By: John Adoor Deng, Australia, MAY/27/2014, SSN;
Allow me on the onset of this letter to greet you all in the spirit of nationhood and patriotism. Comrades, the aim of this piece is to highlight my feelings and presumably the feeling of many others towards your recent position regarding the resolution of the hostile conflict that has engulfed our country for months.
As a concerned citizen, and as a person who once had the privilege to have led Sudanese Communities in Australia as then president of Sudanese Community Association of Queensland (2006-2009 SUCAQ INC) and Interim chair of the Federation of Sudanese Australian Communities (FOSAC 2008-2010), I have the heart of my nation and courage to express in a small way my thoughts on issues of significance and of interest to our God’s given and blessed young country, South Sudan.
By calling a spade a spade and not a big spoon, I severely disagreed with your lukewarm, politically ambivalent and a monkey-trick-position that put you as neutral or a third block in the conflict.
My disagreement toward your sophisticated lobby for a third block in Addis Ababa is illuminated by the following reasons:
1- Firstly, you as Pagan and your colleagues now referred to as Former Detainees were part and parcel of the very genesis of this obnoxious conflict whether directly or indirectly. Indeed, your collective dismissals from active roles as Secretary General, Former Vice President, your colleagues as former ministers, and former governors, undoubtedly triggered this conflict.
(The so-called ‘Third Block’ includes: Pagan Amum, the presidential advisor, Rebecca Nyandeng, former ministers, Deng Alor, John Luk, Kosti Manibe, Oyai Deng, Gier Chuang, Madut Biar, Majak Agoot, Cirino Hiteng, Lakes state’s former governor, Chol Tong and former diplomat Ezekiel Gatkuoth.
2- Secondly, you and your colleagues are blamed to have agitated the sitting chair of the SPLM who doubled as president of the Republic of South Sudan, instead of subduing difficulties of governance within the SPLM under your carpet; and in secret, you both rushed to the media and speculated your differences as one house but know what? A house divided cannot exist! When these things occurred, were you a Third Block?
3- Thirdly, your calling of the third block in the negotiations is, in fact, a pretext of diversifying the conflict. It is, in fact, opening a third parallel front which we as South Sudanese don’t want to see at this critical time.
Comrades, most conventional conflicts are solved or managed within a parameter of two conflicting parties. I have not heard a famous conflict solved through a triangle machinery.
It is through the obvious knowledge of conflict being handled between two parties that prompted President George Bush (junior) to remind his allies once that they either join him or join his opponents.
4- Fourthly, your calling for the third block is in effect an element of confusion and a tactic of taking over when protagonists are demised or exhausted.
5- Fifthly, on the other hand, your calling for a third block or neutral block indeed incapacitates and narrows your expected contribution to the conflict resolution.
In other words, you are duplicating SPLM-O position in also calling for interim arrangements, you are duplicating SPLM/SPLA position by calling an end to the conflict and condemning the atrocities committed by the rebellion. The government position on your roles seem to make sense, the government cannot negotiate with two parties of the same orgin in order to solve one conflict.
Comrades, we value you higher than such positions. Good example, when some of you were still in jail, we interceded for you and in one of my social network message I compared you with the biblical personalities of Meshach, Abnego, Shadrach (read Daniel 3:16-18) who faced a humiliating wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar. My proposition in these were that if you were innocently jailed then you shall come out like Meshach, Abnego, Shadrach from the greatest fire set by King Nebuchadnezzar. Comrades, if you think that joining one side of the conflict will make your political image dirty then you are mistaken, the SPLM as a whole is dirty and smelly, you have in one way or other destroyed the future of our generation. None of you should pretend to wash his or her hands of this conflict, if such hand washing is perceived done, then it is a Pontius Pilate’s hand washing but ordered Jesus killed (read Mathew 27:24). The conflict has gone beyond scaping of causers and triggers and thus active participation is the only help needed to help conflict come to an end.
Therefore, your abstinence will never make you holy. Truthfully you must do one of the following:
Joined one side of the conflict and contribute maximumly in ending the conflict by all mean. If the choice is joining government’ side, then make few kneeling down to President Kiir and his inner circles. If the choice is joining SPLM-O then ask Dr Riek to forgive you, your recent comments against his group
Joined civil society organisations and contribute as members of civil society freely and out of attachment to any political party.
Dispersed individually to look after your children and become active farmers helping in food production in the country.
Go to exile and seek political asylum in western countries so that you are not followed like Megistu.
Finally, comrades, this conflict can only be solved if all SPLM members are engaged in two parties’ conflict negotiations such that the resolution reached may be unanimous and comprehensive. This conflict can be solved if all SPLM political leaders forgive each other reconciled with one another and put the interest of the country first then their own.
The Author is John Adoor Deng, BA, BTH, MPRL, MPPP (current), and Director of South Sudan Support Foundation (SSSF). He can be reach by firstname.lastname@example.org