Posts Tagged ‘lam akol’


Welcome and Rally for Dr. Lam Akol’s home coming.

Fellow South Sudanese, 

We encourage every member of SPLM-DC and South Sudanese from all walks of life to join president of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit in welcoming Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, our brother, father, and leader back to South Sudan. His home coming means a lot to our government, economy and democratic transformation.
We have all called and asked for his return, let us all rally behind him, give him the necessary support he needs and together we will make a difference in our beloved and new country The Republic of South Sudan.
We wanted to share with you this short message early so that you will make a time and a day to welcome him. Your role is important. For us, his coming home will not only reinforce and strength President’s effort to transform South Sudan to a fully Democratic Nation but also to irradiate and uproot pressing and triggering challenges of corruption “mismanagement of national limited resources”.
The call for Dr. Akol’s return is a right decision, in right time and in right direction. The demand for the supply of transparency and accountability has been over due to most of our Financial Institutions. The system needs to change; it is un sustainable and we can’t continue manage RSS that way.
Perhaps we can judge that God have answered our prayers that RSS institution needs to be reformed to prevent further constitutional crisis and to address the core consent and resolve of South Sudanese aspiration. One need not be an economist or mathematician to figure out what different policies of quantitative and qualitative easing and forward guidance Dr. Akol is capable of, what is important is our consistent stanch support voices for democratic Change is key.

Unity of our diversity is paramount; controversial messages of politics of personal destruction aiming to divide our diversity for personal interest should not be entertained. we are convinced beyond and above reasonable doubt that South Sudanese have a right to know what RSS institutions is doing with their nations oil/non oil money.
We may pose a different views, approaches and solutions but the underline expectations of South Sudanese is one.

Best Regards
Ritti


By PaanLuel Wel

President Kiir is said to have decreed the ‘forgiveness’ of Dr. Lam Akol, the leader of South Sudan official opposition party (SPLM-DC) and the man who ran against him during the last presidential election. What is newsworthy about the case is not that the President has pardoned Dr. Lam; rather, it is the fact that not many of us were aware about any pending case against him.

Dr. Lam has been residing in Khartoum prior to and after the independence of South Sudan. Though he had been accused of having link to the renegade militia leader, Johnson Olony, there was no proof of the case other than that they hail from the same community.

Among the beneficiaries of the ‘Lord’s Mercy’ are some renegade militia leaders–Gabriel Tanginye, Gatwech Dual, Mabor Dhol, Gatwech Gach and Peter Abdel Rahaman Sule–who were jailed over various times and for various reasons, ranging from an outright rebellion against Juba to mere suspicions and hearsays.

While most South Sudanese have welcomed the ‘pardonment’ as a great step towards peace, unity and reconciliation, and thus political stability and economic prosperity in South Sudan, some could not stomach the unsettling fact that the worst that can ever befall anyone who rebel against the government of President Kiir is to get ‘pardon’, ‘military promotion’ and ‘unspecified amount of money’ to get settle down after killing spree.

This article that I wrote about Dr. Riek Machar’s ‘repentance’–which I still believe was a genuine one since he didn’t do it for promotion or to curry favor with the power that be–would shed more light on the dilemma of seeking national reconciliation and promoting unity versus the danger of incentivizing rebellion and wanton killing of civilians by these militia leaders and their would-be counterparts.

President Kiir has to strike a right balance lest it might reach a point where leaders would be rebelling against the government just to secure a ministerial position. While National Unity is paramount in a fragile state like South Sudan, it is imperative that we should never be seen to be rewarding evil instead of punishing the wrongdoers.

Deterrence is divined; appeasement is kicking the can down the road!

Doctor Lam Akol Responds to Writer Kuir e Garang

Posted: November 3, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

By Lam Akol

The Son of my Brother, Kuir E Garang,

November 1, 2012 — Since you addressed me in your open letter as “uncle”, allow me to take the liberty of calling you the “son of my brother”. This is one of our good African traditions in contrast to ‘Afronomy’ you mentioned in your letter. That is one necessary point to explain. The other is that it is not in my habit to respond to all what is written about me in the press, and there are many nasty such writings, but your presentation is different. Despite my disagreement with most of what you wrote about, as it will become clear in the following lines, your arguments are presented intellectually without being unduly abusive. This is why I believe engaging you in an honest debate would be useful both to you as a motivated young man, and to all and sundry who are interested in finding out the truth. It is not a waste of time to respond as many will hasten to advise me. Our nation will not move forward by building walls between us but rather by opening bridges for communication between and among us. I assume that was your intention, otherwise, you would not have taken the trouble to put pen to paper.

I will overlook your description of me to be ‘whimsical’ as the term is obviously an oxymoron in this case, for everything you said about me in the letter is antithetical to that epithet.

The Son of my Brother,

From the outset, I would like to point out that I will here only respond to those parts of your letter addressed to me personally or to both of us together. I believe Dr Riek Machar is capable of speaking for himself despite the aspersions that come out from time to time in your letter and elsewhere that he was just ‘used’ in the Nasir Move in 1991.

Let me begin with your reference to what you call the “unfortunate, yet incoherent split of SPLA/M in 1991”. This characterization contradicts your assertion that you were ‘paraphrasing’ the reasons behind the split which come out as a coherent stuff. In fact, you go further to say this: “I have to confess, for those who have read the policy paper of the two of you in 1991; the paper was appealing on face value. If all the things narrated in the policy position were implemented in the manner they were documented, South Sudan could be a different place now; a peaceful, prosperous place”. Therefore, the split might have been ‘unfortunate’ for some of its unforeseen consequences, but was never ‘incoherent’ by your own admission. This is a central point to your argument and indeed to the current discourse.

