Contributor's Opinion

Opinion: Dr. John Garang’s 1993 prediction about South Sudan economy and infrastructure

By Gen. Salva Mathok Gengdit

South Sudan former deputy interior minister Gen. Salva Mathok Gengdit (File photo)

July 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – My personal congratulations goes to H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the 9th anniversary of our independence. I also congratulate our comrades whom we made that day a real, particularly our martyrs, without them, we would have not made it. Congratulations!

The predictions and events are always part of histories. In 1993, Dr. John Garang called me into his office in Natinga (Taposa area) and gave me orders to prepare a force of one battalion size force for a mission. It was not easy to assemble such a force in time but I managed to lump together the force in Buoya area (Kimatong) within 5 weeks’ time that included refreshment training under daily enemy bombardment to the location.

It was a hard time in Kapoeta attack, and Nasir faction force fighting my forces in Lafon.  With the force ready, Dr. John Garang joined me with Gen. Kuol Manyang Juk and Gen. Bior Ajang Duot (Bior Ashuot), he then announced the mission to Pany-agoor where Gen. Kerbino Kuanyin Bol, Dr. Riek Machar, Gen. Arok Thon, Late Joseph Uduoh and many other splinters of the movement had a meeting there.

Gen. Kuol Manyang led the operation and I went back with Dr. John Garang to Natinga, which was the headquarters. After six days in the morning, we received the message that Gen. Kuol Manyang captured Pany-agoor, we celebrated it and Dr. John was very excited.

On the same day at 2 PM, the signal officer bequeathed me a message that Pany-agoor recaptured.  When I passed the message to Dr. John the chairperson of the movement, he was very annoyed and exasperated a lot, when I saw that his mood is not normal, I seat near him and called the bodyguard to bring us tea so that I entertain him.  I told him, your comradeship, all those towns captured by an enemy will be reversed one day, we will march to Khartoum, and when we took over, we shall explore oil for development. We will bounce all infrastructure of Upper Nile to China, Bahr el Ghazal to Germany and Equatoria to America.

It was a sort to flatter him and boss his morale. In his response to me, he said; “Mathok, this is a wrong idea in your mind and it will not work, if we take over this country, we shall start with Agriculture to finance exploration of oil, but if we start with oil, we will be corrupt and lazy”. He referred to a certain country that I will not mention as an example.

Today, who can judge our prediction of 1993?  South Sudan’s political analysts urge to put across their ideas about the economy and infrastructure of this nation compare to our 1993 predictions with Dr. John Garang.

The writer is a liberator, member of the incumbent TGoNU and former deputy army chief of staff, former deputy minister of interior, and acting Apuk community Chairperson in Juba.

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