Dr. Riek Machar Should Leave Politics for his Safety and the Nuer People

By John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUL/27/2016, SSN;

Having read through the lines, in and out, about the current conflict in South Sudan, I have come to the conclusion that at least the best way out of this serious situation is for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to sacrifice his political ambition and temporarily quit politics altogether.

This may sound odd to many hardliners on both sides of the political divide, especially the SPLM-IO supporters and presumably the FDs (former detainees) whose lifeline depends on IO victory. The following paragraphs shall illustrate why I came to this conclusion.

Indeed after thorough debates in my mind and after having seen and read the trends on which the conflict continues to turn each day in South Sudan, the following elucidations helped inform my inherent conclusions:

Firstly, the war is unwinnable in all aspects especially on the side of SPLA/M-IO and to some extent on the SPLA/M- IG as well. It is a baseless war, aims to achieve nothing but to notoriously kill, maim civilians, destroy properties and rob generations once again from gaining literacy and early childhood education.

Previously, we had lost generations into extreme illiteracy in civil wars; the war kills education opportunities, destroy infrastructure and germinate obnoxious hatred and mistrust among the elite themselves.

Recent wars have taught us to believe this, former enemies never in totality live in complete harmony. For instance, the atrocities of 1991 conflict are being sung and used as intimidation against those believed to have engineered them.

Although the bygones are gone through reconciliation, it is still the case in South Sudan.

Secondly, in the African context, conflicts are not won between brothers; the only winning point for each of the protagonists is reconciliation.

The war between Dinka and Nuer plus their acquaintances will only in my view be won by reconciliation and not in effect through the barrel of the gun as some generals may want to believe. The usage of artillery and bombing usage against each group in this conflict only serves to depopulate our country and leave unredeemed scars on our future generations.

Thirdly, the nature of contemporary Nuer people is rigorously characterized by defections and non-stick-ability on the perceived collective goal. This is true on how Dr. Riek Machar in most of his founded rebellions suffered rapid re-defections.

The data is replete with his followers changing allegiances at each of the critical time of his rebellion. For example, in the 1991 rebellion engineered by Dr Lam Akol and led by Dr Riek Machar, many officers from the Nuer tribe deserted their man to the mercy of SPLA/SPLM led by Dr John Garang De Mabior but were so kind to fully forgive him, and embrace him as his brother through true reconciliation.

History has repeated itself in the 2013 crisis, although many analysts believed that there wasn’t a planned coup at all but instead a mismanaged mutiny in the presidential guards unit.

Dr. Machar, for the second time, found himself exposed to a mounting another rebellion, which he had indeed led since 2013 to Aug 2016, that ended with IGAD brokered Agreement in what later became a short-lived and dishonored peace deal.

Again, for the third time, in July 2016, Dr. Machar has found himself exiled from the capital, Juba. Less than a month later, his close associate, Mr. Taban Deng Gai (his close relative) has taken up his position in a bloodless coup although some people are calling it a survival strategy by barricaded ministers at the wrath of roaring SPLA/M-IG.

Nevertheless, it true that some Machar’s appointed ministers in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) have turned against him with the view that it is business as usual without Dr. Machar.

His contemporary acquired the spirit of a non-shameless notion of re-defection referred to earlier s has fallen on those of Taban Deng Gai and Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Garkuoth, who were until the recent days the very men at Dr. Machar‘s left hand (Machar is left-handed).

Fourthly, Dr. Machar forces may not at this stage win this third conflict given the sound realities; i.e. the government forces have considerable numbers and are well resourced with the backup from Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF).

He is likely to fight three enemies; SPLA-IG, SPLA-IO-Juba and external force in the form of UPDF. Thus for his own safety and for the safety of his remaining loyal Nuer members, he must quit politics temporarily as a matter of a long time strategy.

This pull back in my view may help spare innocent lives of Nuer people who might, if this war continues, be killed, bombed and displaced.

