Contributor's Dak Buoth Opinion

Leaving Riek Machar out of the Next Government is a Road to Destruction in South Sudan


By Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak,

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in his office in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri - RTX1QF4B
South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in his office in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri – RTX1QF4B

October 15, 2019(Nyamilepedia)Talk to that man, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his surrogates, let them understand very clearly that leaving the SPLM-IO Chairman, Riek Machar out of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) slated for November 12th 2019 is a road to destruction in South Sudan.

If you read the preamble together with chapter one of the Peace Accord signed on 12th September 2018, it tells us in bold words that President Salva Kiir and former vice President Riek Machar must work together in the next unity government. Hence, those who are excited to constitute a government minus one of the two must divorce the RTGoNU first before charting a new political path which I know will again put us between the rock and the hard place.

Some of us are of the opinion that the ongoing war came by mistake, but when you hear and look at these corrupt leaders doing these sad things deliberately, we must shun or tell them to stop forthwith, unless we also want to perish.

I think the Presidency must have been misguided on this issue of leaving Riek Machar out of the next government. And they should abandon this destructive idea for us to avoid losing more lives. In fact nobody is telling them to vacate their seats now, so they should stop fidgeting and cease from speaking recklessly.

It must be said repeatedly that there should be no government formed on 12th November 2019 for obvious reasons which everyone in South Sudan including the standard five going children are familiar with. But, if President Salva Kiir saw it fit to dissolves the so-called TGoNU and formed new RTGoNU next month, Riek Machar must be in it so as for him to minimize the cost of war in the country. And because the latter has rightly said he was not going to be part and parcel of the Government set for November, the only remaining option for Kiir is to discard the idea of forming RTGoNU government; instead let him leave the peace deal to mature as demanded by the zealous and perseverance people of South Sudan.

President Kiir made the announcement on Friday 20th September 2019 days after his face to face meeting with Riek in Juba. The latest announcement by President Kiir to constitute RTGoNU in November was an affront to this revered peace agreement (RARCISS). I have been asking myself simple question since: how can they form government on agreement that has not been implemented? The agreement must be implemented fully failure to which there is no government of national unity in November.

First and foremost, we need security arrangement completed; national army and police officers to be selected and trained on both sides; more importantly the so-called 32 and 21 states must be dismissed before moving back to the 10 constitutional states. It is after we exhaust these fundamental provisions of the agreement that we can at least begin the talk on how to form new government in line with the agreement and in appropriate time.

The other day i heard the 1st vice President Taban Deng propagating this absurb pronouncement in his recent address to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. But I wasn’t surprised by the latter because I don’t take him seriously. I must say the announcement to form a government on 12th November 2019 has greatly affected the slow process of peace implementation in one way or another. It has so far placed vast majority in the war mood.


If at all Kiir and Taban are used to doing things systematically in accordance with peace deal, the date of forming the next government was supposed to be communicated by the Pre-transitional committee co-chaired by Presidential Advisor on security Tut Gatluak Manimee alias Tutkew and SPLM-IO Deputy Chair Henry Odwar.

Moreover,if indeed Kiir was in his right senses politically and aware of what the peace deal (R-ARCISS) entails, he could not be the one alone deciding and announcing the date of the formation of the transitional government of national unity. The fact that President Kiir had announced the date himself means he overstepped on the functions and duties of Henry Odwar and Tut Gatluak led committee and the entire peace agreement. Thus, the concern South Sudanese citizenry must be very worried of such illegal and illogical moves taken by President, Salva Kiir Mayadit.


Obviously, what prompted President Salva Kiir and company to announce the date prematurely was sheer arrogance that does not have basis completely. We can ask: what makes them arrogance, and whom have they defeated? As matter of fact, the struggle is still going on, and it won’t stop until the day we win the clamor for democracy and the rule of law in South Sudan. No one will succumb to the rule of retrogression and stupidity of the day.


Those who don’t learn from the history are deemed to repeat the mistakes of the past. President Kiir is out to repeat his mistakes of the past simply because he refused to learn from the recent history. For those who don’t know, in 2013, Kiir sacked Riek Machar irregularly and replaced him with Gen. Wani Igga. You would recall that President and Riek Machar were elected together in SPLM party in the 2010 general elections. And in those elections Riek was his running mate, thus he has no power under the law to sack and replace him for no reason. Soon after he refused to listen to the advice from the church leaders and other stakeholders, the civil war erupted on 15th December 2013, and as a result thousand innocent people lost their lives.

In July 2016, soon after the formation of unity government that saw Kiir and Riek as president and 1st vice president respectively, the former hatched a plot to replace Riek with Gen.Taban Deng Gai in total violation of the peace agreement signed in August, 2015. This decision gave birth to the infamous J.1 massacre where hundreds people lost their lives.

Out of these political decisions by President Kiir nothing has helped him and the country at large. They only generate death and anarchy. For how long shall we be in anarchy?

At the moment, President Kiir plan to reconstitute a new government minus Riek Machar in clear violation of the peace agreement signed on 12th September 2018. What would happen next is the breaking out of all-out-war countrywide.

So President Kiir and company need not to be warns of the danger of this latest attempt for they know it will plunge the country into another chaos. The notion to form a government comprising of the compromised folks such as Taban Deng and Wani Igga is an attempt to reestablish and entrench the Dinka dominated regime that we would not like at all.

The current government is tribal regime, and we cannot afford to have it in Juba in the next four or so years. In any case, there should be no Nuer or Dinka dominated government in South Sudan. We would like to see all regions and tribes represented by their elected representatives who can voiced their concerns openly and without fear of reprisal.

It was seen and understood by all that President Kiir is not a national leader but Dinka Leader. More often than not he speaks his mother tongue on national televisions and he favors his tribe men in most government appointments home and abroad. On the other hand Riek is Nuer Leader whether you like it or not. And by leaving Riek out of government clearly means they are leaving the majority Nuer in the cold. Hence, they would continue to fight along with other aggrieved South Sudanese downtrodden who are also in the trenches. Currently, Taban Deng is not in the equation in as far as Nuer political future is concern, this I must say without fear of contradiction.

If Kiir is thinking of leaving Riek out with a view to maintain Taban then he is grossly mistaken. The latter has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he cannot represent or lead the Nuer People in their way forward. Taban cannot become Nuer leader by doing what he is good at doing at the moment. He has since missed the point by trying to lead the Nuer by force. How would he do that while aware that Nuer is militant society? He has done more wrongs than goods in his four years tenure as 1st vice President of South Sudan. Riek Machar’s style of fooling the Nuer is working than his style of forcing the Nuer to drink what they don’t like. Riek Machar is the darling of most Nuer peasantry but unpopular among the elites. And so if we want to level and take south Sudan forward, Riek Machar must be brought on board so as for us to have peace and cohesion in South Sudan.


President Kiir is afraid of Riek because the latter is coveting his seat, and this is the reason why he doesn’t like him in the government. But history tell us when Riek is in government he doesn’t complaint much until the day he is removed. So, let Kiir work with him until when time prescribed by peace elapsed in three years to come.

The plan to leave Riek out in favour of Taban is politically incorrect, and it is also illegal in so far as the revitalized peace deal is concern. President Kiir prefer those of Taban and Wani in government because the duo appeared to have been compromised, they are not threat to him for they harbor no political ambition. President Kiir like those with no political ambitions but the peace deal loves all of them and thus the latter must prevails.

The Writer is the Chairman of Liech Community Association in Kenya; the views expressed here are his own. He can be reached for comments via eligodakb@yahoo.com

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