BY: Chuol C. Puoch, South Sudan, DEC/14/2014, SSN;
It was in October when Nuer politicians in Salva Kiir’s government convened a meeting with the president to seek assurance and define their fates before signing of any final agreements with the SPLM-IO.The meeting was called upon by the Nuer politicians and lasted for more than four hours because everyone was allowed to express his/her feeling and interest
Their concern was that the upcoming TGoNU would be a disaster to them since it will be regionally and ethnically represented and they will find themselves not only as people without region but also rootless and baseless as most of them are already disowned by their communities
In addition, Riek Machar in accordance with the peace agreement would become the Prime Minister who will run the government and eliminate those who acted against his cause during this conflict and especially the Nuer supporters of Kirr Mayardit.
Knowing this, they thought wise enough that it was the right time to decide their fate; they threatened President Salva Kirr that they would join the rebellion under Riek Machar since their communities are all there and would welcome them, which would eventually open for them a window of opportunity to participate in the upcoming TGoNU if he doesn’t assure them of their “political safety”
In the meeting, President Salva Kirr easily responded that he would protect their interest. “Your interest will never be affected; I will ensure all of you remain in your current position and add also more portfolios to what you currently have,” Kirr assured them
The long meeting ended with a proposal that the Nuer politicians, with help of President Salva Kiir, will form a “mini-parallel government” from within to protect their interests and encounter Dr. Machar’s group in the next governments.
Dinka Politicians reacted on the meeting outcomes
Few days after the meeting was concluded, some senior government officials including the information minister, Michael Makuey Lueth, Petroleum Minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau and Kuol Manyang Juuk of defense with attendance of some highly trusted MPs all from Dinka of Greater Upper Nile region convened a secret meeting to analysis the meeting outcome between the Nuer politicians with the President.
There are no clear details on how the meeting was conducted but a letter of grievances and rejection of the meeting outcomes between the president and the Nuer politicians was wrote and presented to the President with the title “We are all Dinka, we must be the protected inner and outer protector of Dinka interest”
“We are here by informing Your Excellency that we have categorically rejected the meeting outcomes you had few days ago with the Nuer politicians serving in this government” part of the letter read.
The basis on which the rejection came about was more concentrated to President’s promise to protect the interest of loyal Nuer in the upcoming TGoNU. Not only that, the politicians were not pleased by the fact that the Nuer loyal politicians be granted a chance to form a mini-parallel government within this government to work on “protecting their interest”.
That would clearly mean that even the loyal Nuer military generals in the field would automatically have their allegiance to the group directly and they will be directed toward protecting their interest instead of the nation’s interest.
“It is more than obvious that we are succumbing to plant weeds ourselves in our own garden; granting those group a chance to form a mini-parallel government would automatically mean that even the loyal Nuer general in the field will have their allegiance to the groups and they will be directed toward achieving and protecting their interest on daily basis rather than the nation’s interest” part of the letter read
As a result, the president called the three ministers for a dinner in his residence at J1 8 days later after receiving the letter. The Chief of General Staffs Gen. Paul Malong Awan of the SPLA-Juba and the Minister in the office of the President Mr. Awan Gol Riak were also invited for the same dinner and participated in the discussion.
The dinning gathering was called upon by the president to listen to the three top politicians and to strategize ways and mechanism to “utilize the strength” of Nuer politicians in the government since they threatened a possible defection to the rebellion should their interest be blocked.
The discussion was much more concentrating on how to utilize the political and military strength of the Nuer serving in the government. President Kirr assured the five fellow tribe-mate officials that his promise of protecting the interest of Nuer after the peace agreement was purely a political marketing.
“You know me very well since 2005, I did not even think that inu any of you would believe that I was frank to them” Said Kirr as all of them leaned back to their chairs smiling and laughing
The dinning discussion was concluded as follow:
Kirr to call upon the Nuer ministers again and direct them toward the preconditions and tasks before “protecting and achieving their interest” and to explain to the ministers (Nuer) that it would be better for them to exert more efforts to crash the rebellion once and for all than to have peace that will bring back the Nuer politicians in the rebellion.
A ministerial committee comprising mostly of Nuer politicians be formed and sent abroad to lobby against the looming sanctions targeting individual leaders and enlighten the world that the government is an inclusive government and should be recognized as a government of a sovereign state fighting some tribal politicians who are in need of power.
The ministers should also be tasked to deny that Nuer were not killed as have been reported on the media and by some human rights actors, to at least reduce the intensity of the looming sanctions.