Ironically, the trust based on International Bodies (AU, IGADD, and UN) is certainly not a guarantee in for Dr. Machar’s survival and his factions. The Rwanda case is a good example of the profound failure of International Community.

Therefore, I believe that a decision to rescue this conflict and bring it to an end once and all rests with Machar relinquishing of his quest for power in South Sudan.

Although it is his democratic right, the prevailing situation in our young nation makes it fervently difficult to apply conventional realities.

The Dinka people who rarely change allegiances have at this point rallied around President Kiir, whether through the influence of the recent known politically notorious group referred to as Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) or through tribal bonds.

It is hard at this juncture and in the near future to think of taking leadership by opposition to the Dinka governing elites (this may sound tribal but these are the facts on the surface).

It may sound like giving up or surrendering position but in essence, it is the best option out of the mess. Dr. Machar has engendered enemies both within IO Juba faction, FDs and obviously SPLA Juba who all really want him buried.

The Taban’s faction may be more dangerous to Dr. Machar’s survival than SPLA-IG. There may be a plan of a close proximity assassination of Machar filtering through in the SPLA-IO-in-the-Bush.

Thus, there is a high possibility for the resumption of Nuer against Nuer conflict emerging as it has always been.

Finally, sometimes when rams fight, they pull back to gain momentum, consolidate power and later on apply the power.

To give Dr. Riek Machar the benefit of the doubt, he appeared to have learned his lessons from the past; he too is seen as a leader who can take the nation forward in terms of development. He is fairer in power distribution as illustrated in the allocation of his 10 ministries.

All regions of South Sudan were well equitably represented in his IO part of the government, unlike president Salva who in most of his appointments appreciates seeing his giant Dinka community equitably represented first plus pockets of other communities.

Significant contrast may be drawn between these two leaders. The circumstance as I had alluded to in previous paragraphs dictates Dr. Machar to defer his quest for leadership until when the dust settled and that there is peace and tranquility in the country. END

Mr. John Adoor Deng is the author of the book entitled: Politics of Ethnicity and Governance in South Sudan: Understanding the Complexity of the World’s Newest Country.
He is a student studying a Doctor of Philosophy at Torrens University of Australia (TUA). He can be reached at dengjohn780@gmail.com


  1. bismark says:

    Any legitimate South Sudanese has got constitutional right to to stand for any public office in South Sudan. Riek Machar being one of them he can do so. If Riek is to stand down from his position, Kiir should too as he has ruined the country with his war of hate. Under Kiir’s leadership many innocent lives have been lost across a broad tribal spectrum of South Sudanese. From one old children to over ninety years old persons disappeared. South Sudan need to navigate away from its tribal politics in order to develop and Kiir should leave J1 for somebody else to do the right job to the citizens.

  2. Gatdarwich says:


    The illegal appointment of General Taban as the FVP and the defection of Ezekiel Lol from the SPLA-IO shouldn’t give you, the traitorous Jenges a false sense of imminent Nuer vs. Nuer war. You, the traitorous Jenges should have known by now that Taban and Lol are not more powerful–in terms of soldiers or general popularity within the NaathNation community than General Gatdet, Tanginye, Gathoth Gatkuoth, and many others who defected from the SPLA-IO. If General Gatdet, Tanginye, and Gathoth Gatkuoth couldn’t even convinced their close relatives to fight other Nuer, It’s
    Highly impossible for Taban and Ezekiel to perform miracles for the Dinka. You, the traitorous Dinka must think twice about the magnitude of this war before coming to shortsighted conclusion. The duos, Taban and Ezekiel have absolutely zero chance in hell of getting a Nuer-Four-legged-dog to bark behind them period
    This war is not about individual Nuer General or politician–Not even Dr. Riek–but will and shall be generational full stop

  3. Eastern says:

    Dear John,

    Your’s is a candid observation of the situation unfolding in South Sudan. I lift my hat for you!


