Pagan Amum’s political aspiration to become next SS president


Former Secretary General of ruling SPLM/A party, Pagan Amum, who was detained in Juba with 10 other political detainees after December 15 2013 crises is making a political advertisement to paint his image as the right man for the highest job in the country.

Obviously the former SG of the ruling party who was a close ally to the leader of the resistance movement, Dr. Riek Machar, now seems otherwise after his release from detention, thanks to Dr. Riek Machar insistence for the release of his comrades as well as that of the international bodies who all have exerted pressure on President Kiir to release the detainees unconditionally, because they were assumed to be part of the solution of the current crises.

It is imperative to realize the President’s militias who opened fire on their colleagues from Nuer ethnic group, then went house to house in Juba hunting down anyone from Nuer tribe ignited the conflict.

Dr Riek was lucky to have escaped death narrowly as he was the main target. His armed tribes mates responded not to the threat to Riek’s life but rather to the slaughter of their Women and Children in Juba, leading to the conflict spreading to many other regions.

According to human rights groups and United Nations more than 10.000 people were killed within weeks, in meantime, unconfirmed sources indicate that the figure is likely twice as many.

Ban Ki Mon, UN Secretary General, called for special tribunal to be established to bring the perpetrators to justice. All observers have agreed crime against humanity has been committed in South Sudan and it could be the worse Africa has ever seen since the Rwanda genocide of 1994.

With Peace talks moving nowhere in Addis Abba, former SG Pagan Amum is displaying an opportunistic trait by throwing his comrade who never forgot about him all this time under the bus, while his eyes are fixed on the seat of interim government top job of Presidency.

His recent letter which catches the eyes and leaves many ordinary South Sudanese deeply disappointed given his caliber, many of his critics who know him better said it can be only a nightmare for Pagan to assume the country’s top job because he lacks competency, patience and above all he needs to clear his name first from the corruption scandals before dreaming big for top job.

Mr. Amum who had treason charges on his head until he was freed from his confinement prison in Juba and later allowed to fly to Kenya, wants to distance himself and his colleagues who were detained with him.

He calls the resistance led by his former friend and ally Riek Machar until 15 December “doomed,” he lashes on both Kiir and Machar as killers, and he doesn’t hesitate to declare his ambition to become the next interim President.

“We may snatch the proposed interim government’s leadership if both president Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, were to be forced to step aside” said Mr. Amum in his letter.

Let’s not forget that it was Pagan who openly declared his desire to oust Kiir from SPLA seat as chair of the Party, and both Pagan and Riek have common ambition to bring much more needed reforms and called for President Kiir to relinquish his power because he fails the country.

This is absurd to see Pagan Amum distancing himself and calling the resistance under his former boss as “”

“Both the government and armed rebels prefer a military solution but we in the Third bloc fully support the IGAD peace process as the best alternative to the war in our country,” added Pagan.

Has he forgotten that Juba had only agreed to talk peace after they have lost some ground to rebels not because he Pagan sought to talk peace? Has he forgotten that his freedom came due to the pressure exerted by the resistance?

After obtaining his freedom from his Juba cell, Mr. Pagan has gone out of his normalcy calling the resistance under Riek doomed and a theater of killing, which he must know will not place Mr. Amum very well in the politics of south Sudan.

Has he forgotten that Riek had to run for his very life empty handed and abandoning his household behind in Juba, who later were massacred in his own government house in Juba?

Mr. Amum must have forgotten the innocent Nuer who perished in Juba from 15-19 December 2013, and it remain to be seen how the former secretary general of SPLA who had corruption scandals sitting on his head is going to bring the reform he is preaching in his letter.

The issue of south Sudan in particularly, the problem within the ruling party is all about power struggle as this is characterized in the division of SPLA/M and each breakaway is still calling itself SPLA, but power struggle in democracy is normal and is the rule, thus does not excuse the president for massacring his electorates simply because they belongs to Machar’s tribe.

A President is the president of the entire country and does not own his party, but rather the party owns him, the division of his party is his fault, this Kiir cannot even hold his party together, and how then do we expect him to hold the country together?

Kiir could not bring democracy in his party, neither could he hold his parties’ elections, how then do we expect him to practice democracy in the country and hold national election that may rob him of presidency?

Kiir’s instigated division within ruling party and has divided families and friends as can be seen in the family of late Dr. Garang, Mama Rebecca Nyendeng somehow seemed to be with Riek but in the latest letter of Pagan, he stated Rebecca is in his side while Young Mabior, the elder son of Madam Rebecca Nyendeng has joined Dr. Riek.

This latest move taken by former SPLA secretary is nothing new other than fulfilments of his aspiration to become the next president of Republic of South Sudan, millions of Southerners have no doubt Pagan Amum will not be different from Kiir given his status in the country is known.

