August 11, 2014 (SSNA) — Well, after reading the article of Mr. Kuir Garang titled “Riek Machar and the Issue of Self-determination for South Sudan “I was veryamused and smiled as well for my fellow country man trying to confuse the people of South Sudan with what he think was the right history about the Self-determination. And to me I can say Kuir Garang digressed from the main point he was trying to communicate to the target audiences.
Absolutely, if you read what Mr. Kuir Garang wrote where I quote him saying “Self-determination was first proposed by South Sudanese participants of Juba conference in 1947. Anyone who pretends to be the one, who initiated it, if he or she wasn’t present during that conference, is just abusing history”. Very interesting quote of the year 2014!
Well, in some points, I might say 50% he was right and 50 % he was not right at all.
When you read Mr. Kuir article and you try to internalize it and contextualized it properly, you find that the gentleman is offside from what he was trying to tell his readers.
What do I mean? The ideology of self-determination and federalism were proposals by the South Sudanese who were by then Parliamentarians in Khartoum where Hon. Both Diu was the Secretary General of the Liberal Party by then. I will agree with that, even I wrote almost two articles about that; for example, the most recent article where I say ”Hon. Both Diu Legacy Hijack” and what I was trying to mean when you revise is that, the person who came up with the idea should be the first in the recognition when people are talking of Federalism or federation in South Sudan.
As well not forgetting the only man who stood vigorously advocating for Self-determination and federalism beginning from 1997 Khartoum Peace agreement between Dr Machar and the current regime under the Leadership of Bashier. I can refer Mr. Kuir Garang to read that, agreement and get the facts; even as well the agreement that was signed between Dr John Garang and Dr Machar in 2002 has got the demand for self determination and Federalism.
On April 10, 1996 the government of Sudan signed a Political Charterwith Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol as representatives of the SSIM/A. Riek Machar had been an SPLA field commander in Upper Nile in 1991 when he, Dr. Lam Akol, and others attempted an internal SPLA coup; when that failed they formed their own rebel faction which came to be known as the South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A).
At the time of the 1991 split, Kerubino was still in an SPLA jail. He and others, including his deputy Faustino Atem Gualdit, were detained in 1987 on suspicion that they were plotting a coup against Garang, among other things. Kerubino, who escaped with Faustino and Arok Thon Arok from an SPLA bush jail in late 1992, claimed he did not learn of the Riek coup attempt until his escape.
There after came the Political Charter provided for a referendum to determine the political aspirations of the people of southern Sudan. A Southern States Coordinating Council was to be formed for the interim government of the southern states, which were the ten southern states formed from the former provinces of Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile, as boundaries stood at independence in 1956. These ten states were, in contrast to the sixteen northern, eastern, and western states, little more than garrison towns in a sea of rebel-held territory.
On April 21, 1997, the parties to the Political Charter and others signed a Peace Agreement with the government of Sudan to adopt Self-determination, which was a demand from Dr Machar which my brother Garang missed read what (Riek) does for the people of South Sudan.
The SPLA did not participate in these negotiations nor did it sign the Political Charter or the Peace Agreement rather. Truth must be said here my dear Country men and ladies. This is the right time to tell the facts, realities not lies.
Furthermore, just one week later, Kerubino demanded that the post of vice president of the SSCC be given to a Dinka. He accused Riek of a Nuer domination of the council, and refused to place his forces under Riek’s command. Shortly after this demand Kerubino, his deputy Faustino Atem Gualdit, Arok Thon Arok, and Nikanora Achiek were reinstated in the Sudanese Army by presidential decree, a measure to help them regain confidence in the government. All were Dinka, and received higher ranks than they had when they defected from the Sudan army in 1983. Kerubino was given the rank of major general and Arok the rank of brigadier.
Under Sudan’s federal system, members of state parliaments were to elect the governors (walis) of each state from a list of three nominees selected by the President of Sudan. The governor of Khartoum was elected in June 1997 and elections for governor in fifteen northern states took place in late August 1997, after the state governors were summoned to Khartoum in early August and informed that they would be dismissed pending elections to replace them.
