Dr. Riek Machar and South Sudan!!

Quote “Leadership is the lifting of man‘s visions to higher sights, the raising of man’s performance to higher standard, dedicating to fight for public interest, the building of man’s personality beyond its normal limitations”—Peter Drucker

By Bol Khan Rom

October 6, 2014 (SSNA) — This analysis will concentrate on historical past facts of the time and present. Albeit, our history seems still full of sensitive issues, my pen may not ink them all. Dr. Riek Machar Teny is South Sudan and South Sudan is Dr. Riek Machar Teny. Without Dr. Machar’s humble behavior and wisdom, South Sudan’s Independence would never have been achieved. Narrated other way around, historically it won’t make sense at all!

Dr. Riek Machar Teny is a kind of a leader who talks when He has something to say and not when He has least to say. Dr. Riek has integrity. He has qualities of character and behavior in Him, which enables Him to exert internal personal influence. He has ability to persuade others (subordinates included) and to motivate them to work for accomplishing national objectives. He inspires His people—the South Sudanese. He doesn’t discriminate. Dr. Riek accepts any appointment from any human being, regardless of one’s own age, occupation, abilities, so on and so forth. Dr. Machar creates, determines and has a spirit of laying down goals and policies for citizenry to follow. He limits or reduces chances of conflict between his people. He unifies the efforts to accomplish goals.

Dr. Machar has qualities desired in leadership. He has in Him a proven charity and forgiveness. Many attempts had been made to assassinate His expensive personality. Yet, He finally says “Let him/them go”, even those who were evidently found to have had intentions to kill Him. Dr. Machar is intelligent, He has a power of judgment, vision and foresight, mental maturity, self-confidence, human relations and expensive attitude to mention just but a few. Dr. Machar is brave enough to say NO to South Sudan’s destructive dictators. He goes even to fatal places, even where all leaders hesitantly fear. He does challenge, diplomatically, whoever envisions to erase the case of Self-determination and now South Sudan as a country.

Muolana Abel Alier, in 1983 violently crushed the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM/A) of Joseph Lagu despite all the political programs he [Lagu] had in mind for the betterment of the Southern Sudanese people. Mr. Lagu was forced to exile for years. He returned only after when the CPA was signed. By the same token, South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM/A), SPLM/A -Nasir & South Sudan’s Dr. Machar would have been crushed otherwise to ashes in 1990s, 2008 and 2013. Dr. Machar Has a national notebook in which he wrote national programs and steps that can be followed on how South Sudan must be built. So, without Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s holy wisdom, South Sudan as a country could never have existed today or appears in any unified manner!

Those who forget history are asked to repeat it

In English they defined history as “a study of the past facts (present) events”. What do you think we would have expected as a result, if the then theoretical, political and now practical Independence wasn’t announced, and opposed the deeply rooted New Sudan Vision in 1991?

I think we would have expected Secular United Democratic New Sudan. We would have Khartoum today as our national capital city; South Sudan would neither have attained her independent nor enjoy the resources that are currently abused by the New Sudan groups, would they? Our history of struggle has it that two Southern Sudan Liberation Movements (SSLM/A- Anya-Anya One &Two) were mainly in the bush for South Sudan’s Independence. The SSLM/A, a separatists movement of Fr. Santarino Olure, Joseph Lagu and members of Southern Liberal Front (SLF) were operating since 1955 to 1972. The second SSLM/A (Anya-Anya Two) of Samuel Gai Tut, Vansion Kuany Latjor, Akuot Atem, Abdhala Chuol, Gordon Koang etc rebelled again as early as 1975. In 1983 the SPLM—United Sudan Vision dismantled Anya-Anya Two or South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM/A) politically but not militarily. As a result, the possible Separatists’ door were clocked. Thus, the door remained closed untill 27 August 1991. Thereafter, on 28 in the same month the doors were reopened, in a third search for total separation of South Sudan. And the following political objectives or programs were announced in Nasir:

1. Right to Self-Determination for the people of Southern Sudan (SEPARATION) instead of UNITY of Sudan (New Sudan Vision).

