South Sudan: Dr. Riek Machar’s Historic Speech At Pagak Conference

Updated at 10:00Am, Dec 12th, 2014(Pacific Standard Time)

Comrade D/Chairman Gen. Alfred Lado-Gore
Comrades, Chairpersons of the National Committees
Comrades, Military Governors
Commanders of the Army
Compatriots Delegates to the SPLM/SPLA Conference
Traditional Leaders
Invited Honourable Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Dr. Riek Machar Teny opens the conference in search of sustainable peace and good governance in South Sudan's Pagak(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

Dr. Riek Machar Teny opens the conference in search of sustainable peace and good governance in South Sudan’s Pagak(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

December 10, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — I salute you all in the name of the people of the Republic of South Sudan. This SPLM/SPLA conference could not have come at an opportune time. South Sudan and its people are at a precarious crossroads between being and not being. The gains our people scored throughout the six decades of relentless struggle against the oppressive regimes are now at dire risk. There are people plotting to rob us of our independence and sovereignty. We must resist this attempt.

To prevent this from happening and in order for us to save our people and country, we must seriously look for ways to achieve peace. We must be ready to exercise magnanimity[i.e. generosity]. We must forgive atrocities committed against us and likewise ask forgiveness from those we have harmed.

We are holding this conference when we are about to mark the first anniversary of the Juba genocide carried out by President Salva Kiir against his people killing over 20,000 innocent lives of Nuer people in less than a week. The massacres against Nuer in Juba triggered the present civil war, which Kiir feigned as a coup against the state. Our people and the whole world know there was no coup. It all started as a political dispute within the SPLM Governance.

It escalated into a political crisis because Kiir refused to discuss the reforms needed to democratize the system. It is my belief that we must rise above this genocidal act for us to be able to unite our people, recreate the social capital and for us to create a peaceful, multi ethnic, prosperous and democratic federal state of which all of us will be proud of.

The SPLM political dysfunction started with Kiir’s assumption of SPLM leadership in 2005. This situation obtained and endured, however, Salva Kiir while knowing that things were not going right, would not allow his colleagues to intervene to rectify that situation. Over the eight years of working together, President Salva Kiir thwarted our efforts to correct things on suspicion that we wanted to supplant him. This attitude of not recognizing and accepting his failure while at the same preventing others to function where he failed is at the core of the current situation in South Sudan. I have characterized this failure in seven areas namely:

  1. Concentration of powers in the hands of the President, at the eve of the independence in July 2011, the CPA based democratic constitutions were thrown out and replaced with another concentrated powers in the hands of the President namely “the Transitional Constitutional of South Sudan, 2011;”. The President abused these powers and ruled by issuing decrees contravening the very constitution. He dismissed elected governors at will, etc.
  2. Insecurity and ethnicized conflicts ubiquitous throughout South Sudan but more particularly in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Lakes, Western Equatoria and finally in Western Bahr el Ghazal where in December 8, 2012 the police massacred unarmed demonstrators;
  3. Poor Economic Planning Implementation – the government did little to stimulate the economy by implementing the planned programmes and its absolute dependence on oil revenues led to the neglect of other sectors of the economy particularly agriculture which is the mainstay of majority of South Sudanese. As a result South Sudan became a net importer of food commodities from the neighboring countries;
  4. Corruption in government – the practice of nepotism in ditching of inordinately overvalued government contract to relatives and people hailing from particular areas and to those who gave bribes was a major source of corruption. The Dura saga epitomizes the corruption in government;
  5. Tribalism or ethnicization of government – President Salva Kiir appointments whether in government, civil service or in the party do not reflect the ethnic diversity of South Sudan but tilted in favor of particular states.
  6. SPLM dysfunction – instead of leading and directing the government, the government directs and leads the SPLM Party. Government decisions in the executive and legislature are not party decisions. This prompted grassroots verdict that the SPLM leaders have abandoned the SPLM vision and direction.
  7. Regional and international isolation – the GRSS pursued an ineffective foreign policy which resulted to isolation of the country from friends. South Sudan is unable to stamp its presence in the IGAD, African Union and other regional or international bodies.

