Dr Riek Machar Teny: The an Extraordinary Man in our Life Time
Gatluak Puok Puoch, Melbourne-Australia,
October 26, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Very few members of humankinds late alone South Sudanese or Africans, if at all, are or would be able to demonstrate the personalities, nationalism and braveness that Dr Riek Machar Teny has proven to the world at large in our life-time. Dr Machar is a gifted human with an intellect and pragmatic leadership attributes including endurance, patience, acceptance, recognition and realisation of contributions made by individuals as important and equal. Dr Machar has turned his private live into public one. Whether he is in the office or his house, he almost has not zone of privacy. In the eyes of many, Dr Machar may not be a legend but he is an hero. He has a vision and believes in the nation and her citizens; he is a courageous leader who often risks his own life for the goodness of others and the nation. In 2010, he intervened in the Kodak incident in the Upper Nile State, landed in the middle of firing exchange among armed troops and defused the conflict by escorting General Tanginye with him to Juba. In 2013, he intervened in the Lou Nuer-Murlie conflict as Kiir and his likes were so fearful to safe the lives of the poor citizens that they claimed to be leading and protecting.
Dr Machar is a leader who often sees the goods in others.
Dr Machar sees almost all people as virtuous until proven otherwise. Unlike many of his opponents, he does not discriminate others to end discrimination. During the South-Arab North war in the 80s and 90s, Dr Machar has never ordered the execution of the Arab captured in the war, or killings of those who misunderstood the aims and objectives of his breakaway faction, the South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM) that he led in 1991.
Dr Machar often assumes that people are dealing with him in good faith. Deeply embedded in his DNA are the believes that just as pretending to be brave sometimes lead to act of real bravery, seeing the good in others improves the chances that they will one day reveal their true and better selves. Dr Machar considers disagreements on ideas and opinions as a part of progress, not as rebellions against the leadership as has been the case with his opponents. Several people who happened to spend a moment with him know that it is not only a great privilege to be with him but a great pleasure. Dr Machar’s presence is golden, positively influential, encouraging and luminous. When you are with him, you feels a little taller, a little finer and little happier although he is not going to provide you with any material means. Most of the time, Dr Machar is generous, urges jokes and confident even when the burden of setting the foundation of the nation is heavier on his shoulder. Courage and love for the nation and people are rooted deeply here and now in his life. Dr Machar could be described as a materialist in philosophical sense but he distrusts anything he cannot touch. For years, he avoided any reference to material possession or reliance on a higher power that controls material possession. Unlike his opponents, he rather often relies on his comrades’ aides.
Dr Machar is being referred to by many as a prophet, a saint, a hero, you name them!
Of course, Dr Machar’s character and qualitative leadership could fit in any of the name described above, but what is he is not is a naïve idealist. Dr Machar is an idealistic pragmatist and nationalist whose aims is to get thing done and get them done correctly. He is a tactical and strategist leader who often sticks to noble principle of freedom and democracy. In the midst of his opponents and personal ambition, Dr Machar has grown up confident and stronger in his quest for South Sudan’s self-determination, democracy and stability for Africa as a region to meet its obligations and morale cause. Dr Machar as one of the transformational leaders does not rush into seizing the leadership as Kiir and his spin-doctor claimed. He knows that impatience leads to errors and destruction in most of the times. Dr Machar has often been discussing all along about the principles and ideas that has perhaps transformed the Republic of South Sudan and its citizens.
Kiir has populated the nation’s Cabinet and Parliament with hand picked loyalists and family members who are known and identified most with their anger management issues and poor communication skills.
A nation cannot meet its obligations, or advance its cause and prosperity if its main lifelines organs such as the Parliament and Cabinet are dominated by faceless individuals who are known most with personality disorders, anger management issues and poor communication skills. Appointed to Parliament not on the basis of their capabilities and credentials but on the basis of their loyalty and friendship, Kiir and his faceless Parliamentarians and Cabinet Ministers are often out of touch, arrogant and known most with their outraging behaviours. Kiir may be of the view that he circled his leadership with tough and aggressive Parliamentarians and Ministers who would get him survive the tragic destruction and lives that they caused to the nation; however, what he failed to realise is that he unknowingly buried and incremented the progress, prosperity and unity of the young nation even his own children’s future. Kiir and his Ministers and Parliamentarians are digging their own graves in the political arena of South Sudan and the region. Lacking confident and trust in their own leadership, they rather rush to pass bills that have not properly been scrutinised to continue to live on the expenses of others.
Dr Machar’s actions revealed that an extraordinary man makes an imaginable scarifies for the moral cause.
