October 31, 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A new foreign passport has surfaced for the leader of South Sudan United Front/Army Gen. Paul Malong a day after one emerged for SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
A copy of an Ethiopian passport belonging to Machar emerged on Wednesday on the social media attracting debates about dual citizenship by South Sudan’s leaders.
Machar’s occupation was not written on the Ethiopian passport as always required. His birthplace was written as Leer, Machar’s hometown.
For Malong, the copy of the Ugandan passport which emerged today has his occupation stated as “business” and born in Uganda.
The SPLM-IO has admitted that Machar’s Ethiopian passport is authentic but said it was given to Machar by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to facilitate his movement as demanded by the ongoing peace process.
However, a senior Malong aide wrote on social media dismissing the authenticity of Malong’s passport terming it as “a Photoshop to deface the oppositions in South Sudan.”
In reaction, South Sudan journalist, Emmanuel Monychol who works at the Juba-based Dawn Newspaper accused Ethiopia of regional terrorism for issuing an apparent fugitive a passport.
“This document produced by Ethiopia’s Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs purports that Dr. Riek Machar, South Sudan’s FVP Designate, is an Ethiopian born in Leer,” he said.
“Now, is this not regional terrorism?” Emmanuel Monychol asked.
“The passport was given to him (Machar) by the prime minister of Ethiopia to facilitate the negotiation process because the passport that he use[d] when he was first vice president wasn’t valid,” another social media user responds to Monychol.
“The IGAD decided to give him the [Ethiopian] passport to meet with President Salva Kiir Mayardit face-to-face and continue with the negotiation.” Another South Sudanese social media consumer responded.
Rebel and Revolutionary Leaders Use Foreign Passports
Joining the debate, historians and political science students argue that almost all the revolutionary leaders and rebel leaders, including Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Salva Kiir, Nelson Mandela, Yoweri Museveni, Robert Mugabe and other African leaders who eventually emerged as leaders of their countries once used foreign passports to navigate Africa and the rest of the world.
According to history of passport and immigration in Africa, the current president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni used a Tanzanian passport from 1967 to 1986 when he eventually took power in Uganda.
After Museveni came to power, he issued passports to those of Paul Kagame who were resisting their tyrannies in neighboring Rwanda and Burundi until they successfully overthrew the governments in Rwanda and Burundi.
In present days South Africa, leaders like Nelson Mandela sought Ethiopian and Tanzania passports during the apartheid regime. Mandela, for example, was issued Ethiopian passport in 1962 under a different name, David Motsamayi.
Between 1959 and 1961, the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe sought a temporary residency in Ghana and was given a Ghanaian passport that he eventually used to intensify his military and political campaign that eventually won Zimbabwe her independence on 14th April, 1980.
Other revolutionary leaders including the first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, and Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo all used foreign passports of other countries to achieve their freedoms.
According to the SPLM/A(IO) leaders, Machar is using Ethiopian passport in the best interests of the South Sudanese people and in hope to restore peace and tranquility in the region.