BY: James Nguen, CANADA, JUN/13/2016, SSN;
Since Dr. Riek Machar returned to Juba, South Sudan, early this year after signing a peace accord with rival Pres. Salva Kiir in August 2015, various South Sudanese communities have been visiting Machar at his makeshift residence outside Juba centre.
One can tell that people are expecting so much from a man who ran for his life in Juba 2013 but returned to the sin city as a saint in 2016 despite constant negative whacking from belly politicians who wanted nothing but booties, though there is nothing at this point.
For one, South Sudan as a country was ransacked through appeasements and war. The common men and women who are visiting Machar daily see no miraculous exit from the establishment (government). So South Sudanese Communities expect Dr. Riek Machar to deliver and somehow meet their expectations.
The million dollar question is can Machar really meet people’s great expectations?
No one outside Machar’s inner circle can resoundingly answer this question. However, we can only assume, mesmerize and also take a critical look on the IO’ programs and their political space in Juba.
In the meantime, without question, people of South Sudan are starving across the country. Yet, when communities visited Machar in his residence, they dance, sing songs and present well-perfected gifts in the blistering heat amidst jubilation.
Knowing my people well, they are tired and expect Machar to promise them salvation, but Machar is too skilled to venture into such debased hope to which the end of the rope rest at someone’s else prerogative.
In terms of exclusive power, Dr. Riek Machar never had a chance under one all-South Sudanese umbrella, to exercise such power for people to distinctively and independently know his intentions. What has the man in store for his people and country when he always served as a subordinate and his authority is always capped?
During people’s visitations or him (Riek) visiting them, Machar has this far preached peace and that peace has come. There are limitations, however. In my view, there is so much Machar and his camp can do. Which empathized the point that this peace cannot be sustained one-sided.
Machar’s partner in the agreement wanted “justice and accountability” to be scrapped. Such a position hasn’t gone well with people of South Sudan, whether government’s supporters or not. In short, it’s an unpopular demand. People across the board wanted justice and accountability to prevail in South Sudan.
Pres. Salva Kiir’s press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, proposed that justice and accountability will make the killers to rebel again when the hybrid court for South Sudan is implemented. President Kiir himself didn’t refute this stand. I assumed he is on board.
Also, President’s military advisor, Daniel Awet Akot, has recently asked the South Sudan hybrid court formation be delayed. This statement came before the New York Times’ op-ed. One can conclude that these two events are connected and it’s Mr. President’s position.
Machar’s positive mingling with the South Sudanese communities at his residence never made it to the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), simply because the management is in opposition to the first vice president’s efforts to plant hope in people’s hearts.
Not only that, some government’s officials still talk ill against the First Vice President, yet, this man is their boss. For example, almost two weeks ago, South Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador, Baak Wol posted a fabricated video of 58 minutes. That video was shortly removed by Baak Wol after 3,000 plus views. The video titled “Riek Macahr’s war victims in Jalle and Kolyang.”
Further, Mr. Gordon Buay Malek, a South Sudan’s ambassador stationed in Washington DC at the South Sudan embassy has called on FVP, Machar to response to the fabricated New York Times’ op-ed.
Though, the video was pure fabrication and Mr. Buay is considered a mad man, I expected a strong response from the First Vice President’ camp. However, I didn’t see any reaction from Machar’s inner circle yet that video and many others were intentionally made to undermine Mr. Machar’s authority. You can call it a resounding subordination in its purest ugly form.
Therefore, in part, if Dr. Riek Machar can allow people who should report to him tarnish his character through pure fabrications and lies at will without any consequences, then, we should be worried about him meeting people of South Sudan tall expectations.
However, for this worry to cease, I strongly recommend toughness, a bold change of strategy and approach from Mr. Machar’s camp as they address issues of importance. For example, holding government’s officials to account for their misguided actions and behaviors must be Mr. Machar’s first priority and a step to grace or storing people’s confidence.
J. Nguen is a South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.