President Salva Kiir instead of opening up debate on these issues decided to stifle the discourse. In November 2013, he surprised every body by declaring that the party institutions and structures have been dissolved automatically except his office on the pretext that the convention was not held on time. Consequently, he resorted to issuing presidential decrees which culminated to launching the military campaign on December 15, 2013. The objective of the military action was to stifle democracy and to eliminate his opponents in the part, and to institute a totalitarian regime. This act has now plunged South Sudan into a civil war.

It is unfortunate that President Kiir involved foreign troops in the war to fight on his side. The Ugandan Air Force has bombed our civil population in villages using internationally outlawed cluster bombs. The UPDF is still occupying South Sudan. Also on the side of the government, the Darfuri and the SPLM-North rebels groups are in active combat operations against our forces. President Kiir has regionalized the civil war. He has also trained, armed and turned ethnic communities against each other. He is definitely striving to erode the social capital that bounded together our people for centuries.

Within the week of the rapture of violence in Juba, the IGAD region intervened to bring peace to South Sudan by offering its mediation. Despite the fact that the Nairobi Communique of the IGAD Heads of State and Government dated December 27, 2013 reflected an implicit support for Kiir’s coup narrative by endorsing Ugandan military intervention in what was essentially an internal matter, we accepted the IGAD mediation. We sent a high-powered delegation to Addis Ababa under the leadership of Cde Taban Deng Gai. For the last eleven months, we have witnessed a lot of difficulties in the IGAD peace process, however, the talks have now reached a stage which prompted the convening of this conference. Before I proceed I want to congratulate our negotiating team under stewardship of General Taban Deng Gai for their tireless efforts that made us reach to this stage.

The 28th Extraordinary IGAD summit convened on November 6, 2014 focused only on the structure and functions of the leadership of the would be Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) but also made undiscussed resolutions that were carried in a statement on November 9 to the effect that “the IGAD region shall, without reference to the warring Parties, take necessary measures, if need be, to directly intervene in South Sudan to protect lives and restore peace and stability,” should the parties fail to reach an agreement.

This is a dangerous trend that we must resist. We cherish our hard won independence and sovereignty. We vow to defend it!

In that Summit, we maintain that any peace agreement must tie the two principals with the responsibility of implementation of the would be peace agreement so that the reforms required to address the underlying root causes of the conflict are undertaken during the transition period. We also accepted that the President shall chair the Council of Ministers against dropping the position of the Vice President, which could be a complicating factor in the relations between the President and the Prime Minister in as far as state protocol is concerned.

We objected to the proposal of creating positions of two deputies to the Prime Minister because we believe it is a deliberate attempt to destabilize the TGoNU and to prevent it from concentrating on the reform agenda. We also objected to the retention of the position of the vice President for the same reasons. As you well know, we stand for inclusivity, and as such we think that other stakeholders can and shall participate in the TGoNU as ministers without necessarily enjoying special status. I wish to remind you that the CPA and its implementation modality did not give the other political forces in the country any special status equating them with the NCP or the SPLM. You will discuss these matters in this conference as IGAD Peace Talks outcomes are the first topic in our deliberations.

The SPLA-IO Generals who resist Salva Kiir's government, postting for a picture at Pagak Conference, South Sudan ...

The SPLA-IO Generals who resist Salva Kiir’s government, postting for a picture at Pagak Conference, South Sudan …

At this juncture, I want to reiterate that we in the SPLM/SPLA, the resistance movement, are for a just peace. However, just peace comes consequent to addressing the root causes of the conflict. The root causes lie in the governance system as I stated above. You know that concentration of powers in the hands of one person – the leader – created personified, rather than, institutionalized power resulting to bad governance and in actual fact it reflects lack of internal democracy in the ruling party. This leads to building a cult of personality, consequently creating frictions and conflict in the system. The SPLM had experienced several splits because of this practice. In brief, allow me to enumerate these splits so that we learn and guide against repetitions of such practices..

