Why SPLM detainees chose no party on Peace process!

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. dtuolual@gmail.com. Dhoal Tuolual Larjin, BA/MA political science. Currently working on his PhD-USA


  1. Charles says:

    My interpretation of the position of the detainees is that they want to demonstrate that they have nothing to do with the fighting taking place. When the fighting broke out in Juba on the 15th of december many of these detainees were simply caught unaware. Some were picked from their houses while others handed themselves in.

    I am sure both the Riek group and the detainees are in agreement on the political issues at stake, but may differ on the role the military is playing. They may not have any powers on those of Gadet or Koang, and therefore cannot pretend to be in charge of the military operations. I think it is being honest from their side.

    As regard their future as political leaders, they would rather see peace and good governance reign in the country than think of their political future. After all there are many ways to serve one’s country than being a minister.

    Let us not belittle the efforts of anyone in resolving this problem, however small.

  2. Pan says:

    Prof. Dhoal Larjin

    Politics is not linear and what was true yesterday could be false today. Taken simplistically the detained SPLM leaders President Uhuru Kenyatta bailed out and flown to Nairobi on January 27, 2014 should have joined Dr. Riek Machar. I do not think that would have helped Dr. Riek Machar in any way.

    Dr. Riek Machar made a strategic mistake when he announced that he was leading a rebellion and that he wanted to remove Salva Kiir as president of South Sudan. This announcement confirmed and gave credence to Salva Kiir’s lie of the year that there a coup attempt attributed to Dr. Riek Machar. Dr. Riek Machar inadvertently took Salva Kiir out of the hook he had entangled himself with. First, Dr. Riek Machar, like many of us, knew he never ordered Peter Gadet or James Koang to rebel in Bor and Bentiu respectively. He did not mobilize the white Army. All these people acted in response to the massacre of their people in Juba. So why did he take over something he did not plan?

    If I were Dr. Riek Machar, the moment I started to breathe relief, I would have informed the world about Salva Kiir’s design which only the devil can do. He should have informed the world hoe Salva Kiir recruited seven thousand young men from Dinka Rek section of Gogrial and Awiel; how he trained and armed them as a private army separate from the SPLA of which he is commander in chief. He should have informed the world aslo how he narrowly escaped death when Salva Kiir attacked his residence and killed more than twenty people including women and children; and should have gone further that he had no bad intention against Salva Kiir Mayardit; all that he wanted was democratic reforms in the SPLM to improve its performance in governance.

    Dr. Riek did the very opposite and lost the sympathy of many South Sudanese and the apparitions of 1991 started to surround his intention of taking power by force from Salva Kiir. Not only that his announcement criminalized all the compatriots who worked him till the press Conference of December 6, 2013 and who were already in the Tiger’s mouth. It was a licence to accuse them of treason, which still hangs over Pagan Amum, Oyay Deng, Dr Majak de Agoot and Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

    I believe the decision of the seven bailed SPLM political leaders not to join the rebellion was humane, patriotic and sensitive to the fate of the colleagues they left in Juba. Unlike Dr. Riek Machar they conducted themselves in the most decent manner political leaders are supposed to behave when they are out of burning house with some people still struggling to get out.

    I expect Prof. Dhoal, a political scientist to know that politics do not move in a linear dimension. Let us hope the political work of the seven SPLM leaders bailed bout by the Kenyan President and the rebellion of Dr. Riek Machar will coalesce into a mighty revolution to transform the ugly ethnic politics now dominating South Sudan

    • Biong B Mading says:

      I agree with Mr. Pan, the seven detainees are trying their best to make sure the political reforms they talk about must happen. If you are aware those politician where not with Dr. Riek only that the press conference brought them together, but their plan was to have political reform within the party,unlike Dr. Riek wanted military reforms. Let us not take this situation in tribal lines, their are some tribes which are supporting Dr. Riek but now they are not because its has change to tribal war not a national liberation any more.
      Biong B Mading

      • Pan says:

        The Pan above is a different Pan. She or he should be original when selecting a name so as not to confuse the audience. THIS Pan does not bear the cross for the seven detainees. They are all guilty of undermining the nation while in office and no amount of elite roundtable discussions and no amount of rehashing of their bush achievements will lure me into believing they should not also be held accountable. The things they did around swimming pools with alcohol and women and shady deals with stolen resources is, in my view, an attack on the integrity of the nation and should be considered treason. Now if they want to retire to their mansions so that we can all move on, no problem, but as far as I’m considered citizens should get off the cross for them. The villages could use the wood.

        Editor, please publish this so as to set the record about distinctions between Pans. Thanks.

  3. Malek Cook says:

    Very good analysis Prof. Larjin….if you are neutral in situations of injustice, your neutrality will not serve any function and you have chosen the side of oppressor.

