An Open Letter to South Sudan’s Rebel Leader, Dr. Riek Machar

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Alberta, CANADA, FEB/02/2015, SSN;

It’s common knowledge that you are one of the most divisive figures in South Sudan’s political life whether you intended it or not. And that will go down in history as part of your leadership and political legacy.

It doesn’t matter who’s to blame for all the historical mishaps you’ve been involved in; history will always remember you in a manner that’s outside your perception of yourself. And it’s a personality tragedy you seem to brush aside as you continue to bargain and fight for your political life.

More than 90 % of your camp [military and political] is made up of your tribesmen. Your supporters can blame circumstances surrounding December 15, 2013 mutiny in Juba and subsequent incidences thereafter.

My judgement tells me that you didn’t start the problems that brought us to the current crisis; however, you contributed to the crisis in many ways than one.

Corruption flourished while you were still the Vice President, your office employees, like those of many other ministers, were from your tribe and you wanted to shut down SPLM-DC.

Besides, you criticized your own boss [Kiir] while you were still VP. Those factors don’t belong in a resume of a democrat, who sees himself as a genuine reformer.

And what is even more appalling is how you see yourself as a national leader when you rely exclusively on your fellow Nuer. The few non-Nuer in your camp joined you not out of your exemplary leadership but for the mere convergence of your grievances against the government.

With no doubt, these folks had bones to pick with the government. What gives you some semblance of credence isn’t what you offer but what the government of President Kiir isn’t doing.

• You are as tribalist just as Kiir Mayardit is.
• You are bargaining for political power and that’s what Kiir is doing.
• Your camp is mostly Nuer and Kiir’s camp is mostly Jieeng.
• Both of your camps have committed atrocities.
• And more importantly, none of you seems to strike a tone that promises the advent of peace in South Sudan.
• President Kiir has a tribal militia and so do you.
• Your deputy is from Central Equatoria, your army chief and your spokesperson are from your Tribe. That’s the same thing Kiir has done.

I don’t see how you could claim to be any better than Kiir. If you are, then you’re still to show us.

War Atrocities
You were once asked by a journalist to apologize to South Sudanese regarding the atrocities committed by your forces. Against all required logic and democratic sense of nationalism, you asked the journalist who you should apologize to; arguing that you are a victim.

Not only did that bury any shred of leadership decency and nationalism, you portrayed yourself as a selfish megalomaniac.

So many South Sudanese people died in this war. As someone who considers himself a national leader, you owe it to them to comfort them whether you are to blame or not. And the apology being asked isn’t meant for President Kiir, who’s equally required to apologize for his camp’s atrocities, but for the affected South Sudanese.

The likes of Mabior Garang De Mabior and James Gatdet Dak, including yourself, believe you have nothing to hide when it comes to war crimes. You even recently asked for the release of African Union commission report.

We know the Human Rights Watch report blamed all the warring parties for atrocities committed. AU preliminary report also blamed both sides in the conflict. It’s bizarre how you think you’d wish the content of these reports away.

It could have been a great justice to South Sudanese citizens if you’d called a press conference to apologize. That’s what good leaders do. But no, you want someone to apologize to you! I hope you don’t want the dead to apologize.

You think Kiir lost legitimacy because of the massacres of Nuer in Juba, but you remain mute on what the massacres in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal mean to you as a leader. Can we just forget about those lives because they are mere causal narratives of December 16 -18 Massacre of Nuer in Juba?

Peace Talks
These have actually become job-sharing conferences of either-or conditions. Peace is the only way in which this conflict can be ended. Neither you nor President Kiir would win this war militarily.

Both of you know that a total defeat of any side wouldn’t bring peace to South Sudan. It’d only lead to perpetual insecurity in the country.

Unfortunately, none of you seems to care what this crisis would continue to engender as long as you negotiate yourself back into the government and Kiir renegotiates himself back into presidency.

When you rebelled in 1991 and came back in 2002, it was the current VP James Wani Igga, who humbled himself and gave way to you. This humility was once shown by Gordon Muortat Mayen when Joseph Lagu took over both the political and military wings of Anya Nya war prior to 1972 Addis Ababa agreement.

Remember Wani Igga is a human being with feelings. He’s one weak, comical politician but he symbolizes something greater than himself; and that is, the political position of the three Southern States of the country relative, bizarrely, to Jieeng and Naath people.