Besides that he has no record of been a unifying figure. Mr. Amum is not popular within his Jillo Shilluk leave alone the entire South Sudan. He was blamed by some Jillo Shilluk elders for the killing of innocent people in Shilluk Kingdom by Kiir’s security forces, and some of his critics said he embezzled millions of dollars and bought real estate in America for his mother in law with public funds.

“We are saying that there is more to a failed government under President Kiir and to the doomed armed rebellion under Riek Machar” the letter farther reads.

In conclusion, the preceding statement if anything and if he authored indeed such letter has doomed his chance of any political future in South Sudan, since his much anticipated release, should add to solution finding rather than wooing for positions, and has disappointed the public expectations including those of us who prayed for his safety from Kiir’s murderous hands.

If not he but Kiir’s propaganda machines did write this letter then they have succeeded in implanting disappointments in peoples’ hearts and shame on them!

Geoffrey Alawia,
Nairobi, Kenya


  1. Jojo Junub says:

    This man Pagan lacks patience and he is clearing his way to so that the people of south Sudan will see him as clean man, he is a deadly poison cobra, by noway he can be better than Riek. who is he anyway? a man who enriched himself after the dead of Garang, they have enough of stolen money let him rot to hell. He and Kiir are the same birds with the same feathers. the time is about to come for the true to surface out.

  2. survivor says:

    i will have to firstly applaud you for pointing out the glaring issues with the character of Pagan Amum; it is indeed opportunistic of Pagan to try to wash his hand and that of his colleagues of the atrocities in south Sudan. any rational human being would ran as far away as possible to distance one’s self from such atrocities. while you rightly point to the crimes committed on the fateful night of December 15-17, you made no mention of the reprisal killings carried out by the other side. i mean, towns were razed down, villages were burned down and over ten thousand killed and million more displaced. as much as you try to make Riek seem innocent, he too has bear the share of the blame for the killings. in addition to having failed the nation along with Kiir, they are both now destroying the little that people have done for themselves. yes it is true that Kiir failed to keep the SPLM/A house in order; it is also true that no one could ever contain the ever ambitious Riek, after all, even our late leader Dr John could contain him. the bottom line is, Kiir is a failure as a leader and so is Riek. they have destroyed the nation thus far. they both belong n a cage.Pagan and his colleagues are also guilty of failure, and corruption, but they didn’t actively participate in the bloodbath. thus, in relation to Kiir and Riek, Pagan is indeed a good guys. but if we had a nation where we held our leaders accountable. Kiir, Riek, Pagan and like’s would ever dream of running for an office, for they would be a pariah. but in our case. Pagan is better then the protagonist. (Kiir and Riek)

    • Bol says:

      Few of us have the ability to see things the way you do in your short comment. I mean: you have survived tribal affiliation, and personal interest which contaminated most of us. the Roadmap out of this crisis is within your short comment not in Addis talks.

  3. Daniel Mawei Deng says:

    “We may snatch the proposed interim government’s leadership if both president Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, were to be forced to step aside” said Mr. Amum in his letter.

    I read the entire letter. but nowhere to find such statements you attributed to Mr. Secretary General. That show how typical you are. Political, hypocritical and deceptive.

    Daniel British, Political Activist

  4. anok maketh says:



  5. anok maketh says:



  6. Diplo Guest says:

    Thank you geofrey for the nice article; I myself prayed for the release of Pagan Amun, but now the way he behaves on advertizing himself to the people of South Sudan is actually a betrayal. Pagan Amum should not forget the past on what happened to them. The life he posseses now is because of Dr. Riek Machar when he scaped death forced to him by Salva Kiir.

  7. Leader says:

    Confused article written by confused guy. Be clear about one thing at a time. Pagan Amum like any other person has all the rights to seek the presidency of S. Sudan. He has never been an ally of your Dr. Fool Riek. He has the highest chances of becoming the president than Riek. Those of you who think Riek will one day rule this country should prepare for more wars.
    Pagan is right when he stated that the rebellion led by Riek is nothing but disaster. If people are being killed by Kiir, why didn’t he seek protection in any of the embassies here and all of us shall join him and call for resignation of Kiir. Before the war started, it is alleged that the presidential guards allied with Riek were about to be disarmed but Riek told them to resist any disarmament. What is wrong with his presidential guards being disarmed even if that was to facilitate his arrest. Politicians are arrested in politics and that does not matter at all. It is does not need the intervention of their tribes to avert their imminent arrest.

    So, his rebellion is not justified at all since it has led to a lot of deaths and unprecedented suffering of our people.
    Kiir is a bad leader but that does not mean you have to lead an ethnic rebellion to remove him.

