Archive for September 8, 2018


The Riek Machar Factor in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 5)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

  1. Introduction

Saturday, September 8, 2018 (PW) — This article will examine the pivotal role of the “Riek Machar Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the prevailing civil war in the Republic of South Sudan. In Kenya, to assert that powerful forces within the political, economic and security establishments of the Kikuyu nation have practically succeeded to frustrate and thwart Raila Odinga from assuming the presidency of Kenya is to state the obvious. Similarly, in South Sudan, to argue that two powerful constituencies, comprising of the historical leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and the Dinka nation, have conspired to oppose and prevent Riek Machar’s presidency in the Republic of South Sudan, would be an understatement.

This is the contextual meaning of the Riek Machar factor in the South Sudanese national conflict. Therefore, the fundamental root cause of the December 2013 Crisis, and the current civil war, is two-fold. First and foremost, the spirited attempt by those powerful constituencies to impede and obstruct Riek Machar from assuming the chairmanship of the SPLM, and thus the presidency of the republic, triggered the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war. Secondly, the strong conviction by Riek Machar to fight and defeat those powerful forces bitterly opposed to his resolve to become the second president of South Sudan, ignited the December 2013 Crisis and the devastating civil war in the country.

Alternatively, the confluence of the two factors – the strong determination by the historical leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and powerful forces within the Dinka nation to oppose and block Riek Machar from assuming the presidency of South Sudan, couple with the firm decision by Riek Machar to fight and defeat those two powerful constituencies – might have hastened and sparked the December 2013 Crisis, which later mutated into the ongoing distressing civil war in the Republic of South Sudan.

Therefore, this article will argue that the strong resistance to, and the fervent support for, Riek Machar’s presidency constitutes and defines the current national conflict, and its appreciation holds the key to a negotiated resolution of the 5-year old civil war in South Sudan. (more…)