Why can’t you, for once, compromise for the sake of peace and tell your camp that part of being a great statesmen is not simply being a top leader.

In all essence, establishing a legacy that has both long lasting and positive impact would go a long way in establishing yourself as a true democrat and reformer.

Negotiating yourself into power is not only selfish, it shows your lack of political muscles. IGAD peace initiative seems like your backdoor plan B. Give South Sudanese peace and they’ll reward you for it. Bring peace and campaign with a positive vibe.

IGAD’s leadership has proved itself a total failure by being peace imposers rather than peace negotiators.

President Kiir and you should therefore show some nationalistic care and attitudinal change for the good of the country.

If the two of you don’t care, who will?

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’. For contact, visit


  1. Deng Hanbol says:

    Kiir Garang,
    We are aware that you’re the spokesperson of the G 10. On that ground,you’re prejudiced against Dr. Riek Machar who always resists against Dinka domination. The simple question is, why the Dinka leaders are to Blame for carnage, corruption and failed state of South Sudan? And why the 63 tribes are against Dinka? Like wise the people of North Sudan against Dinka? Now you are talking nonsense against Dr. Riek Machar despite the fact that he’s (Machar) the one who is protecting your your Twic East clan and Bor Dinka, Shame on you. Mr. Kiir, your Dinka generals who let this catastrophic happened should hang their heads in shame. For your information Nuer generals , the tribes of western Bar Ghazal and Equatorians generals are poised to get rid of your genocidal primitive president. Again, be aware that your community of Twic East and Bor Dinka are in great peril if your infamous president and Ugandan dictator will attempt to assassinate Dr. Machar. Mr, Garang, let me very clear to you that the upcoming battle between the white army of mine and the Mathiang Ayour of yours is an eye for an eye (and tooth for a tooth) period.

  2. job says:

    Deng Hanbol, stupid nyagat stop your mindless at Kuir’s objective article. So you traitors are threatening to destroy and loot Twice East? So what. Your aimless kinds attempted it in 1991 just because Garang ( whom hypocritically praising now) is from Twice East.

    As usual, a combined forces of Bior Ajang and Kuol Manyang dislodged you nyagat outlaws, only to shamelessly come back begging John Garang in 2002.

    Another batch of Nyageet begged Salva Kiir. Cue Paulino Matip in 2007, Gatdet in 2009, Tanginya et all.

    Another shameless Nuer crew are now eating quietly in Juba, most of which came from Khartoum on independent day; Riek Gai kok.

    Matter of fact, CPA was signed by Dinka and Equatorians. Even Want Igga whom you Nuer bastards mock has his signatures indelibly ingrained on CPA. And don’t get me started on hero Samson Kwaje.

    In sum, Nuer grossly misguided fools who enterprise only contributed NOTHING to South Sudan but rebels and bandits. Mindless community.

    • GatCharwearbol says:


      If we are to be honest, it was Nuer who started the journey to South Sudan’s independence. Many of your tribesmen were sitting shamely in Khartoum dinning with their masters, the Arab. We understand your grandplan of trying to put down and hide history that gave credit to Nuer. We will not allow that to happen. History is reach and it is a good teacher. British knows us really well. They know who are the coward and who are the real men who can say no in the face of the powerful. When you are siding with British to make their colonization trek easy, we resisted both of you. We are again going to resist you and your East Africa countries. We are who we are and proud to be Nuer. This is just the beginning and the end is not in sight. Have good life my friend.

      • Domac says:

        GatCharwearbol, stop claiming history. Nuer history? Get on the top seat and execute order. My friend “you can’t lead from behind” Rice

        • GatChatwearbol says:


          I’m not “Rice” I’m Nuer. Stop quoting others. Where is your quote? You keep relying on others to twist the truth. Quit doing it; you sound really stupid.

          • Domac says:

            GatCharwearbol, don’t tell me you are a Nuer. Who is Nuer? anyway, Nuer are just bunch of idiots. Mr GatCharwearbol follow me or go to hell.

          • GatChatwearbol says:


            Sorry I don’t follow Coward. You would have to brave like Nuer if I have to follow you. But knowing that you’re a coward save me time to think of following you.

