By James Okuk Solomon

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Suspicions surrounding the death of the hero of CPA, beloved Dr. John Garang de Mabior, started right after the ill-fated Ugandan chopper crashed in equatorial hills two years ago. Though it was said publicly that there was no foul play, still the conscience of his lovers remained disturbed. In the back of their minds they tended to believe that conspiracy might have taken place to assassinate this Sudanese charismatic rare icon. The first victims of that misgiving were the Jillaba: Some innocent Arabs lost their lives in Khartoum, Juba and Malakal during the offensive demonstrations following that bad news. Also some innocent Southerners got killed in Khartoum and other areas in Northern Sudan when the Jillaba retaliated.

Although, Dr. Garang got killed on his way from Uganda to his favourite New Site in Southern Sudan, still the NCP government and some Southerners were feared to have had placed invisible hands in that evil fateful plot. Who is right in accusing the other? Who is being accused wrongly? Was the cause of the chopper?s crash a technical fault or a criminal act? Was it a natural disaster determinism which occurred by chance accidentally? These are tough and complicated questions whose answers are not easy to affirm.

So far three theories have appeared as to who killed Dr. Garang. The first theory was that of the gloomy Monday rioters who assumed that he was killed by the Jillaba (Arabs) and their NCP government. Their justification was that the government did not care to announce early that the First Vice President, Dr. John Garang got killed. Also the shops of Jillaba together with government offices remained opened when they should have been closed for the sake of mourning. That elusive justification was enhanced by the stereotyped and the traumatic mentality of many Southerners that Jillaba are so treacherous to be trusted as innocent in the evil that had befallen on His Excellency Dr. Garang. The second theory was that of Hon. Widow Rebecca Nyandeng who stated that she knew who killed her husband but kept it secret because she wanted to preserve unity of Southerners. This statement may imply that Dr. Garang was killed by some Southerners who had ambitions for the political power he had. However, she failed to give clues or a leading evidence for her accusation. The third theory was that of H.E. Aleu Ayieny, the minister of state in the National Ministry of Interior and former member of the investigating committee for Dr. Garang death. He gave a report in Akbar Al-Yom Newspaper (Issue No.4609, dated Tuesday, August 14th, 2007) that Dr. Garang might have been assassinated by Ugandan Army in collaboration with an advanced country with an advanced technology. That elaborate report presented crucial clues which could lead to evidence about the cause of Dr. Garang death if investigated sincerely.

Firstly, he said the chopper boarded by Dr. Garang, his bodyguards, and the Ugandan crew was a Ugandan military chopper and not the presidential one as it was said. He proved that by the mismatch in the compared numbers of the chopper?s gadgets. Secondly, he questioned the crew?s set up: their unnecessary number, their insistence to fly in spite of the wetted map of the coordinates, and their refusal to land when the visibility for the chopper?s direction became uncertain. Thirdly, he questioned why the head of the crew was allowed to fly the chopper when he was already a demoted officer in the Ugandan army a day before. Fourthly, he questioned why one of the crews? remains was taken to another neighbouring country for burial if he was a Ugandan. Fifthly, he wanted to know what kind of discussions Dr. Garang had with the Ambassadors for long hours before he boarded the chopper to Sudan.

Based on those clues, H.E. Aleu recommended to the President of the Republic of the Sudan to form a new committee to investigate the criminal side of the crash because the technical committee had done their work already. He doubted the sincerity of that technical committee and resigned from it. He accused it of the tendency to cover the whole suspicion and reduce it to God?s will by rushing to compensation even before the final conclusion was reached. Not only that, but Aleu went far with his telephone call from USA that he released that report to the public to clear his conscience before he could go into a sensitive operation in the hospital.

If what H.E. Aleu said is true, then he has relieved Sudan from internal indictment. From his clear conscience, he said nobody should accuse the Jillaba and the NCP government or any Southerner for the cause of Dr. Garang?s death. Instead, the government of Uganda should be held responsible and accountable for whatever has happened for the chopper crash. Whatever accusations could be made for anyone or any government apart from Ugandan government will not be justified because at the end of the day, the chopper belongs to Ugandan government (whether presidential or military). But surprisingly, instead for the SPLM leaders to say bravo to Aleu?s professional clues and courage to state facts, and instead to hold on him and mandate him to go ahead to dig out the whole truth, they shamelessly disowned him by distancing themselves from his report. Some of them recommended for the termination of his political post as a minister without first proving him to be wrong in what he stated. Nobody knows also whether they are going to dismiss him from the SPLA/M and throw him into the street because of having touched that sensitive button of the cause of Dr. Garang death. Notwithstanding, the funny part of it is that SPLM leaders did not say to have distanced themselves from the previous statements of Hon. Rebecaa Nyandeng in Nairobi when she said she new who killed her husband, and when she termed herself as the lioness who is ready to avenge for the lion were it not for the unity of the South.

Is Aleu a victim of plain truth or a sacrificial lamb for the Uganda-SPLM diplomatic relations? In my opinion, Aleu Ayieny Aleu should be made the head of the Criminal Investigation Committee for that ill-fated crash because of his professional experience in criminology and intelligence. Though he is said to be a controversial figure, yet he can be relied up on for the truth about the cause of death of the beloved hero of Peace, Dr. John Garang de Mabior whose blood shall be hot for those who will attempt to lie about its fate. Aleu is a man who respects his conscience and fears God and will not accept the truth to be covered for whatever benefits that will temporarily accrue as a result of sugar coating. Let SPLM top leaders not quiver when the blame is taken on Uganda. After all Southerners can forgive Uganda, but only after the truth for reconciliation is known.

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James Okuk is a PhD Student in the University of Nairobi in the area of Political Philosophy. He can be reached on E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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