SUDAN PEOPLES’ LIBERATION MOVEMENT/ARMY-IN-OPPOSITION
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN & DEPUTY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
PR: GOVERNOR CLEMENT WANI KONGA’S MISLEADING STATEMENTS TO THE MEDIA
JUN/21/2015; The statement that the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Clement Wani Konga made to the media on Thursday 18th June, 2015 and reported by Jok Petero in Juba on Friday 19th June 2015 is intended to mislead the public and is devoid of any grain of truth.
Firstly, there was no meeting that took place between the 3 governors of Equatoria and the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Lt.Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore in March. The first meeting took place on 14th of April 2015 for the sole purpose of establishing a working committee made up of Equatorians in the government and those in the SPLM/A-IO to draft a joint position of Equatoria.
The follow-up meeting was convened in May which resulted in the development of a position paper that called for adoption of federal system of governance in South Sudan during the transitional period, security reforms and general reforms.
The position paper was signed by two senior officials nominated by the 3 governors and two senior officials mandated by the Chairperson of the SPLM/A-IO.
Secondly, the 3 governors agreed that since they are in government, they will not be able to lead the political process to popularize the position paper of Equatorians.
They conceded that the Equatorians in the SPLm/A-IO are best placed to lead the political process to ensure the international community, regional leaders and IGAD are made aware of the position of Equatorians both in the government and in the SPLM/A-IO.
They pledged to make resources available to facilitate the production of the position paper and also to enable senior politicians from both sides to visit the neighboring countries.
Without these resources the meetings with the leaders of the countries like Uganda, Ethiopia and South Africa would not have been possible.
Thirdly, the visit to Kampala was primarily to make the authorities in Uganda aware about the position of the Equatorians.
To the dismay and disappointment of the SPLM/A-IO committee that visited Kampala, Governor Clement Wani Konga had written a letter to the President of Uganda saying that the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO and some of his comrades are separating from the movement and want to be provided with assistance in terms of accommodation and financial support and that the Deputy Chairman wants to open a direct talk with Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, categorically rejected the request that Konga made to the government of Uganda without his knowledge.
He also made it abundantly clear that his committee was visiting Kampala to let President of Uganda know and take not of the position of Equatoria and to request the President of Uganda to support it in the IGAD peace talks and not that he was coming to beg for assistance.
The meeting in Kampala ended in total disagreement leaving Clement Wani Konga embarrassed and isolated from the other two governors of Equatoria, Louis Lobong and Joseph Bakasoro, who were visibly disappointed at their colleague, Konga.
The two governors even confided that they did not know why Konga brought them to meet with the SPLM/A-IO delegation and the Ugandan authority in Kampala.
The statement of Konga to the media, issued from his office, is simply a face-saving measure and noting more.
In conclusion, the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO wants to make it clear that the conflict in South Sudan will only be concluded through the IGAD-led peace process in Addis Ababa.
If the secret behind Konga and his colleagues’ meeting with Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO was to divide the movement, it has failed and has exposed their hidden agenda.
Millions of Equatorians inside South Sudan and in the diaspora have hope in the SPLM/A-IO as the movement that will bring lasting peace and stability to the country and the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO is not prepared to betray their hopes and aspirations.
The term of Kiir’s government ends on July 8th 2015 together with the state governors, so there is no point of joining a government whose legitimacy is questioned, its term is expiring and is responsible for carrying out genocide on South Sudanese citizens.
Konga’s statement, therefore, is a desperate attempt to win political favor from the embattled President Kiir to maintain him as the governor of Central Equatoria and is intended to tarnish the good name of the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO.
Alfred Ladu Gore
Deputy Chairman and Deputy Commander -in-Chief, SPLM/O-IO