BY: GEOFFREY ALAWIA, NAIROBI, MAY/28/2014, SSN;
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 “http://www.southsudannation.com/wp-admin/options-general.phpdoomed.”
“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!