In the same vein, in addressing Dr Riek Machar, you had this to say: “So Dr Riek Machar, your vision for South Sudan was thwarted by your disagreement with Dr Akol, your eventual split and your consequential tribalization of the national agenda”. This is an unequivocal admission that Dr Riek had a vision for South Sudan which got thwarted because of the reasons you gave. One, then, wonders where that accolade has gone when you said on addressing Dr Riek Machar again that “it appears to me that 1991 was orchestrated by Dr Lam Akol in its entirety and that you had nothing absolutely to do with the split. You were just used by Dr Lam as a question of numbers advantage”. Are you not unwittingly risking sliding into the same pit of those who have been unscrupulously parroting such untruth without weighing their words? Dr Riek Machar is an intellectual on his own right and a capable SPLA/M Commander, and the people who say such things either do not know what they are talking about or are trying to be too clever to pass the buck to others. I am disinclined to describe you as such.

On being “the brain behind the 1991”, this is an honour I do not claim alone. There were many brains behind the Nasir Move far beyond the three SPLM/A Political-Military High Command members who made the announcement on the 28th of August 1991 in Nasir. If some people, for one reason or the other, are today afraid to admit so, this does not change the historical fact. I played my role and others did theirs. It is inconceivable that such a momentous event could be a work of one brain!

The Son of my Brother,

On my assignment as Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, you seem to be unaware of several obvious facts. You say: “you accepted the ministerial post knowing that you had to present the Sudanese position to the world; and that position was not for the interest of South Sudanese people.” This is the balderdash we hear on the streets. In the first place, why should you assume that the Sudanese position was not for the interest of South Sudanese people? Be informed that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) stipulates that the SPLM and the National Congress were in partnership to implement the agreement. They were not enemies as some who entertained hidden agendas misled a good number of South Sudanese to believe. We were in a coalition government known as the Government of National Unity (GONU) that came about as a result of the CPA and whose main function it was to implement it. The SPLM was part and parcel of GONU, and not outside it, again, as some of you were made to believe. I presume you know how coalition governments work. If so, are you saying that the CPA was “not to the interest of South Sudanese people”? The policies of that Government were formulated by the Council of Ministers with eight SPLM ministers and a Presidency where the First Vice President from South Sudan has a right of veto; the most powerful vice president in the world. If all these people cannot guarantee the interest of South Sudanese people, including in the area of foreign affairs, then perhaps it was not worth signing the CPA. All the questions that followed in your letter are unfortunate redundancies because they were based on a wrong premise, and so is the conclusion that “It all comes down to one thing: you did it for your own political agenda; to present your face to the world. This makes me wonder if you used Dr Riek in 1991 in the same vain (sic): at the expense of the people.” For your information, my face was well known to the world already as one of the leaders of the 1985 popular Intifadha (Uprising) that overthrew Nimeiri’s dictatorship, and afterwards as the SPLM/A’s Chief Peace Negotiator since 1988, the SPLM/A’s negotiator and focal point of the UN-sponsored and well publicized Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), the SPLM/A Director of Coordination and External Relations 1988-1990, the Secretary for External Affairs and Peace 1991-1994 and as Chairman of SPLM-United 1994-2003. All these assignments entailed world exposure. In all humility, I had a high international profile already and didn’t need to use Dr Machar or any other person or position to enhance it. On the contrary, it was all these assignments that benefited from my high profile including the ministry of foreign affairs. I hope you are not one of the victims of the intense propaganda that was waged against me then with the only objective to get me out of the ministerial post. I will touch on some aspects of this campaign shortly.

The Son of my Brother,

Your biggest flop came when you unfortunately averred that “when you were removed from the ministry of foreign affairs, you went ahead and formed a party in a country that still has a long way to go to embrace liberal democracy. Why did you not take one ministry and make it exemplary for the rest of the country? You could have asked Kiir to give you one ministry, reform it, and make it immutable to the rest.” First, you seem to suggest that you do not believe that the time is ripe for liberal democracy. I will return to this point later on. Second, I did not form a political party as soon as I was removed from the ministry of foreign affairs as you appear to suggest. Let me jog your memory. I was removed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2007 whereas my party was formed two years later in 2009. In between, I continued to be a loyal member of the SPLM. However, a number of events took place that drove me out of the party. There has always been a group in the SPLM who did not want me in the SPLM leadership since the reunification in October 2003 of the SPLM/A with the SPLM-United, which I led since I was dismissed by Riek Machar in February 1994. The group tried to influence Dr John Garang to place me in the Leadership Council as a junior to them which failed because I rejected it. It is the same group that was unhappy because I was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and they have been spreading falsehood against me since then including the seeming incompatibility of the interest of South Sudan with that of Sudan that you delved in. The story is long. Suffice it to mention that it is the same group which engineered the Ministerial Strike in October 2007; the first in the world. We know how coalition governments are dissolved, but, anyway, this is beside our point now. The only reason for the strike was to remove Dr Lam Akol from the Cabinet. After the walkout, Salva Kiir reshuffled the SPLM component of the Government and moved me to the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs. The new lineup was announced by the President and a date for taking the oath of office was fixed and arrangements were in place in the Republican Palace for the occasion. At the last minute the group persuaded Salva Kiir to postpone the occasion and insisted to continue the strike. It was only when my name was dropped from the lineup that the SPLM went back to the Cabinet. I continued as a member of the Political Bureau of the SPLM and a member of National Parliament representing SPLM. Again obstacles were put on my way. For instance, in April, my car was shot at near Malakal by unknown assailants resulting in the killing of my bodyguard and the driver. In the same month, I was denied getting into Kodok town by an SPLM Commissioner using the SPLA. After that I was refused to address the public in Kaka and Wadakona by the SPLM Commissioner (who was previously an SAF intelligence Sergeant when I was commander of the area) and the SPLA commander. I raised complaints to Salva Kiir on these incidences to no avail. I still keep copies of these letters of complaint. Can you imagine junior Party members preventing a member of the Political Bureau from interacting with the public without orders from above?