Although he often utters sparkle smiling symbol of pure goodness in almost all difficulties and ease situations, Dr Machar is no angel. He made several tough and hard decisions during the course of his struggle for his nation and beloved people. He made decisions that may have been wrong or unfair, decisions that have hurt and wounded people, or even cost them their lives. The most crucial examples could be explained as the 1991 Split which forever altered the visions and directions of the SPLM/SPLA; and his calls for a total transformation of the nation’s governing system, which resulted in the massacre of the his Nuer Nation and his humiliation to exile in December 2013.
Dr Machar is often mindful that leadership in most cases, means having to choose between two bad options and that a good leader have to make decisions that have bad consequences. His actions and responses at all times prove that he in most cases reflects the goals in the way he seeks them and remains mindful that making hard decisions does not have to mean violating first principles. The world’s greatest father of the Non Violent Movement, Mr Gandhi, said during his life-time, “be the change you want”. Resinated with Mr Gandhi’s quote, Dr Machar wants the South Sudanese to be the change they want. Many people may believe that everything happens for a reason, however, for Dr Machar, people are indeed the reasons and the ones that make things happen. Concurred with Dr Machar, I strongly believed that there is no destiny that will shape the South Sudanese’s end if they don’t shape it themselves.
Dr Machar is a warrior, a martyr, a husband, a statesman and a moral leader.
Dr Machar is a man of principle-exactly one: equal rights for all regardless of traits such as gender, tribe, race or class. He is a thorough going pragmatist who is often willing to compromise, change, adapt and refine his strategies as long as they are meeting the nation’s interest and goals. He insisted to explain to South Sudanese and the world about the visions of his 1991 Split until eventually the leadership of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA), under the chairman of Dr John Garang, realised his dream at long last as the only way forward for the South Sudanese to determine their destiny. When the leadership of the two waring parties SSIM and SPLM/SPLA were merged, Dr Machar did not express an interest to run for the top leadership, a sign that his quest for the South was not for the leadership gain; however, the freedom and self-determination of the South Sudanese to be realised. When Dr John passed away in an air crash on 30 July 2005, Dr Machar was approached by many South Sudanese, well-wishers and South Sudanese friends to take the lead as he has the intellect and historical knowledge of the movement, but he chose not to seize the top leadership. Instead, he rather encouraged Kiir to occupy the nation’s highest position and promised him that he will work closely with him and the people of South Sudan; and he has done just that.
Dr Machar leads from the back and the front.
When he was the Vice President, Dr Machar was meeting his obligations as a Vice President and adds extra burdens to his roles even though he was not the President of the Republic. Dr Machar had worked whole heartedly and successfully with Kiir as his President until the enemies of the nation’s progress struck and managed to tribally persuade Kiir to accept their evil deeds by pushing off Dr Machar from the leadership that he has been working hard days and night to be realised. When he was relieved, he did not gravitate on his post or incited violent, instead, he urged the nation to maintain calm. Dr Machar retired to Parliament where he represented his Leer County. His presence in the Parliament strengthened the Parliament and his actions were even speaking louder than ever before. Yet hatred consumed Kiir and his spin-doctors and felt even more threatened to see Dr Machar performing highly with his supporters growing daily in numbers. Kiir and his evil tribal advisors thus staged a fabricated Coup D’état to their leadership and claimed that the move was made by Dr Machar. It was obvious that the move was made to eliminate Dr Machar once and for all in the South Sudan’s political surface. Fortunately Dr Machar escaped from the hands of his fellow faceless men. In the midst of such turbulent life-threatening situations, political tension, humiliation and personal attacks, Dr Machar maintained calm and encouraged calm in others.
The 1991 Faction and the realisation of the Independent of South Sudan on 9 July 2011.
Dr Machar’s faction in 1991 was calling for the South Sudan’s secession from the North, which indeed resulted in the birth of the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. It is beyond imagination to see Kiir shameless and adamantly condemning the 1991 Split as destruction to the nation and abandoning of the SPLM/A is objectives by Dr Machar when he was indeed the very first voter in the South who voted for secession and became the first President of the Republic of South Sudan. On 15 December 2013, Kiir incited the violent in the young nation by referring to 1991 as a destruction to the nation and repeated his negative preaching on his recent address in Arusha that he has never abandoned the SPLM/A when he indeed defected in 2003 from the SPLM/A leadership, condemning the late Dr John as someone who own the leadership of the Movement as his own properties. What a shame on Kiir and his job seekers who are misleading South Sudanese and the world to continue their employment and looting of the resources of the nation. Dr Machar has brought to Kiir and his negative loyalist the independent of the Republic of South Sudan as a result of his 1991 Faction and will soon rescue their very own children from their own mess by implementing the federal system and rule of law in the South Sudan, which will be truly enjoyed by all regardless of tribe, race, religion or class.
The author, Gatluak Puok Puoch, Australia SPLM Chapters Coordinator, can be reached at email@example.com.