  8. Makur Panyon says:

    Dear Alawia,

    I want to remind you that, there is no master clean in this world including yourself. Pagan like others might be aspiring for the top job as you claims but that does not conclude that he qualified for it. So i beg you to drop that stereotype. Yes Kiir was elected by the people and it is the same voters who will determine his fate during the next election. Please desist from stereotype criticism.

  9. Jojo Junub says:

    “If people are being killed by Kiir, why didn’t he seek protection in any of the embassies here and all of us shall join him and call for resignation of Kiir”

    your statement above doesn’t make sense at all, who are you to call for kiir to resign, if Kiir’s forces killed in Hospitals, in churches and above all in UNMISS compound and even did not spared to gunned down men in blue helmet, do u think they will respect embassies and spare Riek’s life if he decided to sought refuge in one of the embassies in Juba? Kiir will not listen to you, who are u for kiir to listen to if he can openly ignores the UN and other international recognized bodies.
    While for others thinking Pagan will make a good presidency think again, Pagan is careless, arrogant and all what he dreams for is taking us back to war with Khartoum. and with high record of corruption scandals on him, I washed my hands to see him in the office of presidency or RoSS.

  10. Omang Rollo says:

    There is no way a man like Pagan who drinks like he is watering the desert can be a president of this nation, second to that, he is also a materialist whose appetite for buying some pieces of craps is unsatiable. both Kiir and him are too expensive for the country to care for .maybe you should suggest Lam Akol.

  11. Beek says:

    Let them open their mouths,but both can not reule us.

  12. Issac Deng says:

    Opportunistic politicians like Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Telar Deng and the likes who perpetrated high-level corruption have not only destroyed the future of this country but brought the entire country to its knees. It was the same rascal and reckless Pagan Amum who took us to war with Jallaba where thousands SPLA young men perished in Panthau for stupid erratic made decision. Pagan Amum is a known arrogant man with no political base to rallying behind him. He is kind of empty shell with loud noise so to speak. His own Shilluk people have rejected him long time ago.
    During their hay days in office, they created a mafia like network of corruption to loot the millions with impunity. Without shame, Pagan Amum questioned his own boss decision that implicated some corrupt ministers like Deng Alor who defraud government millions of dollars in pretext of protecting government documents. Yes, am talking about fireproof safes scandal or rather broad dalight robbery happening in the office of president at the time most of our teachers, nurses, police and SPLA forces were going for months without pay because of self-imposed austerity measures that benefited only a few at the top. You tell me how can a such insensitive personality be trusted to lead a nation.
    One would have expected the 11 released political detainees coming out of the solitary confinement to be very humble but with fire in their guts to talk sense, condemn the allege fabricated coup by Kiir’s boys and preach the truth nothing but the truth to the general. To many surprises, they’re back to square one talking about being historical leaders or SPLM owners’ sort of thing – truly self-seekers and centered moguls who don’t care about nobody but themselves.
    It is an open secret that it is not tribalism killing our majority illiterate population but greed and corruption by a few politicians who are misusing their powerful acquired illegal wealth and power mobilizing the poor and pitting Dinka against Nuer and Nuer against Dinka.
    You look around and tell me whether Kiir’s family, Pagan’s family, Dr. Riek’s family or this world’s notorious liar called Makuei Lueth’s wife and his children ever spent a night without lunch, dinner or coke and whiskey drinks?
    A quick glance look at their families’ posh lifestyle is quite revealing and self-explanatory.
    Within a short time spent in this government of self-serving, they become the richest families in South Sudan and in Africa as a whole while 90% of the population in South Sudan are surviving in less than a dollar or two dollars a day. In fact, likes of President Kiir, Dr. Riek, Wani Igga, Dr. Marial Benjamin, Pagan Amum, Telar Deng, Deng Alor and other clowns are addicted to looting spree and the only ways achieved their richness is by clinging into power by every means possible. They’re now behaving like parasites that can’t survive in the coldest or hottest climate. Majority of sees government like a jackpot or fat cow to milk year-round since they cannot compete in a real competitive world’s market. They have perfect the arts of stealing and are good at sucking the blood of dying children of South Sudan.
    To you my brothers and sister, whether you’re a Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Acholi or Shilluk please take a deep breath and stop idolizing these immoral and corrupt blood suckers called SPLM politicians. South Sudan deserves better than these clowns with no vision. Well known corrupt politicians and individuals must not be allowed to vie for public office seats. Hell is the best place to send them to.

  13. Chul Mi Bor says:

    Pagan is the most corrupt politician in S. Sudan. His dream of becoming president of S. Sudan is just a wishful thinking. I wish him to be the next Kuany Reth (Shilluk’s King) which I doubt. He is selfish, stubborn, and elitist.