Then came the SPLM convention in 2008, and my name was left out of the members Salva Kiir appointed to the Political Bureau. This was as a result of pressure from the same group. Things did not stop at that. There followed a sustained campaign of character assassination against me in the daily newspapers and even on South Sudan TV. I again raised the matter to Salva Kiir as the Chairman of the SPLM, again in vain. I am not complaining, only pointing out facts that you rightfylly requested in your open letter. Thus, it is abundantly clear that I had no choice but to leave with my dignity intact, unless you want me to be like Dr Riek Machar who you are now complaining against as an opportunist. Wasn’t the war about our dignity? If we were all these years complaining about the Arabs treating us as ‘second class’ citizens why would one accept it in a party that is presumably one’s choice? Dr John Garang used to lecture to SPLA soldiers that ‘oppression has no particular colour’; oppressors could be white, red, black or even your own brother. I and others with me refused to accept humiliation. Such was the birth of SPLM-DC in June 2009. If our country has still “a long way to go to embrace liberal democracy”, it has to start somewhere, and this must be done by some people who dedicate themselves to the cause of multi-party democracy regardless of the thorny road to be traversed. Even in the West, democracy came at a huge human cost. Shortcuts in politics could sometimes be more damaging.

By now you should be in a position to answer your own question whether, even if I were to stoop down to do that, I could ask Salva Kiir to pick me a ministry that I can make “exemplary for the rest of the country”. That is not only beyond idealism; it is wishful thinking to believe that President Salva, who succumbed to pressures to exclude me from a cabinet position in 2007 government reshuffle, would hand me a ministry to use as a prototype.

As to my absence during the flag-raising ceremony on 9th July 2011, I have said and written a lot about it. It cannot be isolated from the reason why I was not in Juba before then. Your rhetorical question that “who the hell is Kiir”? is what you did not think through more realistically. For starters, he is the President of the Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA, among his other titles. In that capacity he has the control of the institutions that monopolize the instruments of violence. Did you not hear that the Leader of the official Opposition was beaten by the security and lost his teeth on the 7th of July 2011 for no reason other than celebrating the independence of South Sudan? So I had to talk to Salva Kiir in Nairobi, not the other way round, to give me assurances on my security in Juba. I am thankful that he did. That is what took me to Juba and spent two months there. Nevertheless, the group had the upper hand and things relapsed, but this is a matter that does not concern us here.

The Son of my Brother,

Sincerely, you confuse me in what I see as conflicting pieces of advice you are giving me. In one breath you criticize Dr Machar, and rightly so, for being unable to do something in his position, but at the same time you advise me to join the “deformed” SPLM and its government. If I accept such an advice, this would be where really the SPLM will be right to see me “as a selfish political opportunist after his own political agenda” as you put it. Without changing the structure of an institution, individuals, however gifted they may be, cannot do much. The pragmatism you are calling for, is for me synonymous with opportunism. Far from your assertion that my “brain is being wasted on theoretical propositions just like some of” you, I happen to believe in the infinite capacity of our people to understand their own situation and effect change. You are unfortunately absolutely wrong to think that our people cannot or have not been sensitized enough to size up the misrule meted on them by the SPLM. You yourself admit that “the self-righteousness within SPLM is suffocating and disastrous for the country.” How many South Sudanese would have reached this conclusion three years ago or even a year ago? And if they did, how many will say so publicly? A few days ago there was a popular demonstration in Juba against the giving away to Sudan of ‘Mile 14 Area’. Was that not due to awareness? Could it have come without the ‘other point of view’?

Education is a slow process but because it is worth pursuing we never tire of doing so. And it obviously needs brains too! Do not forget that it takes 16 years for a normal student to earn a University degree! Achievement can only happen under a conducive environment. Joining a ‘deformed’ and ‘suffocating’ SPLM, as you correctly described the unruly ruling party or its corrupt government would be the height of opportunism. This is why it is crucially imperative to acknowledge that the brains that strive to bring about change are not being wasted. Remember, the best practice is founded on well grounded theory(ies).

Stay well, the son of my brother, and keep the books coming. Some people will definitely read them.

Thank you.

Uncle Dr Lam Akol.


Dear Lam

Without much ado, I am going straight to the point. I am phrasing my thoughts and feelings to you in this short write up to let you know that you just broke my heart. Why are you staying in Khartoum? Why did you opt to relocate to Khartoum? Did you independently decide or you got compelled by anyone? Did you really weigh the pros and cons? Are you telling me indirectly that you finally quit being a South Sudanese? Why quit? How about the heart, determination and commitment you abandoned your position as Khartoum University lecturer for in 1986? How about SPLM-DC? Don’t tell me you will operate from Khartoum because it’s politically unethical and unacceptable. How about the presidential aspirations you got? How about the people who voted for you in the April 2010 elections? How about the war against corruption you were so passionate about?

