Dr. Riek’s Delayed Return to Juba: A Prelude to Resumption of War and Declaration of a Parallel Government In South Sudan

BY: Joseph Oreste Odhok, South Sudan, APR/21/2016, SSN;

There were high hopes and a jubilant mood in Juba city by the citizens as the government and the armed opposition members of the advance team were engaging in preparations for reception of the SPLA/M-IO Leader and the 1st VP designate Dr. Riek Machar. But it appears these hopes are now being dashed because of the government’s refusal to grant flight and landing clearance for the armed opposition general chief of staff plane.

Traded accusations by the opposing parties is seen by observers as lack of political will and commitment by both parties to implement the agreement.

With this new development in the country’s politics, the future of South Sudan looks grim and gloomy. Realistically, since the eruption of conflict in 2013, and what accompanied it of violations of human rights and crimes committed against humanity, there has never been a genuine dialogue between the warring parties to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Both parties had sought military solutions which further exacerbated the situation on the ground and led to more sufferings and displacement of the civil population. This reality increased the rift and polarized the masses along political and ethnic lines.

Regrettably, the government continued to pursue a divisive policy line being led by its tribal wing referred to as JCE (Jieeng Council of Elders). It put to use the state resources in an attempt to crash the rebellion and silence its real and perceived political opponents. It also used and continue to use the mercenaries from Sudanese rebels of SPLM/A – North and the Darfuri rebels of JEM known as TORABORA.

Reports and forensic evidence confirm the participation of those groups alongside government troops in battles fought against the Opposition forces for control of Malakal and Bentieu cities. To date the SPLA/M – N rebels of Southern Blue Nile of Malek Agar still maintain heavy presence in areas of Melut, Renk and Maban counties of Upper Nile State. They are used by the regime as a mobile force and readily available on request.

While government strategies to put down the rebellion proved futile as they could not bring about the desired goal according to plan, the SPLM/A –IO was gaining more territory and following and the war continued to rage indefinitely at the expense of human suffering.

At this hopeless situation, ARCISS was the best thing the International Community and the Regional Groupings could offer to South Sudanese as a means through which the hostilities could be arrested and peace eventually realized.

Although signing peace is an important step in the process of realizing peace and security, implementing it is equally the most crucial and the most difficult step in the process.

Judging by similar instances where signed peace agreements between opposing parties did not see light or endure, it could be deduced that the foot-dragging in implementing the security arrangements with regards to the demilitarization of the capital among others are indications of lack of commitment and political will by the government to implement peace. The agreement is therefore doomed.

Even if more pressure is exerted on the government to respect the agreement and allow for transportation of weapons and military personnel as required by the agreement, the government is likely to put new obstacle in the way of implementing the peace agreement in letter and spirit. Issues such as the question of the 28 states that it unilaterally created and went ahead to put into effect, could be one of such standoffs.

Despite all attempts by the government to block the return of Dr. Machar to Juba, he remains morally responsible to join his fellow comrades on their “Mission Impossible” errand in Juba. The armed opposition VIPs including Riek’s deputy, Alfred Lado Gore and its Chief Negotiator, Taban Deng had arrived in Juba on different dates ahead of Dr. Riek’s anticipated return and are now taken hostage with restrictions on movements and assembly sternly imposed on them.

A situation that makes one wonder if this peace is not a farce.

In the light of the foregoing facts, it is apparent that war is imminent even after the formation of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU).

Possible Reactions of Sudan and Ethiopia to the Renewed Armed Conflict in South Sudan:

South Sudan’s northern and eastern neighbours, Sudan and Ethiopia, are currently hosting more than half a Million South Sudanese refugees fleeing the war in their country. And with the renewed armed conflict in South Sudan, more refugees would be expected to cross the border into Sudan and Ethiopia, thus increasing the already existing burden on resources and services on these countries at the time when there were high hopes of peace to prevail and subsequent repatriations.

Apart from this, there are security and economic concerns that would surely be put under jeopardy by resumption of war.

Logically, each of these countries is expected to handle the new development in accordance with its national interest and would be ready to devise strategies that better serve this purpose. It will cooperate with any of the warring parties that would respect and work together towards addressing these concerns.

