Contributor's Opinion

OPINION: Madam Angelina Teny is competent to the job.

By Chang Bithow,

Gambella, Ethiopia.

SPLM-IO leader Machar, right, and his wife, Angelina Teny, right, arrives in Juba for a government-sponsored peace celebration in October 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
SPLM-IO leader Machar, right, and his wife, Angelina Teny, right, arrives in Juba for a government-sponsored peace celebration in October 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

March 27, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — After the formation of the South Sudan new cabinet of Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) on March 12, 2020, the appointment of Madam Angelina Teny as Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affair has been on surface and heavy criticized. The allegations that were attached to her appointment and transmuted as debate on the social media include of being incompetent to occupy the role, lack of military experience, being a wife of Dr Riek Machar and etc. Others claimed that she has right to be appointed since she was given a ticket by SPLM-IO in Unity state as their candidate to represent them in Government of National unity. 

Although the dichotomy opinions didn’t flow in the same pool, but still the truth can be detected. In political sense, Madam Angelina is competent and capable to hold any political post in unity government including the presidency if she was given a chance to lead. Indubitably, still she’s best candidate for the job based on her political experience and knowledge.  She has sufficient skills to mapping her political terrain to engage with others political parties to expeditious in resolving the outstanding issues that were left before the formation of the R-TGONU

To be transparent, I don’t repudiate that there was no mistake that happened during the nominations or locations of the ministerial portfolios on SPLM-IO side. Yes, there was lopsidedness and unsymmetrical decisions that were made by SPLM-IO leadership, but still there are many venues that available to label an area of dispute directly to the leadership or chairman. People shouldn’t be too critical about Angelina’s appointment. The potential area that people eminently need to focus on, would be the breached of the political hierarchy that contravention to the SPLM-IO policy.  Because since he (Dr Machar) was appointed as FVP of the Republic of South Sudan, he should locate the first or highest ministerial post in Unity Government to his deputy (Henry Odwar) such as Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, not Madam Angelina or somebody else. The violation of the structure hierarchy within SPLM-IO should be a contemplate for the discussion or sentimental point that requires great caution to share in political softness. Importantly, it is significant to maintain the political stability by navigating the equitable pathway to address the area of concern according to the party guidelines or rules, not to roar on the social media. 

Whether we like it or not, the formation of the Unity Government or R-TGONU had produced hysterical or national disaster which affected all parties in government including SPLM-IO. To maintain this unprecedented situation at least the political patience is manifested to give priority to the peace implementation. For example, the SPLM-IG had suffered several shots after the 32 states were dissolved and relocated some ministerial portfolios to the oppositions, but they decided to mourned in silence. On other hand, we have seen SSOA thrown bombs to each other, but survived, after they used high politic to locked Dr Lam and Changson Leaw out of the new cabinet. In the manner, the SPLM-IO supporters should adopt the same political strategy to exercise quietness in order to exhibit their political maturity and ability to handle the crisis within the party.

Also, the recent defection of the Generals who shifted their allegiance from SPLM-IO to SPLM-IG, shouldn’t be taken as negative as long as their defection remain as non-violent or not taking the country back to war. People should not be panic or worry, because it is common or normal in politic to switch side.   Politic is interest, it wouldn’t be surprise to see one of them to be comes as Governor of the Upper Nile State if their interest is met. In this junction, I would like to wish them well in their political endeavor and hope they will help on other end to work together with other parties including SPLM-IO to bring the sustainable peace in the country.

In conclusion, despite what had happened, I would be exhilarating to see all partners in peace to move forward with spirit of forgiveness and unity to build confidence in incorrigibility to implement the peace agreement. Since the government has been formed and the SPLM-IO deputy Henry Odwar accepted his lower ministerial portfolios for the sake of peace, people should immediately terminate all complains, allegations or irresponsible comments. In this crucial time, we can invest our time and energy to encourage all parties in Unity Government to resurrect their trust and work together to promote peace and reconciliation across the country.  In the mid of this neoteric outbreak of the COVID-19 which placed human life in danger globally, we should place all political differences to sleep and combine our efforts to work for the national interest to find suitable solution or response to the pandemic. Because the safety and well-being of our community in current time is primary concern. It is my sincere praying that no single soul that will be lost due to pandemic. May God bless you and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Chang Bithow from Gambella, Ethiopia can be contacted at changbithow@gmail.com

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