Among the Nuer, Machar’s succession politics is a divisive affair to debate

Posted: April 8, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Deng Vanang, Junub Sudan

By Deng Vanang, Dares Salaam, Tanzania

Riek and Emma

Riek Machar and Emma McCunne

April 8, 2018 (SSB) —- With government deprived of lethal weapons and petrodollars to revamp its war chest, thanks to recently slapped American oil sanctions, South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA walking up from slumber to reality of bounding together in the face of biased mediating IGAD in favor of the regime and SPLM/A-IO’s mortal fear for SSOA to steal what it dubbed spoils of its own instigated popular revolution, the war games are changing pretty faster.

All informed with the fact that government is no longer militarily bullish as it previously was. Reasons for it recoiling into its protective shelf are three-pronged. An avalanche of American sanctions effectively denied it the resources and goodwill to further its degenerating war efforts.

While diminishing regional allies is the painful straw to break its camel-like hunch back. With Kenya and Uganda already and sternly warned to keep off meddling in South Sudanese conflict, Ethiopia is now preoccupied with putting her messy house in order as she stands guard against Egyptian possible invasion over controversial renaissance dam, allegedly on the back of South Sudanese government.

Lastly followed by the stark reality that next round of peace talks is the last ditch effort for IGAD to either successfully or unsuccessfully broker. Or else AU and UN take over with unpredictable agendum that is too much for the government to manipulate.

Pilling up on this weighty pressure is the newly launched opposition alliance meant to plow into the power-sharing inner sanctum, with shared mortal fear by SPLM/A-IG and SPLM/A-IO to slice off a big chunk of their established powers that be.

The new détente, so to speak, sent both government and its main armed opposition underground, in order to debate common turbulent future and ward off opposition alliance’s intrusion into their own political turf.

These emerging political developments make Machar more of an endangered species than Kiir himself. Since in the event of his absence when the peace agreement is consummated, he faces a possible elimination from South Sudan political scene forever.

In as much as his SPLM/A-IO risks experiencing internal power struggle and resultant split. For if Henry Odwar, his current deputy, and Equatorian, takes the slot to be allocated to the movement in the upcoming transitional government, Nuer will feel their movement is hijacked in the eleven hour by Equatorians.

But should any Nuer nominee jump queue and undercut Odwar, Equatorians shall likely feel slighted by Nuer tribalism and with dire consequences walk out of the movement enemas. Even within the Nuer community, Machar’s succession politics is such a closely guarded and divisive affair to debate.

Hence, a realization there is some safety in Raila Odinga’s style tactical surrender when the word reportedly has it that Machar’s inner circle is reaching out below public glare to Kiir’s trusted cronies so that the latter ends the former’s agonizing incarceration of nearly two years old in South Africa.

In return, Machar has to eat the humble pie and accept ongoing peace process on Kiir‘s dictated terms and conditions. In addition to giving up all his fangs and claws for a more moderate approach to democratic reforms agenda, provided he is re-instated to First Vice Presidency he lost to Taban Deng Gai.

The above mentioned underhand deal will subsequently pave the way for two gentlemen to face the next round of peace talks as a united front in the silence of their hearts against the surging opposition alliance.

A fatal body blow to democratic reforms agenda running aground and rolling back hope for much-desired regime change, with conflict occasioned bloodshed, massive displacements and long-suffering accounting for nothing, now that the change crusade has turned into a maiden matter of personal survival.

The author of several books, Deng Vanang, is a graduate of the Catholic University of East Africa in Kenya with a bachelor degree in Philosophy and political sciences. He got awarded with an undergraduate diploma in public relations and management at Kenya school of exports and imports in Kenya. And in later years secured a post-graduate diploma in print media journalism from the University of Nairobi as well as a post-graduate diploma in peace and development studies at the University of Juba, among several short courses certificates in both information and governance from East African region and Republic of South Africa. He once served in SPLM/A during the war of liberation as political commissar and other political groupings in the post-war period. He became a Director in GoSS’ Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Juba until 2010 while serving as the columnist with various newspapers before and after the December 2013 conflict erupted. He can be reached via his email:

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 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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