Updated at 11:15Am, July 5, 2014.
July 4, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba, the former South Sudan’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, found a rare opportunity last week to flee the house arrest in Juba.
Adwok has joined the rebels, the SPLM in opposition, in Addis Ababa and now calls for regime change to restore peace in the country.
Although Adwok’s long term goal is to work for peace, the professor believes that the current government must be reformed in order to restore peace and fulfill the aspirations of South Sudanese people.
“But how can you avoid fighting if the incumbent is even preventing people, now he[president Kiir] is threatening any body who is talking about federation in South Sudan because the system that has been executed since 2005 has not really made the aspiration of our people” Adwok agitatedly said.
“Now, people are asking for federation such that this concentration of powers in the hands of a few cliques, who are looting the resources of the country, and who are oppressing the people taking their lands is stopped”. The former minister said.
Adwok describes the situation in Juba as “horrible, to say the least”. Rarely reported, he believes that people are “not only being killed but also always beheaded” such that they cannot be identified by relatives or any other concern groups.
“Things are getting worst and worst. As a result of war, the lives of people is deteriorating. People like Nuer are being abused. Really? I hear of people being killed and not only being killed but also always beheaded, you know, so that they cannot be identified” Dr. Adwok told VOA.
The veteran, who was amputated during the civil war against the Muslim North, is now appointed to be the national Chairperson for Operations of SPLM in opposition. Although less prominent than a ministerial position in the current government, Adwok resigned the ruling party, SPLM, citing that he does “not want, by virtue of being a member of the SPLM, to be privy to the some of the horrendous crimes being committed against the people of South Sudan”
Adwok, who is now ready to contribute to peace building, may not have anticipated the opportunity that presented itself to him last week.
His identifications were confiscated six months ago by the government agents, the national security, who preferred to see him witnessing the atrocities in the country.
“So, I have been under house arrest since December 31st when they[Government agents] took me off the plane going to Dubai and impounded my passport” Adwok said.
The opportunity to leave Juba:
The chance presented itself on June 29, six months later, when the government agents sympathized to let Professor Adwok mourns and accompanies the body of one of his colleagues, Professor Bol Kolok Manjing, a South Sudanese elder who passed away in Arizona, USA.
“An opportunity presented itself when [I had] to go to Rumbek to accompany the body of one my colleagues who passed away in the United State, professor Bol Kolok.”Adwok said.
Adwok, who has been kept under detention to “feel the heat”, as he describes in his letter to the president, found the sorrowful journey as the only opportunity to end the ruthless torture in Juba.
Adwok was denied any single chance to leave the country, not even to visit his wife who underwent a long surgical operation in the neighboring Kenya.
“I am denied my passport and therefore could not be by the side of my wife, when she underwent a five hours operation in Nairobi Hospital. The SPLM and Government propaganda depicted me as enemy and therefore many of my compatriots have been scared away from me.” Adwok stated in his resignation letter.
The difference between Dr. Adwok and the other detainees, the G10.
Unlike many South Sudanese, Adwok believes that there is only one opposition party in the country, the SPLM in opposition. When asked of which party he has decided to join in the Ethiopian capital, Adwok responded:
“Well, there is only one opposition, now. That is the SPLM in opposition” Adwok clarifies.
When further asked of why he opted to join the SPLM in opposition instead of the neutral G10, the ten politicians whom he socialized with, at least for two days in prison after Machar and others fled the capital, Adwok explains that his decision is one of the factors that makes him different from the former detainees, who prefer to form a neutral third block.
“No, but they are different from me, I mean, this is their own choice, I don’t know how they are working for peace in the way the things are”
The ten politicians, on their part, argue that Dr. Machar made a mistake to demand a regime change or inciting the army to overthrow an elected government. They believe that Machar could have been better off if he chose to only defense himself irregardless of whether an ethnic group was targeted by the government or not.
Adwok and his other colleagues who have joined the opposition after detention disagree with the G10, arguing that the context dictates picking up guns to restore normalcy.
“I’m working for peace in the context of Salva Kiir’s dictatorship because he leashed war on our people, we are now in civil war. The only way to defeat it is to join those who also have carried out arms and face it” Adwok reiterated.