    • Jake says:

      You are clearly an idiot. The Nuers and equatorians began the struggle for independence long before you Arab slaves hijacked the cause. Even after Hijacking the movement and using it a your private army to intimidate other communities, you still need a nuer by the name of Riek Machar to re-orient your objectives. It is because of his vision you have a country called South Sudan. Yet you still now just loot while doing your almost best to destroy it. Paulino Matip, is a hero who for the sake of South sudan join hands with your corrupt to the core SPLA. Your cowards Kuol Manyang, Kiir, Malong And the rest have proven dinkas are nothing but coward Women. Going all out to beg help from everyone just to fight Nuers Nuers. That’s proof all the crap of being warriors is baseless lies. No wonder throughout the history, your people were slaves.

  3. Piir Ku Thou says:

    Kuir Garang is right because he want peace for South Sudanese not death so understand him

  4. galdino. sebit says:

    God have mercy! The mindset of these people will never reform. South Sudanese yearn for forgiveness in order to begin a new chapter for an independent south Sudan. For peace and reconciliation to thrive, Dr. Riak and Mr. Kirr must hold their hands and look straight on their faces without fear and shame, for the future of the nation and it’s people. South Sudan will always remain behind as we depart from this world. Nobody can claim ownership of this beloved country of ours. Mistakes have been done. Solutions should follow suit,without revenge. Why did we fight to liberate this country in the first place? Let us not look at others to impose solutions upon us. Millions of dollars have been used to fatten the so called negotiators as they are not interested in a solution to the conflict, for MONEY. Postponed negotiations in the face of civilian deaths every second of this conflict cannot sustain peace. South Sudan conflict is a lucrative Business for IGAD, AU,UGANDA,you name it. Can we wait for another one, two,three,four,five or ten years of negotiations? Well,let us think carefully.

  5. survivor says:

    As usual; an objective criticism of one individual; an individual with an aspiration of national leadership, has been hijacked. The points stated to criticize Mr. Riek Machar have been (unbelievably) taken far out of context.
    As seen, the die-hard Riek Supporters have turn this into a Nuer vs Dinka thing. Something that was not in the article. And these people mistake Riek’s name to be synonymous with Nuer. Thus if you criticize Riek than you are criticizing Nuer. A notion that is far fetch and out of touch with the realities. And the same also apply to some Dinka in regard to criticizing Kiir Mayardit.
    We really need to start separate the individual from the whole. We as the community (insert any tribe) Nuer in this case. Nuer has a community needs to stop excusing Riek’s shortcoming/failure, and most importantly, Nuer need to stop giving Riek undue credit
    Riek’s failures and short comings are his own individual issues; not Nuer. People need to keep in mind that when Riek is being criticized, it is not an implicit criticism of Nuer as a tribe. Nor is it an implicit support of Kiir, or denying people of their legitimate cause against the sitting government of Kiir Mayardit. Criticizing Riek Machar is simply that; there no hidden agendas or implicit messages.
    FYI, South Sudan is an independent nation today, as the result of the brave South Sudanese men who sacrificed their lives; the men who stood steadfast in face of death, the men who persevered through all elements. Not because of one individual. Especially not because of a man that was in Khartoum for 11 of the 22 years. CPA and the eventual independence of south Sudan is the direct result of the SPLM/A main stream, not SSDF, SPLM/A Nasir, or SPLM Fashoda. South Sudan is a nation today because of the men who remained behind.
    To attributing South Sudan independence to one individual; if you don’t mind. Could one you please explain how Riek fought for South Sudan independence when he was in Khartoum with Al Bashir for 11 years?

  6. alex says:

    The big problem we are facing is lack of education. You can see that these people are mere followers. They follow what their leaders tell them whether it is good or bad they do not care that is why the politicians will continue to exploite us. If the readers really have mind, the letter was good but because of they have been brain washed they will always support their own camps. Until we become politically matured, we will alway continue to mess up. So I ask the two camps to reread the letter again and again. It is a rich and empowering letter. Lets continue to work for peace and let elections be the one to bring our leaders. It is sad to fight for history only though it is important. Where is the Nile valley? In the history I learned that civilization started in along the Nile valley and what happen today, the greet people along the Nile vally are the laughing stock in the world. They have to be fed now with food brought from well wishers, they are now the most backward people in the world. So can we say history is playing important role here.

