By Kech Nguoth Tiem,
March 08, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- This is my response to a few individuals who attacked me in social media; challenged and blamed me for extreme support to SPLM-IO and ushered sense of uncertainty of my tremendous love and support to my boss Military Governor Lt General Duer Tut Duer and my unquestionable support to the leader of SPLA IO under the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhorghon. Please kindly go down through my honest answers and reasons that I am not what these think I am.
To start with, I was national basketball player who played for South Sudan several times externally and internally, before the country’s crisis surfaced. I am a nationalist who believe in who believe to be the most patriotic youth among my peers. I was a loyal police officer serving my people and my country before the war broke out; not affiliated to any political party. Before becoming a police officer, I was a full member of the SPLM Party but I subsequently suspended my Membership when I pledged my allegiance to the nation to serve in the police force, this is the right thing that an honorable citizen should do.
I took up arms against the Government of the Republic of South Sudan when President Salva Kiir Mayardit committed a terrible Genocide on the Nuer in Juba on 15th December 2013, the war can be blamed on President Kiir who ordered the extra-judicial killings of ethnic Nuer, let alone how Kiir’s war has affected me personally.
Below are a few points that link me in appreciation with Dr. Riek Machar and Governor Duer Tut Duer, military Governor of federal state of Sobat:
Sobat State Military Governor Lt General Duer Tut Duer Makuach was one of the prominent country’s politicians in the SPLM Party before the war. He was also the first Ulang County Commissioner in Upper Nile State soon after the signing of CPA in 2005. After his term as the County Commissioner was over, Duer then served as Director General for Administration and Finance in SPLM northern sector. In 2010 elections, he contested, among other contestants, for gubernatorial seat in Upper Nile State, he did well in primaries but the SPLM rigged the election in favor of Simon Kun Puoch Mar who dishonestly and disrespectfully served as the Governor of Upper Nile state. It was at this point when military Governor Duer was transferred to serve in SPLM Secretariat.
When President Kiir massacred the Nuer in juba in what became the worse genocide in Africa and the world at large, Duer Tut Duer chose to stand behind his helpless people from December 15, 2013 when the Massacre took place. He rejected the systematic killing of the Nuer by Kiir. It was at this difficult time I had my first encounter with him in Ulang County in early 2014 and we were both bonded ever since by common cause of defending our people against injustice and fight for justice, freedom, equality and rule of law.
As selfless as he always becomes, Duer abandoned SPLM and his fat salary for his people; he refused to be dubbed as Nuer-wew (literally means Nuer money lovers) like some of his colleagues who remained under Kiir’s rule because their selfish interests come before their people.
He’s now voluntarily serving as Governor of Sobat State to help his people in SPLM in Opposition liberated areas to find peace, he carries out his duties diligently from village to village, Payam to Payam, and Boma to Boma to provide security and help them live in peaceful coexistence. He has been promoting peace to Nuer communities with their neighboring tribes. Duer’s first priority has always been maintaining unity and peace in his State and beyond, his struggle to find a reasonable solution of the country’s problem with less human cost has led me accept to work with him. We both trust one another and we have both accepted the burden of our responsibilities in serving our people in liberated areas. I have learned a lot from his superb leadership and believe in him at this particular time that he is an individual whose actions are bringing the country to a possible finding of a peaceful solution.
During the discussions in the IGAD-Plus mediated talks, Duer pushed for the inclusion of the accountabilities for the crimes committed during the war saying crimes that were committed should not be left unpunished. He was confident in his presentations that Salva Kiir and his Dinka Generals and elders have committed heinous crimes on none Dinka tribes all over South Sudan and therefore he (Kiir) must be held responsible for his actions. Being close to him every day earned him my trust and owe him much. Governor Duer Tut Duer is a type of man who cannot turn his back to his people; he obliges to voluntarily serve them at this trying time and I have to stand by his side to help our people in Sobat State to secure them either through peace or another means of mechanism.
Dr Riek Machar Teny Durghon on the other hand is a national leader, the history books of South Sudan will always print his name for his sacrifices he made to this country. He is the father of Self-determination that brought about the birth of our nation, history will always prove him right. He is the most influential leader second to our late hero Dr John Garang de Mabior in shaping the ideas for the war of liberation to which Salva Kiir and NCP Jieng Council of Elders are harvesting.
Dr. Riek Machar never stopped working for the betterment of South Sudan as a nation. As Vice President of the republic of South Sudan, he called for changes to the Interim Constitution of South Sudan for it made President Salva Kiir too powerful; too powerful President is jeopardy to democracy. Salva Kiir was not happy with Riek’s ideas and relieved him in June 2013, falsely accused him of running a parallel Government. Dr. Machar and some of his colleagues, who later betrayed him in the course of the journey, still went ahead with the agenda that South Sudan Constitution is undemocratic for a young country like South Sudan and declared that the law is unfit to be endorsed as the Supreme law of the land.
