Make Peace With All: An Open Letter to Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, PhD

By Chuol C. Nyabieh

Dear Dr. Machar,

Gatdet and Riek

Dr. Riek Machar and Maj.Gen. Peter Gatdet in the bush in Jonglei states in early 2014(Photo: file)

Nov 10, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- First and foremost, allow me to pass my overwhelming greeting and appreciations to you for having secured a peaceful end to the nearly two year’s bloody conflict in our Country. We, the citizens of South Sudan, have acknowledged and appreciate your commitment shown and the role you played lastly in bringing peace back to our devastated land with your partners in peace.

In this letter, I will not take you back to the recent past; I will not blame or appreciate you on whatever you have done especially in the last 22 month of the conflict in our Country. I write this letter to wake you up, probably from sleeping thinking that a lasting peace is achieved despite the fact that some more problems are pending; or probably from your well known ‘Ostrich Strategy’ of hoping that things will solve themselves without your efforts.

Straight to the point, you need to make peace with all. You needs to dialogue with your ‘December 2013 right-hand comrades’ if I may use the term. Your comrade Peter Gatdet Yak, your comrade Gathoth Gatkuoth Hoth-nyaang and your comrade Gebriel Gatwech Chan among others are people who will not only be forgotten by you, but also by the Nuer community at large, no matter how far they may go wrong in any time to come. They served lives.

I don’t know what argument you are now giving which do not allow you to dialogue with those people and let them join you in peace alongside any other person who fought for the last 22 months. However, the fact remains clear that leaving those generals out automatically means the Nuer community are just heading toward, yet, another communally based instability and wars.

People begin to wonder, are you trying to distance yourselves from the two sanctioned Generals, Peter Gatdet and Gathoth Gatkuoth because of their sanction imposed on them? I don’t think so.

As soon as you are in the government as the 1st Vice President of the Republic, be mindful that those Generals may soon or later wage war against your government and their supporters are there among your current forces. No dot about that. However, as far as the suffering of the Nuer community is concerned, one would ask, will we really afford fighting another internal war and inside the Nuer land once more?

Should that happen, the sectional infighting among various Nuer sections, big or small, will later commence which is truly unbearable. The case to be sensitive with is the anger against Bul community by the rest of the Nuer Community in Unity State. Though Bul have done it worse enough on their fellow Nuer in Unity with the support of the goveremtn, we don’t comment retaliation at any time to come. An apology through a communal dialogue will be enough.

You will not solve this problem letter, your BOSS-to-be, Salva Kirr Mayardit will not solve it either. It’s only what you can think positively now that can bring your dispute to an end and avert anything worse to happen as we foreseen. The generals are the one with grievances and they expect you to talk to them, not the other way round.

No other person is in the right position to avert those foreseen, pending and unbearable events in our society but you. The time to quickly settle the dispute between you and the Generals is now, not any other time to come so that we all geared our effort toward achieving a lasting peace and stability in the Country.

We expect you to lay a firm foundation or platform for a permanent peace among the Nuer community. Repetition of 1990th communal fighting among the Nuer sections will be very unfortunate.

The relationship between Gabriel Changson Chang and the Generals, as far as my knowledge is concerned, is nothing more than a stomach tight out of frustration from your failure to solve the long lasted problems and misunderstanding in your commands during the fighting.

So, Changson is known as a greedy veteran politicians who always carry his own cross! He is not and will never be your strong opponent should he try to be.

The reason why you are the only ever seen influential, ever loved and respected politicians in Nuer society is simply because of your prompt action and firm stands on their rights and dignity in the last two and half decades and your determination and patriotic commitment toward South Sudan to be or as a nation. You never built anything, and I mean anything, in Nuer land, but you are the most loved and respected leader among the Nuer and beyond.

