Wikileak on Kiir’s intention toward militias leaders

Posted: September 5, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Wikileaks Cables


SUBJECT: Unaligned SSDF Lay Out Conditions for Peace 1. (SBU)  


On July 19, Embassy PolOff was invited to meet the leaders of the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) militia groups that did not align with the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and will not be integrated into the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). The meeting including all four major hold-outs from the Juba Declaration: Gordon Kong Chol, leader of the SSDF coalition, Ismail Kongi, Tom Al-Nur Galgum, and Gabriel Tangyang Tang. The men said they were men of peace who support the CPA, despite what Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) President Salva Kiir might tell the U.S.  President. Their views ranged from the more conciliatory Kongi to the hard-line Kong, but all expressed support for the CPA and wanted the South-South dialogue to continue, despite their deep distrust of the Dinka-dominated SPLM. End Summary.

——————— Still Proud to be SAF ———————

2. (U) All the assembled leaders fought with the north during the war and were open about their SAF affiliations. They are considered unaligned groups because the SAF has no capacity to absorb them and they refuse to redeploy North with the other SAF troops. In addition to Kangi, Kong, Tang and Al-Nur, three other SSDF leaders sat in on the meeting: Elia Lado from Central Equatoria, John Jeat, from north Upper Nile, and Vincent Kuany  from Bentiu. None of these three control significant fighting forces, although Kany is a respected elder who co-founded Anyanya II. All seven carry the SAF rank of Major General, with Kangi, Kong, Tang, and Lado in SAF uniform.  

———— Kongi: Clear Path to Peace ———–

3. (SBU) Murle leader Ismail Kongi, from Jonglei, spoke first and longest, saying he would disarm his militia immediately if there were a proper Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) process. He said the SSDF accepts the CPA, but does not trust the SPLA. Kongi explained he has no problem working with the SPLA to disarm, indeed he is a Member of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, but the clumsy disarmament in Jonglei last spring looked like a Dinka power grab that led him to question the SPLA’s motives.  

——————- Tang: Ready to Deal ——————-

4. (SBU) Gabriel Tang, also known as Tangyang, said he too was willing to deal, although he was less clear about his demands. The problem with the Juba Declaration negotiations, he said, was that then-SSDF leader Paulino Matiep, now Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA, did not consult with his staff and abandoned the SSDF’s demands in exchange for a high personal position in the SPLA. Tang believed a resumption of the South-South dialogue could resolve the outstanding issues.

———– Al-Nur: Peace on SSDF’s Terms ————–

5. (SBU) Tom Al-Nur’s plan for Southern unity was equal representation between the SPLA and the SSDF. He said that the SSDF was stronger than the SPLA, so the SSDF should at least have equal representation in the army, the police, and the government. The alternative, Al-Nur explained, was to forcibly dislodge him from outside of Wau, something the SPLA could not do during the war. Al-Nur feared that an SPLA-controlled security apparatus would continue to menace non-Dinka southerners and fix the upcoming elections, which the SSDF planned to contest.

———— Kong: SPLA Will Kill Us All ————–

6. (SBU) Gordon Kong, leader of the SSDF’s loose coalition and former deputy of Matiep, took the hardest line. Although he also said he was a man of peace, he talked of war. Harboring a deep distrust of the SPLA, and all Dinka, Kong said that the only reason the GoSS wants to disarm them is to make it easier to kill all the non-Dinka. While ethnic rivalries are a problem, Kong also believes the SPLM will never forgive the SSDF for siding with the north during the war. Kong, known to personally hate the late SPLM leader John Garang, said that he actually preferred Garang to Kiir. At least you knew where you stood with Garang, he explained, whereas Kiir will say nice things and then go behind your back to kill you. Kong emphasized that the SSDF was not a proxy militia to destabilize the south. He said they have refused to move north because they are southerners. Kong declared there would be no peace in Southern Sudan until the government and the security forces represented all the people and not just tribal interests.

KHARTOUM 00001808 002 OF 002

 ———Questions About the U.S. Role ————–

7. (SBU) According to the SSDF leaders, the SPLM had said that the U.S., the UN, and the entire international community were in the SPLM’s pocket. The SPLA had warned the SSDF that they would be wiped out by UN forces if they continued to resist. PolOff explained that the USG was only interested in helping bring peace, stability, and prosperity to the Southern Sudanese. He explained that while the U.S. had developed a strong   relationship with the SPLM by working together to achieve these goals in the past, the USG wanted to work with a broad spectrum of tribal leaders and political parties to build civil society and democracy in Southern Sudan. PolOff also assured the leaders that UNMIS remained a neutral force.  The SSDF leaders expressed gratitude for this meeting, their first with a U.S. official since the CPA was signed, and said they were now more reassured about the United States and its impartiality. They encouraged the Embassy to maintain contact to help facilitate South-South dialogue and to confront what they described as SPLM lies about their intentions.



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