The Fabricated Coup (South Sudan): A Confession from a Party insider

BY: Camfort N. Bodin (an alias), JUBA, DEC/30/2013, SSN;

(a) SPLM & DEMOCRACY:

The fate of this young nation is in the hands of two men whose rivalry and distrust goes back to the beginning of SPLM/SPLA. What started out as a political problem is now threatening to take this young nation to the brink of a civil war.

Dr. Machar having lost his vice presidential seat realized that his only means of ascending to power is through the democratization of SPLM.

Pres. Kiir, on the other hand, understood that democratization of the party is a threat to his regime.

The demands put forward by Dr. Machar and Pagan Amum at the most recent party meeting were aimed at weakening the powers of the presidency. The long term goal was multi-partism and democracy in South Sudan.

But Machar, Pagan and their other ten colleagues understood that forming their own party would be deemed as betrayal by South Sudanese. And they are reluctant to leave a party which they have been participants in building and nurturing.

Pres. Kiir demands the same level of reverence and respect that was accorded to the late Dr. John Garang. However, Kiir unlike Garang, is not a consensus builder.

He tends to be very frustrated by political process; while Dr. Garang did not personalized politics, Kiir keeps political grudges and demands complete loyalty.

His failure to enforce the appointment of Telar Riing as justice minister made him very skeptical of a democratic SPLM. After all, Kiir is a military General who abides by the Military code of conduct.

In short, out of fear of democratic process and Dr. Machar’s presidential ambitions, Pres. Kiir has resorted to his last option: a military rule. This was why the presidential Guards – a majority of whom are from Kiir’s very own sub clan- was formed in the first place.

The Guards main job was complete loyalty to Pres. Kiir, not to the South Sudan’s presidency or to the Rep. of South Sudan but to Kiir himself.

The only reason there were some Nuers and a small numbers from other tribes within the group was due to fear of disintegration within the SPLA.

In order to nationalize the army, it was necessary to integrate the military. This was supposed to weaken likely potential rebels. In particular, the late Gen. Matip Nhial, Gen. George Athor, Gatdet Yaak and Tanginye. And also to entice YauYau, who is still rebelling against South Sudan.

The overall objective in forming the presidential Guards, was to ensure Pres. Kiir remains in power by any means necessary. The aim was to ruthlessly silence the democratic voices within the party led by Dr. Machar.

It must be noted that Machar was only a de facto leader of the group due to his seniority within the party.

(b) The Plan: a fabricated Military Coup And why a Coup?

A fabricated coup was the only means of ensuring Pres. Kiir remains in power as a “failed coup” in African context is almost always justified with an establishment of a brutal military regime.

The plan was to either arrest/prosecute or assassinate some the 12 politicians. An emphasis of “dead or alive” was placed in Dr. Machar’s case. During this upheaval a strict curfew was to be established in juba, malakal and Bor.

An immediate order was to be given to Gov. Montytuil and Gov. Kun Pouch in Unity and Upper Nile States to protect the oil fields while reinforcements arrived.

So what went wrong? For once the dreaded presidential guards being mostly young recruits and given their limited military experience in SPLA were extremely indiscipline in their execution of the presidential orders.

A number of them having long held personal grievances against Machar and the Nuers in general for the Bor massacre of 1991, decided to carry out revenge attacks on the Nuer civilians in Juba. This gave Machar time to escape.

The guards also completely destroyed Dr. Machar’s home in Juba and there was a speculation in the presidential circles that he might have been killed in the rubble. This meant a couple of hours were wasted trying to find out Machar’s whereabouts.

And before long Gen. Gatdet in Bor had received intelligence about the massacre of Nuers in Juba. Gatdet is well known for being a nationalist but a pro-Nuer at heart. His objective was always to fight for Nuer first.

His support for Machar is a consequence of his loyalty to Nuer and not on shared principles.

As a result, Pres. Kiir and his confidants hope that Gatdet- given his new found faith in South Sudan Unity and his elevated status within the party- would take a couple of days before he gets a wind of what was actually going on in Juba and make a decision to defect.

During this time he would either have been persuaded to stay within the ranks and let the judicial process take place or implicated in the “Coup”.

Perhaps, Gatdet’s military experience and distrust of Koul Manyang and Kiir told him otherwise.

Another major blow was the defection of Gen. Koang in Unity State- This was never anticipated by the high command. Kiir’s inner circles were generally inept in their execution of this plan.

