Make Peace With All: An Open Letter to Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, PhD
By Chuol C. Nyabieh
Dear Dr. Machar,
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.
Chuol C. Nyabieh
A concerned South Sudan citizen,
I can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org