By the way, you don’t have to know what I am; you can just consider me a voice of reason.

I know everyone is entitled to live wherever he or she likes so long as he has what it takes to do so, but for an influential intellectual like you, it is such a wrong choice especially at these critical times South Sudan needs radicals, change bringers. In addition to that, leaving Juba for Sudan is in itself an insult to South Sudanese people who sacrificed all they had to free themselves from all kinds of evil acts meted out against them by successive Khartoum governments. You couldn’t move to somewhere else, Lam?

Though I cannot tell exactly the motive behind your “defection” from South Sudan, you probably grew hopeless after President Kiir miserly distributed all the government seats to his corrupt yes-men. He could not even give you the least important position at the ministries like that of a watchman? What’s wrong with Kiir? He is such a mean democratically elected head of state! I condemn the presidency for that anyway, advisors to be specific.

Uncle Lam, your move says a lot. It could mean that you’re a loser; the greatest of all times. Your vision and ambitions just died like that? Your political enemies will now capitalize on it. They will soon begin to prove themselves right by poisoning the heads of the masses that indeed the SPLM-DC party you founded is an armed movement against Kiir’s government. You just gave them a million reasons to break more jaws of SPLM-DC supporters and a trillion reasons to blame any internal armed conflict on you. The accusations labeled against you by pagan Amum which indicated that Khartoum armed a militia group you are affiliated with, shortly after Salva Kiir politically punched you in the face, leaving your nose bleeding in the 2010 elections, will now be considered true.

Your disappearance from the country’s political arena could reveal that you never meant your words, promises, pledges; you never really wanted to make a difference. All you wanted was a position to enrich yourself just like the rest.

Now that you have quit, who will fight the grand corruption in the government that is currently affecting the eight millions? Incidentally, a lot have happened after you left. Arthur Akuein, the former finance minister who seems to know much about the multi-billion dollar scandal came back with a loud bang. Amum took him to court for announcing that he, Akuein, wired $30 million dollars into Amum’s bank account. It was a very interesting case. The high court sped up the whole process and quickly acquitted Amum, prompting Akuein to say a parting shot: “I had written that the money was given to the secretary general of the SPLM, under his leadership. What makes it to be something that has gone to a private account? I have never mentioned it. My document is there. It will be interpreted further by people who understand English.”
Even media houses that reported the corruption allegations were also fined. What a court! What a system!

You must have heard that 75 officials stole billions. Kiir himself said that. 75 top officials?! That means the whole cabinet is rotten. Their names should honorifically begin with the new honorific, “Thief” for example; Thief Honorable Ngor-gutakalthi Deng-gutakaldit will on Friday fly to Dubai to attend a World Business Summit, Thief Honorable Butrus Ajak has launched a 5-year strategic plan……. and so on. See? If the baby country followed the modern international standards of good governance, none of them would run for or hold any government position in the next election, government. So, who would capitalize on that? Isn’t it you?

Lam-dit, you pissed me off when you shamelessly told Victor Lugala in an interview late last year that you did not attend the Independence Day on the 9th of July because no one invited you. Who the hell do you think you are? You wanted to be told to be happy about South Sudan’s biggest day ever? Well, even though Kiir’s government didn’t ask you over as an opposition party, you couldn’t show up at John Garang Memorial park just like any ordinary citizen? Lam please!

What are you afraid of? – Kiir? Why would he harm you? He knows the difference between right and wrong, not to mention the international community that watches every step he makes. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t lie to you that the constitution can protect you because the wrath of the law only applies to the weak and voiceless, and maybe a revolutionary like you. The top dogs have immunized themselves against some articles. They get anything they want at any time. I know those unruly ruthless and almost useless security cartoons assumed the role of a dentist and unnecessarily unofficially brutally removed two teeth of one of your top party’s officials, Onyoti Adigo. Is that the right way to tackle an opposition? But that shouldn’t scare ambitions out of you. In fact, you should emulate Honorable Adigo. He is so tolerant and focused. He has proved that nothing, no one can stop him. And that’s why he is carrying on with his duties as a citizen and as well as an opposition figure who considers fighting the system from within a better option.

Or have you finally realized that you joined politics by mistake, for the wrong reasons; and now is the right time to resume your career – lectureship? If yes, I am begging you to leave Khartoum and come back home and impart your knowledge and skills to South Sudanese students who are currently facing educational starvation in various universities as fake lecturers fool them. If you don’t want to be close to president Kiir and Amum in Juba, please teach somewhere in John Garang University of Science and Technology in Bor. Oops! Bor is so close to Juba. Just teach in Malakal or Wau.


Open Letter to Hon. Joy Kwaje, Chairperson of Information and Culture Committee in the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan

This letter is a response to what was broadcast by South Sudan TV as well as by Bakhita FM Radio in Juba on Thursday, May 23, 2012 where Hon. Joy Kwaje – who is currently the Chairperson of Information and Culture Committee in the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan- accused the Chairman of the second largest political party in South Sudan SPLM-DC of having links with rebels who have decided to carry arms against the government of South Sudan.

Such utterances are irresponsible and seriously regrettable, to say the least. The SPLM- DC has reiterated again and again in many occasions that it has no link with any rebel or armed group. The people of South Sudan know the role that has been played by the SPLM-DC in the struggle and sacrifices paid to ensure the citizens’ inviolable rights, especially via members of the National Legislative Assembly. Why then all these accusations against SPLM-DC and its savvy Chairman and freedom fighter, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin?