Resumption of War and Declaration of Parallel Government in South Sudan:

As has been explained in the proceeding paragraphs, war will erupt as a result of partners in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity failure to resolve any of the contentious issues as provided by the ARCISS. It could also happen as a provocation by the SPLA/M–IG as it is currently doing in Western Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria Region, and some parts of Upper Nile.

It appears the war will be long as it would include new territories and new elements from some ethnicities. These ethnic groups have their land forfeited and carved to President Kiir’s Jieng ethnic group.

It remains to be seen whether the Opposition forces would stick to their previous strategy and fight on till they capture Juba or may change their vision and mission to a Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound before they finally march to Juba.

If the opposition forces were to speedily capture the remaining major towns from Kiir’s government in Greater Upper Nile as the situation on the ground suggests, they would likely establish a functional civil administration in order to consolidate the power of the revolutionary forces among the civil population and help them rebuild their lives.

To achieve this, the Opposition SPLM would declare a parallel Government with one of the major towns of Upper Nile as its capital. This step will boost the political standing of the opposition and win im sympathizers and friends from the regional and international circles.

The opposition has the necessary civil service working force with qualifications to run all various civil institutions in territories under the opposition forces.

It would be up to Riek and his envisaged government to use their PR and diplomatic experiences skillfully with the neighbouring countries as well as countries across the globe to establish ties and relations for the common good.

Having firmly established its political system with functional civil and military structures, the opposition will be in a stronger position than before to wage a full and decisive war for total liberation of the country. END

21 Comments

  1. Gatdarwich says:

    Joseph,

    I fully support your wise suggestion that the patriot forces should established a “parallel government” in Upper Nile—because the August 2015 peace agreement is undeniably destined to die–a catastrophic death period

  2. False Millionaire says:

    Mr Joseph,
    It’s self evident that you write english very well and that suggests u are one among highly educated RSS elites.
    But I am sorry to say that I am not able to understand the objective of your great article.If you are in defense of peace as prescribed by the compromise peace agreement,why did u find it necessary to dreft so hurriedly to the tone of war when in reality the USA,the most powerful nation on earth is a stakeholder to the same peace?
    But let’s take u in your game in favor of war.Do u mean u yourself inside the person of Dr Riak to lead it or do u want to say that it’s the same Dr Riak who would be the one in command?
    Just bear further more sir,if u have written your article from Juba,then u aren’t strange to the knowledge of the events of 2013.That from that time,Dr Riak has been in the struggle to overthrow Kiir’s regime.Why haven’t u joined ranks with him ever since?
    In fact on the 15th of this month of April,armed murlé masses maurauded iinto nuer homelands killing unsuspecting innocent citizens,looting large number of cattle and abducting over one hungred childern,a nasty case that has moved the foundation of the earth down to the white house.Are u aware of it?
    It’s good to put into serious consideration that the next war after the peace ageement at hand should have failed wouldn’t be any less nasty in comparison to the vile murlé’s conduct.If u aren’t some body from the sky,u should make your self understood why u are obliged to rush to that scenario!!!

  3. Hoiloom says:

    False Millionaire,

    The White House that supports Kiir’s government did not condemn Gambella massacre jus as they didn’t condemn Juba massacre in 2013 instead ordered Museveni to send in UPDF to reinforce Kiir’s government and stopped a certain collapse of the regime. What took place in Gambella is a terror act and US government should have condemned that had it occurred else where.

    Just read TROIKA statement yesterday, to confirm that these people want Riek Machar dead by ordering him to arrive in Juba tomorrow before his chief of staff and weapons and on the other hand ordering their citizens to leave Juba. Something fishy is ongoing with the implementation of this agreement.

