Open Letter to Riek Machar: Nominees of the Senior Youth to the National and State Parliaments

Members of The Senior Youth of South Sudan holding a media press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2017(Photo: supplied)

Members of The Senior Youth of South Sudan holding a media press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2017(Photo: supplied)

August 1, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Senior Youth of South Sudan (SEYOSS) is composed of Peace Activists, opinion leaders and young professionals drawn from all corners of the country. It was established to champion for the Rights of the Political prisoners, and to demand for the Revitalization of the Peace agreement among other objectives cited below. We are called Senior Youth by virtue of our straight forward articulation of issues and appetite to Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms. SEYOSS is still alive, active and thinking progressively as it used to be since its inception years ago. We had gone underground but we are gradually regaining momentum to undertake our moral and legal responsibilities.

In spite of the mounting fears posted on us by the deadly corona virus, we remained awake and willing to advance and advocate for peace, Justice, democracy, Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in South Sudan. At the moment, we are fully behind his Excellency the President, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and his committee in the fight against covid-19 pandemic. Always our solidarities and prayers are with our gallant Doctors and Nurses who spent sleepless night to rescue and resuscitate the lives of our patients with scare resources at hand.

We equally honor the brave humanitarian personnel that toiled to deliver basic needs to those displaced by floods at this critical time. Over the years, South Sudanese have shown that they are resilient people thus we are confident that we shall overcome these myriad humanitarian challenges and covid-19 hurdle. On the same note, the current Government of National Unity and the International Community ought to address the plights of humanitarian personnel with seriousness it deserves. The Killing and targeting of humanitarian personnel is punishable by law and cannot be business as usual. 

VIOLATIONS OF THE PEACE AGREEMENT 

Away from humanitarian and health situations, SEYOSS had been monitoring the peace developments very closely. The deteriorating insecurity, delay and violation of the peace agreement are risking the lives of our civil population. There has been rampant communal violence in all parts of the country. The unending hostilities between our neighboring communities in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglie States will hinder our efforts to expedite developments. The Executive arm of government must admit failure for the continued loss of innocent lives in the hands of Criminals and cattle rustlers. In any event, the cardinal role of any government the world over is to provide security to its populace day and night. Any modern administration that cannot fulfill its promise and mandate to provide adequate security has no business holding on power. At the onset, we have seen the President is acting very dangerously every now and then.

There had been consistent violations of the agreement by him and his SPLM-IG party. Last time, we noted with anger the grabbing of the State belonging to the Opposition Parties (OP), making his state governors to be 6. Also, we are still unhappy with the unilateral creation of three Administrative Areas contrary to the agreement. Ultimately, the creation of the so-called administrative Areas will only cause more divisions and wars among our communities. As we speak, the Visionary African leaders had been working toward the unification of the region and Africa to be one prosperous country but here we are, very busy dividing the land and our people over our vast arable land. We share the view that, the solution to our people’s problems is pegged on equal distribution of national resources, strict adherence to democracy, federalism and not splitting the land. Months ago, we noted the President’s persistent rejection of the Upper Nile State governorship Nominee in the person of Johnson Olony Thubo Dak.

We are of the strong view that Johnson Olony must remain the governor of Upper Nile State. No party has right to dictate the nominees of other parties. So what SPLM-IG are doing is complete disrespect of this peace accord, and we wont allow them to succeed In their retrogressive attempts. The First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar must not change his choice of Upper Nile, because we are afraid that if the SPLM-IO heeds to the SPLM-IG rejection of Olony, SPLM-IG will continue to perfect this habit of rejecting and removing nominees of other parties with a view to defeat the purposes of the agreement. Moreover, we regret the frequent acts of betrayal and infightings over positions in the SPLM-IO and SSOA. These greedy-like attitudes often hurt the agreement in the heart. These two parties must demonstrate proper leadership. SEYOSS will not condone any appointment based on nepotism because that goes against the spirit of fair representation, inclusivity and cohesion. In particular, SSOA need to pull up its sock and finds its lost glory. The daily happenings in SSOA are very disgusting to say the least. They cannot claim to fight for change and at the same time fight to finish each other politically without any iota of sympathy. However, we have seen some good things being done too.

