A REBEL FIELD COMMANDER SPOKE OUT ON SOUTH SUDAN CONFLICT
Jan 23, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — I am Brigadier General JOSEPH GAI GATLUAK, currently the rebel field commander of SPLM/SPLA/IO in Wedakona Manyo County, western bank of northern Upper Nile State, and before the war broke out in 2013, I was the commander of SPLA Division 7 Brigade 1 in Wedakona, the brigade HQ and the HQ of Manyo County.
The fact that the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardiit has failed and lost the vision of SPLM/SPLA has contributed to the genesis of the contemporary South Sudan post Independence Civil War. There are a lot that should be said about the bad leadership of Salva Kiir, but the worst part of all and became the main justification that has actually instigated my defection to the armed faction of SPLM/SPLA/IO, was when Salva himself as the head of the state and the Government committed a gross violation of the South Sudan Transitional Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and the guiding principle that even brought him to the power.
Article 11 of South Sudan Transitional Constitution 2011 provided for the right to life and human dignity that “Every person has an inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life, but Salva Kiir violated this universal fundamental Human Right on 16-19 December 2013, when he ordered his security personnel and his private trained militia to massacred in cold blood, the innocent Nuer Civilians who had nothing to do with SPLM party politics.
Therefore, as a South Sudanese SPLA Commander who fought in the 21 years liberation struggle for freedom, I can’t just sit and behold South Sudanese Citizens perished or suffer in the hands of a genocidal dictatorial leadership that has forgotten what we struggled for in the 21 years and a leadership that doesn’t respect the principles of democracy, rule of law, Human Rights, respect for fundamental right to life, Human dignity, Justice and equality.
The president has blindly forgotten the liberation struggle which led to the loss of 2.5 millions South Sudanese whose blood cemented our national foundation. This is simply because he (Salva) is not a true nationalist, if a told he was a nationalist; he wouldn’t attempt instigating this senseless civil war amongst ourselves as people of one Nation and origin, just because he wanted to persist in power with his genealogy for decades in South Sudan which I believe that notion or ideology is just an illusion and a nightmare.
The Government is compared with the brain of the living organism, what the brain is to the man, the Government is to the State. But the situation South Sudan is in at the moment, the brain (Gv’t) of our state has reached the maximum level of insanity. The South Sudan Government is just a collection of premature leaders whose aim is only at primitive accumulation of wealth and not development of the new Country.
Salva Kiir shouldn’t up to this far still singing about legitimacy and yet he already lost it under Article 103 (2) of the South Sudan Transitional Constitution which states that “In case of gross violation of the South Sudan Constitution or gross misconduct in relation to national affairs, the president should be charged before the supreme Court upon a resolution passed by two-third majority of all the members of the Assembly. Therefore, Salva has reached the climax complete level of impeachment and his immunity should be lifted if a told the Judiciary and the National Assembly are not just symbols and president outlets to implement his dictatorial policies. A good example is the Germany Scenario of 17 February 2012 when Christian Wulff resigned as the president of Germany, announcing his resignation, after prosecutors called for his immunity to be lifted, facing the prospect of prosecution for allegations of corruption relating to his prior service as Prime Minister of the Lower Saxony. Therefore, he (Kiir) should not talk of legitimacy and yet he has committed a serious crime next to none, by Killing innocent citizens who voted for him in 2010.
In the liberation struggle for freedom from the then Sudan, there were only two visionary leaders; our late Dr. John Garang De Mabior and Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. Dr. Riek was the champion of self-determination for the people of South Sudan while Dr. John Garang was for United Democratic Secular Sudan and the two visions led to the split on 28 August 1991, when Dr. Riek split from the main stream Rebel Movement (SPLM) because Machar was calling for the right to self-determination that was implemented through referendum and we are now an independent nation because of the Self-determination he fought for during the liberation struggle.
Unfortunately, our late Dr. John died in 2005 and Salva Kiir got into the leadership by default and now that the leadership is becoming sweet and addictive, he cooked up ways on how to eliminate his political antagonist (rivals) and all his colleagues in the liberation struggle just because of the power hatred. If we are sincere to ourselves, Salva never dreamt of becoming a president, except being a Chief of General staff or Minister of National Security. Therefore, I don’t see any reason for him to destroy the pride of South Sudanese people and yet he got the leadership by luck.
Moreover, it looks unwise and contradictory for Salva to certainly forget his grievances with our late Dr. John which Dr. Riek Machar had resolved in Rumbek in 2004. Salva Kiir’s major complaint against the late Dr. John at the time was the dictatorial attitude John had been leading the movement. I happened to be part of the Rumbek and quoted Salva Saying “Dr. John was holding the movement in his brief case and used it as his private enterprise”. Dr. Riek Machar that time had used all his efforts to end such a conflict between the two leaders. Surprisingly, Salva himself wanted to use South Sudan as his personal enterprise and not a nation for all the people and now he wanted to eliminate Dr. Riek and Kiir’s power hatred has gone beyond measures and ended up committing a genocidal act against Nuer ethnicity.
On the face value of the conflict in question, we believe as the armed faction, that all is not yet lost, because there is a saying that says “the last minute can save a dying man”. Therefore, we can still rescue Salva Kiir by advocating for peace and not war, only if he wanted to be rescue. As rebel field commanders of SPLM/SPLA/IO under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, we are for peace and optimistic that peace will prevail and we consider peace as the best option to end this senseless civil war, that’s why we all supported the IGAD mediated Peace Process in Ethiopia.
The Pagak Conference is “RES IPSA LIQUTOR” and has got a clear manifestation of our commitment to the peace process, though Kiir foist this rebellion on us, we are for peace and not for war in order to satisfy the interest of South Sudanese people.
In contrast, we all know that, when implications are implicated, they are implicative. Therefore, should it happen that the Government of Salva Kiir is not for peace and continue violating the cessation of hostilities and attack our defensive positions, we shall have no option but to retaliate in self-defense. There are clear evidences that shows the Government forces are in a serious preparation of offensives against our positions in this dry season, but we wanted to assure the international community and the regional body that, we are for peace and not for war and if the Government is hoping or preparing for war in the dry season, I wanted to advice them to refrain from that strategy, because they might have chosen a wrong path and will regret it forever. This is because, the dry season they (Government) are hoping for, is not only meant for them, but for all of us. Let them take note of that. In addition, the war broke out in Juba in December 2013 when it was already a dry season, but it is almost now a year and something and the Government didn’t manage to clear a rebellion we were not prepared for and yet they were in the plan for years to execute the 2013 Act.
The SPLM re-unification agreement in Arusha under the auspices of Chama Cha Mapinduzi, is a road map to achieving a lasting peace in South Sudan, except if Salva Kiir step down from the party leadership as the Chairman of the Party and Dr. Riek takes the Chairmanship, that is when that agreement will have an impact on the peace process and that is what we shall accept as the field commanders in the front line. The president started the disunity of the SPLM party, but now that he has come back to his senses and advocate for re-unification the party factions, then fine let him step down from the leadership and give room to the rest since he failed already and if he’s going to decline, then am anticipating another disunity of the SPLM party when the time comes for restructuring the party leadership and that will automatically invalidate the Arusha SPLM party Agreement.
I wanted to conclude by saying, if a person forces you to fight him/her until you accepted to fight, you must fight to the fullest. Therefore, we are fighting a just war that Kiir imposed on us and we shall fight until those innocent souls massacred get satisfy that they didn’t die in vain.
LONG LIVE SOUTH SUDAN
LONG LIVE THE LEADERSHIP OF DR. RIEK MACHAR TENY