The major mistake was the lack of understanding of Nuer’s sentiments in the SPLA and in the populace. And the desire to deny the Nuers any elevated status within the movement by some of the staunch supporters of Pres. Kiir.

There was a fear that the Nuer would coalesce around Machar upon his arrest but that ultimately Gen. Hoth Mai might be in a position to re-establish order if needed.

(c) IGAD/Geopolitics: Kenyatta & Museveni

Once the high command received the information that Machar had escaped and that Gatdet had defected, two objectives were put in place:

1. To immediately put down any potential mutiny within Juba. This means the execution and imprisonment of some of the senior members of SPLA who were deemed loyal to Dr. Machar. Particularly, those from Lou Nuer and Bentiu.
2. A call was made to Pres. Museveni and to Pres. Kenyatta for support. Museveni and Machar have a long history of distrust given that Museveni believed Machar “financed” the LRA. A rebel group that created havoc in northern Uganda. And Machar is not very fond of Museveni’s dictatorial tendencies and interference in South Sudan’s politics.

Mr. Kenyatta, on the other hand, wants the Pipeline through Kenya and Pres. Kiir promised to deliver. Major investment plans have already been put in place to this effect. Kenya would immensely benefit from the pipeline. Machar was reluctant about the cost of building such a pipeline and believed that Kenya will hold South Sudan hostage once the pipeline has been built. Kiir would rather see a pipeline through Kenya as he didn’t trust Bashir regime.

Ethiopia was not contacted until guarantees had been made by Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Museveni. Once support was established, Mr. Kenyatta was used to woe Ethiopia’s prime minister. Note that Ethiopia is generally seen as sympathetic to Machar as there is a large population of Nuers in Ethiopia. In fact, a whole sub-clan of Nuer (Gaajak) live in Ethiopia.

Furthermore, Kenyatta having been a beneficiary of tribal politics and a victim of Mr. Odinga’s political manoeuvres, understood Pres. Kiir’s sentiments on Dr. Machar’s presidential ambitions.

Note that Kenyatta was very supportive of Moi’s anti-multipartism in the early 1990s. He was a product of KANU- a party very much like South Sudan’s SPLM- and a beneficiary of one party rule and tribal politics.

The results of the two recent elections in Kenya provide a strong evidence of tribal politics and Uhuru’s desire to transcend such politics. A goal he ultimately failed. He has been accused of instigating tribal violence that killed up to 1500 people and displaced more than 25,000 civilians. Kenyatta’s case was recently dropped due to “insufficient” evidence.

However, Kenyatta’s reputation is still tarnished and the West does not trust him. Any positive efforts in helping solve South Sudan’s crisis would be welcomed by the West. There is also Chinese economic interest in East Africa and there is fear that Kenyatta’s effort might not be genuine. He is likely to be on the side of the Chinese/Khartoum.

Once these two objectives had been achieved, the next goal was to convinced the international community and in particular the US government that indeed Dr. Machar carried out a coup. The problem however, was persuading Susan Rice and John Kerry to this fact.

Dr. Rice having interacted with both Pres. Kiir and Dr. Machar was very skeptical. She does not believe it was in the best interest of Machar to carry out a coup. How was he going to do so without an army at his disposal? Why would he carry out a coup given that he was winning the political battle within the party? And why would Machar wants to use his tribe to face the army of South Sudan given the painful memories of 1991 and his current support from some Dinka leaders?

And who would finance him given China and Sudan had made a deal with GOSS? There were too many unanswered questions. The US government did not buy into the coup allegations. The explanation given by Dr. Adwok, that there was an infighting in the presidential Guards, was deemed more plausible.

(d) MILITARY INTERVENTION IN BOR:
The next step was to re-take Bor from Gen. Gatdet. Pres. Kiir then gave UPDF- Uganda’s military- the permission to bomb Gatdet’s strategic position in Bor. Machar did not want a repeat of 1991 and asked Gatdet to pull out. The truth is there was no “re-take of Bor” by the GOSS troops.

Gatdet had already pulled out some hours before the government troops arrived in Bor. The skirmishes in Bor were from a small group left behind by Gatdet as a decoy. This allowed him to escape. But not before he made a major mistake in mistaking US aircraft for UPDF Planes. This was both unfortunate and very costly to Machar’s effort in persuading the US of his non-participant in the alleged coup.

