Garang and Kiir

SPLM/A, the party of blood-spillers is a stranger to retreats, conventions and conferences. Since its inception it was built up to function as a politico-military machine on orders from the top. From 1983 to 1991 no one dared to question what its leaders did. I was informed at the time that, when members dissented they got sentenced to firing squad with appeals done after the sentence was carried out. Terrifying stuff! In short, the party of blood-spillers does not believe in due process and justice let alone democracy. The words of its leaders are final and must prevail in their world.

So any talk of retreat, conventions and conferences is something unheard of. One had to be crazy to utter these words. In 1991 the intense battle for the control of Ethiopia between the ruling Dirge (Ethiopian Communist Party) and the revolutionaries fighting alongside the Eritrean separatists influenced the political dynamics in the SPLM/A and the war in the Sudan. Dissatisfied elements in the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers saw an opportunity to change the leadership of Dr John Garang De Mabior in order to institute structural and ideological reforms. Thus Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Dr Lam Akol Ajawin and Gordon Koang launched a coup on 28th August 1991 which failed splitting the party into two movements: SPLM/A United and SPLM/A Torit factions.

The SPLM/A Torit faction of blood-spillers under Dr Garang was shaken to the core by the failed coup and for it to maintain support of the people it had to accept changes therefore in 1994 it held its first ever convention in Chukudum, Eastern Equatoria to democratise and also accept the principle of self determination with federalism. Since this convention, no further voluntary conventions of this kind were done because the leadership did not like them. However a second convention was held only as a result of the demands of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which mandated a general election in the Sudan prior to the referendum in South Sudan. So in 2008, the party of the blood-spillers had no option but to hold a convention and as expected there was a split, but this time it was Dr Lam Akol who parted company with his colleagues in arms.

After a decade, Surprise! Surprise! SPLM/A the party of blood-spillers out of character and on its own volition holds a retreat in Lobonok county in Central Equatoria from 3rd to 6th December 2018. Wonders never cease - of all places President Salva Kiir chooses Lobonok to pontificate about SPLM/A’s liberation of South Sudan. I will not delve into the possible reasons for this retreat being held in Lobonok together with the newly espoused colour red to represent the party.

In delivering his speech titled, ‘Retracing the footprints of our long liberation’ to the retreat of the faithful, President Kiir stated in clear terms that in order for them to achieve the aims of the revolution they planned it in four phases. Out of these phases the most important phase for this article is phase three because it proves beyond doubt that what is taking place in South Sudan now was planned and executed according to script. In short all the grave crimes going on now in the country are premeditated.

President Kiir accentuated that phase three of the liberation is the formation of the state and establishment of the nation being founded. This stage, according to him, is the most challenging stage because they are all fighting and struggling to find their right places in the free Republic of South Sudan. The political upheavals South Sudan is undergoing, in the belief of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, are normal process of shaping and forming a great nation. Through this process they will get to know their allies, their friends, and their enemies alike with the regional and international structures. They are also learning internally about the best ways they could manage politics and resources. Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our liberation process. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/)

The most important excerpt in President Kiir’s speech is: “we are all fighting and struggling to find our right places in the free Republic of South Sudan. The political upheavals we are undergoing are normal process of shaping and forming a great nation.” The key words here are: ‘fighting’ ‘struggling’ ‘shaping’ and ‘forming’. Fighting and struggling obviously translate into a calculated engagement in violence to realise/achieve an aim. Whereas, shaping and forming in political as well as sociological speak means that SPLM/A party of blood-spillers want to frame South Sudan ideologically, socially and economically in such a way as to suit the interest of the ruling group. So in their calculation the best way to go around it is to wage war against the people in order to establish an ethnic state hegemony in South Sudan. President Kiir at last has acknowledged that the ongoing ethnic cleansings, massacres of other ethnicities, mass rape, mass displacement etc are part of what he calls, “normal process of shaping and forming a great nation.” To him or rather the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, the loss of three quarters of a million lives through violence, destruction of the economy and depopulation of various regions is a price worth paying to establish an ethnic state. In a nutshell, the African Union Commission Report into South Sudan is spot on by concluding that the ethnic cleansings are policies of the state. Please see clauses 1135 and 1136 of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf)

Given that this plan was hatched back in 1983, it must be the work of the Dr John Garang the first leader of SPLM/A who was educated in the USA. President Kiir and the JCE now are merely executors of the plan, dare I say, for the greater good of their ethnic group. The ideas of domination and subjugation might have been learnt from educational institutions in America. In the minds of SPLM/A strategists they want to create an ethnic state just as the white settlers have done in Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand etc. These countries were constructed by “shaping” the state through the eye of the ‘White’ settlers. Although this method of domination succeeded in the mentioned countries by extermination of the indigenous people (Indian tribes, Aborigines and other people), in South Africa and Zimbabwe it did not work because of the fierce resistance erected by the indigenous people.