    Hoiloom

  4. Peacemaker says:

    False Millionaire, 1. I am not propagating for war, but pointing to the bottlenecks that could trigger it if not avoided. I stated that Dr. Riek has a moral responsibility to join his comrades in Juba and form the TGoNU, but in the event that the other party chooses to go against some provisions of the ARCISS or continues its military operations on the Armed Opposition cantonment areas then war is unavoidable. 2. The question about who will lead that war is absurd as the forces on the ground are Forces of the SPLA/M – IO and are accountable to their Leaders who are currently and will be shortly joined by Machar in Juba. 3. The conclusion that there was a coup is a fabrication by the Jieng led government. In fact 15th of December crisis was the making of Jieng aimed at blocking the institutional reform in the party and to hijack the country, subjugate its people and establish a tribal rule. 4. The question of the border crossing the Murle armed youth into Ethiopia and their barbaric act against the civil population is regrettable. But we should not prejudge and jump to unfounded conclusion given the magnitude of destruction of lives and properties and the planning that preceded the attack. Surely there are hidden hands in the matter and would be unravel after probing the incident.

  5. Bol says:

    Mr. Odhk,
    Somali land is a peaceful, economically vibrant and independent region within Somalia…Its major problem is that nobody considers it to be an independent state, despite of the fact that Somali land has its own distinctive and historical background from the rest of the country. Moreover, the opposition military endeavour to take over major towns had already failed with Peter Gatdiet, Johnson Ulny and the likes departing the camp. Riek is losing his allies along the way because most of his comrades did not ask why they must rebelled and calculate what follow rebellions, so his best option is to save himself and his army through accessing government funds, otherwise SPLA/IO will follow the footsteps of SSIM. Dr Reik failure to turn up in Juba would trigger more trouble to his own safety, such as sanctions against his person, kick out from East African Community and probably from Ethiopia and if he comes in, he may have limited chance of winning next election by hooks or crooks and if he refuse the election result and returned to Pangak, then this would be his demise Jonas Savimbi style……The whole thing is a KARMA, bad or good, which you or your writing can’t do anything about it. Please stop using Nuer mussels and use your own to hunt down more MTN in Equatoria.

  6. Beek says:

    What left again in his life since he is not fit enough for that position because he is like dying and there is no need for him to go back to South Sudan. Full stop.

  7. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    If Riek is loosing allies why fear him to return to Juba with public reception? The fact is that your government has lost politically big time which explain preventing the public from receiving even Riek’s deputy, Ladu Gore and arresting of IO team plus the supporters on his arrival.
    In case you believe in what you preach that Machar is done politically allow him to conduct peace rally on his arrival and you surely will be shocked. The reverse is true, Kiir and his JCE gang is done politically which reveals their panic on Machar’s return to Juba. Just be honest for once my MonyJang cousin.

    Hoiloom

  8. GatCharwearbol says:

    Hoiloom,

    You have totally undressed Bol. I am eagerly waiting to read his counter or whatever he had to say in refutation to your well presented argument.

  9. Bol says:

    Hoiloom,
    Reading Government demand for Dr Reik return as a sign of its weaknesses can be a fatal mistake. What if, the Government is playing politics to portray Dr Reik as anti peace, damaging and cutting off Dr Riek International relations? What if his return is meant to contain him in Juba military box, made less active or gotten ride of him where his intellectuals and 3000 army with their weapons can’t do anything to save him in a 48 hours intensive street fighting? Logically, what can Dr Reik do to save the tumbling economy? Do you really believe he can sincerely work with President Kiir to rescue the pound and prepare the nation for free and fair election in 2018? Hoiloom, Dr Reik heroism is a myth which exits on minds of some Naath who are not keen to ask critical questions such as why did the failed to keep his party of SSIM in early nineties? Why didn’t he use Peter Gatdiet division to secure and control J1 with a minimum cost? Hoiloom, a person who runs a company aground is bared from running business again for number of years and when a politian loses elections they give up their political career… This had done all.these things, but Naath nation is ready to sacrifice more white army just to recycle Ngundeng diamond! His return can be a bless in terms of reconciliation or nightmare, don’t be too excited that the fake diamond would change the fortune of RSS.

  10. Hi,Guys The Fellow memebers South Sudan Nation(SSN)

    The coterie clique in SPLM Ruling Party is uncomfortable with Riak Machar home return! Question:WHY????!!!! What is the problem????? The Juba government under the leadership of President Salva Kirr,has signed the peace talk agreement with the opposition leader Riak Machar and Pagan Amum on G10 the political detainees.