  4. kur ayuik says:

    it is becoz this splm leaders don’t want to be count rebel ,they are none violent group

  5. Arop Ater says:

    Mr. Luolual
    South sudan will be a failed state if we youth who are the heart and backbone of this nation go blindly in support of our leaders on tribal background even at a times when they are found to be at a wrong side will absolutly burry the soverignity of this country and our long searched for freedom will be a time wasted. In your article, you mentioned that the former political suspects were release on military threat by Machar rebel forces not political presures. I don’t know where you get your lies from but their release was a presure from those who call themselves international community, the UN, and the IGAD not military threat as you mentioned. Secondly, Riek has no mass support but this rebellion is purely for Nuers white army its not inclusive of all tribes be informed. Again, a reform is a reform within the SPLM not the countrys’ reform, it should have been for Riek to form his own party if he was not happy with the way SPLM affairs are being run and this is where he differs with his political opponents because reform and rebellion are different things of which the former released and detained suspects do not know the rebellion Riek declared himself the leader but for them was a political reform within splm period. You don’t need to force them and they don’t have problem with Salva that will keep them out of the government for ever as you think. Political differences do exist in the world not only in south sudan. so don’t be surprise one time to see Salva Kiir shaking hands with Pagan Amum, Taban Deng Gai and the rest this is just a power strungle and it will end like a rain that rains and for sure people know it will stop within a shot period of time. Lastly, there’s difference between a tribal chief and a president of the nation. hence, as for the chief, you as Nuer people have absolute powers to unseat your tribal chief when your demands are not met and choose for your own the best man to be the chief. Now for the president to be unseat from power, it needs to be decided on ballots by all tribes that form South Sudan. otherwise your call for the president to step to down from the office is inapropriate and lack truth. Though you are leading the rebellion, you should know that you are a tribe like the rest of the tribes that exist in south sudan.

  6. LL Reuben says:

    2014 was right time Riek could’ve rebelled because he knew he’d less chances of winning the competition for chairmanship of SPLM party, either against Salva Kiir, Nyandeng, Pagan, Majak etc. He was too aware that had he formed a new political party that party would’ve not won him the 2015 presidential election. Then there is the fact that the integrated Nuer militias were the majority of the so-called national army, the SPLA, Riek contemplatively pleasured his chances of winning fight could that be the case as it is now.

    It’s pretty easy to understand why writers are raging against Salva; because their demigods have been jailed, expelled from the party position or the ministerial post in the government. The hardest part to understand is how democracy can be connected to all this. On a realistic impression a thief (Salva) can’t simply be replaced with another thief (Riek, Majak, Nyandeng, Pagan, Lul, etec) if what is wanted is a fair and inclusive government. In fact Salva removing of his entire thieves-made-up cabinet was a right move and should’ve been applauded and encouraged. The only move Salva failed to make is removing himself along with his colleagues but of course {every dog has its day}, so it is understandable he didn’t fired himself. South Sudanese were left with about a year to fire Salva Kiir anyways, he might’ve been aware of it.

    It doesn’t matter anymore now as to whether Riek had planned the coup that sparked the ongoing chaotic violent on December 15, 2013 so long as Riek has embraced the rebellion and so he is also to be blamed for igniting the war (COUP). In addition, the violent spread so quickly and Riek evasion of an arrest when his colleagues weren’t so lucky dodge the same ordeal tells that there were existing conspiracy.

    • Pan says:

      Welcome, LL Reuben! Now yours is one migration from SudanTribune that is worthwhile. Stick around and help us here and, as the Chief says, ”back to you in the studio audience!”

