June 02, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Although the South Sudan government is lobbying to maintain the current system of governance, Dr. Machar, the chairman and commander in Chief of SPLM [in opposition] has ruled out any power sharing with Salva Kiir, his former boss.
During his grand visit to Nairobi, Machar denied any possibility of sharing power with Salva Kiir, unless under the new system that his armed opposition is campaigning for.
“It depends on, under what system, under the current system, No, No, I won’t be a participant but under the structural South Sudan, after the peace agreement and an interim government is formed then there would be a reason for why we would be in the government” Machar emphasized in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Machar continues to elaborates that the conflict began as an attempt to silence him and his colleagues after he pointed out some critical issues that he believes contributed to failing of South Sudan.
“We have been engaged in serious debates, I have raised issues on corruption, which was happening, being rampant in the government, insecurity, which was also engulfing the country, and tribalism, which was being institutionalized in the government and lack of development. And the fierce issue was our relationships were deteriorating very fast with some of our neighbors and even the international community that helped us get independent. And we also had problems within the SPLM as a party, our own members were saying the SPLM had lost vision” Machar told the KTN, Kenya.
Machar’s attempts to save South Sudan from failing was widely supported by many South Sudanese, including young men and women, whom some have conformed to partially support the government while some claim neutrality as the conflict rages.
Many young South Sudanese intellectuals, who rallied behind Machar and his colleagues before the conflict, were worried that the senior politicians in the SPLM’s politburo were not doing enough to support Machar or to save South Sudan from the deteriorating path that led to the current conflict.
Out of 18 politburo members, 14 members allied to Machar against Salva Kiir and his camp. Majority of these senior politicians were arrested in December while accused of attempting to overthrow the government in a military coup.
In his reaction, Kuir E Garang, a South Sudanese Canadian, who described Machar “as the only man with balls”, sharply criticized the silence of the 14 members, two weeks before the conflict broke out in mid December.
“Why’s a group of 14 men, those who fought during the war, let one man bully them like some…some…some…never mind? What’s 14 men against 4 men? Why’s Kiir violating the constitution on almost all his ‘decrees’ and everyone in South Sudan is timid like Kiir is some sort of a superman? How can 14 members of the Political Bureau watch as Kiir’s action run out of control…. Isn’t it time for those members to politically and constitutionally fight Kiir before he destroys the country and SPLM? What if these men meet and put a stop to this madness, this out of control ‘decreehea!’ … Kiir needs to be brought to account! This man is not above the law and the national constitution! If the 14 members come out with a force with a unified voice, what’s Kiir going to do? Kill them? Fire them…again?…Kiir needs to be brought to his senses to respect the constitution, the leadership of SPLM, the presidency, or be forced out of the SPLM using the Transitional National Constitution or the SPLM party Constitution! “ Kuir wrote on Nov 28th on his social media page.
Other young South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan, who were concern, shared similar messages on social media to support democracy in the country.
Machar and his colleagues called for a political rally during their press conference on December 6.
The conference was promptly responded to, on December 9th, by a group led by Wanni Igga, the vice president. The government promptly scheduled the long awaited National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting, strategically, to coincide with the rally.
The first day of the conference, December 14, was decried by many politicians due to fierce attacks on Dr. Machar and his camp by the party chairman. Salva Kiir was heard singing “ENGUEN E THOU”, on December 14, a war song in dinka, which translate to “better we die, our land is taken …”
Two months after the conflict broke out, Igga, the vice president, came out to decry giving up his current position to his former vice president, Dr. Machar, claiming that he did Machar a big favor in the past.
“I will not offer my position again to Dr. Riek Machar like I did in 2002. I have to make this clear to the rebel leader. There used to be room during CPA struggle to defectors but not this time. Enough is enough”. Igga was quoted in February.
Igga was referring to 2002 peace agreement when Machar’s SPDF merged with Garang’s SPLM/A. Although the SPLM/A retains its name, Machar’s visions for self-determination and democracy were incorporated into SPLM/A doctrines.
In 2011 South Sudan gained independent with Salva Kiir as the president and Machar as the vice president.
That hierarchy was maintained until Machar became too vocal on his boss’ leadership style that he believes to have let down the country.
Today Machar’s camp is calling for federalism, new constitutions, democracy, among other principles. These topics are being scrutinized within the country and abroad, as Machar and Kiir returns to Ethiopia for another face-to-face meeting.