    It is what we do and what we believe that matters. If we can bring peace and live with one heart as children of one family and believe that, the live of the other person is the same as my own life, we will enter history with houner and the world will respect us as being the great civilised mankind in South Sudan. We need to look into our own destiney and begin to develop our country. Hate is a behaviour that can not help us but love is a spring of living water where whoever is thurst can go and dring from this spring of life. If we love life lets enberence peace and love among ourselves.


  7. OHI'DE says:

    Kuir ë GarangYou wrote:
    “This humility was once shown by Gordon Muortat Mayen when Joseph Lagu took over both the political and military wings of Anya Nya war prior to 1972 Addis Ababa agreement.” CAN YOU GIVE US REFERENCE HOW THIS MAN ‘Gordon Muortat Mayen’ COMES INTO THIS STATEMENT? SOME OF US NEVER HEARED ABOUT HIM. I HEARD OF FATHER SATURLINO.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Mr. Ohi’de,
      For those of us who were actively following the first liberation war at the time in the late sixties and pre-Addis Ababa Agreement, Gen. Joseph Lagu’s emergence as the main leader of the movement was a tactical and qualified replacement to the ailing then overall Anya-Nya military commander, Gen. Taffeng.
      Secondly, it was a final resolution taken by the fighters, the politicians and more importantly, by the foreign supporters, mainly the Israelis, who were then fed up of the persistent tribal and leadership squabbles between those civilian politicians you mentioned above.
      Finally, those sponsors wanted a qualified military man to enhance the liberation and specially to combine all the different tribal and regional armies spread across the South. Lagu’s takeover surely made the Gordon Mourtats, the Akot Atems and even the well known South Sudanese and sworn separatist and first South Sudanese University graduate and first Sudan post-independence south Sudanese governor ever, Aggrey Jaden, all redundant.
      Of course, history is always subject to controversial interpretations. Anyway, Lagu’s takeover resulted in a stronger army and also randomized deployment of the commanders, i.e. Equatorian commanders fighting in Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazel provinces and likewise Dinka commanders now fighting in Equatoria. Before Lagu, everyone kept to his region, e.g. Eastern Equatorians in the Eastern Equatoria, the Dinkas in Bahr el Ghazel or Upper Nile, Nuers in Nuerland and the Azande in Western Equatoria under the acronym of Sue Republic, the Akot Atem’s Ayindi Republic, etc…etc.
      (I highly recommend reading Kuir e Garang’s book, “South Sudan Ideologically.”

      • Ohi'de says:

        Thank you Editor. The History of liberation struggle is becoming clearer but the disturtion in Kuir ë Garang statement is that Gordon Muortat Mayen was the leader then handed it to Joseph Lagu. The statement should have been that Gordon Muartat was one of the leaders and for fairness Kuir ë Garangs should have mentioned the other Leaders as well.

      • Eastern says:

        Dear Editor,

        This is an excellent summarised feedback to all those that think all the efforts put to realise South Sudan independence must be Dinka led, how cheap.

        Gen. Lagu has been sidelined by Dinkas for a very long time to the set end that young dinkas have come to conclude that he never led Anya nya liberation movement. That movement was in fact one that championed Southern independence. This stupid ‘we are the majority and therefore must outshine others’ must stop or will be forced to stop!

  8. Kondokoro says:

    Big problem is not education bro
    but is what education had educated you in?
    we have Drs Phds degrees high school diplomas but what those ducments had done to those individuals and the harm they brought to south sudan?
    you see Drs behaving worst than uneducated, those who never read do better in dealing with matters naturally than educated class what is the problem?
    problem is education had not produced character, these guys when to school to get papers but they didnt allow education to produce well displine behaviour of a educated person thats why you see no displine no respect to Leadership no respect to democratic principles ETC

  9. Laban says:

    The author of this an open letter admitted that this going an rest was caused by Dr machar,but he messed it up by blame based on bias of being a dinka.the history book will judge Dr machar as who courageous enough to save south Sudan not just of being of a nuer.he has compelling arguments right from all objections he made in 1991 that splm under adapted and help pave the way to an independent south Sudan and again he correcting south south Sudanese again that splm as ruling part is not symbolizes what you wee fighting all years to free and system that accommodates all people of south sudan,but it repeated the same practice of Khartoum regime method by domination of dinka in institutions.this time he Dr machar is proctecting our hard earned freedom.