  7. Joana Adams says:

    The so called 7 political detainees or suspects are selfish self centred self serving CPA millionaires who are among the 75 most wanted South Sudanese former ministers. Dr. Riek should not waste his time with losers like these. They lost 2010 general elections and are not wanted by their constituencies. Whose leaders are they? People like John Luk handed Salva Kiir a constitution that made him a sovereign instead of being an accountable servant of the people just to secure a ministerial position. Geir Chuang was a notorious minister of interior who mercilessly promoted dinkocracy. I feel sorry for the former governor of Lakes because I think he was just a victim of conspiracy.
    As for Nyangeng, she has already admitted that she too is eyeing the top job in the land. She has met privately with at least 3 three presidents: Kiir, Museveni and Kenyatta. She is getting used to being treated like royalty in respect for her late husband, nothing wrong with that, but if she is aspiring for the presidential ticket, she needs more up her sleeve than just being a widow of another great leader.
    She must satisfy the quality of leadership necessary for 21 century apart from coming from the so caled majority tribe. History has shown that semi literate people make brutal and tyranical leaders. Because of little education like Kiir, they are often defensive and intolerant especilly of those better educated than them. Nyandeng cannot become the president only to surrender decision making to another council of dinka elders this time from Bor. She could also be tempted to hold the family dynasty until her son becomes of age, just like Moi and Kibaki did for ‘baby’ Uhuru!
    Kiir, the chief dinkocrat is said to have met privately with his kinsmen among the detainees. The pro- democracy must be vigilant. If I were Riek who Kiir had attempted to assassinate and now falsely charges with treason, I would fight to my last breath. Just as Kiir started this senseless war, by bringing treason charges at a time when political negotiations are suppose to be taking place, he has declared continuation of the war. Riek has nothing to loose but Kiir has everything to loose in this game. Lets hope he doesn’t just loose Malakal but most importantly looses the oil fields as well. And then only then will the big 7 fools realise that they have lost their last opportunity to help free the nation and their good selves, from tyrant Kiir Mayardit. Only then will they realise that they have been made redundant in the negotiating table. Will they continue to enjoy red carpet treatment by foreign heads of states? Time will surely tell.
    On the other hand, it is noble for Riek to continue to demand for the release of the remaining political detainees. The world will judge them for which side they join, after their release. Let them not be victims of those self serving traitors of 7 plus the two Garang’s. A vital quality of good leadership is putting others first. By your actions you will be judge. You seem to be on the right tract. Aluta continua!
    Joana Adams

    • Pan says:

      Joana, Riak is a selfish self centered CPA millionaire too. It seems some of the formerly strong voices of opposition (prior to Dec 13) are hiding in Riak’s shadow and under his apron, hoping he does the job they were unable/unwilling to do. It’s understandable to be furious with Kiir but to pretend that DEMONcracy is better than Dinkocracy is to participate in the Lunacy.

      The old voices of opposition may just have spent the last of their life-savings on a first-class ticket to the madhouse….

      • Joana Adams says:

        Dear Pan,
        We are never probably going to agree with each other because at the end of the day, all boils down to differences of opinion. You and I are all entitled to our views and we both have the rights to expressed our views unhindered. Yes you are absolutely right that Riek too is a probably selfish, self centered and definitely CPA millionaire and I entirely agree with you on that. However, I think there is a difference between Riek and the other CPA millionaires because before Riek was dismissed he had acknowledged that the SPLM led government of which he was a member, had failed the nation. He charged the government with his 6 point issues which he hoped to addressed presumably if elected president. And these included corruption, tribalism, nepotism, underdevelopment etc. Secondly, before the declaration of independence in July 2011, Riek Machar (later followed by the then Speaker of the Assembly Wani Igga), challenged the Transitional Constitution for marginalising federalism and giving the president too much power. The President resorted by alleging that Riek was a parallel president running a parallel government!
        The point is even you must agree that the government under Salva Kiir should have done a lot better and should have demonstrated good leadership and good governance. He didn’t he choose to go against the wishes of the people and protected corruption and even introduced mysterious killings in Juba. In as much as I agree Kiir was elected by the people, he has failed the very people who have elected him with exception of a few section of the society. In a democratic society, it is therefore legitimate to democratically challenge him in elections which is what Riek Machar had declared he would do.
        What I don’t understand is why some people find it so offensive for a citizen who has a constitutional right to contest for the highest office in the land to express the desire? Even today, some people continue to campaign that Riek must be stopped from the presidency at all cost why? And stopping Riek at all cost and by all means has certainly landed the country into a civil war. Salva Kiir has ruled now for 9 years and by 2015 he would have ruled the South for 10 years, what’s wrong by giving someone else the chance to lead the country? A lot of questions remain unanswered by blocking Riek’s chances of contesting for leadership and finally driving him into the bush. Does it mean that unless you are a Dinka, you will not be allowed to contest for presidency of the republic? Is this not the illusion of being born to rule?
        I personally believed that the turmoil in the country could have been avoided by the President had he not conceded to his tribal council of elders, Mabior Garang had alluded to in his interview after the Nuer Massacre in Juba and the resultant mutiny or rebellion.
        My point of contention is that if we believe that all South Sudanese are equal under the Transitional Constitution, then every Southerner including Riek Machar must have the constitutional right to become a president. Its only the people who can reject him in an open and fair elections and not to blocked or driven into the bush by his rivals. But as it is now the rest of us are only spectators. Salva Kiir Mayardit who is the only president of the republic has the tram card to stop or continue the war. Will he or will he not?


        • LL Reuben says:

          Ms. Adams

          In your opinion Riek was “driven to the bush” by Salva and his cohorts, but in my opinion Riek’s hunger for leadership drove him to the bush . It was Riek who embraced the rebellion in its entirety you his supporters cheer him on. How can someone takes responsibility for something he has not planned for? The war is ended after Riek sent his Nuer primitive teenagers, recruited into the “white army”, back to their villages; and Riek reported himself back to Juba where he can reclaim his innocence on the treason charges Salva has labelled on him. “Dinkacracy” is just a mere emotional rage that can not be threw at every situation, it is just ridiculous.