The first conflict occurred in 1983 just at the inception of the SPLM. The resolution of that conflict led to reunification of the SPLM/SPLA with Anya-nya II in 1987. However, this reunification left the SPLM intact without changes to accommodate the new reality. It was just a return to the fold. This generated contradictions leading to the Nasir Declaration of August 1991 on the Right of Self Determination for the people of South Sudan, and another split within the SPLM/SPLA. The reunification of the SPLM/SPLA in 2002 still did not address the structural reorganization of the SPLM/SPLA. It generated the Yei crisis in 2004. The Rumbek conference was called to resolve what appeared to be personal differences between Dr. Garang and Salva Kiir Mayardit but did not address the structural causes of the contradiction.

President Salva Kiir has refused to learn from these experiences instead he has now instituted a security system to buttress his fascist rule. The Republic of South Sudan has now become a police state characterized by disappearances and assassination of dissenting voices and emasculated state institutions.

We, in the SPLM/SPLA, constitute an armed and political resistance to South Sudan sliding into anarchy and total failure. In this respect, our political programme shall entail the following:

1). The SPLM/SPLA calls for the institution of federal system of governance in which the states and the local governments shall be devolved more political, judicial and economic powers. We have renamed our country the Federal Republic of South Sudan and immediately establish 21 states based on the former districts during the colonial period instead of ten states;

2). The SPLM/SPLA shall implement Security Reforms affecting the Armed Forces, the National Security, the Police, the Correctional Services, the Civil Defence Services and the Wild Life Services in terms of their philosophy, mandate, mission and objectives to reflect the ethnic diversity of South Sudan in terms of the officer corps, men and women in them;

3). Undertake radical reforms in the judiciary and the justice administration system that will make the courts and dispensation of justice fair and accessible to the citizens;

4). Administrative reforms at the local levels to dovetail the traditional institutions of governance with the state governance institutions for peace and harmony in society;

5). Institute reforms in the political parties system to render them national rather that ethnic or regional in character. The SPLM/SPLA stands against politicization of ethnicity or ethnicization of politics as means or ladder to power and wealth;

6). Reform the civil service by depoliticizing and professionalizing it. The civil service is the backbone of the state. Recruitment, appointments and mobility within it shall be on basis of merits, experience and qualification;

7). Promote economic growth by investing the petrodollars in agriculture to stimulate the surplus potential in mechanized crop production, modernize animal husbandry to transform the enormous livestock from cultural to economic wealth. Introduce modern methods of fisheries and aquaculture in the rivers and wetlands. Organize and develop forestry and related economic activities including protection of Wildlife and other fauna for tourism and recreation;

8). Build modern physical infrastructure in cities, towns and villages. Construct inter- and intra-state highways, feeder roads, railways, high tension power transmission grids, fibre optics lines and microwave lines for telecommunication linking the different parts of the country and regionally;

9). Construct dams and hydroelectric power generation in addition to exploit the solar and wind energy to generate electricity for speedy industrialization of South Sudan and;

10). Encourage private sector as well as private public partnership to drive the development of South Sudan.

In conclusion, this is our party’s political programme for transformation and modernization of our society.

18 comments

  • I do not think you will add anything to our beloved country rather than destruction, it’s always you who’s doing atrocities against our people, you will never learned from your mistakes.

  • This is what take our country backward kir can’t be allowed against to lead the transitional Government because instead of managing and direct the country in better directions he will destroyed it more by causing enemesty among the officials of the said transitional Government

    • Brother, who do you think should lead the transistor government of Unity, I believe you think Riek should lead,that is the issue of our brother Nuer, Reik is killing you so he can lead,unfortunately,he will never lead,mark my words, then if Nuer are wise enought then they should think twice before they do sucided themselves in a senseless war, where Reik is always mobilizing his own tribe to bring him into power, because of Reik thirstiness for power the whole is dying for only one position, that’s so stupid.

      • Naath

        You and your father Kiir can not talk about suicide or senseless war because your father Kiir created by killing innocence Nuer. It is because you and your drunkard president Kiir being uneducated or lairs in this entire world that you called the Dec.15, 2013 as a coup. It is very shameful for Kiir and his alike to mess up the country like that.