    On the peace,the warring parties for the conflict,had agreement to keep their forces separately with their own weapons during interim government until after election is completed.Why Juba government getting fretting for the weapons belong with opposition leader Riak Machar???? He Riak,Machar,he has not ask yet the Juba coterie clique for weapons vetting? This is indication that President Salva Kirr Administration is in BIG TROUBLE!!!!! He is talking of running in election 2018! But he is not going catch fishes in the water in the river! He is going coming home with a net with empty handed!!!!

    ONNGELET VILLAGE,TORIT SOUTH SUDAN,AFRICA!

  11. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    You failed to answer my questions and went ranting by beating around the bush.

    1. To prove your point that Riek has no political future, the government would welcome him to Juba, implement the agreement and beat him squarely in a free and fair election comes 2018.
    2. Kiir and the criminals of JCE didn’t need to create this mess if Riek indeed is irrelevant politically but because of fear of loosing a free and fair party convention in 2013 they created a coup to get read of him
    3.Stop living in illusion that Riek has no support among South Sudan communities while it’s only Dinka who hate him to death. In short speak for your community. Look at how you made so many enemies across the country within a short period of time by intimidating citizens and claim that Kiir is popular. Be my guest and make a small questionnaire on this very website to find out how many people like Kiir v. Machar.
    Last but not least do not boast about UPDF victory, indeed Gatdet’s forces and the White Army were 90 km away from Juba when Uganda intervened and it’s not yet over my friend despite all the mercenaries you brought into this conflict.

    Hoiloom

    • Bol says:

      Hoiloom,
      Sorry for going ranting un-controllably. I will try not to rant and go straight to the point. SSN is a well know anti Dinka and government newsagent and I would not consider using it to generate a creditable poll regarding who is popular between Dr Reik and President Kiir. Such a poll would be like asking the family of the-would be bride about their daughter’s character, the whole family is more likely to tell you that she is the best girl in the town. Ngundeng diamond arrival to Juba can be attended by sizeable audience of Bari tribesmen mobilised by Dr Gore, but can this be interpreted as a pointer of what can happen on the Election Day? Did not Dr Gore lost the election in 2010 and was a lonely man, out of love and friendship, during his brief stay in Pangak according to Yein Mathew? Hoiloom, loser plus loser is equal to two losers, not two winners, Dr Gore may gather his family members and few MTN hunters, and Dr Reik may order the remnants of his defeated army to come out of UNIMSS for his welcoming home ceremony, but the pair remain losers, irrelevant and out of touch with today RSS politics. Nationally, Ngundeng diamond likability was on the raise prior to 14/12/13 and might have beaten Kiir in free and fair election, but his shares in popularly market has sharply decay thereafter, for two reasons: His involvement in 14/12/ 13 violence and his sponsorship of atrocities committed by his helpers against Dinka. Have Ngundeng diamond stayed clear of these two issues, Kiir would have been the only criminal in RSS politics and answerable to Nuer killings. Ngundeng diamond retaliation against ordinary Dinka had reminded surviving Dinka of his true colour, thus shifting his gains to his opponent. Mathematically, how can he win an election, if 40% of voters [Bhar el Gazhal voting block] are secured by his opponent? How hard would be for his opponent to solicit 15% from Nuer, Murale, Eastern, Western Equatoria or even CES? Attaining this 15% to propel Kiir back to J1 would be a walk in the park, especially when he controls, or have an upper hand in government machinery. Hoiloom, victory has one meaning, which subduing your opponent and in most cases, the means which were employed to achieve victor are irrelevant. Yes, Nuer, Nuer wiew, Darfurians, UPDF, and forces of the world were used to contain, derail and subsequently defuse Ngundeng diamond threat against J1 which is the only fact we are dealing with right now and any other irrelevant claims are pure hallucinations worth kicking off human skull, before these hallucinations cause more brain injuries. Hoiloom, your immediate concern should be whether your boss is coming on Monday or is he going to abandon you in Juba as he did that before to his allies in Khartoum before his return to the worm and milky chest of mama SPLA….enjoy your stay and lets hope for the best.