  4. Kizito Panther says:

    Dear John Adoor Deng,
    What u are suggesting here is for Riek to abandon his citizenship right to vie for any political position in the country and for you and other Dinkocrats’s right to rule South Sudan be maintained and defended at any cost, even to the expense of other rights to contest for any high political position in South Sudan such as presidency and others. Who the hell do you think you are to control other peoples’ rights. Remember that your human rights are also our human rights. No other South Sudanese rights should be sacrificed in order to promote only Dinka rights to be respected and upheld. Of course what you are afraid of from Machar is that he is an obstacle to the continuity of Dinkocrazy in South Sudan and promotion of the Dinka Ideology, the Born to Rule and new Masters of South Sudan, after the northern Arabs’ terrible failure to be our continued masters.
    For sure with or without Riek Machar in South Sudan, Dinka will never continue with this brute and archaic philosophy of the Born to Rule and domination in South Sudan. All the tribes of South Sudan right now have risen to stand against Kiir and the Malongs. Be prepared, other wise you will be taken by Surprise and your long suffering to come which you looked for will loom and reach you and God whom you do not even believe in will not save you because He only saves those who are His believers, not Devils like you who worship Black cows and snakes.

  5. Amum says:

    Dear John,

    Part of your personal analyses my be true, but you miss the real point, both leaders are not wanted any longer in South Sudan, but you seem to favor Kiir because you belong to his ethnic group. Other communities will surprise both gaints tribes that destroyed South. I would like to assure you that third party will be from within South, those who were mirginalized by warmongers tribes. Warships plane you speak about in your assertion will be brought down in coming days like during SPLM/A Movement. Indeed, Ugandians will not accept to continue dying for the cost of their President. The same thing South Sudan with difficult financial constrain will not be able withstand the coming war. You, Jieng elites supposed to criticize JEC for the way they are leading you to enemity with all southerners. With all upper hand military power, you will not win the coming war believe me. It will be the last of your dream of manipulation politic affairs in South. I just want to let you know that future is gloomy to all parties not Nuer as you seem to suggest in your article. Finally, reconciliation will be impossible with the present of both leaders championing the affairs. Take care

    • Force_1 says:


      You guys have the ridiculous notions that somehow if other tribe’s persons other than Dinka become president and vice president we would magically have peace and what have you in South Sudan. Having a president or vice president from your own tribe doesn’t make you anything if you weren’t anything in the first place.

      The government top 3 positions have been to these tribes respectively Dinka, Nuer and Bari; but does it means those tribes are all well off today because one of their own had been president for last 6 years since South Sudan independent? The great example is in the USA; the United State has had Black president for almost 8 eight years now; does it means Black people in US are well off just because one of their own is president?

      On the other hand; if your wishes are; let foreign forces come in and forced Jiengs out of power and installed you into presidency; would you be the happiest people in South Sudan just because the Jiengs were kicked out by foreign forces? Well foreign powers know that well because it doesn’t and it will never work; they know it more than we are in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Our problem in South Sudan is not who held the presidency but luck of respect of anyone who happened to be in power no matter who it maybe. Do you guys think the next president who will be next will earn any respect? Of course not! Why because you didn’t respect the first one or the office they held. You don’t have to respect the person holding the office but you must respect the office of the president because that office can be held by anyone.

  6. Bol says:

    Mr John Deng,
    One of the reasons President Kiir stays in power up to now, despite his utter failure is the likelihood of Dr Reik ascending to J1. A sizable number of Dinka won’t allow Dr Reik to assume power easily and Jebal assault is a clear evidence that Dr Reik adversaries are serious to derail him for ever. It is unthinkable that few individuals can access all sorts of Army’s hard-ware, assemble troops and lodged unauthorised military operation! It is unfair to talk down Dr Reik leadership ambitions, but it will perfectly makes sense if he did quit on his own volution for the sake of averting further destruction. Victory has different meaning, and quitting is one those meaning.

