Liberation Council. He was also South Sudan’s Chief Negotiator with Sudan on post independence issues. He served as the Minister for Peace and CPA Implementation in the Government of Southern Sudan, prior to independence in 2011 and as well the caretaker Minister of Peace in the first government post independence, taking office on 23 July 2011.
Amum was born in a small post known as Wat in row Luo Nuer area on 3rd January 1959. His father was a non-commissioned post officer responsible for the Wat post. His family moved to Malakal after his grandfather, chief of the Ubuar people, died and Amum’s father was asked to take over the role. His father went from being a clan chief to later being paramount chief and president of the court. Amum’s father was also a farmer who used modernized farm methods that greatly impressed Amum who realized that South Sudan had great agricultural potential.
On 23 July 2013, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a Presidential Decree suspending Amum and forming a committee led by James Wani Igga who is known as a Comedian and the Vice President of South Sudan, to investigate Amum for alleged misconduct. Amum was accused of mismanagement of the party, financial irregularities and insubordination, including opposing Kiir’s decision to suspend former Finance Minister Kosti Manibe and former Cabinet Minister Deng Alor on corruption charges.
However in South Sudan context Pagan had been known for misrepresenting the party and that was why President of the Republic of South Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit gave an order of restricting the movement of Amum in 2013 after he was suspended from the Party as the Secretary General.
Nevertheless, Amum can be a leader in South Sudan because no one is entitle to hold the position alone, but due to the circumstances beyond description about Pagan Amum as a person, he could not be the right person to lead the Interim Administration of the Republic of South Sudan due to the followings points, if need may arise from the peace talk in Addis-Ababa.
Partly, from family level, Pagan Amum has no supporters from Chollo Community from Upper Nile state, most of Chollo people are on Dr Lam Akol side , he (Amum) if I may guess has got only zero point ten percent (o.10%). Realistically if you have such a support from your own locality, can you look for Presidency of South Sudan? What a shame to Mr. Amum?
He was supposed to gain momentum first before lobbying for Presidency. You cannot tell the author of this article Pagan has got many supporters.
Interestingly, it was not a surprise to hear that rumor that Comrade Pagan Amum was proposed by United States and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to be the Interim President of South Sudan since President Salvatore Kiir and his former Deputy Dr Machar had been having big differences that paralyzed the government of the new Nation.
First of all, Pagan Amum has been accused of being a corrupt person by his former boss Salva Kiir Mayardir and many people in the world are more aware about the issue. Pagan was the very person behind the down fall of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) because he was the General Secretary who was suppose to make thing right in the Party with the Chairperson of the Party and his former Deputy Dr Machar but because of divisive and too much talking from Mr Amum, he has buried the party up to zero level. How can someone who destroyed the party be the interest of International Communities? What a disgrace and insult to South Sudanese people? What is wrong with International Community? Does International Community have a sense of realizing the facts and realities?
Secondly, Pagan Amum was among the people who organized for the rally of the SPLM that took place on the 6th of December 2013 in Juba together with Dr Machar and other Political Cades of the party. Logically what is the different between Pagan Amum and Dr Machar who is leading the rebellion? What I know is that, they don’t have different; he (Amum) and the rests of other political detainees including Dr Machar, all were looking for reforms within the party. And if that is the case, let all of them wait for reforms.
If Dr Machar is the rebel, why not Pagan as well? Pagan was detained with the others eleven Political detainees due to the connection of having organized a big rally that provoked President Kiir and his allies that lead to the serious opposition that is still going on and thousands of civilians lives were lost in Juba, Malakal, Bor and Bentiu.
International Communities and regional body like Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should first of all look at the background of all the political detainees and make evaluation on who is the best and who is not. Well Pagan is very good in speaking but here we have to differentiate between just talking and delivering of services to the people of South Sudan.