      • info@southsudannation says:

        BOL,
        When are you going to liberate yourself from the self-fixation that SSN is anti-Dinka? Yes, we might be anti-government for the basic fact that Kiir’s government is hopeless and a disaster to the nation.
        If it might please you, SSN doesn’t support the stooges like VP Igga, the SPLM master clown. Positively also, SSN liberally publishes opinions and articles from ALL, including you and everyone.
        I hope your opinion changes after this and thanks.
        Editor

      • Gatdarwich says:

        Bol,

        Anybody that speak the truth is anti-Jenges because truth unearths Jenges’ lies.
        So, SSN website is anti-Jenges because it editors hates liars period

      • Jake says:

        Keep living in this illusion that Dinkas in bhar elgazal constitute 40%. All dinkas in South Sudan don’t constitute more than 34%. You can’t win elections when the rest of 76% hate you to death. Salva cannot win a free and fair elections in South Sudan. He may attempt to rig elections, but this is not Kenya or Uganda. That would be a sure way of rapid regional disintegration of the Nation. Thats not to say Dr. Riek can win. Best outcome is for these two men to conceit defeat and understand they represent hatred,tribalism and disunity to large sections of Southerners.
        The President of South sudan should come from Equatorians or Neutral Nuers. JCE and Dinkas at large have been tested and they utterly failed. They should admit defeat and let others attempt to repair their over 30 years of South sudan Mismanagement.

  12. Hoiloom says:

    GatCharwearbol,

    Thanks for compliment brother. Our Dinka cousins do not have truth in their daily vocabulary. Just follow the news and see how scared they’re to see Machar back in Juba. They keep on postponing the date of his return yet they claim he’s politically done, hypocrites!

    Hoiloom

  13. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings! At the end of the day we’re all South Sudanese regardless of our ethnicity and that is what
    matters. Take it easy on Machar and Gore.

    Hoiloom

  14. Majok. B. M says:

    It won’t be a war but 2018 election shall not be conducted exactly on that year because of lack of focus on the election, which is the main core of implementation of CPA2

  15. To: Bol

    The South Sudan Nation(SSN),is not a political force! It is a free site for expression of people views for all forms socially politically, economically and another as well in particular! It has nothing to do with ANTI- DINKA as you have perceived in your head! There are had been before forums such as South Sudan Net(SSN) Equatoria forum,

    The moderator is offering this forum for the benefit of people! If you think is ANTI-Dinka,QUIT! Period! Dinka are part of our people. And they are again part of our COMMON GOOD!

    WHY WE FIGHT IN THE SOUTH WITH SUDAN GOVERNMENT IN KHARTOUM????!!!

    MO.USA

    • Bol says:

      Chief Abiko,
      You are one of the few people who never endorsed tribalism. How did I know that without meeting you face to face? Words were invented to convey messages, so are our attitudes, and other signals we send. There is a thin line between opposing the government,or its policies, which is a basic and desirable right of any knowledgeable citizen and prompting tribalism. I hope I am wrong.

  16. Chief Abiko! says:

    Dear Mr. Majok B.M

    You may be a person of INTEREST! No delay in election 2018! No play games! No bullshit! No fool around! Time is time!

    Remember that there are now 28-political parties in the Southern Sudan government in the South Sudan in the Republic!

    During election seasons,all poliltical parties,must vying for election for presidency for office he or she! It will not be for Riak and Kirr themselves alone! It is for giving democracy opportunity! Politicians are on awake!They are not sleeping!

    If you want to run for a SPLM PARTY ticket in the party but,come forward to people in public to be seen! Never hiding your color in Warrap! You will be call a coward and enemy of democracy! Again,enemy of South Sudan Unity of people!

    CPA.This peace is not be compared to CPA 2005 in civil war 1983 postwar. This ongoing peace,it has no solid ground at all! This is a bad peace agreement! The people The South Sudanese, they are fed up on internecine on political rivals in SPLM PARTY since in 1991! because after all,the conflict in warring parties,they do not fight with a common enemies of Sudan. The problem is that on power struggle which based on WHO IS WHO!!!! Riak will never repair the damage he and Kirr have caused totally!! We will see!!!

    MO. USA

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