(e) The Strategic Stalement: is Machar Cornered?
Right now, the objective is to re-take the oilfields and to counter any move Machar is likely to make. Pres. Kiir has succeeded so far in winning IGAD to his side. Machar is left with Khartoum and some oil fields.

Machar’s demands on the surface seem basic and reasonable but in the bigger scheme of politics, they constitute a great threat to Kiir’s objective of a military rule. Machar wants the detainees to be released. He wants Pagan Amum – a nationalist and a shrewd negotiator- on his side.

Pres. Kiir would be foolish in releasing Mr. Amum. And he has used Pagan’s past alleged corruption charges to keep him under arrest. Machar also wants a “credible ceasefire” to be negotiated. This would give him enough time to re-established his contacts and re-group with his detained colleagues giving them an equal status on the negotiating table and taking Kiir’s a long step on.

Any form of power sharing would mean Machar would achieve his objective of democratizing the SPLM. In short, Machar- being the strategist -is thinking three steps ahead. But for Machar’s plan to work, he needs some leverage.

Currently he has three options: The oilfields in Unity/UpperNile, The White army and Bashir/Chinese. Given Machar’s overall goal – complete independence of South Sudan from the North- the third option would be his desperate and last move.

The use of White army would lead to unnecessary bloodshed in Bor and Akobo. There are some Lou Nuer in Akobo segments who are skeptical of Machar but given John Luk Jok- Akobo’s son- is in detention, Machar can persuade the Lou Nuer.

And Machar needs both the Bor/twic and Lou Nuer on his side. Creating a war between the two sub-clans would lead to a result very similar to 1991. This would ultimately undermine Dr. Machar’s presidential ambition and little support from the international community.

Most of his colleagues in detention are mostly Dinkas. He needs to convince the world and the Dinka community that he is not weighing a tribal warfare. While he might not be entirely convincing, he would create some doubts within the Dinka community. He needs to be seen as a non-tribalist.

The best option and the most credible move Machar is likely to make is holding Pres. Kiir’s government hostage. Machar will in effect attempt to control the oilfields in Upper Nile and Unity. But for him to get financing he needs to be able to re-direct the oil revenues to a bank account he can control. This would mean he must either make a deal with Bashir/Chinese or simply use both the oilfields and a negotiated ceasefire as a “credible threat”.

In order for Machar to retain his current control of Unity oil fields, he must control Mayom county and make a direct threat to overtaking Warrap state. He must tempt Pres. Kiir to direct all effort to Warrap state and maintain a hold of Kuajok. This would leave Jonglei vulnerable as the SPLA with its limited resources will be overstretched.

Machar will then solidify his control of Akobo and use Bor as a ploy to keep hold of Mayom while being in a good position to negotiate. It should be noted that Machar is a product of the civil war and can be very resourceful.

It would be a mistake for Kiir to undermine any proposals he makes. Even if these demands seem rather odd, Machar is a shrewd strategist. He will not admit to defeat.

The tribal politics of south Sudan dictates that both the Dinka and the Nuer be participants, if there is to be any national building. Otherwise, civil war is likely to occur.

(f) What is the best outcome for South Sudan?
The best outcome for the country is for Pres. Kiir to negotiate right away with Dr. Machar. Eventually, the SPLA will democratize and
Pres. Kiir can still win election under a democratic South Sudan. He is likely to garner at least the majority (51%) in any given election.

Perhaps, he won’t negotiate due to influence from his close confidants (Telar Aring, Hoth Mai, Mr. Makeui Lueth, Mr. Juuk) who have more to lose in a democratic SPLM.

An immediate release of all political detainees (particularly, Mr. Amum and Mr. Alor) is a very unlikely outcome in the short run. The truth is the stalemate is likely to continue until Dr. Machar is in a strong negotiation position. A scenario I don’t foresee any time soon.

In so far as Machar is not in a position to procure external financing, he is unlikely to achieve his short term objectives: a negotiated ceasefire settlement and the release of ALL detainees.

If indeed Dr. Machar manage to somehow negotiate for himself a favorable result, it will only speak volume of his strategic capabilities and the loyalty he commands from the Nuer people.

As the situation stands, Pres. Kiir is in a winnable position, but a position that could ultimately lead to the very dreaded civil war if he overplays his hand and tempts fate.

Makuei and Kol Manyang are currently persuading him in that direction. This would be an ill-advised move, as it would simply prolong the stalemate and led to civil war.