We demand from Hon. Joy Kwaje to be responsible and courageous enough to support her unsubstantiated accusation with credible and documented real evidences and show them to the people of South Sudan through the media or courts.

The people of South Sudan know very well who is Dr. Lam Akol and his great role in building the SPLM/A politically, militarily, diplomatically as well as reviving the right to self-determination and committing the government of the Republic of the Sudan constitutionally to grant it to the people of Southern Sudan who overwhelmingly voted for secession on the basis of which their independence was declared on July 9, 2011.

Now, why is Hon. Joy Kwaje and her other cronies selectively asking for the whereabouts of Dr. Lam Akol? Don’t they know that he is a South Sudan citizen who has freedom to stay where he wants to and at any time? Why are they not inquiring about other leaders of South Sudan who are still currently living in Khartoum or with well kept and guarded properties over there? Does staying in Khartoum mean nothing else but supporting militias?

It couldn’t go without saying that Hon. Joy Kwaje and whoever twisted around with her from the Members of National Parliament in the SSTV screen on that gloomy day, were trying their very best to divert the attention of the people from the deteriorating living conditions that have resulted from bad policies of the SPLM ruling party. Instead of doing their duty of overseeing and checking the executive as well as defending the poor and hungry citizens, these shameless SPLM Members of Parliaments chose to fish in dirty waters by asking wrong questions about personalities and petty issues like “where is such and such person?” Their ulterior intentions shall end in doom!

We regret and detest the missing role of Hon. Joy Kwaje and her cronies in addressing the real issues of everyday life, like hunger that is threatening dear lives of many South Sudanese in Juba and other parts of South Sudan nowadays where prices of food items have skyrocketed. For example, a kilogramme of meat shot up from 12 to 35 SSP and a bag of cement from 45 to 95 SSP, let alone lack of medicines, potable water, fuel and many other basic commodities. These are the most important urgent concerns and worries of the citizens right now more than any politicking of witch-hunting and wrong-fishing. The SPLM-DC has offered proposals to the SPLM ruling government for resolving these challenges and many more since October last year but all felt on deaf ears. Alas!

Notwithstanding, we would like to state this loud and clear to Hon. Joy Kwaje and whoever is pushing her within her vicious circle that we don’t seek nor beg for our nationalism from anybody. She was in Khartoum in most of her life when those she is trying to character-assassinate were busy fighting for liberation without sitting outside the fence. Her other vocal chum was a refugee in Canada up until 2005. What gives them the right to challenge the nationalism of others?

In conclusion, we would like to assure our dear people of South Sudan that the SPLM-DC stands for building a strong nation of South Sudan founded on unshaken foundation of democracy, justice, equality and participation of all political and civil forces in the administration of the country’s public affairs. There shall be no let-up on the conspirators!

Long Live the People of South Sudan.
Long Live Dr. Lam Akol, the Chairman of SPLM-DC.
Long Live the Republic of South Sudan, Free and Democratic.

Information Desk
SPLM-DC General-Secretariat
Juba, May 28, 2012.

Time To Forgive The Sins Of Past!

Posted: March 19, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

By Luk kuth Dak – USA.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it’s a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don’t we all know that there is no other place on the face of the earth, where forgiveness is desperately needed other than the Republic of South Sudan (RSS)? And anything short of that means that the future of the newest – born nation will always be surrounded by uncertainty?!

There are many, many books about forgiveness – and everyone I have ever read, the latest of which is “Dare to Forgive: The Power of Letting Go and Moving On,” by Edward M. Hallowell (2006, HCI). This engaging book offers powerful testimony on the importance of forgiveness and moving on with our lives.

Thus, most books, if not all, about forgiveness say: “Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. Forgiveness equates with freedom from the shackles of anger, bitterness and resentment.”

Our distinguished Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar did himself a lot of good by apologizing to the Bor community, for his role in the massacre of helpless civilians under his watchful eyes. He can now travel to Bor without having to look over his shoulders.

Quite simply, that’s the beauty and the power in forgiveness.

“The time is always right to do the right thing.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

But there are very many other politicians in South Sudan, who committed similar acts of evils but do not want to take responsibility for their treacherous actions, and ask for forgiveness from the families and the communities of their victims. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, Dr. Lam Akol has never apologized for his role in other massacres in some parts of the country, particularly in Nasir Area. Perhaps Dr. Lam and others, too, should follow Dr. Machar’s braveness and acknowledge their disastrous roles in which some precious innocent lives were lost all across our land.

Of course, we can’t bring the dead back to life, but for fairness sake, the families and the communities, who have lost some loved ones, need to come to a closure, so that they can move on with their lives. It’s a win-win situation, however, for both the victims and the victimizers. As Dr. Machar kicked it off, those who will follow his foot steps ultimately will find out that they have liberated themselves a great deal to live the rest of their lives free from the burden of the guilty conscious that could bog them down forever.

But all of us citizens of the Republic of South Sudan share a responsibility to promote and maintain peace among our ethnic communities. We should be highlighting the things that bring us together not those set us apart. Our culture, our history, our struggle together for freedom. I remember quite vividly when I growing up in Nasir, that the Nuer often cross the Collo land without food or water, but when the Sun goes down, all they had to do was to check into the nearest house, where they would be given food and a place to sleep, before they continued their journey to Malakal, the capital city of then Upper Nile Province.

