South Sudan: Loyal Nuer Politicians Meet President Salva Kiir Over Important Issues!
Updated at 6:58Am, 27 Oct, 2014(PST)
October 26, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — As signs of final peace agreement loom, the politicians are weighing their fates and political careers in the proposed Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), and subsequently, in the next governments.
For Nuers politicians who remained loyal to Salva Kiir government, despite the targeted massacres and displacements of relatives and tribe mates, the stakes of a peace agreement and establishment of new government systems could be high.
According to the latest reports from Juba, the Nuer politicians in Salva Kiir’s government convened a meeting with the president to raise their grievances, seek assurance and define their fates before signing of any final agreements.
The loyal Nuer politicians, who held or secured new positions in Salva Kiir government during the 10-month conflict, are reportedly concerned that the coming of peace would begin a tough political reunification among the Nuer politicians and as well as with the displaced and isolated civil populations at the grassroots.
Reports extended to Nyamilepedia alleged that the meeting begins with threats of defections to Dr. Machar camp, a burning issue, if President Salva Kiir fails to promise to protect their interests in the upcoming TGNU.
“The Nuer leaders … are threatening that they will join Dr. Riek Machar if he becomes the Prime Minister, because they fear they will be left out after the transitional government, since ethnic and regional representation will be the main factor in the next governments” reads the report.
Citing the 2002 peace agreement between Dr. John Garang and Dr. Riek Machar, the loyal Nuer politicians argue that, unless protected by Salva Kiir regime, Dr. Machar will run the government again, which will force them to be loyal to Machar or risk isolation in the government and as well as from the community.
The long meeting ended with a proposal that the Nuer politicians, with help of President Salva Kiir, will form a mini-parallel government from within to protect their interests and encounter Dr. Machar’s group in the next governments.
The parallel government proposal was alternatively agreed after attempts to secure vice president’s position and deputies Prime Ministers positions in the TGNU failed.
Salva Kiir reportedly said the position of deputy president is occupied by James Wani Igga and the two deputy prime ministers are currently under negotiations but they would, most likely, be occupied by the former detainees and other stakeholders. However, the president assured the Nuer politicians that they will retain their current positions and their portfolio will be raised.
To ensure balance of power during the transitional period, Kiiir has said “I will do all I can to protect the interests of my Nuer brothers and sisters who stood with me during this difficult times”.
“Your interest will never be affected; I will ensure all of you remain in your current position and add also more portfolio to what you currently have,” Kiir said during the meeting.
Salva Kiir , according to the reports, promised the Nuer politicians to not be shaken by the peace agreements in Ethiopia. The president further said he is also working to build a parallel Nuer leadership to groom the loyal politicians to encounter the rebels’ faction. However, the president has put the Nuer politicians on test to do their parts.
Salva Kiir requires that the Nuer politicians, who have not been to Nuerland since December, must visit their constituencies to brief the civil population at the grassroots on the conflict.
According to Gordon Buay Malek, the Nuer senior officials, Ministers and Civil servants in the government will visit, at least Ayod and Nasir towns, which are under government control to brief the residents on the conflict and peace mediation.
“A delegation of Nuer senior officials, Ministers, Civil servants and community leaders will visit Nasir and Ayod in coming weeks.” Buay states.
“The delegation will be led by three senior Ministers in the national government. The purpose of the visit is to educate the Nuer villagers about the attempted coup of last year.” Buay said.
The towns of Ayod and Nasir are isolated from public access by the rebels. In June government charters were prevented from landing in Ayod by forces led by the former Jonglei’s Minister of Law, and the current SPLM-IO military governor of Jonglei state, Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam.
Other Nuer politicians, contacted by Nyamilepedia correspondent after the meeting, confirmed that the meeting was intense but declined to discuss the details of the meeting.
One politician, who agreed to comment on condition of anonymity, said that the leaders discussed important aspects of peace process, however, declined to clarify why only Nuer politicians attended the meeting.
“Our meeting with the president today was specifically meant to discuss important aspects of peace process. The democratically elected president of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, is committed to restore peace and welcome back the rebels to the government” the official said.
“The president has agreed to share the government with Dr. Riek Machar so that our people can go back home” the politician continued.
With many politicians who rebelled and tossed up their positions in the National and states governments, the politicians who remained loyal to the government have drawn “red lines” and shunt “the never surrender never” in defense of their positions, the government and in refusal to restructuring of the government.
More than 23 lawmakers have been dismissed in the national government in Juba and multiple others expelled from Jonglei State government. Unity and Upper Nile states’ governments are yet to meet the quorum to approve the dismissal of the Members of Parliament who rebelled Salva Kiir’s government.