        • Pan says:

          Thanks for your reply, Joana. I’m of the view that no single individual is so important that the heart of the nation must stop beating for his/her political accommodation. Real leadership is not about a title, a big desk and a seat. It is not about narrowly and rigidly defining the term ”democracy” through the reflection of yourself in the mirror and, if someone obstructs your view or puts a crack in the mirror, you go and burn down the entire house. Being in office is about service delivery and all of the Coco Chanel Comrades can deliver services with the money they stole even without a fancy position. Do you know how many citizens would love to be in their economic position in order to assist their villages and the nation?

          I have seen what type of leader Riak is and intends to be. If I were him I would have redefined democracy as service delivery to the people, for the greater good of the majority and I would have taken the millions I looted down to the grassroots all over South Sudan. I would have built up a constituency that was solid, educated and mentally sane rather than capitalizing on the wild ignorance and testosterone of youth I helped impoverish. I would not have conflated my personal career anxieties with a lack of democracy for the entire nation.

          Which citizen in South Sudan has NOT been barred from the position of their dreams? Which citizen has NOT lost a loved one in the last 10 years, both through State-sponsored violence and because of State-sponsored looting and neglect? Does it mean that we citizens should also go and ransack the houses of ministers or rape and pillage civilians in order to ”fight for our democratic rights’? Are the frustrations of a single man more important than the frustrations of millions? Will satisfying Riak really take care of the grievances of millions?

          Democracy, my friend Joana Adams, starts in the villages and in the dreams, hopes and sorrows of the little people. Not from Riak, down. We are relying on the old opposition and those who can write with clarity to reframe issues in South Sudan not through the lens of the bloated comrades, but through the lens of what it means and feels like to be a non-vip in a country where everything including, ironically, democracy is supposed to start and stay at the top.

    • Biong B Mading says:

      No wander you are called Joana, with education your talking about, do you know that Riek is DR, what has he done with that education, nothings and nothings, otherwise no any Dr who can think the way Riek did, whom are you he fighting for?
      He is killing people he suppose to lead, what type of a leader is Riek?
      To tell you those seven you are talking about, they are not loser as you think, because you are thinking that Riek is strong, he is not, only with the White army who are not train, they can controlled Malakal for more then 2 days if you are not a ware. The peace will come back to South Sudan through the seven you are talking about not through Riek or any body else. Even the remaining four they will not join Riek if there release today because of the power struggle, if you are not aware then Dr. Majak is also eyeing for the presidency like Riek so do you think he will join him, likely Pagan.
      Finally, the plan you have will not happen there will be no day the rebels will control the Oil fields, never. For Riek you are right, because he is not going to succeed this time.
      Biong B Mading

  8. bolabokdit says:

    Joana Adam after all he don’t care about lose of lives of this unecessary nor he (John) a soldier in the battlefield, UN is calling for ceasation of hostilities for the sake of innocent lives John Adam is implicating more people into fighting. Please stop your instigation and join peace lovers, or go and join war for one month. I am sure if you come back alive you will be the one to call for peaceful solution.

  9. Pan says:

    The Pan above is a different Pan. She or he should be original when selecting a name so as not to confuse the audience. THIS Pan does not bear the cross for the seven detainees. They are all guilty of undermining the nation while in office and no amount of elite roundtable discussions and no amount of rehashing of their bush achievements will lure me into believing they should not also be held accountable. The things they did around swimming pools with alcohol and women and shady deals with stolen resources is, in my view, an attack on the integrity of the nation and should be considered treason. Now if they want to retire to their mansions so that we can all move on, no problem, but as far as I’m considered citizens should get off the cross for them. The villages could use the wood.

  10. Mohd Adam says:

    The author of the article calls himself, an associate professor in the local universities. A professor of that sort, is a failed professor, and unfit to be called so. Naive as he is, how dare does he want the none violent politicians join the white army that was prepared years before Dec. 15, 2013? Riek planned his coup right after the 2008, SPLM National Convention, where he and Pagan were nearly kicked out from the party. The 7 released suspects are simply politicians, and have nothing to do with the ongoing killing, but the four still in detentions are part and parcel of the major plan to topple Kiir and even kill him. Most of the ministers in the current cabinet, would have also faced court martial, had the coup succeeded. So what the lunatic author, jotted here are all, rubbish, nonsense without any substantial facts. No one with sound mind can join an organisation that has cattle rustlers, or white army, whose primary objective was to kill and or wipe out another South Sudan community called Murle.

Leave a Reply to Pan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.