And in my hometown, Nasir, we had a huge presence of Collo, Dinka, Anyuak and a few Murle communities, who lived side by side with the Nuer in harmony and respect. In all truth, I do not recall any conflicts among them. In fact, most of my closest friends were from the Dinka and Collo respectively.

The central question now becomes: What has changed?

The answer to that question: There’s no other evil in South Sudan other than those greedy selfish politicians, who are using their communities for their individualistic goals. Instead of creating an atmosphere for peace and harmony, they are engaged in highlighting our differences – the things that break us apart.

If we would only refrain from looking down on other ethnicities, stop using negative adjectives about them, and if each of us would go to our respective communities and talk to regular folks about our commonalities – the things that unite us, we’ll have a chance to coexist, and no one will break us apart.

We look almost alike for a reason!

The author’s a former anchorman for Juba Radio

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ID/6652/Default.aspx


Bor MPs cautiously laud Riek apology about 1991 massacre, ask him to extend it to the grassroots
Written by Mading Ngor, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), newsudanvision.com
Thursday, 11 August 2011 11:53
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Hon. Malek Alier, MP for Anyidi, Kolnyang, Bor South (left) and Hon. Deng Dau, MP for Twic East, on Wednesday waded into Dr. Riek Machar’s apology to the Dinka Bor community on Sunday for crimes committed in 1991 under Nasir Faction

( Juba  NSV) – Two Dinka Bor MPs from the National Assembly on Wednesday waded into Dr. Riek Machar’s Sunday apology to members of the Bor community for the gruesome killing of thousands of its citizens by the Nasir Faction’ forces in 1991, then commanded by Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

In the same year, the community also saw its property looted and livelihood put into disrepair by the faction.
At a gathering held at the home of the late Dr. John Garang to commemorate the sixth anniversary of his death on Sunday, Dr. Riek Machar, South Sudan’s Vice President stunned those who attended, when he unexpectedly owned up to the heinous crimes of the Nasir Faction in 1991. The apology came nearly twenty years after the massacre.
On August 28, 1991, Riek Machar and his comrades declared a coup against the late leader of the SPLM/SPLA, Dr. John Garang, called ‘Nasir Declaration.’
On Sunday, Dr. Riek explained the aim of his movement, which was initially supported by many southerners from different tribes, was to restore democracy and human rights in the mainstream SPLM, whose late leader was allegedly autocratic. However, the Nasir Movement went on to commit human rights abuses, culminating in the ‘Bor Massacre.’
The Sunday occasion was organized by Garang’s widow, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, and supported by the committee, which was charged with organizing Martyrs Day, The New Sudan Vision has learned.
Madam Nyandeng invited MPs, government officials, the Speaker of South Sudan parliament, religious leaders, the President, the Vice President, and members of the public. The event was announced at Emannuel Jieng church in  Juba , and through SSTV.
President Kiir did not attend the prayers, but the Vice President, Dr. Riek was one of the invited dignitaries who turned up.
“The family [of the late Dr. John] took the opportunity to remember Dr. John in a bigger way because the vision and the legacy of what he fought for is now achieved,” Hon. Deng Dau Malek, MP for  Twic   East   County , explained to The New Sudan Vision on Wednesday.
Hon. Deng, who also spoke at the event in his capacity as representative for Twic East, where the late Garang hailed from, said most of the speeches at the occasion, bordered on memory of South Sudan’s fallen heroes and heroines, in light of last month’s historic achievement of independence for South Sudan, and what awaited its future.
Apology for 1991 massacre
‘“Dr Riek, when he stood, and talked about the painful event of 1991,”’ narrated Hon. Deng, ‘“His statements were that whatever that happened in 1991 should not be associated to other people, namely people like Dr. Lam who was his deputy, and person like Gordon Kong, who was also member of the Political High Command during that time.”’
The lawmaker went on further:   ‘“He said I should take squarely the responsibility of the events of 1991. And he said the people that have suffered were people of the Greater Bor, and the entire Jonglei.
‘“He took that day to express his apology to the people who are affected by the events of 1991”’, he concluded.
When he was narrating the events of 1991, Dr. Riek broke down and wept, to the point where he nearly collapsed, several witnesses confirmed to The New Sudan Vision.
The Vice President was then joined by his wife, Dr. Anjelina Teny, who was also reportedly in tears. The dramatic scene provoked a moment of raw emotions, where some of the victims started wailing in memory of their loved ones who had died in the massacre or its aftermath, while others were bewildered by the apology, The New Sudan Vision understood from various accounts from witnesses.
In response to the apology, Caretaker Gov. of the Central Bank of  South Sudan , Elijah Malok, as elder in the Bor community and immediate relative of the late Dr. John Garang, took the microphone. He was said to have expressed his bitter feelings about 1991, before concluding that he would personally forgive Riek, but that he would refer the case to the larger Bor community for deliberation on the next step.
Madam Nyandeng, on the other hand, spoke the last words. She blamed Riek for setting the South backward with his 1991 move, when SPLM/SPLA was on the verge of victory at the time. She reasoned the  Republic  of  South Sudan  would have been achieved a decade earlier were it not because of the defection, The New Sudan Vision was told.
On her own behalf and that of her children, the Former First Lady said she forgave Riek Machar for his crimes.
On Monday, the Dinka Bor community called an emergency meeting, also held at late Dr. Garang’s home, and attended by representatives of the Bor community, intellectuals, citizens, and politicians to agree on how to handle the issue.
Although those who attended said no consensus emerged from the meeting, the predominant ideas can be broken up to about three, according to Hon. Malek Alier, MP for Const. 15, Anyidi, Kolnyang, Bor South:
  • (1) those who are asking for Dr. Riek to apologize to the grassroots in Bor and other S. Sudanese communities
  • (2) those who are willing to forgive Dr. Riek but without any political strings attached
  • (3) and those who are saying Dr. Riek’s apology will fall short if it comes from him alone and not from fellow perpetrators.
In the meeting, a committee made up of Bor representatives to follow up on how genuine was Dr. Riek’s confession, was formed. Its members are waiting to meet with the Vice President to sought whether he stood by his apology, and to agree on how to best proceed with the issue.
‘Truth and Reconciliation’
For Hon. Deng, Dr. Riek’s apology on Sunday was a welcome development.  “As members of parliament, we say this is a good gesture for general reconciliation, and this is what we call Truth and Reconciliation. People must talk about the bitter things that had happened,” he told The New Sudan Vision, in an interview.
On the timing of Dr. Riek’s apology, he said it “could be political” but also “reality” because reconciliation will be nonexistent if the people of Bor do not express their feelings about the horrific memory of the massacre.
He carried on: “People of Bor have been uprooted by 1991. And we are saying we cannot do it alone here in  Juba because Greater Bor people, who are affected, are at the grassroots. It may not be understood by people who are at home in the villages.
“We encourage Dr. Riek to extend this gesture to the people who are really affected, and we’re talking about people who are in the rural areas,” he added.
Ready to forgive…
Hon. Malek held similar sentiments with his counterpart. “Generally, people are ready to forgive but they think that, this thing should be said in another bigger gathering, where people who have been affected or victimized, who have lost many [relatives], should be heard first,” he told The New Sudan Vision on Wednesday.
“It should not be done at the political level. It has to be extended to the grassroots, so that those who are bitter, those who have lost their dear people, they have to air out themselves, and if that forgiveness comes out from them, then all are going to be healed,” he said.
Dr. Riek’s belated apology has triggered all kinds of speculations about his intentions. Others wondered whether his apology was meant to solicit Dinka Bor support in his leadership ambitions.
“This apology should not be misunderstood, as if we have something we’re cooking,” said Hon. Deng, when The New Sudan Vision asked him about the political implications of any resultant forgiveness from the community.
“It’s from him, and he knows why he has said this at this time,” he said.
“As a people of Bor, we’re firm behind the leadership of the SPLM, led by comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit. And so whatever reconciliation that is done, is done within the context of the existing structures,” he concluded.
What’s more, Hon. Malek stressed the importance of having a uniform apology from the perpetrators.
“What we want to know, is that, is this idea, the idea of Riek Machar alone, or the idea shared by those with whom he was doing this together. Riek alone, even if he’s forgiven and others are still maintaining that bitterness, it will not help. So I want this thing to be extended and we hear from others who were with Riek Machar, whether they are ready, what Riek has said, is what they have, then it would be good for us,” he told The New Sudan Vision.
“We’re convinced that [the apology] is a good initiative, it’s really a national initiative, because we want Southerners to forget all the bitterness. We want Southerners to forget the past. We want to begin anew so that we build our
nation,” he added