  14. Fyle joseph says:

    We need pagan Amum to become the nextt president of Rss

  15. Paoo says:

    Oscar H. Blayton,Firstly, in Sudan, there is a Government of National Unity. There are parties who are stheoaeldkrs in the Government of National Unity who have negotiated their share, stake, and roles in this Government of National Unity. Failure to acknowledge or recognize this constitutes a number of things: (1) failure of the GNU to package, market, and sell this brothers-in-arms’ resolution to the civil war conflict after the signing of the CPA in Nairobi, (2) failure of the international community, intelligentsia, and academia to willingly support and recognize this fact, and (3) unresolved bitterness amongst Sudanese parities with the NCP post-CPA. It does not help either that Sudan is branded a state that sponsors terrorism and is treated like a rabid dog (rather than a sinking ship) in a community of African nations. There seems to be a half-hearted approval of the CPA by the international community. One might even say that there seems to be concerted effort to be abhorrently critical of the CPA as well as the tending to its provisions. My suspicions are that very few parties (international and domestic) are really interested in a peaceful Sudan, for they make claims on passionate rather than moderate and reasoned grounds. Sadly, what you fail to recognize is that the CPA did one crucial thing for us Sudanese. It stopped a bloody war. The NCP and SPLA should be commended for this. The intentions behind the CPA were noble. The follow-up has been somewhat disappointing. But the NCP and SPLM are stheoaeldkrs of the GNU. They must resolve their disputes in the democratic fashion that they have agreed to in this transitional government.Secondly, you have to understand, that we Sudanese must contend with our pool of religious conservatives and recognize them as a legitimate fraction of the population. We all have our competing visions of Sudan. However, even we who are interested in a secular vision cannot eliminate the few nonsecularists by force or subjugate them through political wrangling. The On the other side, the NCP has also acknowledged this bitter truth by turning away from its ideological nonsecular Sudan movement. They have given me enough room to believe that they too (at least in the uppermost echelons of the NCP) would like to reconcile their differences for the fatigue of ruling a divided country has dawned in on them and made something abundantly clear to them: they must negotiate and gradually introduce a more democratic process or else face a recurrent wave of destabilizing oppositional challenges. They are finished and they themselves have shelved their Islamic-project. Democracy is a necessity for peaceful cohabitation. It is not something that is enforced or introduced by force.Thirdly, I have a criticism of your quote More cards must be dealt to the South, while allowing the North to maintain an acceptable hand. We Sudanese cannot substitute one tyranny of nonrepresentational asymmetric rule for another. Southerners constitute a maximum of 9.5 million in a land of 42 million. You cannot have one party (the SPLM), who’s movement has shifted from representing a national movement to a regional one, rule the entire nation. This is a flawed suggestion.Lastly, as a non-Sudanese non-arabic speaker, you might benefit by asking Sudanese whether this question of whether Sudan would be a secular or Islamist state is even a dominant or alive one in the halls of Parliament or the Executive cabinet, let alone the minds of ordinary Sudanese. Even amongst religious and elite Sudanese, most are very aware that Sharia or its interpretations are a thing of the past. The NCP, the main root of this early-90s ideology, has largely abandoned this nonsecular-Sudan movement. The fallout between Turabi and Bashir was both political and ideological. Many of Turabi’s former disciples have defected to Bashir’s camp. The recent Lubna-trouser episode is a reminder that this Islamic security apparatus has no basis towards any vision of a Sharia-guided Sudan. It is exactly what I called it: a security apparatus. Even though the legal and judicial system still enforce a so called Old Sudan Sharia-based constitutional interpretation, the majority-ruling party is using this as a tool of mass-movement control, and has already received the backlash of criticism from a two decade ideologically brainwashed Northerner community. The issue is largely one of mass-movement control, not one of state or social vision. Give some credit where it appears. There is resilience amongst Sudanese. There exists room for dialog, although many would have it that reconciliation is impossible with the South or amongst a few quarrelsome Northerners.At its very core, this government cannot survive. The question therefore is: should we ensure its terminal destruction? Should we destabalize Sudan to the point whereby we end up demonizing another misguided ruler in the far future? Sudan has had a bout of coup d’etat after coup d’etat. Is this the recommended medicine? What do we all really want here? That’s food for thought.I submit the following: unity might not be attractive, but reconciliation is absolutely non-negotiable. It must be accomplished. The division of the nation is a forgone conclusion. Any so called debate is a waste of precious time. So I would like to invite all opposition members or members of the foreign community on this forum to recognize that what is at stake here is not a united Sudan not a secular Sudan but a peaceful Sudan (and soon to be new Southern Sudan). It is too late to talk about issues of unity. There are too many forces at work and there is a lot of personal interests driving us to this point. What needs to be carved up is the beginnings of a reconciliatory mindset. The GNU will not initiate this. It is up to every concerned party and Sudanese citizen to adopt this attitude. We cannot have a 100-year war.-Jamal

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