The governorships in the South were to be decided upon differently, pursuant to the Peace Agreement, which provided for the president of the SSCC to recommend his cabinet including the governors to the Sudan president for appointment. According to the U.S. spokesperson for Riek’s political group, the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), a disagreement arose between Riek and Kerubino over the governors. Kerubino wanted to adhere to the Peace Agreement and have Riek (in consultation) name a governor for each state then send the governors to President Bashir for appointment. Riek wanted to deviate from this part of the Peace Agreement and select three candidates for governor for each state. These names would be sent to Bashir for approval, and the state assemblies would then vote for governorin the northern states.
The Liberal Party, at first called the Southern Party and later the Southern Liberal Party, was formed in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan before the Sudan became independent in January 1956. Until the military coup of November 1958 the Liberals were one of the main parties representing the Southern Sudan constituencies in parliament.
The Southern Sudanese Political Movement was founded in 1951 by Stanislaus Paysama, Abdel Rahman Sule and Both Diu. In 1952 it changed its name to the Southern Party. As of 1953 the party leaders were Benjamin Lwoki, Chairman, Stanslaus Paysama, Vice Chairman, Both Diu, Secretary General and Abdel Rahman Sule, Patron of the party. The objectives were to work for complete independence of Sudan, with special treatment for the South. The party was officially registered in 1953. At first it had widespread support from the southern intelligentsia and from the bulk of the people in the south of Sudan.
In the November 1953 national elections, most candidates in the South ran on the Southern Party platform, some were independent and five ran on the National Unionist Party (NUP) platform. Nine candidates were elected for the Southern Party, supported by three independent candidates. Most of the newly elected southern MPs traveled on the same boat to Khartoum, and agreed to come together under one banner. This was only a loose alliance, with constant disputes about leadership and policy.
Thereafter, the party adopted the name of "Liberal Party" in 1954. The new name was meant to remove fears that the party stood for southern secession. However, the northerners continued to call it the "Southern Liberal Party". Later the party adopted the name of "Southern Liberal Party". The party convened a meeting in Juba in October 1954 where the injustices of the Public Service Commission were discussed at length. The attendees resolved unanimously that the best solution for the south was Federation, and called on southerners to prepare for sacrifices in meeting this goal.
Justification of the facts
Now coming to who should be appreciates about the Self-determination and Federalism.
Dr Riek Machar and Dr Lam Akol Ajawin deserve appreciations, they re-advocate for the self-determination and Federalism up to date. Did Dr John Garang advocate for it? The answer is big no, did General Kiir advocate for it? The answer is still big no. Then who will you appreciates Mr. Kuir Garang if you don’t appreciate Machar?
Can we say since the initiators are not there people should not continue advocating for it?
According to my own projection on this topic, is that without Dr Riek Machar and Dr Akol who took the initiative of reviving the idea about the two like Federalism and Self-determination we cannot talk of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan that was declared on the 9th of July 2011 fact MUST be said here my dear Country men and ladies.
Each and every one globally know that, Dr John Garang was a man who was advocating for the United Sudan, because he was yarning for the top sit which at the end he (Garang) got the second highest sit in 2005 and eventually die in Helicopter Crash which is doubtable up to now in the minds and hearts of some South Sudanese who can projects issues intellectually.
Mr. Kuir, you talk of Khartoum agreement in 1997 I can assures you that, it was this very agreement that was signed as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on the 9th of January 2005 in Naivasha Kenya. If you read the document or if you don’t have I can send for you the document which contains Self-determination and Federalism signed by Dr Machar and Khartoum in 1997. It is very important for any writer to have any records in hand, talking without justification, sometimes is an insult.
This is the right time to appreciate what the person does in the history. Saying self-determination is not for Dr Riek Machar is not right and absolute my dear brother in the name of Jesus Christ God of Universe.
“We the Intellectuals who have read history should write informative and comprehensive observations”
I always like reading articles of Mr. Kuir but this very article where he is misleading the nation I must debate with him up to the end of the world.
The Author is Chief Editor of Nyamilepedia and Columnist who has written extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan. He is a Professional Journalist who holds Bachelor Degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from St. Lawrence University in Uganda, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Media and currently concluding his Masters Degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. He can be contact on [email protected].