By Gai Mayen Luk
As always, the incorruptible me is here again to confront you with the challenge of stark truth which most of you would rather die avoiding than live to face. Never mind, at this early stage of my presentation, you still have the opportunity of saving yourself the fatigue of shouldering the weighty granite truth for the long minutes of having to read it (not that the article is literally long) by excusing yourself at the outset.
In these crazy times marked by the dichotomy of ‘Us versus Them’, one has to give up certain benefits of closing an eye to the truth before finding the guts to spit it all out. On my part, I choose to surrender my ‘Dinka privilege’ as the precursor to this audacious act since most of my radical tribesmen will hardly forgive me for saying something they can not chew, let alone swallow or even digest. Verily you might as well save yourself that other burden of having to forgive me for offending you with the truth because I don’t really need that forgiveness too. I feel they are luxuries I don’t necessarily fancy and can well do without. I’m comfortable with reaping the meagre dividends of a maverick South Sudanese.
It is about fifteen months now since Dr. Riek and his forces were driven out of Juba in a dramatic fashion, for the second time, after the airtight ARCISS was punctured and deflated by those who felt it difficult to follow the holistic agreement to the letter. The ‘convenient fix’ which Salva Kiir and the coterie desired was subsequently hastily executed with the unilateral installation of a hitherto fifth columnist in the IO and a prospective lapdog in the person of Taban Deng Gai.
Almost a half way down the path to the end of the transitional period and in the absence of Dr.Riek, but there is barely a clause of the comprehensively seven chaptered agreement that has been implemented accordingly. Much as some of the provisions of the agreement have been rubber stamped like the FAKE TNLA, some crucial tenets of it like Chapter five, which caters for the transitional justice notably through the establishment of a Hybrid Tribunal, have blatantly been ignored by the illegitimate coalition government, such that the alleged war criminals continue to not only breathe fresh air but to keep committing more crimes at impunity.
Needless to point out is that the reigning coalition government, with the exclusion of Dr.Riek, has dismally failed to actualize the underlying and the overall primary objective of the ARCISS which was reuniting our people once more. It has instead created wider rifts and caused a greater polarization among our people. It has failed to achieve that because Taban Deng Gai who has been handpicked and made to wear the large shoes of Dr.Machar is moving at a staggering snail-pace in his imposed duty to convince the large section of the disgruntled IO that he is worth representing them at the expense of Dr.Riek. In other words, Taban has been for the last fifteen months struggling to seek legitimacy and acceptance, with little success, from his purported constituency instead of playing his role as the effective FVP stipulated by the agreement.
To crown it all up, Salva Kiir has the state apparatus and the lollipop diplomacy at his disposal to win some battles against the IO but there is no guarantee that he will win the ultimate war. That is why at this juncture, it is not yet too late to quit the dubious political and military games of out-manouvring the nemesis and give back Dr.Machar his birthright of legitimately representing his faction instead of according it to an impostor.
The writer is a South Sudanese activist and a student of law in the University of Nairobi.