South Sudan marks 27 years since Nasir declaration

Leaders of the SPLM/A – Nasir faction CDR Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon (L) CDR Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin (C) and CDR Gordon Koang Chuol (R) post for a photo on August 28th 1991 (File photo)

August 28th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan on Tuesday, August 28th marked 27 years since the Nasir Declaration which called for the succession of South Sudan on the basis of self-determination for the people of the Christian Majority region.

On the morning of August, 28th 1991, armed defectors led by then CDR Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, CDR Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and CDR Gordon Koang Chuol led a mutiny in Nasir and declared that they have removed Dr. John Garang de’Mabior, then leader of the Southern Sudanese reformist movement, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army.
The signal was also aired on the BBC world service and other international media.

“During the past eight years John Garang has headed the Movement in the most dictatorial and autocratic fashion… To save the Movement from the imminent collapse, it has been decided to relieve John Garang of the leadership of SPLM/A. He is no longer the leader of the Movement. An interim leadership composed of the high command members listed in this message will be as of today 29/8/91 take charge of the Movement’s affairs. The struggle will henceforth be wage with a clear sense of purpose to achieve equality, justice and freedom under democratic set-up,” said a statement signed by the three Commanders.

Three days later, rebel commanders under the Garang-led faction of the SPLM/SPLA also known as Torit faction denounced the declaration which they also said was a coup.

“The announcement in Kapoeta by CDR. Riek Machar and CDR. Lam Akol that CDR John Garang has been overthrown is false and has no support anong the SPLM/ SPLA Political and Military High Comand, and the rank-and-file of the SPLM/ SPLA and the population in the liberated areas. CDR. John Garang remain the Chairman and C-in-C of the SPLM/SPLA, and has the full support of 10 memebers of the 13 members of the High Command,” read a statement issued on August 31st 1991by Garang’s faction based in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria region.

The two factions fought a bloody civil war within the South of the then Sudan and Machar later signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement with the National Islamic Front (NIF) led by President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir.

The agreement stipulated, as Machar demanded, that the people of South Sudan should have the right of self-determination to chose whether to remain united with Sudan or to form a country of their own after four years.

Machar was appointed Presidential Assistant and then head of the Southern States Coordination but would later fled the Sudanese capital in 2002 to reconcile with Garang after four years passed without viable believe that a referendum would be conducted as stipulated know the agreement.

He then reconciled with Garang and become the third in command after offering to give the second position to CDR Salva Kiir Mayardiit who is now the President of the country.