Focus on South Sudan Peace Process
Part two (2 of 3)
By Agel Machar
1. The so called “bridging Proposal” for the Revitalized ARCISS, which was rejected by all the stakeholders, clearly calls for the exclusion of Gen Taban Deng, the FVP of the Republic of South Sudan. It basically calls for the replacement of Gen Taban Deng and reinstatement of Dr Riek Machar. This mistaken decision has numerous tragic, intended and unintended consequences for the pursuit of peace and tranquillity in the country. Not all will be addressed here and now.
2. Firstly, how does a Revitalization Forum that was initiated with “INCLUSIVITY” as it’s central objective end up EXCLUDING the second most powerful person in TGoNU? Irony? hypocrisy? or both?
Secondly How does a Forum of INCLUSION end up proposing the EXCLUSION of 50 seating Hon members of TNLA, to be replaced by their comrades who chose violence? Irony? hypocrisy? or both?
3. This false idea that those that chose cooperation over confrontation and peaceful means over violence to address their political issues/differences are somewhat politically weakened could lead to tragic unintended consequences, which the long suffering people of South Sudan can ill afford. This must be reviewed and closely looked at again by IGAD & TROIKA, in my humble opinion.
4. Politically speaking, It’s an established fact that Gen Taban Deng Gai split the SPLM-IO almost to 50 50 with Dr Riek Machar. On top of that Gen Taban Deng went with almost the entire political leadership of the SPLM-IO, including the Deputy Chairman Gen Lado Gore, Secretary General Dr Dhieu Mathok, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Amb Ezekiel Lol, and Secretary of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Dr K Mulla among many others. This is obvious in the fact that Dr Riek’s new deputy, Henry Odwar was ranked a bottom #18, within the SPLM-IO political bureau back in Pagak before the 2016 split and his new Secretary General Tingo Peter was not even a member of Political Bureau. He was a mere “Governor” just like the author.
5. On military grounds, some of the most effective organizers of the SPLA-IO such as Lt Gen Michael Chiengjiek who was responsible for sourcing and managing military Logisticss and Lt Gen Thoi Chany who headed both the Military Intelligence and National Security Services took Gen Taban Deng’s side, just to mention a few.
As we speak, Gen Taban’s SPLA-IO forces in partnership with the SPLA have effectively disorganize and neutralize Dr Riek’s faction of SPLA-IO forces in Greater Uppernile and Equatoria Regions. Gen Taban Deng’s faction is now in control of Pagak, the HQRs of SPLM/A-IO before the split. We are in greater Lou areas of Yuai, motot and Waat and beyond.
Furthermore, Gen Taban Deng’s inspired defections of some key SPLA-IO Generals from Greater Equatoria in 2017 such as Gen Okot David help end those tragic activities against civilians along Equatorian Highways.
6. Just because Gen Taban Deng Gai decided to canton his over 8000 troops for instance in various locations across former Unity State alone and at least 3000 troops in Yuai alone, in implementation of the peace agreement doesn’t make him irrelevant and politically weakened. This is just but to mention few selected troops numbers and locations, because I am not authorised to reveal numbers and locations.
Indeed, Just because he chose to peacefully canton his forces instead of sending them to ambush civilians on Juba – Nimule Road or terrorize and block Civilians from going back to their homes and restart their lives shouldn’t turn him into some political dwarf overnight.