You are known for being open and less aggressive to your opponents or haters; you smile and remains calm and normal in time of abysmal, and you oppose to issues more professionally and conveniently. However, insisting to not allow those Generals in the path of peace or not addressing their grievance as soon as possible will post an absolute fracture on the trust and respect you have from us all, and I mean we the South Sudanese in general and Nuer in particular.

The Nuer, as a community, have all the rights to distance themselves from any peace that simply mean a break for another war! We have the right to pull back and ask you and the Generals to reconcile before we could all go for peace. We are prepared and more committed to upholding a lasting peace for South Sudan, but we also need a practical assurance for peace and stability in our land first.

If I may borrow the biblical word which says “……… first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” this must be the way forward.

South Sudan peace must not and should not come in the expense of another suffering for the Nuer community since the fighting started with their suffering marked by a massacre in Juba.

Though there shall be peace and reconciliation nationally, a locally based driven reconciliation is also very crucial to supplement the national one, and that should be given a green light by none other than you.

I am aware that you have your ‘know-all’ advisers and close aides who have also contributed in the fracturing of the moment which was the case for Brig. Lul Ruai’s defection and also a contributing factor to the defection of the Generals. Honestly speaking, those aides may be helping in your daily planning, but their interest attached to their advisory obligations are contradicting the common interest of unity, love and cohesiveness.

In conclusion, I once more recommend your speedy respond to my letter by considering this as a public demand and not an individual point of view. Our people are silent on this issue for one way or another, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong. This is burning us all insides.

Should you make a public calls for dialogue with the generals, I am sure the respond will be positive and a solution will be arrived at, allowing them to join hands with us all in the path of peace.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely yours,

Chuol C. Nyabieh

A concerned South Sudan citizen,

I can be reached via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com

15 comments

  • No body chase those generals away but themselves. Tell them to joint Machar since we have big challenges ahead!

    • North Sudan is getting poorer like Nuer and very danger,but unite Sudan is not going to happen.

    • thanks Mr. chuol for ur beautiful words that we have heard from ur essay. this is starting of leadership peace not come from one person but to all community nuer could solve their own problems before they do make peace with others. this is first step. if we are not salve our problems and forgive each others how we can probably salves other problems? i like ur advice and May God bless u Chuol. rest u tried to crisis this pl we Nuer should ultimately come up and talk instead to leave someone behind it would not take us anywhere. Sec. to that Generals have their owns problems b/c they do not listen their community and don’t need to talk to anyone too. it will be difficult to solve this problems.

  • Pete Sudan Gach

    Thank you so much for the respectful messages to the leadership. I thank we all needed
    This kind of messages to the leadership, all over the world; because the leadership makes many mistakes and those mistakes, if we are trying to addressed them without clear explanations to the leadership, it means we are against them. I was not prepared to say anything in speech because; they inform me while they were inside the airport from the departure location to the State I was leading. I was not able to request any days off based on my company policy. I was indeed, have to works things out in five hours. This means, an arrangement that would have been done two to four weeks in advance. I was able to place all my work into the Security. This is because; the government teams including the government security were in the meeting and they were able to denial and withholding information when they were asking by the delegate.
    Back to the main point, we have to make sure that, the leadership had very good adviser that give the leadership consultant issue. & counselor analyst before social orders & guidance counselors are the best. The leadership in South Sudan cannot come to us, the Nuer based on compassion or sympathy. I do not thing this is a good idea not to depend ourselves because we are going to over kill the team that committed genocide against us. I have not heard the word massacre or ethnic cleansing in all of the speech. I mean from New York, & to all of the other states the leadership went. We all have to make sure that we are with the leadership and at the sometime; no one is going to be left behind by the leaderships. We need the generals
    Thank you
    Pete

  • Thak Galou Riak

    Well placed advice, hopefully Dr. Riek Machar will act on it wisely with no further disappointment.

