SPLM-IO reject former detainees as ‘outsiders’ to conflict

By AGGREY MUTAMBO, DAILY NATION, NAIROBI, JUN/03/2015, SSN;

South Sudan rebels say former political detainees are rank outsiders to the conflict, in what could complicate efforts to reconcile splinter groups in the ruling party.

The “advance team” of five former South Sudanese detainees left Nairobi for Juba on Monday evening and met President Salva Kiir on Tuesday before meeting his nemesis Riek Machar later in the week at an undisclosed location.

On Tuesday, they met with President Kiir in Juba State House.

But Riek Machar’s side, the SPLM-In Opposition, said the group no longer has influence on the search for peace in South Sudan.

“We want to hear it from them because reuniting the party is something we have been supporting,” James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for the SPLM-in Opposition told the Nation on Tuesday evening.

“They are leaders in the SPLM but when it comes to the current war, they have no influence. They do not have a constituency because they have no forces on the ground,” he added.

Rebels argue there are issues to be solved before full reunification in the party can happen. And it is believed the position for the detainees is among them.

POWERFUL POSITIONS

The five men held powerful positions in Kiir’s government before the December 16, 2013 coup attempt that led to the current crisis.

Salva Kiir’s government had initially charged them with treason before Kenya and the international community prevailed upon him to drop the charges.

On Tuesday, he welcomed them with open arms, at least according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

“I am happy to receive my comrades back and wish to sincerely thank Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta for hosting them all this time and for wholeheartedly supporting the peace effort,” said Kiir.

The meetings with the two protagonists are supposed to reunite splinter groups within the ruling party, something observers say caused the current war that began in December 2013.

The five are former minister for Cabinet affairs Deng Alor, former finance minister Kosti Manibe, Madut Biar, former minister for postal service, former sports minister Cirino Hiteng and former justice minister John Luk.

They are part of the 10-member group of senior politicians within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who had sided with Riek Machar when forces loyal to him mutinied in 2013.

WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE

The incident led to widespread violence that has since displaced more than a million people and more than 15,000 killed, according to the UN.

The other five former detainees who remained in Nairobi are former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, Gier Chuang, Dr. Maja’ak Agoot Biar and Oyai Deng Ajak.

The return of the five was led by South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Tanzanian Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary-General Abdulrahman Kinana.

Mr Ramaphosa is a co-guarantor to an agreement the detainees signed in January in Arusha with both the SPLM and the SPLM-in Opposition to start working on reuniting the party.

CCM and the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, had been trying to put together splinter groups. Now they want to merge the peace process with that being midwifed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad).

Igad is a grouping of seven regional countries; Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan itself.

“The merging of the two processes is in pursuit of sustainable peace and security in the youngest nation in the Horn of Africa” and urged the parties to fully cooperate to achieve the same.

Mr Ramaphosa’s team argues the current conflict began when wrangles emerged within SPLM’s governing body, the National Liberation Council, meaning that efforts must be put in bring those groups back together.

SPLINTER GROUPS

But conflict experts say South Sudan’s war reflects how splinter groups use divisions to benefit from negotiations by issuing a set of demands.

In Burundi’s Arusha negotiations, for instance, rebel groups splintered to an extent that 17 of them were negotiating for a peace agreement in 1998. All of them were to be accommodated in the new government.

Some experts though think merging the two would be difficult since not all parties have been present in the two mediation efforts.

“The two peace processes will be difficult to merge because armed opposition already opted out the intra-party negotiations. Besides, the demands of the armed group (SPLM-in Opposition) is different than those of the detainees. The detainees actually bring nothing to the table,” Mr Steve Paterno, a South Sudanese research analyst on conflict told the Nation.

“The detainees are already excluded from the main peace process under sponsorship of IGAD the armed opposition has more leverage to bring to bear in the negotiations, unlike the detainees,” he added, arguing that it could be a ploy by the government in Juba to get them “out of the way” by swaying them to support Salva Kiir.

Then there is the problem that South Sudan’s ethnic rivalries could continue playing out.

“In post-independence South Sudan, troubled legacies of collaboration weakened institutions, sowed mistrust, and complicated disarmament,” argues Lee Seymour, assistant professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam.

“The reintegration of factions that collaborated with the government during the war created an army beset by tribal rivalries and parochial loyalties,” he adds in an article titled, “Why factions switch sides in civil wars.”

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20 Comments

  1. Kong P. Tongluot. SS says:

    Mr. Aggrey Mutambo

    The former detainees have right to join either side of warring parties, because they were acquitted by government for instrumental peace measures, which preliminarily demanded by SPLM/A – IO, and they became the part of government in Juba. I think they will enjoy their fates to be accommodated for top positions or in jail later.

    • Raan Naath says:

      SPLM former detainees, or g-10 or g-5 whatever are greedy opportunists who refuse to struggle for change but hope to get reward in form of top leadership in South Sudan without sweating for it.

      Also East African countries are tired of feeding them like helpless vultures. Now they want to surrender to the same killer and mad man Kiir Mayar and help him corrupt the last drops of petrodollar.

      The so-called former detainees have been ignored in the iGAD peace process and they have no other option then to go back to Juba; to some positions or may be back to jail.

  2. kikisik says:

    Welcome back vultures !!!!!!!!!

  3. Francis Mangok Angeir says:

    Wonderful, it is a time now for Chol Tong the Former of Lake State Governor to ask himself which Groups he is belonging. The rebels talk about detainees who went to Juba and those who remained in Nairobi, Kenya, but they forget to mention our brother Chol Tong name.

