BY: Dhoal Tuolual Larjin, USA, FEB/24/2014, SSN;
The SPLM detainees chose to take a no party decision that could not alleviate their case and the cause to change of Juba dictatorship government. Although they had been trying for years to reform the government with Dr. Machar but never reached the goal, this perhaps could be due to their leadership styles.
I have grounded most factors that influenced their decision were due to fear of being handed over to Kiir by the president of Kenya if they chose to join the SPLM in Opposition.
I think their decision may save them getting into trouble with president Kenyatta’s deal with Kiir.
Obviously, now they will have less help in the peace process because they will be distrusted by both sides.
It is a depraved decision because it betrayed their comrades who shared most of their political creeds about South Sudan.
Furthermore, these SPLM ex-detainees also feared that the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) will hand them over to Salva Kiir, and also because they have no protection from people or supporters on the ground, they feared they will still be transferred back to Juba government.
Dr. Machar was pushing to release them from the Kiir government detention not the IGAD. I believe they got released based on military threats from SPLA in Opposition not the political pressures.
Another argument for the SPLM detainees taking such decision was that they wanted to form a different political party because of opportunities seen in the transitional government proposed to be formed based on neutrality.
The interim government was suggested to settle the armed violence in the country in order to allow people go for 2015 election. They were thinking that they would fit in the formation of this government during the interim period.
Apparently the international community is pushing to form the interim government without either Dr. Riek or Kiir.
Even though these SPLM detainees are interested to advocate much of changes in the interim government, they are forgetting that most of them will not qualify if they remained in a neutral position; they would only benefit much if they are taking a side.
I think SPLM detainee leaders will not qualify to lead interim government. The South Sudanese people have been sufficiently cautioned of the huge amounts of money lost in the Kiir government during their time serving with Kiir.
Remember, president Kiir had already accused them grand corruption before removing them from power.
The South Sudanese people wanted Kiir to step down from power not to install an interim government.
On the political support, the detainees have been sharing deals about reforming the government with Dr. Machar but now they would not be trusted because they will be considered as schemers by the two sides.
I am afraid that they will end up being pushed to live their lives out of government from this time. One would argue that Salva Kiir would benefit on their decision because they claimed Dr. Riek was a tribal leader because of self-interest without mass supporters.
I think neither Kiir nor Dr. Machar will gain any thing significant from their decisions.
Dr. Riek has surprisingly already won the mass support of armed protection from all tribes specially the Nuers and there will be no need of these detainees at this time of war.
Dr. Machar having the ground support will do without them for they will be more of losers than him, Machar.
They decided to abandon Riek Machar by going as a no-party group due to fear of resistance rebellion will be of no gain at all.
Some of these detainees might already be thinking that Dr. Machar would not succeed to topple Kiir’s government.
Some people thought these detainees have been pushed by IGAD to take these decisions, but I would say IGAD has nothing to do with their decision because it is a mediator.
IGAD, however, does not intimidate any party.
Others tend to reason the decision was the fear that the four remaining political detainees will be exterminated by Juba government if they learn that they are joining the rebellion.
I think having no party will not release the remaining four.
Finally in conclusion, I plead with the SPLM political detainees to immediately reverse their decision if they want to maintain their political settlement under the principle umbrella of the SPLM in opposition.
Dhoal Tuolaul Larjin was an associate professor at local universities in Juba. He fled the country because of the ongoing war. firstname.lastname@example.org. Dhoal Tuolual Larjin, BA/MA political science. Currently working on his PhD-USA