  7. Comrade Yien mathews says:

    Hi All,
    I do agred with writer, Riek Machar is weak in decision making, most of we Nuers really behind him and fully fight on the battle field and at the end he betray us by appointing weak and lonely people in the cabinet like Lado Gore,Mabior Nyandeng and Dhieu Mathok, what have they done for him but to betray him and endorse Taban Deng so Riek must quiet politics,and leave his most trusted guys to operate in gov,t i like that.I participated personally on the battle field but he left me out.I don,t want him anymore to save as the FVP but to go to UK and studied analytical politics

  8. False Millionaire says:

    What a blind commentator are u?
    Indeed u are reminding every body of a rural child sleeping story of steelthy heart of a lion which incited the lion to be too courageous in the face of too overwhelming adversary until he got kilt and his heart also died with him.
    U and the rest of Dr Riek’s diehearts are witnessing Dr Riek’s irreversible downfall without knowing and he will pull u down with him.
    I am not among the makers of the events in Juba,but the presence of Taban Deng Gai in the place of Dr Riek will facilitate a hasty reconcilliation between jieng and Nuer masses.Now Kiir should go and why not have his place taken by Oliny and Igga’s place taken by another equatorian to complete a reconcilling government of national unity.That’s the logic Mr Adoor was beating the depth of the bush to drive into u.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Just a note of significance….. if Kiir should go leaving the presidency by the hand of God or gun, then automatically the vice takes over. Why not?
      Perhaps it’s only in South Sudan where posts are marked on tribe. Taban Gai automatically should become president, Wani becomes first vp and a jieng become vice president.
      How about that for ‘national unity?’

    • Gatdarwich says:

      False millionaire,

      Having the Nuer’s Nephew, Taban Omar on your side doesn’t necessarily means, you, the traitorous jenges have gotaway with the massacring of 20,000 Nuer women, children, elderly, and the sick in Juba in December, 2013. Appointing or bribable absorbance of lonely Nuer adopted selfish politician into killer nyankiir’s genocidal regime is not and shall never the solution.
      Justice and accountability for the innocent Nuer massacred by the Dinka is our ultimate goal, and will, and shall imminently achieved that goal by all means possible period

      • Josh says:

        You Nuer are to be blamed first in 1991. Do you think Dinks are not human being?

        • Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:


          Do not shy away from mentioning the 1983 episode. Mass killing of Gaajaak Nuer is not forgotten as well. Keep that in mind for your future comment.

  9. Santino manyang Bathou says:

    My friend Gatdarwich according to what you said if Dr Riek machar a president and happen like thing shappened now to kiir did all Nuer became vice president? do not thinking like kids

  10. alex says:

    For peace lovers and our suffering people, it is a rightful thing for Risck Machar and his die hearts supporters to accept the democratic decision of his leadership and you should honor your own constitution. People need peace and it is not only Machar who can bring peace unless if the issue is about position as he is claiming that the VP position is still his. We can not afford to go to another war. The suffering of our people should be brought to an end. We can not afford to lose more people in the IDPs camps due to poor living conditions. If I was Machar, I would be directing the new VP from behind so that S. Sudanse people will know he is a peace lover and not fighting for positions. I could not afford to risk to break up the party because how will the party win in the 2018 elections if he is having conflict with his top leadership. The party is going back to being seen as Nuer party which is not healthy politically. Secondly, democracy means listening to your colleagues to avoid being labelled as being a dilator. So you die heart supporters of Riack enough is enough our people need peace . So give peace a chance. The issue is not about an individual it is about implementation of the peace in later and spirit. Riack has led national political issues to personal animosity with the president. This is also evidently seen in the writing of his die heart supporters. The issue is about our people and democracy in the country but not Riack Machsr

