To the future President and the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/A-IO Dr. Riek Machar Teny and all the SPLM/A-IO members at home and abroad

By James Tot Mathiang, Calgary AB, Canada

August 30, 2015 (SSNA) — On behave of Fangak Community in Diaspora and on my behave, I would like to Congratulate you Mr. Chairman and Commander in chief of the SPLM-IO, Dr. R,iek Machar Teny and all your negotiation team members lead by the gifted politicians General Taban Deng Gai and Stephen Par Kuol Wang for your diligence that led to this compromise peace agreement that was finally signed by the totalitarian regime in Juba. Using all this accepted-wisdom while continuing negotiating in a good faith, was exceptionally ambitious and took a lot of effort and dedication on your part. However, Fangak community is very sure it was worth it all, knowing that this peace will save a lot of lives in South Sudan.

The Fangak community in Canada, United States, Australia and Khartoum Sudan is in serious talk with General Gabriel Gatwech Chan (Tanginye)

The Fangak Community in Canada, United States of America, Australia and Sudan are so dismayed and apprehension when heard the rumors that Gabriel Gatwech Chan known as “Tanginye” and two others politicians from the Fangak Community have left the SPLM-IO. The report infers that Gabriel Tang is not longer loyal to the Movement, though the general disputed or denied his defection. Nonetheless, the Fangak community is trying every possible mean to bring General Gabriel Tang back to the Movement if the defected rumors are true.

A month ago we all heard that some SPLM-IO generals and politicians had defected from the SPLM-IO, and there were some speculations that General Gabriel Gatwech Chan or Tanginye is among the generals who have defected, though Gabriel Tang have never gone to the media to declare his defection from the Movement like his colleagues. Nevertheless, the Fangak community in abroad and Sudan is not here to deny or confirm Gabriel Tang’s defection, because there is negotiation that is still going between Gabriel Tang and the Fangak community in Canada, United States, Australia and Khartoum Sudan.  

Anyone can be mediator, but professional mediators always lay out the ground rules for the mediation process, because rushing to resolve a complicated conflict is destructive sometimes. And identifying the source of the conflict rationally is another technique in any conflict resolution. The more information you have about the conflict, the more easily you can help to resolve it. Normally, it is not the situation, but the perspective on the situation that causes dispute to aggravate and ultimately leads to total disagreement.

As a part and parcel of the Nuer community which has been fighting the Totalitarian regime in Juba after the genocide against Nuer civilians, the Fangak community is working very hard to peacefully bring back whoever is alleged to be defecting from the People Movement or the SPLM-IO. Therefore the Fangak community here in abroad and at home has formed committees to meet with Gabriel Tang, to confirm from him whether he is still loyal to the SPLM-IO or not. And if he does defect, Fangak community will discuss the merits of various ideas, not from Tang’s perspectives, but in terms of benefits to the Movement.

Nevertheless, the Fangak community at large is in serious talk with Gabriel Tang and his associates. On the other hand, the committee which was chosen to oversee the issue is absolutely aware that resolving conflicts in any environment takes negotiation skills, patience and a healthy amount of “emotional intelligence”. The first meeting and the second meeting between the Fangak people in Diaspora and Gabriel Gatwech had involved every member of the community, young, old, men and women in uniform. The community believes that General Tang’s defection is a threat to the Fangak Community, as well as SPLM-IO and that it needs each and every one’s effort.

After meeting with the general for the second time, the community in Diaspora came up with the idea that the community should select 10 individuals from Ayod County and Fangak County respectively to meet with Tang because the phone conference is more costly and unmanageable. Then the Fangak community has chosen 10 people, 5 women and 5 men plus 4 Coordinators to convey the community message to Gabriel Tang in regard to his alleged defection. In both meetings, Gabriel Tang was narrating his personal grievances in the Movement and the concerns he shares with Peter Gadet and Gathoth. After getting the general’s viewpoint on the disagreement, the next step for the community is to ask Gabriel Tang how the dispute should be resolved.  

The selected committee from the Fangak community in Canada and United States contacted the Community Chairman in Khartoum, Mr. Hassan Adam Gatpan, to brief the Fangak community in abroad about the outcomes of their meeting with General Tang, but Mr. Gatpan maintained that the Fangak community in Khartoum Sudan has yet to meet with the general. However, Mr. Gatpan revealed to the committee that the community attended a briefing by the Representative to the Republic of Brazil Mr. James Mawich, who was sent to Sudan by Dr. Machar to meet with Gabriel Tang. In his respond to the questions asked by the committee, Mr. Gatpan related that the representative was just briefing the Fangak community in Khartoum about the results of his meeting with Gabriel Gatwech Chan or Tanginye, but the Fangak elders and the community in Khartoum will still meet with Tang because the community wants to hear from General Tang himself before making any commend about the general.  

In the last meeting that last for 4hrs, Gabriel Gatwech Chan has mentioned two important issues which were partially validated by the community in Diaspora, but the community as a whole will discuss and come up with the position paper after August 30, 2015 meeting. Before the phone was cut off in the last meeting, Tang suggested that the community should contact Dr. Riek Machar about his return to Pagak because the accusations are simple especially in the military.

In conclusion, though there are a lot of negative forces playing, the Fangak community in Khartoum Sudan and Diaspora are yet to declare Gabriel Tang as a defector, until the end of meeting on Sunday August 30, 2015. Positive or negative the community will come up with position paper, that confirm or dismiss the allegation.

Written by James Tot Mathiang on behave of coordinating committee of Fangak Community in Diaspora. He can be reached at [email protected].

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