    These are the names of those who went to Juba, but there is no name of the former Lake State Governor Chol Tong. (The five are former minister for Cabinet affairs Deng Alor, former finance minister Kosti Manibe, Madut Biar, former minister for postal service, former sports minister Cirino Hiteng and former justice minister John Luk)

    Again here are the names of those who remained in Nariobi, but again Chol Tong names is missing. (The other five former detainees who remained in Nairobi are former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, Gier Chuang, Dr. Maja’ak Agoot Biar and Oyai Deng Ajak). Sometime, it is very difficult to consider somebody who is not belonging to the group. Chol Tong is a follower and has no position in these groups, I am very sorry for brother Chol Tong for his being a victim between these politicians.

  4. AGUMUT says:

    The so-called G-10 former Detainees were not the part of coup attempted or Hacking. Dark days,i remembered Chol Tong,but i have nothing to do with his private life.

  5. Easy Money says:

    Gurush-mafi,kalasu. The G10 or 1 may just return to Kenya or elsewhere. Prostitutes! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  6. Wau Naar says:

    AH HAA! Mr. Francis Mangok Angeir,

    Thank you kindly for your comments.

    If you don’t mind me answering your question on behalf of the Former Governor of Lake State, Mr. Chol Tong does not belong to any of the groups. Those who went to Juba are dogs and the group that remained in Kenya are wolfs.

    Mr. Tong is a JACKLE!!!

    According to Wikipedia: “Jackal is placed between the wolf and the dog; to the savage fierceness of the wolf, it adds the impudent familiarity of the dog… It is noisier in its pursuits even than the dog, and more voracious than the wolf.”
    “No jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat — no matter who killed the meat for him.”

    Wau NAAR

  7. Jackchuol says:

    God help riakmachar for being running every 10 yrs

  8. alex says:

    The war mongers have been exposed now. You were trying to hide your hidden agenda. now it is time for the world to see who are the problem makers. I always say if you do not tell the truth one day you get cought by your own words.
    Now it time for splm in opp to accept the renificutioin of the party or els they form a different party and we go and see ourselves in elections.

    • Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:

      Alex,

      What are the parameters of achieving peace? Do you thinking running around saying we need peace will bring peace to south Sudan? If it is just that, peace could have come the next this madness erupted. Define peace first and what its entail to gain peace.

  9. jok lual says:

    we need only they former detainees not Riek machar he is not a splm he blinpoold they people of south sudan .go hell with Taban Deng and Peter Gadet south sudan without you is a south sudan.

    and to mr Lam Akol where is your military wing Olony we are waiting him here in Akoka Padang if they come here they will been a Padang not Sholuk any more Akoka Padang THiang Buoc Padang Malakal Padang Dollef Hil Padang if you like or not

  10. alex says:

    Splm in opp have been decieving people that they are for peace can they now show to the suffering S. Sudanese masses that they are really for peace. You sign agreement the next day you go to offensive and while you have started the fight you jump to social media that the goverment troops have attacked you. If you are really for peace can you now build on this opportunity which have appeared. We are now watching you people very clearly. We people of S. Sudan are going to see the people who are prolonging the suffering of our people. It is time you people come out clean because all the time you have been blaming the goverment.

  11. peter says:

    Alex

    pl do not be stupid to blame nothing about IO group make sure what they deal with south sudanese focus on it. do u know people died already in Juba and did u learn what about rout cause happened in Juba? do not crises people for no reason? if people talk about peace and what kind of peace do we go for what is the deal it is good deal or bad deal? you have to see all those before u hit to type ur computer pl.

    • alex says:

      If your group still has the guts to fight then you continue with the senseless fighting. You will perish because of lack of wisdom. You keep on dying because you are still backward and you thought you will be able to win. Never, brother, it is not easy you have seen the setback your forces are facing. You either risk going to slavery to the Arabs. Your war is a senseless war of primitive people who still follow those they see as learnt without questioning your self. Your leader is no better than Joseph Konyi of Uganda.

  12. Deng says:

    For your information Mr Francis, Former Governor of Lake State is one of the five SPLM-FD who remains behind in Kenya instead of Ezekiel Gatkuoth. Ezekiel has already joined SPLM-IO and because of that he does not longer have any membership with SPLM-FD, you can clearly see in the article that Majak Agoot’s third name is referred to as Biar instead of Atem. That shows Ezekiel’s name may have wrongly/intentionally put there instead of Chol Tong, I hope I have answered your question unless you have something else to say about him. Thanks,

    • Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:

      Deng,

      Well, it is right that Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth had joined SPLM-IO right after their released from the lion’s dean. Whoever places his name in the G-10 list is mistaken. He rightfully doesn’t have membership their any longer.

  13. Arbitrator says:

    G-X, G-Y, G– what what, these people spoiled our dignity and premature nation.
    Non should be in the government again.
    These people , have let us down, we just want to forgive , not to allow em back to corrupt us more.
    they have nothing good in their hearts, except stealing public funds.
    We were blaming the arabs, now you honestly compare, if you were within south sudan during the fight with Krtm.
    they brought evils of every kind to us. Shame on you,
    Lastly, let me assume that we give you 50 years, to rule us, u will do nothing,. Kolak,

  14. Arbitrator says:

    Most South Sudanese were affected with Megalomania, even one who has primary leaving certificate, one who knows how to cock AK-47 wanted to be a President.

    My hair is getting grey because of South Sudanese behavior.

  15. Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:

    Arbitrator,

    Megalomania is the correct term for many of our people mostly those supporting the government. All want to lead but all do not know the way. A case of a blind wanting to lead another blind, all will fall into a hole. The one eyed man who knows the way is envy by all and is prevented from leading so all can reach to the desired destination. In the process of denying him the right to lead, innocent people die for no good reason. God save our South Sudanese from destroying themselves.

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