The nomination of woman for governorship by SPLM-IO was a breath of fresh air. The recognition and nomination of women based on merit pointed at the direction that we are heading to as a country. In addition, the President’s speedy responses to the violence incidents in Shirkat and Jonglei are worth praising. On a serious note, we urge president Kiir to immediately reinstate the 13 Judges as directed by the East African Court sitting in Arusha, Tanzania. Initially, SEYOSS was established by Diaspora South Sudanese to carry out among other things: one, reaching out to the International community that TGoNU was dead in the wake of 2016 crisis.

Secondly, calling and welcoming of the peace revitalization forum and thirdly, pressing on IGAD to immediately release opposition Leader, now First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar to participate directly in the peace Talks held in Addis Ababa. In December 2017, we captured the international headlines when we demanded his release from house arrest in South Africa. Upon his release in 2018, Dr. Riek Machar in his speech during the peace celebration in Juba loudly acknowledged the fundamental roles played by the senior Youth on his release and in bringing to fruition the Revitalized Agreement on the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). By then we avoided fear and faced Machar’s captors head on. We also pushed on Kenya Government to tell us the where about of Human Rights Lawyer, Samuel Dong Luak and Opposition Leader, Idris Aggrey who were kidnapped in Nairobi in January 2017.

REQUEST TO RIEK MACHAR 

Aware that he recognized our roles, we are now requesting opposition parties especially Dr. Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO Leadership to convert their verbal acknowledgement into reality by appointing the able members of SEYOSS into National and State legislative Assemblies. As matter of fact, these accord dubbed R-ARCISS was labored by both none political and political parties. But the drafters of this agreement only gave the political parties the powers to nominate members to various positions in government. It is equally incumbent on these political parties to appoint representatives from other minority groups such as women and youth organizations so as to have an equal society where its members have a say on the Affairs of the country. As we are aware, the struggle for peace and justice is far from over. Thus, the Senior Youth are now proposing to Dr. Riek Machar whom they fought very hard to be release in the tough time of deportation and disappearance in East Africa, to appoint Senior Youth nominees to National and State legislative assemblies. 

Below are our nominees ready to serve for both August Houses and diplomatic service. 

We consider ourselves learned who fight with our minds. After having fought for this accord, we don’t want its implementation to be hijack by hiders who were doing the conspiracy of silence the same way the SPLM regime had been hijacked by those who were in Khartoum during the 21 years liberation struggle for independence. We believe in this revered agreement, and we are requesting Dr. Riek Machar for a chance to go into both parliaments to make progressive laws that are Human Rights oriented.

Other than going to make laws, we shall also defend and push for R-ARCISS to be implemented to the letter and spirit. SEYOSS want its members appointed in parliaments with an aim of transforming the lords of impunity to be lovers of truth, Peace and justice. Chapter five of this Peace agreement requires articulate and brave legislators with thick skins for it to be implemented fully. Believe that SEYOSS nominees for parliament have requisite experiences and academic qualifications to advocate for the agreement without fear or favor. It was not our nature to request for things we wanted. We often demand things so long as we deserve them. But in the spirit of promoting peace atmosphere, we are requesting the SPLM-IO Chairman to give room for fresh blood in shaping the direction of the country toward lasting peace. 

Names in Full

  1. Hon. Madam Yom Deng Bul
  2. Hon. Benjamin U. Unyang
  3. Hon. Muolana Gatmai Buom
  4. Hon. David Anyieth Kuol
  5. Hon. Uztas Gabriel Mut Giel
  6. Hon. Manyok Abraham
  7. Hon. Fidel Castro Deng

Signed by;

Mr. Dak Buoth, Convener, Senior Youth of South Sudan

Dated in Nairobi on this 31th day of July, 2020

Cc;

  1. Hon. Madam Yom Deng Bul
  2. Hon. Benjamin U. Unyang 
  3. Hon. Muolana Gatmai Buom
  4. Hon. David Anyieth Kuol
  5. Hon. Uztas Gabriel Mut Giel
  6. Hon. Manyok Abraham 
  7. Hon. Fidel Castro Deng 

End.

For more information on this article, you can reach the author through his personal email at eligodakb@yahoo.com.


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