  11. False Millionaire says:

    Dear Editor,
    On the 15th of July 2016,a certain Malith Kur published an article on this website under the title,”South Sudan:vice president Wani Igga vs first vice president Riek Machar”.
    Weighing the facts of the protagonists’ political backrounds,Mr Malith ended his conclusions in favor of Igga at the helm of the presidency at the eventuality of Kiir’s retirment.But the majority of equatorian intellectual heavy weights among whom were u and Dr Ramba took Malith for a bullzeboub,a chief witch defending a fellow witch doctor.
    In fact,that was only a personal opinion.
    Now in my argument,the scenario of Kiir departure to be replaced by Oliny,a shulluk fellow with Igga getting replaced by another equatorian doesn’t suggest any jieng in the presidency.If that’s a sacrifice that will bring peace among our masses,then it isn’t too much a price to pay.
    In fact,that’s another personal opinion.
    As of your point,if,”Taban Gai automatically should become president,Wani becomes first vp and a jieng become vice president”,is too,another personal opinion which isn’t unwise in much the same way as the other two so far as the objective is,”national unity”,and I am totally in agreement with u.

  12. deng hanbol says:

    John Adoor Deng,
    You will be surprised to hear that Taban (Muhammad Hassan) has a plan B. Indeed, there is a possibility that M.Hassan would use his new position as a Trojan Horse to get ride of Saliva Kiir. Just for a reminder, if there is no regional force coming into Juba by next week, Gen. Gatwech Dual, Gen. Martin Keney, and Gen. Koung Choul Ranlay (CDR) will storm or capture Juba and eventually will be the end of Dinkoracy rule in South Sudan. My only concerned is about the innocent Dinka so long as there is a speculation that the Equatorian, Chollo, and Feritets are anxious to implement the rule of retaliation in their hands. In other words, “an eye for an eye”, and a tooth for a tooth. My ultimate foe, stay tune!

    • Force_1 says:

      You Nuer wished you were that smart enough to do that scenario you described; but history proofed that you aren’t up to that task; you even proof yourself to be unintelligent by publishing a situation like that; if it was in fact an existing process in progress. Make no mistake about it; don’t take it from me here; but review or track your history back as far as you can go and tell us what you ever done rationally that wasn’t highly irrational in the history of South Sudan.

  13. Gatdarwich says:


    You’re absolutely right wutNuer. Our nephew, Taban Omar, always have a treacherous plan B. There’s no shadow of a doubt about that. In fact, he could have easily becomes the next president–after Dr. Riek retires if he didn’t committed political suicide–betrayed–married–prostitutes with the murderers of the 20,000 Naath sons and daughters, the traitorous Dinka!

  14. abai okwahu says:

    taban deng gai mocked machar in his latest interview that perhaps he (machar) should quietly go to khartoum, nairobi or addis ababa and chill, or come to juba sit down and wait for the 2018 elections! incredible. kiir and company are here to stay and machar would not go anywhere anytime soon, there has to be an alternative to the dreaded splm/a (ig, io, dc, fd, etc.) or else citizens will endure more years of pain.

  15. Lokosang says:

    Having read through the lines, in and out, about the current conflict in South Sudan, I have come to the conclusion that at least the best way out of this serious situation is for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to sacrifice his political ambition and temporarily quit politics altogether.

    Dear John Door, to quote your statement above, based on what justification that let you to conclude that Dr Riek Machar has to quit politics and not president KIIR (Kin)

    Also quoting from what you have stated in your article “Firstly, the war is unwinnable in all aspects especially on the side of SPLA/M-IO and to some extent on the SPLA/M- IG as well. It is a baseless war, aims to achieve nothing but to notoriously kill, maim civilians, destroy properties and rob generations once again from gaining literacy and early childhood education”

    If you know that war is so bad as you mentioned why don’t you advice your ill president and your Jieng Council of elders and the war lord around him to stop killing, raping and torturing innocent people and destroying our economy and our image in the world of nations.

    Again quoting from your article “Previously, we had lost generations into extreme illiteracy in civil wars; the war kills education opportunities, destroy infrastructure and germinate obnoxious hatred and mistrust among the elite themselves”

    If you really have reasoning capacity you would not have even thought of writing this statement because all the people of South Sudan and the international community know that it is your tribal government that kill education opportunity, destroy infrastructure, instigate hatred and mistrust because you behave like hyenas. Hyenas don’t hunt their own prey but they consume all without living a piece of bone what the lions and tigers have hunted.