After many decades of warfare, 2014 should be a year of re-unification for South Sudanese. It’s upon the two leaders to put aside their differences for the sake of national interest. Politics must stop at the water’s edge.

21 Comments

  1. makher Macut says:

    The last thing we want in South Sudan is another war. Our politicians should know this if they indeed care about the people they rule. I find it very difficult to comprehend why Mr. Machar and others did not just from their own party and ask South Sudanese people to vote for them instead of staging their fail coup attempt. In Israel Mr. Sharon formed Kadima out of Likud and still won the election. Mr. Machar rebellion may destabilize security in greater Upper Nile but will never bring him to power simply because majority of South Sudanese people do not trust him because of his fail coup attempt of 1991. In my personal opinion Mr.Machar’s latest abortive coup attempt has inflicted fatal wound to his political aspirations.

    • AJ says:

      Who tell you that majority of ss do not support Marchar? That is how shallow brain you are. Democracy have to prevail and no doubt Killer Kiir will realized that, most people donot like what he has done all these years.

      Aj

    • Those who still buy into the notion of Kirr’s fabricated story of an attempted coup are doing so out of a shared blood thirsty roots. Majority of South Sudanese at home and in Diaspora know it was not a coup; the international community knows too, was not a coup.

      For most of us not hailing from either Nuer or Dinka, are asking what happened from July after Kirr dissolved his government, why dissolved the SPLM political structures in the first place, why did Kirr recruited 4000 presidential Guards only from his clan youths if he is a president working to build united and diverse South Sudan, why should Kirr demanded powers to dismissed elected governors, Politicians; and even threatened to close elected House, why he doesn’t tolerate the press and Human Right advocates who speak out against Civil Rights abuses, you can clearly figure out why these powers are demanded for; Kirr is prepared to enter a” club” of leaders in Africa like Mugabe who can do whatever it takes to be in power for ever or even die in power? There are many unanswered questions for all of us to figure out ourselves.
      We Equatorians must not stand behind a president for favors that are short lived. Leave alone the Vice president Wani Igga, Lojore , the Governor of East Equatoria and Rizzig the Governor in Wau, who stand by Kirr to keep their jobs, their hands carry blood of the of innocent civilians, they must be investigated for war crimes.
      ,
      When the Northern Bakhr El Ghazal boys were recruited as presidential Guards, all South Sudanese were watching the development quietly, now they are let loose and went spree, killing unarmed Nuer women, children and men in Juba, some of these neighbors watching our fellow country men being butchered are Equatorians, Bahkr EL Ghazel, foreigners; believe me, today is Nuer turn, tomorrow will be you or other ethnic groups; never, ever naively believe it will end here. Riek Macher and others are only asking for political transformation but since this transformation will stand in the way of Kirr’s entrance to Mugabe Club of leaders,they are accused of staging alleged coup.

      Rieck is not trying to take power through a coup but Kirr uses the term because it is not popular in the World Today and he believed it will discredit Rieck or even end his chances of becoming a leader one day. What he failed to notice is how well informed people are in today’s Information Technological Era. Even his kins and supporters know there was no coup.

      Warning, unless we speak out against Kirr’s tendency to “create one man ruling system;” more massacres of our people are likely to occur in the hands of these “Warrab Boys”. Being a good military man does not necessarily automatically qualifies you to be an effective leader. If this proves unattainable, these military men always resort to dictatorship as the only way to keep the Executive position, Kirr qualifies this analogy.

    • The question does not rely on the rebellion or the coup that was about to be attempted by Mr. Machar, neither on the destabilization of the greater upper Nile nor on Machar failed coup of 1991 and following the norm of democratization.
      My friend you should be affirmed that when the CPA was signed. Its mandate was based on the Prejudice and hatred of 1991 consequences and its effects on innocent civilians of both tribes, the (Dinka and Nuer), by which Jieng used to reflect it as mass killing upon their tribes, in media, newspapers etc.., since they don’t take into account what their commanders did to the Nuer too. These Hatred and prejudice were upheld by Jieng in time prior and after the CPA, through which they Dinkanized all the institutions, different security organs. And even the lion share in petroleum companies and even the corruption that were ran, was done on the expense of development, deposited a clear signal for a coming mass killing.
      The rest of 63 tribes stayed aloof including the Nuer and persevered on the dustbin of all marginalization. by commenting on your point, what happened were not a coup as it were being put by some speakers, According to military science, coup is defined as a state of overwhelming a government by group of military units from different divisions commands and in its success some politicians are brought in to smooth running the political affairs within the government.
      So what took place on the 15th. Dec,2013 was not a coup, it was mutiny within the rankers and private line of the Palace guard crop, in days whereby political tension was extremely high, this state coincided with Kiir’s threatening message toward the SPLM members on the opening days, specifically his rivals.
      Therefore, Machar could not hesitate of joining the mutineers as he had done it, if not, he would have been caught and accounted as the commander. Whatever happened as mass killing, Jieng from pres. Kiir up to a mere Dinka would be held accountable for it because they had plotted for that ever since. Thus talking over the incident as attempted could is just a disguise for covering the genocide that was committed by Dinka kingdom.