2. Democracy.

3. Human right and Rule of laws.

Practically, Nasir Declaration mounted a lightening force on Southern Unionists who closed separatists’ doors in 1983. Two and half years later, Dr. John Garang was in Chukudum’s first Conference, caught red-handed by the SPLM-Torit faction members in 1994. And given strictly two choices: “Either you accept the Self- Determination, unconditionally adopt it in the Movement’s manifesto or risked being removed from the SPLM-Torit faction’s leadership”. This panic was forced by the defection of many Generals including the founders of SPLM/A, Kerbino Kwanyin Bol and William Nyuon Bany to Dr. Machar’s Independent Movement in 1992 and 1993. So Dr. Garang had to accept Self- Determination; immediately adopted it in the SPLM/A-Torit faction’s manifesto. Albeit, bitterly blame Dr. Machar of having had staged a military coup against him, on the other hand, that reopening announced on 28 August 1991 gave the Northern Separatists a clue. It was, as well welcomed globally by all Southerners and Southern Sudan’s Friends. Dr. Machar’s deeds in a process that led to South Sudan’s Independence speak louder. As a matter of fact, Independent of South Sudan that was theoretically and politically announced in August 1991 informed the formation of South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM/A) and the rebirth of separation.

For the third time in history, 1991 announcement marked the rejuvenations of the political procedures in search for South Sudan Independence. The first were Anya-Anya One & Two Movements of 1955 and 1975, respectively. Soon SSIM/A began its diplomatic campaign, asking the international community, therein, to support the SSIM/A’s leadership in bringing Self- Determination for South Sudanese people. Dr. Machar was receiving a very warm welcomes during His campaign on a red-carpet in every country He went to. Successfully, and internationally, SSIM/A under His leadership became a recognized Movement with clear political objectives. In Germany-Frankfort, for example, South Sudanese people’s legal right to Self-Determination, declared by Nasir Faction in 1992, was recognized.

Three years later, Dr. Machar went to Khartoum and signed Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) on 21 April 1997 with NCP of President Bashir. A workable political charter if we can also call it, because after Frankfort Agreement, Machar wanted Self-Determination to be recognized within the country, enacted into the national constitution. Receptively, Dr. Lam Akol seconded the recognition of Southern Sudanese people’s right to Self-Determination and went to Khartoum via Fashoda in 1998.

More importantly, Dr. Machar wanted to mobilize the Southern Sudanese people from within (the Sudan), about how significance an Independent country would become to all South Sudanese people. When Dr. Machar reached Khartoum He said and I quote “I am here to stop bloodletting, South Sudanese people want to determine their destiny in an organized Referendum. So, killing Sudanese sons & daughters in military uniforms isn’t a moral interest of any one of us. Peace won’t come to Sudan through barrel of guns, rather through dialogue. This problem is a political problem and it needs political solution” end quote. A lot of people who were listening, therein, shed tears in happiness. However, before the peace agreement could be signed into the famous charter, the KPA, national and international actors in attendance put two imperative questions to Dr. Machar: (I) Now that you have your people‘s right accepted, in your hands is the right to Self-Determination, then, where is Dr. John Garang as we sign this charter? How is he going to take-part in a peace negotiating process?

Dr. Machar instantly replied them that, what was needed first was an enactment, acceptance and international recognition of Southern Sudanese people’s right to Self-Determination. Saying, “I know where he is and I know as well how to convince him, he will soon come to negotiating table”. Indeed, as planned, the Right to Self-Determination was enacted in Sudan’s constitution for the first time in Southerners’ history of struggle in 1998. Along with that, Dr. Teny Dhurgon effectively mobilized Southern Sudanese within, talked to them and almost all of them understood the importance of having an Independence country.

In contrast, the SPLM-Torit faction was also busy campaigning for United Sudan or New Sudan Vision, mostly in the Middle-East, Asia and also within Sudan. The SPLM/A-Torit faction signed their Cairo Accord, Asmara Agreement, declaration after declaration, even an Alliance with NDA but all were seeking United Sudan. They were selling their New Sudan Vision as Dr. Machar on his part was also advertising His people’s case of self-determination. When all these were completed, Dr. Machar left Sudan in December 1999 for Diaspora in order to make further mobilization and explained the historical progress He made. Taking with Him the political charter document He signed with Khartoum. Firstly, Dr. Machar went straight to number of targeted African countries. Secondly, He met the London based Group (which was a staunch separatist group) and then preceded to the other European countries, Norway, Canada, US etc. explaining everything accordingly. Thereafter, when He finished all the needed preparations (mobilizations) He alerted and invited the global community to provide the needed helps, to support the people of South Sudan’s peace processes, followed by diplomatic pressures.

