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BY: Awumtiaidit, SOUTH SUDAN, DEC/23/2013, SSN;
Riek Machar’s clandestine thirst for top seat is not unusual. It is something he aspired for since he joined the SPLA/SPLM. For those young and uninformed readers, it was in the summer of 1984 when my battalion graduated at Bong-ga training camp in Ethiopia and discharged for liberation operation in Sudan.
We met Riek Machar on the way to Bong-ga, and he began to inquire how the SPLA/SPLM hierarchy was formed, particularly what merits that were considered in nominating top leaders.
The softly speaking battalion commander tried to explain while Riek kept on interrupting how Dr Garang and Karbino Kuanyin Bol got on to the top of the Movement.
My late friend Akoon Baak and I listened to the discussion at far with amusement and concluded that this guy, in the person of Riek Machar, will one day do anything, at any cost to secure leadership.
Why beginning to talk about leadership while he is going for training? We asked ourselves.
Onto the operation field, we fought many battles with Jallaba, though lots of my comrades are no longer here, we won many wars. To cut a long lecture short, it was in 1991 when the very man comrade Riek made his long held intention finally known to all.
Without remorse, he declared his rebellion at the time our Movement was trying to come to terms with impromptu departure from Ethiopia base. For a simple thing (leadership) he could talk over with Late Garang or either the high command, he took arms against our people and joined deadly hand with the arch-enemy of RSS. This resulted in the infamous Bor Massacre and recaptur of towns by Jallaba that were under SPLA.
Dr Riek unrealistic act gave Jallaba an upper hand in the fight because all our resources were withdrawn from Juba to save Bor civilians from Riek’s forces.
The current defence minister and the late Lt. general George Athor Deng Dut took it upon themselves and flushed Riek’s rebels out in less than a week. Shamelessly, Riek left his White army in imbroglio and took to Khartoum and apologised that he could not be able to defeat Late Garang.
Jallaba welcomed him and mistreated him, given he did not do to the best of his ability what he vowed he would do….destroying southerners.
In Khartoum, Riek was faced with humiliations of all sorts, he then left unceremoniously to Join Late Garang he once accused of totalitarianism.
Late Garang forgave him and the most generous man, Lt. general comrade Wani vacated his seat for the hungry and angry wolf to take it. Without the slightest compunction he grabbed it.
Analysis of what took place in the night of Sunday, 15/Dec/13 and its resemblance with Riek past history.
Let me take you back a little bit so that you sufficiently get the gist of this paper. When Late Garang passed on, we all were called for a meeting to the New Site town in Eastern Equatoria. The motion was how to forge a robust future for our state in the wake of Dr Garang’s death.
As I vividly remembered, the meeting was tense especially on who will succeed Garang. We all spoke, beat about the bush and didn’t get into the core of the issue as the atmospheric situation in the hall was threatening.
Dr Riek was rumoured to have put his name forward for a leadership bid. He sat at the corner of the hall and was not saying a thing. Also, those who didn’t talk much until almost to the end of the meeting were Kuol Manyang (the current defence minister) and Salva Kiir.
Kuol came in his full army attire wearing two pistols and gloomy red eyes on. Realising no one wanted to mention who will succeed Late Garang as leader of the Movement, he stood up, cleared his throat and said, “comrade Salva take the chair, this is not time to discuss leadership, we will do it when the right time comes”.
Three deputies were nominated these include Riek Machar, Wani Igga and Malik Agar. Riek left the venue unhappy man on the day.
Failinge to secure top office he yearned for, he (Riek) began to sabotage the leadership. Instead of delivering service, he used the post to advance his 1984 and 1991 motives. He refused to be loyal to Salva Kiir. He abused his powers running amok of not controlling what he said and to whom he said it.
Riek’s differences with Salva were known by regional media far and beyond. I supposed Riek is a married man who knew how fragile house issues are secretly discussed and kept hush-hush as much as possible.