  2. K says:

    What is really your plan? You seem to be designing, planning and strategizing war for your favourite side.

  3. Bentiu today says:

    excellent and neutral article.
    these are the solutions for south Sudan’s stability.
    you have analysed everything possible for our country.

  4. Johnson says:

    comfort,
    Brilliant article and well thought, it is important that we should know this current situation will explode and will drag many other small tribes to take side, with Uganda unwelcome move to bring in indiscipline UPDF things will surely get out of hands, and Dr Riek is not going to be wipe out as Museveni thinks word can describe.
    The other point is thinking that when peaceful negotiation is reached, and SPLA will become democratized party and this will give pres. Kiir 51% over his rival is not possible, first of all the world think it is tribal conflict between the Dinka and Nuer, and given majority of leaders in detention are from dinka ethnic group, it is unlikely for mr president to secure 51% of the vote unless the elections are not free and fair.
    The dinka are divided as such kiir is left with his warrap, Bahr el gazal and other, while dinka bor are divided with Rebecca Garang opposing to Kiir, given unpopularity of Koul Mayang Juuk, should Abyei become part of south Sudan with their most senior politician Deng Alor in detention and given kiir refusal to recognized Abyei local referendum, kiir days to rule is most likely coming to an end, that is why he uses Uganda to keep him in power, in equatoria people are only waiting to see whoever is going to win, majority of equatorians would like to see machar as commander in chief than kiir who was silent about equatoria issue of land grabbing and not be inclusive in formation of government. anyway the best we could all hope for now is peaceful statement not more killing. Hope 2014 will start with achievable peace statement between the two camps.

    • nikalongo says:

      Johnson,

      Equatorians are not opportunists. Dinka and Nuer are viewed in Equatoria as bloodthirsty, cruel and filthy. Most Equatoria prefer a new nation in Equatoria so that the likes of Riak, Kiir, Bentui or Gogrial are kept out. As a matter of fact, we are not proud sharing South Sudan with idiots who have no regard for life and human values. Keep ur wars to ur backyards where ngundeng issues licence to kill.

  5. Nyeri says:

    is anyone of the two reading or listening to the citizens cry. i wish them both out of the seat this 2014

  6. Choromke Jas says:

    Some gaps, but a good account. Strategically, Kiir is in the bind. With the news that Bor has been retaken, I fear he has to send his delegation to Ethiopia fast. If he delays, it is his own problem. Even if Riek stands still, it is Kiir who will need a quick ceasefire. He has a government to run. Soon, his money reserve will run out. The oil field cannot be run whether Bentiu is retaken or not. You cannot open the pipeline when there is a constant war between the government and the “rebel”.

    My other concern is with our friend, the Americans. I love Americans very much. But I get pained when they come up with counter-intuitive policy decision for South Sudan. The culprit here is Kiir. He formed an illegal army, he is stealing money from the public coffer, he is abetting corruption, he infringes on human rights and rights of expression and lately, he has involved himself in genocide! The list is long. Yet, I hear that Americans are not supporting the overthrow of Kiir’s’ government! Most South Sudanese do not understand this logic. Yes, the Machar’s forces fired on the American planes and injured servicemen. But, this, as clearly indicated in your article, was a mistaken identity issue. Blame it on Uganda for introducing aircraft so fast in the conflict. This in itself, should not turn the Americans from the right path: to punish a genocidal and kleptocratic government of Kiir. The Americans shoudl be wary of Museveni. He can misadvise them. The temperament of South Sudanese is vastly different from that of his largely Bantu population. They can be angered easily and are reclkess with guns. Another thing, South Sudan is awashed with guns. The people in South Sudan love their guns. But in Uganda, according to Museveni himself, the Bantu will sell their guns to start a business. As it is, he has disturbed a hornet nest. Uganda will be drag in a very dangerous military quagmire and it could be his Waterloo. So, the Americans should order Museveni to back off so that negotiations can start.

