BY: John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUL/10/2017, SSN;
The South Sudanese Former Political Detainees (FD) also referred to, as G-10 are not, in my view, helping in the flagging situation in South Sudan, although I was initially, to some extent, their mild supporter right from the onset, when they were in jail. Readers can attest to the article I wrote, published in South Sudan news sites where I referred to them (FD) as biblical Meshach, Abednego, and Shadrack who survived the wrath of the Babylonian king.
Unlike the Israelite resilience men who stood the great temptation of the time and feared none, the South Sudanese Former Detainees are just spectators of the ongoing conflicts in South Sudan.
Upon their painfully release, they cowardly turned their backs to those who fiercely and fully advocated for their release including Dr Riek Machar, Madam Rebecca de Mabior and all South Sudanese who fought hard mounting pressures to condition their release, alive and healthy.
Unfortunately, on their release, they miscalculated events at hand thinking that they will through this crisis take on the leadership of the country. They had believed that the region and international community would rein in to install one of them as a leader has not facilitated in the conflict.
In their view, Kiir and Machar were going to be bad people in the eyes of the international community. Of course, circumstances have now taught them otherwise, Dr Machar, despite difficulties facing him each day has continued to grow in his popularity and so is President Kiir’s tact in Juba despite declining public support for him.
Thus, I have come to realise after a lengthy look at their daily utterances how they wanted to remain as separate political unit called FD or G-10 without playing an active part in bringing about peace to the Republic of South Sudan.
In my view, they are a failed, insignificant forum who wanted to be regarded as “holy men” who played no part in the conflict, forgetting that they ironically work harder to ignite this conflict in the context of the press conference of the 6th of December 2013.
In its entirety, this forum (FD/G-10) should not continue to exist, they either disintegrate or join one party among the current political actors (NAS, IG, IO Bush, IO Juba and other political and civil forces) helping in trying to wage peace in the country.
The reasoning here is widely informed by the following:-
1. FD or call them G-10 have no central position. They act in some forums as a solid body but in other forums, as distinctive particles to each other. For example, we have seen how a portion of them rallied behind a position that calls for UN 10-year Trusteeship of South Sudan. On the other hands, we have seen those of Dr Majak calling for regime change through the installation of a Technocratic Government (TG) while their allied Foreign Minister Mr. Deng Abor, is on their opposite selling President Kiir’s policies and exerting no solidarity with his colleagues in the diaspora.
2. They exerted no influence, internally or externally, but are a bunch of lonely disgruntled leaders trekking in the bushes unarmed. Internally, they have no sizable following among the South Sudanese both in the diaspora, displaced and inside South Sudan. Externally, they have become lobbyists like a civil society with no significant gain. For example, they have hosted numerous meetings with regional leaders, international bodies but nothing so far has materialised in their favour.
3. They are an exclusive forum; in that, nobody can join them unless one was jailed with them in Juba, they have no agenda and a suitable platform to engage South Sudanese who are thirsty for meaningful political dispensation.
Although most of them have a fascinating historical background in terms of their sacrifices in the 21 years conflict, they have in recent development become politically ambivalent and opportunistic.
In order to redeem their good selves, the FD must rethink their political position or opt to become what the Dinka people call “Jong Abuthic”, meaning a dog who waited in hiding for an offer that never came through till it saw its death shadow. END
The Writer is John Adoor Deng, Author of the book entitled: The Politics of Ethnicity and Governance in South Sudan. He can be reach on firstname.lastname@example.org