Blinded by power, Riek doesn’t see what he is doing wrong. Instead of wreaking the havoc inside the presidency, he had himself thrown out so as he either goes and forms his party, or patiently wait and contest the leadership.
He wasted no time, got underground and planned a coup with some relieved former minsters and governors (Taban Deng and Chol Tong). The coup botched and was easily brushed off by Kiir’s militia (formerly known as presidential Tiger Guards).
For the record this militia in the name of presidential guard were the ones who killed revered columnist Isaiah Abraham and Kiir is yet to pay the price for this.
Nevertheless, those going around in Juba here and elsewhere disputing the coup are Riek’s followers, make no mistake about them. Riek had been thinking how to coup this post since 1984. He is a congenital liar who said one thing, and does the exact opposite.
He is never a democratic person he claims he is. That said, it is obvious ultimate peace will never be realised in the Republic of South Sudan until Riek is dead. He becomes a national liability and deserves to go.
Borland cannot be made a leadership battle field.
Whatever it is, comrade Salva is not the man I knew right from training camp to the war time period. He was actively proactive and therefore, was put in charge to overseeing the Movement’s intelligence and security portfolio. He committed mistakes but was doing fairly well than now.
What am trying to arrive at here is:
What in the name of hell, Mr. Kiir, would you put in charge the most tribally oriented Gatdet as head of the army division eight at Bor? Gatdet is an oscillator and never deserves to be in the national army let alone commanding one.
How did you forget, Mr. Kiir, this is the same narcissistic Gatdet from Commando battalion we used to know back at Bong-ga, let alone his in-and-out culture of rebellions? Gatdet’s Bor rebellion is now number eleventh, or twelve times of going against people of South Sudan.
English people say past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, Kiir and his men miss this fact big time. Locating army base full of them militias in Bor amid civilians and putting in charge the known apostate was a weighty mistake.
Bor civilians are now made to pay high price for leadership greediness they know nothing about. It is unfortunate RSS is cursed with leaders who never care about people they are ruling. All they care for is what goes into their protruding bellies, what a shame!!
UNMISS and its dirty political involvement in the RSS affairs:
UNMISS mandate consists of this amongst others: to support the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in developing its capacity to provide security, to establish rule of law, and to strengthen the security and justice sectors. Unfortunately this organisation is behaving to the contrary.
One, the time civilians were slain in recorded numbers at Twi East and Bor County early this year this UNMISS literally refused to follow the Murle marauders. It never provides the service it is paid for. In addition Bor civilians are uprooted as I write from their home because there is no adequate security, something we expect UNMISS organisation can provide as RSS has completely failed to offer the most needed security.
Two, the organisation is quick to condemn any retaliation done unto Murle, while it goes mute when Murle killed civilians either in Nuerland or Borland. This makes UNMISS a one sided organisation and so could not be fully trusted.
Third, it is widely speculated that when the coup failed in Juba, Riek and Taban were sneaked into the UNMISS compound for their safety. To worsen the case the same UNMISS smuggled them out of Juba and dropped them off somewhere around Bor. So why is UNMISS doing things that are not part of its job description if I may ask?
To sum it up, RSS government has to do something extraordinary to rescue children who are dying of hunger and cold in the bushes of Bortown. RSS has to work very hard to making sure Dr Riek is permanently removed.
The more he is at large killing civilians will go unabated. He is a brutish vampire who could not rest until there is blood he sees flows. This is what he is good at setting tribes against each either. He did it before and he did it again now!!
(President) Salva, you have done all you can, good or bad for southerners since Anya-nya 1 and the SPLA/SPLM. I therefore recommend you retire peacefully and take rest. We are in 21st century and we have 21st century human resources.
The boys we took to Ethiopia and on to America are RSS pride, few of them who are here in Juba are doing tremendous job regardless of their tribal affiliations. They will carry on the remaining part.
Down, down, Salva Kiir, down, down Riek Machar. Long Live RSS, long live lostboys of South Sudan.
Awumtiaidit is an SPLA/SPLM veteran