There are many different ways to skin the cat

Many based their arguments on Dr. Machar’s return to SPLM in 2002. They behold this as His failure in achieving the Self-Determination. I say to them that taking it as such would be a big historical or political error of the time by those naive analysts. Let them answer the following questions. What is politics? And what is military? Does rigidity exist? Where? Who did see and touch the SPLM/A in 2002? Wasn’t SPLM/A of 2002 an abstract noun? There is a proverb which says “It is possible to give without loving but it is impossible to love without giving”. Invitation to eat and drink from an already prepared dishes, to sign already discussed case or to lead; simply doesn’t qualify a man to claim political credit. You cannot make your pregnant wife fight human killers. Can you? The most important thing in an objective modern political life is to influence your opponents or drive them diplomatically to your political ideologies or objectives. Thence, Dr. Machar decided to meet John Garang and convinced him as He promised the International community and Khartoum in April 1997. That meeting gave Dr. John Garang vested interest more than ever to take-part in the peace process, as he was rendered leadership etc.

But conditionally, the Southern Sudanese people’s right to Self-Determination approved internationally in Frankfort and accepted (enacted into constitution) by Khartoum must be in an upcoming would-be Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Immediately, Dr. Garang agreed to the latter and the talks for CPA with Khartoum were initiated. This was primarily stated in a political charter inked in 1997 between the NCP & UDSF. Where Southern Sudanese people were granted the constitutional right to choose between UNITY and SEPARATION in a well organized Referendum. That meant the case of Self-Determination discussion was already finished. It wasn’t discussed again when the SPLM/A & NCP were negotiating CPA, because NCP accepted it since 1997 in Khartoum. Only the time frame was changed from four to six years after which Southerners were asked to cast their true voices in a Referendum. The deployment of Peacekeeping forces—United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

Unfortunately, when Beny Museveni’s helicopter took the life of the Sudanese’s hero, Dr. John Garang, a political leadership vacuum was created. As a result, the most qualified Dr. Riek, with more political and diplomatic knowledge than many other SPLM members, who knew how the void could be successfully handled, was proposed by some to fill the leadership vacuum. However, he said “No Salva Kiir must take over the leadership. I will only assist him in leadership”. Kiir in that juncture accustomed himself into a fatal mode. He was extremely in need of leadership. That was why he applied his military tactics to kill Dr. Garang just one month prior to CPA conclusion in 2004. As He promised His comrades in Eastern Equatoria’s new site, Dr. Machar continued His already started process of removing all visible obstacles which could prevent Southern Sudanese’s right to Self-Determination/ Referendum (SEPARATION) from happening. He negotiated successfully all Secession-related issues, yet, again with Mohamed Taha of NCP cunning regime in Khartoum.

Irreproachably, in 2008/2009 came the preparations for 2010 Sudan general elections. Of course, NCP and SPLM were implementing the CPA and it was stipulated in the CPA that the SPLM’s Chairman and his deputy will be possible Candidates in national (Khartoum) and Southern Sudan’s Presidencies, respectively. Which mean the SPLM’s Salva Kiir was set to stand against NCP’s Bashir in national’s Presidency in Khartoum. While SPLM’s Dr. Riek was set too to stand against other Parties’ able candidates in Southern Sudan’s Presidency in Juba. Perhaps, Dr. Machar telescoped it that Kiir was going to fail in Khartoum and Kiir’s failure, undeniably, would set Southern Sudan on fire for Kiir would never accepted going home peacefully as agreed in the CPA that any Presidential candidate who would lose elections would automatically go home.