  10. abai okwahu says:

    Kuir may be right by labelling Riek Machar as a divisive figure in the politics of South Sudan due to his split from the SPLA/M in 1991. I think most Southerners understand that one of the main reasons why Riek Machar and Lam Akol left the movement was the manner in which John Garang created the SPLA/M High Command Military structure and appointed mostly ‘Dinka’, resulting into a disproportionately large percentage represented by his own tribesmen. Garang also began to run the movement as his own enterprise and not entertaining any advice from the membership. Garang did not tolerate dissenting voices or opinion, often imprisoning them or death. The SPLA/M now run the country, basically having a monopoly on power! I will refer readers of this column to the recently signed agreement on power-sharing in Addis Ababa, 60 per cent go to SPLM Juba, 30 per cent to SPLM in Opposition, and 10 per cent to the former detainees and the rest of the political parties in the country. It does not matter whether Kiir or Machar step down for the sake of peace the SPLM structures and mindset will remain, unless there is a complete overhaul of the system.

  11. Monyjangdit says:

    Nuers are known of setting back,

  12. Where is our nationalism? It is true our politicians failed terribly in leading us. But we must rise as a nation to rescue one of ours,our brothers who had been blinded to see their demised in a slow manner, i.e. the Nuer. As nationalist, it is unacceptable for this war to be fought in the farms, villages, and natural inhabit of the Naath. Riek and his thugs must look for other battle grounds.
    Look beyond your pride for a minute, and see the reality on the ground. it is the Nuer who are dying on both sides of this war. And if they(Nuer) as people don’t see that, we as nationalist must show them.
    Civilians still being caught in cross fire today unlike early days of the way are predominately Nuer, and this is a fact. The cattles, goats, villages, and land being mined with explosive today is Nuerland. The constituent where developments have been shelf today is Nuerland, and as a nation,we will have to do some sort of affirmative action on the community later if the war for long to bring them to par. So Are we ready to create Generational imbalance in our Beloved Country? Hell No.
    As a nationalist.. Am ready to fight this war for as long as it takes. Why? If you swear to protect this nation again Foreign and Domestic Enemies, Then you have no choices but kill your own brother, father, mother who is deemed by the state as an “of the state”. And when that Bullet was fired that evening, on that dreadful Dec 15th, a threat against a state was perceived and that person/s ultimately become a threat to the state. And they could have been from Bari, Nuer, or Zande, Achol, Taposa, Dinka, or,He could have been Malong Awan, Kiir, Wani, Riek, Majak agot,Pagan, or Lam akol. It wont make a different. State has the duty to subdue that threat. It is unfortunate that it was Riek, that does not make a different either.. He must be brought to book either Dead or Alive. That is how state operates.
    So for me, I have no idea what they are negotiating in Addis Ababa. This is a question of Law and Order. It ceased being a political crisis on that evening of Dec. 14th. And State must do everything now, and continously in years to come to bring this unlawlessness to order. And the government compensates those citizen it fails to protect, be the Nuer, Shilluk and Dinka..Because it has fail it constitutional mandate
    Am from Bhar el ghazel as individual, but on the day of elections, Kiir must answer where forty percent of the national Budget for ten years went, if Arm forces can not defeat thugs from one tribe. What will happens if all tribes start behaving like Nuer, what will happens to the state?
    Nuer must separate themselves from Riek, and other Bougeois now, not tomorrow, but Now. You cannot allow yourselves to be used as a human shield for Power greet agendas. Please, i beg you my kinsmate.. Think big, beyond Riek, Salva Kiir, think beyond Nuer and Dinka. Think, as people of the Mighty Nile. And Lets go back to eating our Shale, Riel, Lake, name it..the life we know.
    God Bless South Sudan!

  13. Abiko! says:

    Dear Revolutionist Mr.Kirr e Garang!:

    Well done job on your written article!!!Take care! You nailing Riak Machar to death!!!!!!!!!He and Kirr they will not bring a good peace agreement to the country to people at all in front of God! They let people in the South,to suffer in miserable lives! Do have a great one in Australia.Extend my best wishes to the fellow compatriots!I wish them all right! Keep on struggle there! You will be returning someday for a better home in SUDAN NUMBER THREE!!!

    Thank you with your articulation! Back to you to the audience in the forum on discussion board South Sudan Nation Website!


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