  • Chuol,

    I don’t think Dr. Riek dismissed Gen. Gatdet, Gen. Gathok, and Changson from the movement, but I believe the trio, and the company voluntarily called it quit. From what I know, both Generals and Changson, plus their cohorts can come back anytime to the movement (SPLA-IO), and nobody included Dr. Riek will have any issue of them coming back. So, I think your call should be directed to the disgruntled-quitters(Gen. Gatdet, Gen. Gathok, Changson, and the company) to rejoin their movement(SPLA-IO).

    Lastly, do not generalizes what the Nuer in general think of these habitual quitters-defectors, but speak for yourself because every competent and reasonable Nuer knows very well the historical records of Gen. Gatdet Yaka and Gen. Gathok Gatkuoth(their good and horrific deeds in Nuerland,-from 1990s to present).

    Yes, they took commendable leadership roles in response to the December 2013, Nuer massacre in Juba, but you must be mindful, bear in mind, and should know that Nuer’ decisive response was eminent, whether General Gatdet, Gen. Gathok, Gen Taban, Dr. Riek, Gen. Gatwech Dual, Gen. Tanginye, and Gen. Chayuot, or any other senior military or politician figure from the Nuer tribe resided with them not period.

  • Chuol,

    What is happening to General Gatdet, Gen. Gathok Gatkuoth, Uncle Changson, and the company, should be a wakeup call for all the Nuer senior military and political figures in the movement that, the Nuer quest for justice is not connected to any personality, but will, shall, and eminently continues regardless of who quit or stay in the movement(SPLA-IO) period

  • Yuol Yuol

    Seriously Chuol C Nyabieh this is a first time I had to comment on a post concerning south sudan conflict and the reason why is that you touch base every step I see as a necessity to lasting peace in south sudan.
    If we sit down as a South Sudanese communities other than seeking advice from others we can find way forward. We have never had inter-clans or community that we can’t solved before we have been expose to the world’s. Worlds politics is toxic so my fellow countrymen LEST WE FORGET!!

  • Thank Chuol C Nyabieth

    This message, should service as an example to all nuer that are on the way to abanded the people Movement(MP). We must not forget 15/12/2013, 1984-86, when the sudan people libration army &movement(spla/m) killed ten of thousands of Gajaak.

    Dr Riek Machar, remembered !5/12/2013, It would be known to you because Gen Peter Gatdet and thousand others nuer sacrificied their life to save your, but you have just forgotten the only one that reacted quickly to save millions lives of nuer nation.

    You( Dr Riek Machar),must remember one thing, General Peter Gatdet is loyalty to Nuer nation more than you love Naath cause, Salva Killer never relieved any one in the gove. specially, Marial ch, Kuol Manyang, Makuei Lueth among other.

    Look, if you relieved those Generals because you would free feom icc report, i can assure to you that Generals, will never be indicted as all of you wish. They left for sudan not knowing that who would save thier live as did to you. Please Dr Riek, please, make those people come back now. Care now Riek because the worst hasn’t happened. Understand now.

    “United All Naath Now”

  • Peckishism and change bad language have to be change by Nuer themselves.

  • Let Generals come back and Join SPLA-IO, Dr. Riek has no problem with those Generals.
    The Generals are the problem to themselves.

  • John GR Malual

    Yes, you are right, Mr. Chuol. Dr. Machar should not only know how to dismiss than to unite. Paul Malong, Makuei Lueth and the like, are against Kiir’s quest for peace but are not dismissed by him, Kiir. This is because Kiir is mindful of Dinka unity. Having critics from within does not means a leader can do away with whoever criticises him/her, for sake of correction. This is why it’s good to have political opponents in order to see oneself in the mirror of opposition. Dr. Riek should initiate negotiations for the reunion in the peoples’ movement.

  • Sudan Boy

    Risk wanted position and s given, what next….to hell with the other general period, ^

  • Sudan Boy

    As a reminder , the author of this article ie very nationalistic. ..He has not been found bias in the his own words of encouragement to the leadership of IO. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand the situation of the respondents