    Also you mentioned that Dr. Machar forces may not at this stage win this third conflict given the sound realities; i.e. the government forces have considerable numbers and are well resourced with the backup from Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF).

    He is likely to fight three enemies; SPLA-IG, SPLA-IO-Juba and external force in the form of UPDF. Thus for his own safety and for the safety of his remaining loyal Nuer members, he must quit politics temporarily as a matter of a long time strategy.
    Let me tell you this, battles are not worn because you have considerable number and amour but, battles are worn when you have a clear objectives, gives you courage and will to achieve. Also it needs discipline and well training.
    By the way how comes that your consider number and amour can not defeat the 1300 SPLA- IO in Juba.

    To proof you wrong, read the below quotation from Africans press.org or visit the website to see how Salfa Kiir was crying like a woman and Molong was watching with open mouth, astonished from what he had seen at Juba teaching hospital.

    “July 30, 2016, Dozen of wounded SPLA soldiers were brought to Juba Teaching Hospital last evening, according to an eyewitness. The anonymous source confirms that two military Landcruisers arrived yesterday to the hospital at about 8pm with dozen of SPLA soldiers who were wounded in Luri. More information is yet to be obtain from the local authority”.

    Share this:

  16. deng hanbol says:

    Male! I’m so pleased for you.

  17. Daktari says:

    ‘He is a student studying a Doctor of Philosophy at Torrens University of Australia (TUA). He can be reached at dengjohn780@gmail.com‘ . Never heard the name Torrens University of Australia, may be the university of Southern Queensland (USQ) were he studied his useless degree.

    • John Deng says:

      Are you okay brother Daktari? can you make more research to find all university in Australia before saying? can you google Torren University of Australia?

  18. Peacemaker says:

    Mr. Adoor Deng, Your proposal for Dr. Riek to quit is never a solution to South Sudan conflict. You seem to perceive the problem as being between President Kiir’s jieng and Dr. Machar’s Nuers. it’s the picture that is being wrongly painted. The Problem is biggest than what you seem to suggest or deliberately try to sell to serve your ethnic collective misguided ambition which is to stick to power and continue your barbaric and uncouth domination of the people of South Sudan. If you have not been shown the truth, this war is a second war for liberation of the country from one tribe hegemony and as such all South Sudan tribes have come together to fight for themselves.

  19. False Millionaire says:

    What makes u toy with the name Peacemaker when in reality u are a war maker?
    The events of Juba 2 were highly commented about long before they took place on this forum.
    But surprise,when they took place from 8th of July,it was only nuer and jieng butchering each other.If u aren’t a mentally disturbed fellow,where are those,”all south sudan tribes”,today in the nuer-dinka communal struggle?Or are u taking about a different fight in the sky?!!!

  20. Survivor says:

    this zero-sum game of the two poles. the notion that a criticism of one is equated to being a direct endorsement of the other. why can’t we be absolute for once! one fact that many fail to see, is if Riek somehow relinquishes his quest for power. it would make it easier to oust Kiir and company from the seat of power.
    With Riek out of the way, the whole nation would come together to tackle Kiir.
    the fact is, Kiir support is by default. most of Kiir supporters are conditional supporters, as such, most of the support Mr. Kiir enjoys is from those that detest Riek and the same goes for the Riek supporters. the lesser of “two evils” is the factor that drives most south Sudanese.

  21. Hoiloom says:

    Useless Dinka man has no shame. Who are you to ban an individual to participate in national politics?
    Keep your stupid ideas to yourself.


  22. wongoo says:

    Dinka’s are useless people with their illiterates military generals they don’t know what they are doing but one day every thing will come to an end, once they lose the presidency to nuer or equatorians they are finished

  23. wanyator says:

    better to preach peace,

Leave a Reply to Gatdarwich Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.