MABIOR GARANG’S INTERVIEW: “SPLM RAN SHORT OF THE VISION OF NEW SUDAN”

The Challenges facing the agreement are many, however, to mention a few, the traditional elites in South Sudan, who have influenced society since the days of slavery, insist on maintaining the status quo. The issue of politicization of tribalism, which is the traditional mode of social organization in South Sudan, has historically had a negative impact on our shared values as people of South Sudan. The traditional elites in South Sudan are using Dinkaism as a political philosophy, similar to how Arabism was used in the old Sudan, this has been veiled by a blind hatred for Dr. Riek Machar. This hatred has been placed by the traditional elite, above the national interest. This is not to say that this is being done by Dinka people as a cultural group, much in a similar way Arabs as a cultural group in the old Sudan, were innocent of the destruction being done in the name of Arabism and Islamism. There has been a conspiracy since 2010, when disaster was averted, to prevent Dr. Riek Machar and by extension, any other community in South Sudan from taking power. The current civil war was introduced to undermine the SPLM National Convention (2013), which would have elected the SPLM candidate for elections (2015).

In 2016, war was introduced in order to scuttle the peace process, due to the same fear, as elections where scheduled for the end of the interim period (2018). The current peace is in grave danger for the same reason, the fear of Dr. Riek Machar winning free and fair elections in our country. This has created lack of political will to implement the agreement, as can be seen by the fact that, the government claims there are no funds for implementation of peace, yet, they have money to take to President Bashir’s government, while our babies are starving in South Sudan.

The SPLM may be united in the near future, but it will not be the historical SPLM, it will be a mutated SPLM. The SPLM will ultimately be judged by how successfully it has achieved its objectives and in this the SPLM has not only failed, but have failed to make the necessary revolutionary corrections. This has led to the breakup of the SPLM and betrayal of our brothers and sisters of the SPLM from Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. In this split, the political tribalism I mentioned earlier is evident, because one wonders, what would make the traditional elites in South Sudan include the people of Abyei in the Government of South Sudan, despite being a disputed area, while not including the Nuba and people of Blue Nile, who also have a great stake in the Independence of South Sudan, I will leave it to the reader to make up their mind. The SPLM (IO) is also another faction of the SPLM and is a movement that has captured the imagination of the masses of the people of South Sudan with the promise of fundamental change in our society. The traditional SPLM has lost credibility in the hearts of our people, as they have failed to deliver the promises of the liberation struggle and have handed the hard won victory of the Sudanese revolution, back to the traditional elites. The SPLM (IO) shall make a collective decision when the time comes to decide on SPLM Reunification, however, at the moment, our focus is on implementation of the current peace agreement, which has provisions to fix the country. The economy has collapsed, we have a refugee crisis, insecurity in the country and the solutions to these problems are contained within the provisions of the agreement.

I don’t believe there is currently any strategy to restore trust and political will between the politicians, instead, there continues to be a conspiracy to isolate Dr. Riek Machar in the name of “1991”. The personal relationships of elites, should not be an issue if we had a ruling class in South Sudan that could put the national interest above their personal grudges.

I don’t believe the welfare and prosperity of our people is the responsibility of Troika, it is the responsibility of the leaders of South Sudan, so I can’t put any blame on Troika. The regime recently took money to support the beleaguered regime of President Bashir and yet claim not to have money for implementation of peace. The question of: “where the money has gone?”, was one of the questions at the December 2013 Press Conference and is one of the catalyst that led to the civil war, so we are still trying to find out where the money went.

I have been silent because there has been a sustained propaganda by the regime to portray any one who has alternative views about the current process, for example, how slow it is dragging, as spoilers. I was giving time for our people to realize for themselves, the disinformation, or they may have thought I am against peace. All I am saying is that, peace should be seen in political and not religious terms, even a traditional village reconciliation has laws that govern it. In international politics, peace does not come through a simple change of heart, because a change of heart is not legally binding.

The difference between Mama Rebecca and Mabior Garang is only, politics, it is only a difference of opinions. It is the right of every citizen to have their political view, everyone is entitled to their opinion and the camp of Mama Rebecca have stated that they don’t believe in violent means, while our camp believes in armed struggle.

The fabric of South Sudan and indeed Sudanese society in general, has been destroyed since the Turkia times, it was not started by the current war and it can only be restored through a national democratic revolution, it requires a genuine national dialogue. The solution is collective and can’t be dictated by one man or woman.

I am not sure because we are behind on the matrix for implementation

The final thought, is that we are suffering from a serious crisis of identity in both South Sudan and in Sudan, the original problem we set out to solve in the old Sudan, is yet to be resolved, this is the nationality question, this is the vision of a new Sudan. The contention of the SPLM/SPLA, was that the Sudan was a diverse country and all this diversity constituted the Sudan, none from amongst the diversities, should define the nation through its own myopic lenses. The ancient way of life of our people was destroyed during the days of the Turkia and a new system was introduced, a new social system that supported the slave trade, the trade has since been abolished, but the social structure that supported it, is still intact. There was also the introduction of European colonialism, which also came with new values, alien to our people, causing great social upheaval. The solution to this, according to the SPLM, was a “new Sudan” that would respect, “old diversities…contemporary diversities…and other diversities”, without rejecting any of them.

The struggle continues!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s