This so called phase three is completely unnecessary. The reason being South Sudan was created or rather formed on 9th July 2011 through the struggle of the people from 18th August 1955. Therefore the “shaping” of the state of South Sudan should be to achieve a democratic state ruled through law and order under a robust constitution that safeguards and enables the various ethnicities in the country to live freely as equals. Not the nonsense of creating an ethnic state. The SPLM/A party of blood-spillers should look to the constitutions of most professed democratic states and learn a lesson about the inclusion of its citizenry in the affairs of the state. This is what is wanted in South Sudan – Democracy!! Not Dinkocracy.

The most surprising thing is that President Kiir and the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers have failed to see that their implementation of phase three, negates the struggles they sing about in phases one and two of the same plan. The reason for this is because it simply allows for the emergence of the same conditions of marginalisation, peripheralisation, sectarianism and ethnicisation which blighted the Sudan causing the birth of South Sudan. This contradiction tells us that the story of South Sudan’s liberation is not about true liberation but rather a problem of jealousy of the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers with the elites in the Sudan. They hijacked the agenda of South Sudan’s wish to secede for them to shape the new state like the Riverian Arabs shaped the Sudan into an Islamic and Arab nation in defiance of the reality of the diverse people of that country.

The leaders of the party of blood-spillers envied the elites of the Sudan and wanted the same privileges which they felt was not available to them. Now that they have curved for themselves these goodies in South Sudan the country should move ahead by adopting welfare programmes as the final phase four. What these blood-spillers of South Sudan do not see is that by recreating the same conditions of the Sudan in South Sudan will also recreate similar conflicts and instability as in the Sudan. The Sudan has been at war with its self since its independence in 1956. Equally South Sudan is now at war with itself for the last 5 years and it continues. As President Kiir honestly put it: “Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our(their) liberation process.” So the liberation of South Sudan according to SPLM/A party of blood-spillers is incomplete without South Sudan being panel beaten into an ethnic state. The job to shape it started in December 2013.

Indeed now there is a serious conflict and those struggling for the rights and survival of the people will continue as there are no options left other than to resist the ideologies of domination adopted by the regime of terror underpinned by their policies of reshaping South Sudan into an ethnic state. President Kiir has categorically stated that the reshaping of South Sudan will take nearly quarter of a century. So the recently signed Khartoum Peace Agreement under the auspices of IGAD is a ploy – to lull the opposition signatories before the big bang for the reshaping of South Sudan to move on.

This latest IGAD engineered Khartoum Peace Agreement is a fake peace forced on South Sudanese through violence by Khartoum, Kampala, Juba and IGAD. It will not work and it will not translate into real peace. Temporarily, it may do but ultimately it is bound to self-destruct. To be fair to IGAD the South Sudanese job hunters masquerading as opposition politicians in SSOA got carried away by the dangled carrots of positions in the proposed bloated transitional government in the agreement and they sold out to the regime. Most unfortunately they let the people down and granted President Kiir legitimacy to continue abusive ruling.

If peace is to be attained in South Sudan, it is imperative that a new process of peace making is started with all the stakeholders in South Sudan included and the principle leaders of the party of blood-spillers specifically President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar excluded – these are the creators of chaos in the country full of delusions of ethnic supremacy. Such a peace negotiation must be in a neutral place without any intimidation and threats with the participants allowed to negotiate in good faith without any conditions of time or unnecessary pressure from outsiders. In the face of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers plans to ethnicise South Sudan, there needs to be a peaceful re-negotiation of the social contract.

Therefore, in any future negotiations the mediators should adopt the transcend approach of peace making of professor John Galtung which emphasises understanding of the core issues of the conflict, legitimacy anchored on legal instruments and human rights conventions. Please see Galtung’s method on Youtube video: ‘Breaking the cycle of violent conflict with Johan Galtung’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16YiLqftppo)

Jamming the break, so far South Sudan has paid with three quarters of a million people dead; quarter of a million people politically quarantined in the United Nations Protection of Civilians Camps around the country; over three million people are displaced forced into refuge in the neighbouring countries; destruction of the economy and opening the country up to ethnic and foreign looters. Is this acceptable to the Jieng people? The ball is in their court either to sincerely oppose President Kiir and the JCE and side with the people to say clearly ‘Not in our name’.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberting]

Elhag Paul

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@elhgpaul

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