    Please Americans, do not overate the strength of the LRA, which allegedly, is the reason for your love affair with Museveni. The LRA is now a shadow of itself and is far off in Central African Republic. Riek has nothing to do with them. On the contrary, based on information we have, the northern ugandan population might enjoin the war on the side of Machar in the South if they can get their hands on guns and if Museveni continues to be a factor.

    The Americans should now press Kiir to release Pagan Amum and others and to form his own delegation to peace talks. No one will hurry these talks because Riek has got a lot of experience in peace process when he was the mediator to Uganda-LRA peace talks in Juba some years ago. A ceasefire which is not monitored is worse than no ceasefire. Ask the former Irish Republican Army (IRA). Please, the world let South Sudan sort out its problem by ridding itself of the murderous government of Kiir.

    • upiu says:

      Choromke,
      your insistence on more violence as a tool to power ascendency puts you on the same league with the many prophets of doom we’ve produced in S.Sudan. you recently called for Equatorians to join the bloodbath because you want no one left out in this senseless franticide. Shame on you! and because you are not going to carry a gun in the battlefields but instead urge your brothers to kill themselves is quite a disservice to our nation. your education is your self gain but a curse of our people. If violence is your esteemed and researched method of getting rid of Kiir, then you should join the war zones and stop inciting more violence on our innocent civilians. you want S. Sudanese to finish themselves and at the end come to enjoy their bloods in the name of national dignitaries. i wonder what position you’ve been promised in a Riek govt.

      • Nyesi Ta says:

        Choromke, if you want peace go for war. Tyrants do not understand any language other than war. My friend don’t just talk, but be serious to join the Free Army for Democratic Transformation (DAFT). Soon both of these tribal hooligans may take the war to village beyond their own villages, without our own army we will be the victims of their hooliganism. Lets all prepare for the better or worst.

      • kajokeji says:

        Mr. Upiu,
        Kirr, your brother perhaps, is the one who has brought violence to the innocent children, women, old people , and the handicaps in our nation. Yet you have the guts to accuse others of inciting violence, what a hypocrite! I know you and your president Kirr love bloodshed and that is why you have transformed your tribal killing machine into state killing machine. No! enough is enough of your deceptive character to the people of South Sudan. Let your little brain know that the Nuers are fighting a war of self-defence as allowed by acceptable international legal instruments/norms. Kirr and his supporters like you are disgrace to the people of South Sudan. Since you don’t know how to share space with others, then please relocate from our beloved country-The Republic of South Sudan or all South Sudanese who love peace will be forced collectively to relocate you!.

    • Esp says:

      Kony and YauYau are part of a consortium that intends to destabilize and clear out regions in South Sudan and neighboring countries in order to confiscate resources. Notice how both Kony and YauYau appear only on cue. All those UN and secret service troops on the ground from UK, US and Israel and none of them can find Kony and YauYau? Think again.

  7. Comfort Bodin,

    You are a critical writer and an independent thinker. Everything you wrote in this article is real. President Kiir wants to be dictator like Ugandan president “Museveni” and we cannot afford to have another dictator while we just got away from horrible dictator of Sudan. President Kiir attacked Dr. Machar for pressuring him to change his dictatorial vision. 49 people of Dr. Machar body guard dead in his house during the attack but Dr. Machar managed to escape and survived the attack. President Kiir have been dismissing anyone seem to be Dr. Machar friend both in military and in politics in effort to silence Dr. Machar federalism and democratic vision. However, the man with such long history of democratic vision cannot be silence by military threat.

  8. Lokilachong says:

    Dear Bodin,

    Your analysis of the situation in south Sudan is reasonable and it is convincing. In deed, there was no coup in Juba, the lost of innocent lives in the country came as a result of Kiir’s false alarm. The questions that bother us most are these;
    1). if Kiir was in control of the situation and power in Juba why ignite a false coup?
    2).If the president is deemed to be going to win an election in any time given with 51%, why fear the opposition? All these ideas and war to crush the opposition come from nobody else but evil M7, like Kiir does not like Dr. Machar.

