Denver, July 6, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudanese in the state of Colorado in the United States have met this Saturday with Hon. Reath Muoch Tang, who was a Former MP in the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly to debate various aspects of the ongoing political crisis in the country and the fate of the world’s newest nation.
In a packed room, where the meeting took place, the South Sudan News Agency gained an exclusive access to the meeting hall where political shots were fired from every corner of the room.
The gathering was organized by the SPLM Chairperson Mr. Gideon Abraham and South Sudanese community leaders and Activists.
Hon. Reath Tang talked about the historical background of the conflict, how it began and reasons behind it. Many people asked Hon. Tang questions about the skirmish, what he thinks, and what can be done to find a permanent solution to the conflict. Heated debates were also exchanged, a small number of participants were critical of the approach between the two warring factions being used in peace talks in Ethiopia.
In the assembly, the participants discussed in length the brutality of the crisis and how the two warring parties should resolve their differences. The community members also noticed divisive ideologies that are being used by both sides of the conflict.
Again, the meeting was coordinated by the Chairman of the ruling Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, Mr. Gideon Abraham with help from local South Sudanese Community leaders.
“You can disarm my people [South Sudanese] in frontlines, you can disarm them anywhere you want, but my people are well prepare and ready to fight for their rights”, Gideon Abraham warned.
“President Kiir started the problem and now it is going back to him”, he added.
Robert Odeki, an active community member who attended the meeting reminded the viewers about the importance of unity and lashed out at the government. He also stated that the people who are currently running South Sudan only care for themselves.
“[South Sudan] really needs change, and we need to understand the fact that…you know, our country has more than 60 something tribes. If we wanted to be a country, like what we have fought for before, then, we need to call ourselves only South Sudanese, rather than calling ourselves based on tribal lines, and rather than making appointments in the government based on tribal lines”, Robert Odeki said in the meeting
South Sudanese in Diaspora have been complaining of being treated unfairly by the government when they go back home to try to help develop their new country; some even called government’s employment policy “an anti-intellectual stance”, and Mr. Odeki has more to say about it.
“Our country is based on tribalism, nepotism, and nothing else. If you go from here with your degree, they will said we did not liberated this country with degrees, we liberated this country with guns”, Robert noticed.
Meanwhile, Thokhat Khor Wiu, one of the leaders in the community who helped organized the event took aim at President Kiir’s policy, linking him (Kiir) directly to the December 2013 killings in Juba and urged all South Sudanese Communities to unite against Kiir’s government so that federalism can be attained.
“The great State of Colorado must join Dr. Riek Machar to defeat Salva Kiir and establish Federalism in the South Sudan. The Juba genocide which was committed by Salva Kiir himself and his body guards was one of the worse genocide which has ever been committed against the South Sudanese by any leader since the creation of the world. Kiir must go…we must work hard days and nights to stop Salva Kiir from killing more South Sudanese”, Thokhat Khor Wiu, told the South Sudan News Agency.
After the meeting was concluded, the SPLM Colorado Chapter Chairman, Gideon Abraham, asked attendees to stand up and come forward. After all onlookers stood up, the room was in silence, everyone was eager to hear what the chairman had to say.
In a few minutes, Mr. Abraham came to the podium, dropped his head down for about a minute then, dropped a bombshell.
“From today onward, I and my team have decided to join the SPLM-in opposition, our country is in critical situation created by Kiir. I am now officially announcing to you that I am no longer with Kiir’s SPLM”, Abraham declared in front of the mass followed by a thunderous applause from the audience.
Colorado has one of the biggest South Sudanese communities in the United States and politically active. Many South Sudanese politicians have visited Colorado in the past, including Former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okech, Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and many other high profile politicians.