In South Sudan as the new Nation, there are many tribes that were left out since the formation of the government. Why not them to be given a chance to lead the Interim Administration? It is not only (Chollo) who are smallest community/ tribe in the Country, there are many in Eastern and Western Equatoria as well. International Communities should be caution on that, their interests is not the South Sudanese interests.
When you look at the set up of the government of Southern Sudan since Dr Garang was there up to last year 2013, you find that Chollo, Nuer and Dinka were the one holding a very important positions in the Country, don’t ask the author who are they?
Well, each and everyone know that Nuer as a Tribe plus some portion of certain communities in the Country took arms advocating for the respect for the rule of law and democratization processes. Therefore Nuer as well should not dictate the process even though they die in big number, they are fighting for the prosperity and the freedom of all South Sudanese regardless of what might be circumstances.
Proposed names for the Interim Government
The author believe in delivering of services to the people of South Sudan , am not looking at it in different way as many people mind guess or wishes. South Sudan have been destroyed especially the Greater Upper Nile Region, therefore if there had been destruction then after the peace, people should focus on the development issues. Well if we are talking of the development , we should not talk of bringing in faces implicated with many things already rather, we should focus on technocrats human resource personnels who can lead South Sudanese to elections and coming up with good ideas of reconciliation.
The author believes that the followings people can be the best for Interim Government, if International Communities, regional bodies and South Sudanese agree with it.
First of all Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth has been Ambassador of the South Sudan to United Nations and United States of America, and had work tirelessly for the interest of South Sudanese in several occasions, therefore deserve to be in the Interim Government. Diplomat Lol Gatkuoth has been good to the entire South Sudanese and his records are very clear, he is not among the seventy five (75) corrupts officials who have been identified by the World and South Sudanese as well even thought their names were not disclose to the public’s but rather it was in the people minds who were part of the scandals of millions of dollars and who was not part. He was detained last year 2013 December because he was part of the rally that took place on the 6th of December 2013 and his education background is known by the world and beyond the description.
Secondly, Dr Cirino Hiteng Ofuho the former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport is also good to be part of the interim Government because; he (Hiteng) is a good diplomat as well, for those who might not know him very well, he lectured in Many Universities across globe and he had got a PHD in International Relations and Diplomacy and he is regarded as someone who is well informed upstairs and a human being who has got dignity. In summary Dr Hiteng holds BA, MA and a PHD in International Relations and Diplomacy from Universities from Kenya and United Kingdom and has extensive experience in working with the government and in academia. His expertise and knowledge might help in interim government.
Thirdly Governor Joseph Bokosoroof Western Equotoria State is good person that many South Sudanese have seen skills and developmental ideas in him , he deserve as well to be in the Interim administration. According to the research and rumors I had from some individuals, he (Bokosoro) is a graduate from NKUMBA University in Uganda and his education background is not doubtable as many South Sudanese in Juba are forging documents and other are claiming to have finished from Universities that has got fictitious names.
Fourthly Jok Madut Jok is cofounder of the Sudd Institute. Born and raised in Sudan, Jok studied in Egypt and the United States. He is trained in the anthropology of health and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jok recently joined the Government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and after Kiir government realizes he was excellent in his position, he got many enemies within. He was a J. Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in California, from which he is on an extended leave. He has also worked in aid and development, first as a humanitarian aid worker and has been a consultant for a number of aid agencies. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan. His book Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence, was published in 2007. Jok is co-editor of The Sudan Handbook, 2010. When you evaluate Professor Jok, you will find that, he is excellent and brilliant to be in interim Government of South Sudan because this is a time of using technocrats not using illiterate to run the people government. And according to my own research, many people in South Sudan are very happy with the way Professor Jok is conducting himself as an individual.
In conclusion, I would urge Mr Pagan Amum to join the rebellion because his ideology with the four members and the seven members is not different with the one of Dr Machar and Alfred Ladu Gore. Confusing the South Sudanese population will not be the solution to Amum.
The author is Independent Journalist and Columnist who had written extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan. He is reachable on [email protected].