Being left in the cold by South Sudan national legislative assembly, civil societies, youth and women groups, workers’ union and faith based groups, Dr. Machar opted for second option, that is making democratic reforms within SPLM Party with the help of his colleagues. Machar showed his willingness to run for presidency in the upcoming national election scheduled for 2015 on SPLM platform, a call that didn’t go down well with Salva Kiir Mayardit and Gogrial Mafia. The fact that I was a loyal police officer serving his nation couldn’t prevent me from watching the unfolding events in the political state. I knew something was cooking in JCE pot, and it was getting too late for any concern citizen to turn the heat down in J1 kitchen, but I was keen to watch from a distant any way.
On the night of 15 December 2013 the city was up in flames, the JCE pot busted into ocean of furnace. The horrors started pouring in nonstop, Kiir tried to put on a brave face to cover up his evil side by telling the world that his former Vice President made a coup against him; a claimed that was dismissed by the world including his dear friend Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda. Kiir ordered his trained militia battalion from Bahr el Ghazal and executed every helpless Nuer in the capital Juba including the Nuer who were siding with him politically. His actions were not meant to punish Riek Machar but the Nuer as a tribe. A door to door killing of the Nuer ethnic groups was the routine in Juba. This unfortunate Kiir’s hate for the Nuer was the cause of the current war. Kiir was very close to kill Machar but missed him by a few minutes after gallant Nuer forces in Tiger Battalion hurried him to the bush through fierce fight.
SPLM/SPLA in Opposition leadership conference was held in Nasir in April 2014, I was not in Nasir at the time but I followed the development with keen interest. I was amazed by Riek’s leadership qualities in the conference. He humbly asked all the delegates to freely nominate anyone of their choice that would be in charge of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition and would fight Kiir’s injustice and free our people from Kiir’s chains. I noticed that:
- Riek still the most senior among the incredible South Sudanese politicians who have never stopped fighting for democratic reforms in South Sudan.
- In his leadership, I was attracted by his visionary agenda under the federal system of governance in the country; insisting that the system would be the viable answer to fight tribalism, nepotism and corruption that have deep-rooted in our nation.
The conference in April 2014 in Nasir unanimously endorsed Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon as the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition deputized by Lt Gen Alfred Lado Gore, a man with a lion’s heart. I applauded my people and respect their choice from afar. Riek and his colleagues have never abandoned us in the fight for democracy in this war.
I have no regret to say I believe in the change and struggle being made by Dr. Riek Machar at national level and military Governor Duer Tut Duer at state level, I have reasonable grounds to give my unquestionable firm support to FVP Dr Riek Machar Teny and Governor Duer Tut Duer for their exemplary work for change in the people’s movement.
Dr Machar’s humble way of handling issues in a fairly and democratic manner is exceptional and unique. The fact that he (Machar) gave up a lot of ground during the IGAD-Plus mediated talks signifies that he is a national leader, a true and valuable messenger of peace unlike Salva Kiir Mayardit whose policies are overshadowed by redlines after redlines and drums of war.
I trust Dr. Riek Machar that he is the only voice for peace and that he will help our people in the restoration of peace and stability in the country. For the doubting Thomases, my full support for the leadership of the SPLM in Opposition and my state Governor Duer Tut never faltered and will not fade away at any given time. Mud-throwing politics is not my thing, but I have to point it out again that I am a loyal member of the SPLM/SPLA in opposition since December 15, 2013 when the Nuer were massacred by a heartless creature who calls himself President of Republic of South Sudan.
I have to conclude by stating that I have to grasp the vision and mission of our Movement under wise leadership Dr. Riek Machar and Lado Gore for that is where our people will get a fresh air to breathe. I believe that South Sudanese from all walks of life will eventually come out in their huge numbers and call Salva Kiir out to tell him to pack and go for he has spilt enough innocent blood for two consecutive painful years. Kiir will never talk the language of peace, he attacks us constantly when our forces are preparing to go to Juba to implement peace and form TGoNU, I hope Kiir comes to his senses and embrace peace that our people need.
I am an individual willing to help my people in finding a peaceful solution to the current crisis, with heart of sharing the hardship and relieve the suffering of our people. I believe in peace and wish all of us to give peace a chance so that our people can live in harmony once again. All the hatred planted into South Sudanese communities by JCE under Kiir’s watch will one day subside and we will become brothers and sisters again irrespective of tribe and geographical location. I hope this piece has answered some of what have worried some people here. Thank you for your time and understanding while wishing for a peaceful South Sudan!
Hon. Kech Nguoth Tiem is the Secretary for Information, Documentation and Orientation in the Federal of State of Sobat of SPLM/SPLA in opposition. He can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.
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