 Machar: Appology And Reactions

from SOSA

August 10, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, has apologised to the Dinka Bor community by acknowledging his responsibility for an incident in 1991 which resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives in the community, announced a deputy spokesperson of the South Sudan army, theSudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The officer in charge of the SPLA information department, Malak Ayuen Ajok, revealed on the official South Sudan TV that Machar acknowledged his responsibility of the 1991 incidence in Bor following his defection on 28 August 1991 from late John Garang’s leadership.

At a gathering organised by the Dinka Bor community in Juba, reportedly attended by Machar, the army officer told the TV viewers that a number of Dinka Bor community elders including Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, the widow of late John Garang, expressed their forgiveness to the Vice President.

Malaak, who did not or quote Machar, explained that the apology was the beginning of a reconciliation process and commended the Vice President for accepting responsibility of the incident.

The apology has received with mixed reactions by individuals among the Nuer community in Juba and abroad.

Some told Sudan Tribune that the apology was premature and incorrect, calling it a tactic by the Dinka Bor community in order to use the apology against him in the future.

Others welcomed Maxhar’s reconciliatory tone but said it should have been reciprocated with a similar apology by the most senior leader of the Dinka Bor community or Nyandeng, on behalf of the late John Garang for similar incidences that resulted to loss of hundreds of lives in the Jikany Nuer community.

“I don’t believe Riek Machar apologised just like that to the Dinka Bor community. If it is true and aimed to reconcile with the Bor community, then that reconciliation should have been a two-way process. Who among the Dinka Bor’s top leaders apologized on behalf of late Garang for the killing of Jikany Nuer unarmed civilians in 1985?” asked Deng Gatluak.

“Yes, I heard Malaak Ayuen revealing the apology on television. I think they have set him [Machar] up and recorded his confession if it was true so that they can use it against him as evidence of crime. I have been hearing ordinary Dinka boys and girls talking of wanting to take him to the ICC [International Criminal Court] or any other court over the 1991 incident. They may use his apology as an evidence to present to court or to blackmail him with it as a leader,” said another who asked for anonymity.

He went on to question why the apology did not come directly from the source.

Gordon Buay, the former Secretary General of the South Sudan Democratic Party said he was shocked by the apology.

“I was completely shocked that a man like Riek Machar could apologise for 1991 Nasir Declaration which brought the right to self-determination to fore. It is very sad indeed that Riek Machar should reduce himself to the level of Peter Gatdet,” Buay said, referring to another Nuer rebel who recently rejoined the government.