Nuer military generals and troops be deployed to the Nuer areas still under opposition control and crash the rebellion
Renew their mobilization task to let those in UNMISS come out and mobilize Nuer youths from the region and the world to abandon their support to the SPLA/M-IO.
Some Nuer politicians should be sent to their respective Counties (especially those under government) to mobilize the communities to support Salva Kirr and fight against the rebellion.
There will be no mini-parallel government formed within this government to protect their own interest/
The meeting finally concluded that should the Nuer politicians succeed in helping to crash the rebellion militarily, they will then have their share of the cake representing the remaining Nuer community. Or should there be a peace agreement signed, the issue of protecting some group’s interest should never be heard “like it was never discussed” and they will later define their direction.
Another secret meeting convened between Kirr and loyal Nuer politicians
Few days after the dinning discussion between President Kirr and his five tribe-mate ministers, Kirr called upon the key Nuer politicians individually and explained the tasks and preconditions toward protecting and achieving their political interest as explained above.
The meeting was brief and direct and lasted for less than 1 hour because the main speaker was Kirr himself while the Nuer politicians were listening.
John Kok Ruai spoke on behalf of the group and he strongly stressed that crashing the rebellion would be the only mean to lengthen the reign of Salva Kirr and for them to achieve their political objective of representing the Nuer community in the government.
“I strongly believe that crashing this rebellion of Riek Machar would be the best option to lengthen your reign in power your Excellency, and for us to also protect and achieve our political interest of representing our community in this government” said James Kok Ruai.
Then, Kirr finally spoke and recommended that crashing the rebellion should be the priority as the dry season is just starting.
“Let’s destroy the rebel militarily and politically; let’s get rid of the white army with our maximum powers within and from the region, let’s clear all the remaining areas from rebellion and that must be spearheaded by you. Let that be our priority from now.
If we sign a final peace with the rebel, you must know that inu we are in poverty forever because I will not have these powers that I have now to protect your interest,” Kirr said to the group.
Few days later after the Juba conference of the SPLM-Juba, a ministerial meeting was convened to disclose the plans and appoint the team (mostly Nuer ministers) to lobby against the looming sanctions on Kirr himself and his government.
Caught up between Self-destruction and dirty political loose-ends
The group is caught up between unrealistic success of destroying their very own community and unpredictable political stability at the end of their game. The only window of opportunity for them would only be when the dream of crashing the rebellion, the SPLA/M-IO is realized. When the entire Nuer community is devastated and no sound minded person is living in it is what they are up to.
The question is, would the government be able to crash the rebellion in this dry season, and will these so called loyal Nuer politicians realize their dream of representing the Nuer community in the government?
In a nutshell, anybody in this world who thinks that this resistance movement call SPLM/A in Opposition would be crashed by Salva Kirr and his allies is a mad dog having some day dreaming.
The moment survived the last dry season’s serious fight when men were in the front with sticks and spears waiting for guns from the SPLA-Juba who would runs away and leave behind the guns for them. They survived and they took over a number of Tanks with AK-47 from Juba forces in all the three states of Upper Nile. They would go to battle with 3 – 5 bullets in their guns, yet the Juba troops have always been on run.
Who is that sound minded person to think that crashing this rebellion is like chewing some cooked beans? The movement is now stronger and stronger like it never been before, men are well trained and are given all the military supplies and equipment.
Moreover, should their dream of crashing this rebellion fail (in fact is unrealistic); I guess they must know by now what they will becomes like. Yes! That is how a traitor ends up always.
The TGoNU will be ethnically and regionally represented. If your head has some brain and nerves for thinking, come to think of it; you are currently holding four ministerial positions apart from the deputies and the other portfolios.
You know very well the SPLM in Opposition is more than 80% dominated by Nuer and they will get more than 40% share in the TGoNU. Be sure that the upcoming TGoNU will not be a Nuer dominated government where you will have a chance in that side while others are in this side holding the key position in the government.
H.E Gen. Salva Kirr is using you as the outer protector of the Dinka interest and his personal interest of remain in power for life.
All of us must be alert that a traitors can apply all means of achieving his/her goal. They are human being with objectives and goals but not vision and direction.
They are like cars and boats; the moment they are filled with what they want, they can move to any direction that they are directed to by their drivers and at maximums speed they require to reach their destination in a short time possible.
They can be militant, they can be politicians and they can be everything we may not expect them to be. The moment they move an inch toward us, let’s move ten inch toward them. They are the real enemy.
“This Country may survive discrimination, hunger, humiliation, epidemics, etc. but I afraid we can’t survive a traitor”
Chuol C. Puoch, the author of this piece can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chuolcpuoch and on Twitter @chuolchot