South Sudan Conflict: Building Alliances To Change The Regime

By Gak Deng Woul
Melbourne, Australia.
Independence Day photo

Previous Independence Day’s photo modified by Zee Machar / Nyamilepedia

August 1, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Since the signing of the Agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan in August 2015, there have been a range of indicators suggesting lack of compliance on the government’s side to abide by the terms of agreement. For example, the security arrangement stipulates that both sides must command separate armies during the transitional period to avoid any friction and confrontation between the two warring factions.  In addition, the agreement indicates that all the forces beside the 5,000 government forces and 2,900 opposition ones are to be deployed outside the capital city 25 Km radiuses.  There is a clear intention from the government not to comply with the provisions of the agreement because of fear of losing power once most of the agreement has been implemented. For instance, the government fears that the coalition within the parliament may select speaker of the assembly from Equatoria based on secret ballots, an exercise which may disappoint president Kiir’s clique and favors the opposition’s coalition in the parliament.

As a result, Kiir’s faction resorted to terminate the agreement by attacking Machar’s forces with an intention to drag them out of the city and replace him with Gen. Taban Deng Gai – a clear violation of the agreement. If the agreement is implemented in spirit and letter, there will be a gradual democratic transition in the country and Kiir will be losing most of his powers.  He will no longer be controlling the parliament and also his use of force to coerce those opposing his regime will be bunged. Jieng Coucil of Elders ( JCE) believes that Machar is an impediment to pursing their tribal domination over the country and therefore, prefers to eliminate him rather than allowing him to be a partner fearing that an overall regime change may take place if the agreement is allowed to survive.

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Unlike all political systems in the world whereby rule of law is the norm of governance, South Sudan is applying a different law that never exist on earth, tribalism led by JCE is dominating all the structures of the government from the executive, legislative and judiciary. The appointments to government positions are based on nepotism and a full-scale tribalism.

Comparing Kiir’s regime with the Regional Autonomy for Southern Sudan led by Able Alier after the signing of Addis Ababa Peace Accord in 1972, One would observe a clear difference in the two pre-dominantly Dinka led regimes.  Alier’s parliamentary candidates or representatives were selected based on merits and most of them were qualified, they were all representing myriads of South Sudanese ethnic backgrounds and not only Dinka dominated, though other structures such as the police, wildlife, and public servant were majority Dinka with a large number of Dinka dominating the police led by General Ruben Mach. Rule of law was given a space in the affairs of governing the nation. However, Kiir’s regime is pre-dominantly Dinka in all aspects of governance including the parliament, public service, the army, the top senior positions in public service. For example, the Chief-Justice, Chan Reec is a Dinka from Warrap, Cornelius Koryom the governor of Bank of South Sudan is a Dinka, Chief of Army’s General Staff General Paul Malong is a Dinka from Aweil, Minister of Defense, a Dinka from Bor, Minister of Information a Dinka from Bor, chief-Inspector of the police is a Dinka from Bhar El Gazal, and    most of the ambassadors representing South Sudan in the missions are all Dinka except some few who serve the regime’s tribal interest such as Am. Buay Malek.

The intention of this article is not to incite tribalism but to educate those who didn’t have the chance to understand the historical development of regimes led by Jieng in South Sudan and how they have failed the nation. There is a logical argument that not all Dinkas are tribalist and not all of them are  supporting Kiir, however, the majority believe that if Kiir with the support of Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) succeeded in their attempts to maneuver power in South Sudan to serve their interest, there would be a better chance for them to control all aspects of government, businesses, public services, civil societies, army, police, wildlife and Prisons and maintain the status quo for the coming generations.

The current war in South Sudan would justify my argument in relation to the massive tribal support of Dinka for Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders to dominate the country. Majority of Dinka didn’t come out clearly to denigrate the killing of Nuer in Juba 2013 and the atrocities committed in Equatoria and Chollo land except Hon. Mabior Garang, Madam. Rebecca Nyandeng and Dr. Majak D’ Agot all from Bor and Hon. Thiew Mathok from Bhar El Gazal. Where are the rest of Dinka intellectuals who pretend to be nationalists?

Therefore, there is a need for political alliances among all opposition parties including the ones led by Dinka to maintain a solid coalition with the aim of changing the regime through the Peace Agreement signed in August 2015 or by forming a strong political alliance backed up by armed forces to change the regime if the peace failed. This means mobilizing all South Sudanese from their different ethnic backgrounds to join the movements led by Machar and others in Equatoria and Upper Nile and form a well-built coalition to dialogue or change the regime through revolution. It is not imperative to join the IO led by Machar but a coalition can still be maintained through a collective political actions.

Yes, some parties may disagree with Mcahar or may have some personal differences with him but let’s leave aside our differences and come together.  A good example is what Hon. Lam Akol did by resigning from all his posts in the government and the party in protest against president Kiir’s move to abrogate peace and illegally appointing Gen. Taban Deng Gai. There is no provision in the peace agreement that allows Kiir to do so and also the political process in place to appoint Hon. Taban Deng wasn’t done in accordance with party’s structures: the quorum was not completed, only some few members of political bureau were available. However, Mcahar’s absence in that case was temporary and therefore the agreement stipulates that he nominates his choice which Machar did speaking over the phone with President Kiir to allow Hon. Alfred Gore to act on his behalf but Kiir went completely off the cuff and appointed Taban Deng which was a clear violation of the peace agreement.

Finally, the aims of the coalition are: strengthening the support for regime change through either democratic means in terms of the agreement or armed forces, educate the South Sudanese to work together regardless of their ethnic or political affiliations, form a solid coalition to balance political powers in the country, work with the regional and international partners to bring lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan and also facilitate democratic transition through the peace agreement already signed and if the peace completely failed and the regional forces are allowed to enter South Sudan the coalition will also work with them to stabilize the country and prepare for peaceful democratic transition in the Republic of South Sudan.

The author is a political activist who can be reached on gakwoul@gmail.com.


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2 comments

  • factual

    Your call will not work specially when you failed to mensioned the atrocities committed by riek. You would have been logical had you mensioned the resignation of both Kiir and Riek. You know quite well that dinka do not approve of Riek leadership the same way nuer not approve of kiir. You are indeed tribal supporter since you failed to recognized Riek crime. Unless you are calling for endless wars, the idea of force removable of current government will not work. The same group will fight back to topple any group that ascend to power through force. Remember dinka and their allies constitute 60% of south sudan population. Only peaceful transition of power will safe guard everlasting peace in the country.

  • Well done Mr. Gak Woul, our people perished due to lack of nationalism spirit to bring about real ‘New South Sudan’ with masses aspirations of sustainable peace, end nation suffering and full development rectify in form of services delivery and human rights acknowledgements.
    Tribalism gave birth to evil nepotism, which eventually close the door of hope and faith in God abundant blessing to SS multicultural societies of 64 peoples. We also bless in term of resources and human resources.We Thanks GOD for that abundance. What we need now is just only perseverance to have unity of command and consistent South-to-south dialogue to stage change for the benefits of all.
    As our icon did Dr.Machar, he stand on the hot rock against injustice which a problematic issues in everywhere in SS.
    We needs more orientation and consultation on way forward.
    Let us keep up the faith and hope in GOD that one day the sun will rise in SS, for sure under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar. God saveSS.