Telar Ring Deng: An Open Letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit

Posted: February 5, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Letters, Telar Ring Deng

Telar Ring Deng: An Open Letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan

Telar Ring Deng

Telar Ring Deng, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Sudan to the Russian Federation

                                                                                                            July 17th, 2017

H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit

The President

Republic of South Sudan

Your Excellency,

February 4, 2018 (SSB) — I would appreciate if you give me an audience with you. But from the outset, I would like to state that unlike any other time that I had been working with you since 2005, frankly speaking, I have never felt such uncertain about the strength of my relationship with you as my President and a friend.

Following Gen Paul Malong Awan’s return from Yirol, for whatever reasons, rumors went around about me being a party to alleged Malong’s ‘coup’. The Governor of Aweil State and others that were perceived to be supporters of the General Malong were dismissed from their positions. It was also reported that even Bor Wutchok Bor, the Governor of Aweil State and myself were about to be sacked on the day together with the Governor of Aweil State.

In this context, I increasingly became a subject of discussion, especially by the senior and junior staff of your office. I was reportedly branded as a supporter of Malong or his alleged coup. Some officials in your office have attributed some of these utterances to Your Excellency on more than one occasion. It is alleged that you stated that you were considering me for a position as a minister for foreign affairs in your government, but you dropped the idea because you believe that I was a part of the alleged Gen Malong’s coup against you. This is an allegation I stand to dispute vehemently.

This troubles me a lot. Your Excellency, when I accepted to go to Yirol, my position and it continues to be that; further split could lead to more unnecessary bloodshed particularly among the Dinka of Bahr el Ghazal. I maintain that such divisions should be prevented by all means. Moreover, Your Excellency consented to the delegation that traveled to Yirol to persuade Malong to return to Juba.

The task was not easy, but through our persuasion and your assurances, Malong accepted to return with us to Juba. The majority of our supporters both inside and outside the country applauded his return to Juba and our efforts to restore normalcy.

Your Excellency, you and I go back a long way. And if what I heard is true, it is unfortunate. As my President and a friend I expected you to call me and discuss these allegations. I am really concerned about how this issue could divide us in Bahr el Ghazal, your political base. During the difficult days of the liberation struggle, you witnessed how some of us from Bahr el Ghazal rallied around you as their leader. It is true that you enjoy support across the whole nation. But your following in Bahr el Ghazal is more solid and it is politically prudent that you build on this foundation. We supported you not only as a revolutionary but more importantly as a leader from Bahr el Ghazal. This is more evident in your remarks in Rumbek meeting in 2004.

Therefore, I still strongly believe that unity of Bahr el Ghazal within the SPLM and in the country is paramount. Hence, your reconciliation with Gen Paul Malong is imperative. Doing otherwise would undermine us and could reflect negatively divide our supporters within the SPLM, government and in the entire country.

Personally, a few others and I were persecuted for our long-standing political association with you in the SPLM and government. For example, in 2007, I was humiliated and dismissed from the SPLM. A movement I dedicated my youth and put my life online for it. Second, when my nomination for the ministerial position was voted down in the parliament in August 2013, it was not about me only. In actual fact, it was an action directed against your decision as well. Lastly, I was dismissed from my advisory position while in a sickbed in South Africa. I readily took those hits because I thought I was not only a comrade in struggle but also a friend to you. Moreover, I put up with those situations because others perpetuated them against your will.  But this recent one is a bitter pill to swallow. It has hurt me considerably. It follows that we need to discuss this matter as I once suggested. I have therefore made various attempts to see you to no avail.

I find it difficult to perform my duties as your ambassador to the Russian Federation unless this trust is restored. As you are aware you detained me here until the helicopter compensation is done. Some people have misconstrued this as if I was disinterested to return to Moscow. As usual, I take this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

Yours Sincerely

Telar Ring Deng

Ambassador,

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Sudan to the Russian Federation

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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