This as well would mean that the Referendum would have not taken place peacefully. Dr. Machar reversed the matter because it seemed as a trick from the unionists. He (Dr. Machar ) went to Beny Kiir Museveni again and said to him. “Mr. President, here you are, takes our Presidency in Juba instead of going to Khartoum. I need South Sudanese’s people to vote freely, peacefully in their overdue Referendum comes 2011. I want the stoppage of our people slavery, more than this Presidency given to me by the CPA”. What a wise and visionary Leader! Viva Dr. Machar! This I think was the genesis of the two “Gentlemen agreement” in 2008-2010. As He promised in 1991, Dr. Machar worked very hard for 20 good years (1991-2011) until His opponents, the Southern Unionists, convinced and practically believed in a wise saying that goes “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.

Vividly, South Sudan Referendum was indeed held in a peaceful convincing environment on 15-22 January 2011. These and many more are the steps, processes that were wisely taken by Dr. Machar Teny only to secure an Independence Republic of South Sudan. Now we have our INDEPENDENCE country! The question of why Kiir Museveni failed in administering South Sudan’s affairs in a short period of less than two years is entirely based on Naath wise saying below. “Every Man knows how he lies in a fastened-liked way, with his wife in a bed”. This can poorly illustrates as If a man is asked to lead, build a country or implement political programs which he never dreampt of, then every things would eventually fall apart.

In a retrospect, as a SPLM/A-Torit Unionist’s Chief security, Kiir Museveni was busy planning a revenge on the Southern Separatists. They were all dreaming to put up Khartoum not Juba. It appeared, what Kiir Museveni was preparing for, during those two years of Independence, was how to have his old rival group slaughtered in part or in whole and claim their credits, such a failure’s mentality. The unionist are still guilty as they read this article. He was very proud to become the world youngest country first President that he did not prepare for, a position he soon used against his old rivals. Unlike Nelson Mandela of South Africa who was jailed for 27 years, if arrested in December last year in Juba, Dr. Machar might have been killed or given life imprisonment by Beny Kiir Museveni, but, thank God Dr. Machar survived that well-planned assassination and massacre of Nuer Ethnic tribe, which was calculated to begin with Him in the evening of 15 December 2013.

Give what belongs to Cesar to Cesar and what belongs to God to God!

This piece of historical facts article is aiming at giving rightly what belongs to Southern UNIONISTS and what belongs to Southern SEPARATISTS. There is no recognized University or College worldwide which can award Bachelor’s Degrees anyhow to everybody just in a given city. Educational Degrees are always awarded to Students who physically did all due processes and completed all semesters-courses accordingly. The same thing, in all political schools of thought, political and historical credits are entirely given to the right owners. I mean the credit must be given to genuine Engineers who politically and evidently won that sort of entity.

Unless you brought Self-Determination to the ordinary people and make sure they are categorically rightly mobilized-well from grassroots to vote overwhelmingly; first of all, you need to have had well-informed subordinates in every corner that can effectively sensitize or mobilize population on their own. Unequivocally, tell them why they should vote for UNITY or SEPARATION that you favor like Dr. Machar, Peter A. Sule, Alfred Taban, etc did. Otherwise you would end up alone whispering shamefully while biting your fingers’ nails on a chair of failure. Hence, we shouldn’t mix up political and historical Leaders’ achievements. If I happen to write South Sudan‘s history today, for instance, and I mention in it that Justice Peter A. Sule of UDF, was an extreme Unionist during the struggle, who would agree with me?

If not, let’s us call spade a spade. In fact, New Sudan Vision or United Sudan would have been SPLM/A-Torit’s Unionists achievement if they successfully mobilized Southern Sudanese people to overwhelmingly voted for UNITY in the Referendum in 2011. On the other side of the coin, given the processes that led to South Sudan’s Independence 2011, some of which narrated above, South Sudan is Dr. Machar’s achievement. If there are people to be apportioned any of this achievement, then it should be other separatists’ leaders like Fr. Santarino Olure, Mr. Gai Tut, our former President Mr. Joseph Lagu, Mr. Akuot Atem etc. So, an overall prize or political credit must squarely be awarded or given to Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon!


Moreover, should Dr. Riek Machar Teny succeed again in His current diplomatic search for Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan, with Human Rights and successful application of Rule of Laws, as the last portion of His three political programs, the objectives which He first announced in 1991, then Dr. Riek Machar Teny will automatically be nationally and internationally recognized as the Genuine Founding Father of South Sudan.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese commentator. He can easily be reached at [email protected].

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