By Chuar Juet Jock,
April 13, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- What are the reasons behind the detention of SPLM-IO media team? Were they behaving recklessly and provoking security problems? Were they authorized by the SPLM/A-IO leadership to carry out the media coverage for reception of IO leadership? If so, and then why the SPLM/-IO leadership is tight-lipped on the incident since yesterday, not even a single statement to cool down the worrying relatives, friends and supporters of movement at large? What such an attitude from the SPLM-IO leadership means to the rest of the opposition supporters who have been campaigning against the regime since 2013? Are the opposition returnees safe given the negligence and carelessness of the leadership of its own media personals? What are the future implications of such behaviors and hostile acts from the regime carried by its agents in national security and other anti-peace elements? Will Juba government honor its commitments as genuine peace partner or will it continue with its unwarranted arrogance, provocations and bullying defiance? These are just some of the many questions that have been worrying our concerned minds and hearts since the arrest of the media team members.
The arrival of deputy chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Lt. Gen Alfred Lado Gore on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 was regarded as a great step towards the march to the most needed peace and reconciliation in the country, unfortunately, the detention of SPLMA-IO media team has messed up the amassed joys and great expectations of our people who have been pre-occupied with the safety and well-being of media team under detention of the enemy.
If the SPLM/A-IO truly means the business of change and challenge to Juba system of injustice then the SPLM/A-IO can’t avoid confrontation since the SPLM/A-IG can’t avoid provocations throughout the peace implementation timeframe in the pretext of saving the peace. Given the persistence defiance, continuous arrogance and provocations that could have ended this shaky peace since August 17th, 2016, the SPLM/A-IO must to take a more hard stance if it really wants to get something to be implemented on the ground otherwise Juba is intentionally draining the whole provisions of CP2 and its attitude is meant to adhere to or to implement but nothing of the agreement.
Well, we have heard that the media team were calling out and mobilizing public in order to receive the deputy chairman and maybe later the chairman and then they were surrounded by the members of national security, beaten, arrested and taken to undisclosed location. No information about their location, well-being and safety until this time, however, the same source has disclosed that Gen. Taban Deng of the SPLM/A-IO leadership was informed about the detention of the media team members. Due to this situation that put the lives of the media team at clear risk, our expectations from the leadership of SPLM/A-IO was to release a timely statement briefing the members of the circumstances surrounding the arrest, their safety and when they should be released. Given their activism during the conflict and the persistence conflict of interest, the more they stay in the detention of Juba’s national security, the more risky are their lives. However, the SPLM/A-IO leadership is still burying its head deep into the sand not even a high-profile leader has come forward to tell the worrying public, what exactly is going on, not even to assure us that the team are safe and sound.
I think if there is a mutual respect and effective communication between the signatories of CPA2, the SPLM/A-IO and IG, such a situation could have been handled without the media team members being arrested or beaten. However, if we agree that, public mobilization and reception is risky and unsafe given the fragile security situation in Juba, the media team could have been told through their leadership not to mobilize or provoke the public due to security reasons. They could have been ordered not to act in a way that will endanger the public safety and security but to arrest them during such a historical event of receiving the deputy SPLM/A-IO Chairman and were all deeds and words of both parties are expected to usher the country into an environment of peace and reconciliation, the SPLM-IO and SPLM-IG leadership not only failed themselves but have failed to give the event its meaning and failed as well to appreciate the young men who were assuming they were doing their national duty in such a great day.
Mathematically, if the SPLM/A-IO is to continue to be the retreating sacrificed lamb and the SPLM/A-IG continue to be the advancing wolf throughout the peace process then one should expect a loss to the SPLM/A-IO in this uneven equation and unbalanced relationship at the end of the process. Nothing at the end will be left to the SPLM/A-IO, not even the post of The First President will have any functions or meanings in reality. The SPLM/A-IO must stop the advance of SPLM/A-IO into its political territories, head on and at every act or provocation. Saving the peace is not only a duty of SPLM-IO but also an SPLM-IG duty as well and hence, we all must be ready to go to hell or agree to live in peace, period. An effective organization is the one that worries and cares of one single life, safety and wellbeing of any single member of his base. The media team incident is a true test to SPLM/A-IO leadership and all its supporters are questioning big whether it will wait until another 1000 got detained, beaten, killed, demoted, humiliated, well, then there is no reason why the unfortunate Dec 15, 2013 massacre could repeat itself.
Chuar Juet Jock is a South Sudanese entrepreneur, columnist and PhD candidate based in Omaha, Nebraska – United States. He has authored his new book “In a Nutshell: Opinions and Articles during South Sudanese Civil War (2013 -2016)”; a powerful truth that has been injected into the body of South Sudan’s history, it unearthed the truth of the current since war started on December 15, 2013 up to February 2016. The book is available at Amazon.com and other online bookstores. The author can be reached through email@example.com.
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