Lul Gatkuoth Nguth, a member of the South Sudan Diaspora in Canada, welcomed the apology, saying it is a politically astute move, to bring peace and harmony to the communities.

“In my opinion, it is not shame that Riek Machar Teny apologized to Dinka Bor community. This is how the politics work. If you go through peace and conciliation process, this term ’apology’ has to apply if you are a real good politician who has a big mind,” he said.

In 1991 the Vice President, Riek Machar, split from the SPLM/A under the leadership of late John Garang, calling for self-determination for the people of South Sudan to be the main objective of the movement. He and the current leader of the SPLM-DC, Lam Akol, also cited a lack of democratic principles and human rights abuses as factors that prompted their split.

Machar however rejoined the SPLM/A in 2002 with his forces and has been the party’s deputy chairman as well as the Vice President of South Sudan for the last six years.

Source: SOSA NEWS

 http://sosanews.com/2011/08/11/machar-appology-and-reactions/

Machar has apologised to Dinka Bor community – army official

Sudan Tribune: August 10, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s vice president, Riek Machar, has apologised to the Dinka Bor community by acknowledging his responsibility for an incident in 1991 which resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives in the community, announced a deputy spokesperson of the South Sudan army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

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The officer in charge of the SPLA information department, Malak Ayuen Ajok, revealed on the official South Sudan TV that Machar acknowledged his responsibility of the 1991 incidence in Bor following his defection on 28 August 1991 from late John Garang’s leadership.

At a gathering organised by the Dinka Bor community in Juba, reportedly attended by Machar, the army officer told the TV viewers that a number of Dinka Bor community elders including Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, the widow of late John Garang, expressed their forgiveness to the vice president.

Malaak, who did not or quote Machar, explained that the apology was the beginning of a reconciliation process and commended the vice president for accepting responsibility of the incident.

The apology has received with mixed reactions by individuals among the Nuer community in Juba and abroad.

Some told Sudan Tribune that the apology was premature and incorrect, calling it a tactic by the Dinka Bor community in order to use the apology against him in the future.

Others welcomed Maxhar’s reconciliatory tone but said it should have been reciprocated with a similar apology by the most senior leader of the Dinka Bor community or Nyandeng, on behalf of the late John Garang for similar incidences that resulted to loss of hundreds of lives in the Jikany Nuer community.

“I don’t believe Riek Machar apologised just like that to the Dinka Bor community. If it is true and aimed to reconcile with the Bor community, then that reconciliation should have been a two-way process. Who among the Dinka Bor’s top leaders apologized on behalf of late Garang for the killing of Jikany Nuer unarmed civilians in 1985?” asked Deng Gatluak.

“Yes, I heard Malaak Ayuen revealing the apology on television. I think they have set him [Machar] up and recorded his confession if it was true so that they can use it against him as evidence of crime. I have been hearing ordinary Dinka boys and girls talking of wanting to take him to the ICC [International Criminal Court] or any other court over the 1991 incident. They may use his apology as an evidence to present to court or to blackmail him with it as a leader,” said another who asked for anonymity.

He went on to question why the apology did not come directly from the source.

Gordon Buay, the former Secretary General of the South Sudan Democratic Party said he was shocked by the apology.

“I was completely shocked that a man like Riek Machar could apologise for 1991 Nasir Declaration which brought the right to self-determination to fore. It is very sad indeed that Riek Machar should reduce himself to the level of Peter Gatdet,” Buay said, referring to another Nuer rebel who recently rejoined the government.

Lul Gatkuoth Nguth, a member of the South Sudanese diaspora in Canada, welcomed the apology, saying it is a politically astute move, to bring peace and harmony to the communities.

“In my opinion, it is not shame that Riek Machar Teny apologized to Dinka Bor community. This is how the politics work. If you go through peace and conciliation process, this term ’apology’ has to apply if you are a real good politician who has a big mind,” he said.

In 1991 the vice president, Riek Machar, split from the SPLM/A under the leadership of late John Garang, calling for self-determination for the people of South Sudan to be the main objective of the movement. He and the current leader of the SPLM-DC, Lam Akol, also cited a lack of democratic principles and human rights abuses as factors that prompted their split.

Machar however rejoined the SPLM/A in 2002 with his forces and has been the party’s deputy chairman as well as the vice president of South Sudan for the last six years.

(ST)

 

By Gordon Buay: 

According to Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen on SSTV on Monday and Tuestday, Dr. Riek Machar apologised to SPLM leadership for 1991 Nasir Declaration and said he took full responsibility for the killing in Bor. I think there are people who watched what Malaak Ayuen said on SSTV on Monday and Tuestday.

I was completely shocked that a man like Riek Machar could apologize for 1991 Nasir Declaration which brought the right to self-determination to fore. What kind of a politician is Riek Machar now? I believe those who originally think that Riek Machar is somebody worthy of consideration should now evaluate their positions. What he did has no difference with what Peter Gatdet did on August, 03, 2011.

To me, August is a very shameful month for the Nuer in particular and South Sudanese who supported 1991 Nasir Declaration in general. It is very sad indeed that Riek Machar should reduce himself to the level of Peter Gatdet.

From now on, we have to attribute 1991 Declaration to Dr. Lam Akol without mentioning the name of Riek Machar. We should even write in the books that the leader of 1991 was Dr. Lam Akol. Riek Machar’s name should be eliminated entirely from historical books.

Gordon Buay