  • Dear all, the speech cited above is fake. It is not the speech of Dr. Riek. It is an excerpt from the Book written by Peter Adwok Nyaba entitled: South Sudan: the crisis of infancy (2014). You can read that for your selves. Don’t embarrass the good Dr. Riek. he knows how to write. Don’t try to sell him cheaply. We know his six points that cause him to start the war in Juba. Nyaluak.

    • Hoth Mai, your are embarrassing yourself. Why do you change your Facebook name to Nyalual Lual when you know very well we have been friend since you created this Facebook account? I know you hate Riek Machar but writing nonsenses will not help. You have killed your owned people to defense your Dinka government but your time will come that you will die like a dog. Stop writing bullshits, we know speech. Read this “We are holding this conference when we are about to mark the first anniversary of the Juba genocide carried out by President Salva Kiir against his people killing over 20,000 innocent lives of Nuer people in less than a week.” Go back to Juba and watch Salva Kiir amok, stop nonsenses. Brother Noah

  • I appreciate the speech Dr.Machar express b/c if all south sudanese will lets him to leads the country he will make south sudan prosperous, by doing what he express in his speech , instead of salva kiir that is killing his people. For that case lets us give support for Machar to lets our country be in peaceful and democratic system under his leadership.

    • Feel sorry for you brother Pout Jock and pout poth ,that leader of your will never lead our new nation, he is a reckless ruthless,ignorant leader who is always killing his own people to get power, I do not think we are stupid to let him destroy our nation of course not.

      • To all south Sudanese plus this Malek Auger, lets us all stops using tribalism as political motive for our country . I wrote my first comment to Machar speech not because Dr.Machar is Nuer , but because he is able to lead us for his being a democratic leader and educated person that know what is evil and good, not like Salva Kiir who is Dictator and uneducated that massacre Nuer and others Minority to preserve Dinka superiority not south Sudanese prosperity.
        For you Malek Auger lets me advice you to think in way that would positively bring peace , unity to our country. For you Malek Auger we support Dr.Machar not because of being Nuer , but for his positive mind and democratic leadership if Machar will be like Salva Kiir ….we will not be with
        him.

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  • نحن جنوبين لي نقتل باض موضو سلطة و قرش. nour tribe you peope you 4got what macher do to you speacal people of gagak 1991

  • Naath

    Mr. Malek Auger, you should stop your hatred statements that will take you nowhere. you should not be proud of foreigners armies not your own. It was shameful when Uganda announced the recaptured of Bor instead of the Juba lead Gov’t. It is good that you had learned your lesson or perhaps, at the beginning you and your father Kiir have known the people whom you want to get rid of them. It is better to make statements that can bring us into unity friends. If you would have been in one of the battle then you should talk of peace not war. All those people who are talking of war in Juba did not taste the breakfast of Nyaborjiok. Those who did, now they are talking about peace not war believe me.
    Please, come to your sense and talk about peace not to fool yourself that you will chase SPLA-IO.

  • mr malek agar you misunderstand what the the nuer fighting for you suppose to shot your mouth with out answering any question .but be aware of what on the situation of the co untry we are going to control lange area on south sudan territory.for example you are the rebel of sudan you will not involve your self on any acussation lead by another country .the fighting in south sudan is not acivil war is the war between terrorism.the fighting broke out in juba south sudan between tribe and tribe by acussing them self on the goverment the south sudan goverment braod uupdf battalion to protect thiey base capital juba in stead of nuer tribe

  • Where are the children of those Sexagenarians (GOLDEN AGER) Generals of SPLM-IO?

  • Aguer Rual

    Riek has the right to rule and not to rule if he wishes as a citizen he has that right nothing can prevent him or anybody regardless of his tribe

    • Comparison should not be restrict to only Kiir and Machar. Machar has ability and knowledge to manage the country peacefully. But Kiir can’t due to his inability and incapacity. Kiir to my knowledge as failed and that marked him not a god leader. Kiir should the power and choose to or seek political asylum anywhere.

  • We nuer are the best in this newest nation, if we left south Sudan to the others coward a like dinka,equatorian,
    Nothing will’ be south Sudan
    But at the last we will win.