    Our president should be careful not to align too much with M7 because he will be held hostage in his own country. Given the situation, any south Sudanese if he/she was Machar, I think taking arms was the solution. And if there is any negotiation, it should take place in a neutral location. Remember M7 tricked Tito Okello, the old man went for negotiation in Nairobi in good faith but from behind NRA took the government. M7 is an evil man, if it was possible both Kiir and Machar should avoid M7 for the good of our country.

    Machar seems to have been conered, not that he is a bad man but because all those mentioned such as M7, Kenyatta, and Ethiopian president (IGAD) have interest in south Sudan. By loosing Kiir they are going to loose big, hence they have to gang on Dr. Machar as the common enemy. South Sudanese must take this conflict seriously and dismiss it as Dinka or Nuer affairs but a conflict that will usher us again into a civil war.
    This time M7 will be the commandant in chief and he will fight Dr. Machar with renewed interest in south Sudan. Our leaders should avoid this protracted war and save lives and the country where both Machar and Kiir will live as equal citizens.

  9. Bentiu today says:

    what caused the problem in south Sudan is kirr’s reminder of people everyday about 1991 event, which people try to forget. but he the president remind people to hate each other, someone suggested that it could be upto people of south sudan to disqualify Machar at the ballot box not kirr to deny somebody from same democratic right they all have, these in all can also anger one politician’s supporters.
    Rebecca Nyandeng say the only expression remains in south sudan is to rebel because no freedom of speech, ideas and so on.

  10. Dumba says:

    Thanks for the article. Reading through this article i was left wondering and questioning where are the people (South Sudanese) especially the youth.
    My gut feeling is that none of the two will win this militarily and if they have the people at heart then its time to behave humanly.

  11. kikisik says:

    Mr. Bodin,
    Thank you so much for your nice, and balanced analysis. I would also like to thank those who make their comments either for or against the articles as those are their personal opinons.

    Coming to the topic, I would not go back to what hapenned on Dec.15, 2013 because I have my personal anlysis of what actually took place and thier caurses as other might have theirs also. The point is the country is burning- and the question we as Southerners should be asking is what is the way out of this crisis? This is a homework for all of us and the peace loving people of the world who would like to help this counrty resolved this crisis.

    I know all of us Southerners failed to have contained the situation because we knew from the begining where these crisis where heading nor our allies who supported us during the painful struggle turned a blind eye to the crisis because they too knew where the country was heading. I was very surprised to see the American administration keeping silent- who have vested a lot in South Sudan during the CPA until the present time only to act by evacuating their citizen from South Sudan- what a leadership of the first African American Black President whom some of us believed to have been originated from South Sudan! Gone are the days of our best Republican President Bush!!!!! IT IS ALWAYS REPUBLICAN WHO CARES ABOUT THE OPRESSED PEOPLE WHEREEVER THEY ARE BUT NOT THE DEMOCRATS. GUESS WHAT- WHO IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE,IT IS THE……………??????

    Yes, Macher’s forces fired on the American plane and injured some American services memeberss but infact Museveni is to be blame for using his country’s war plane to bom the rebel forces in Bor. After the fall of Bor to Machar forces, any evacuation of any nationals using a military plane should be under the permission of Rieck Machar forces. But did American administration took those precuations? The answer is big NO! as such they have to pay for thier mistake.I am sorry for those injured after all this is how war always brings.

    AS for Equatoria involement in this war, nobody knows what tomorrow’s will brings that is why it is for the sake of peace, we hope that this crisis is contained as soon as possible but so long as this goes, some tribe will be forced to take side since the Equatorian where the only people who suffers a lot during this corrupts rule of Kiir leadership as a result of land grabbing, killing of innocent Equatorian, land occupation by Dinka in places like Nimule in Ma’di land.
    Some Dinka’s do term Equatorain as cowards, but I pray that this crisis is contained before it is too late.
    ”Leaders comes Leaders goes, but South Sudan will remain forever”

  12. Majongdit says:

    Even if you democratize SPLM and South Sudan a million times, Riek can still not win elections.

  13. ww says:

    Did kiir dangerously mismanaged the splm and the country? Sure. Does this justifies Riek used of force to get rid of Kiir? Hell no!!!!. So long as the intellectuals failed to present facts about the situation and try to incite violence ss is doomed to fail as a state. Try to fabricate what had happened on that Sunday night to suit your wish and support your side at the end you will reap what you sow. Peace.

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