By Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
News has it that Jonglei State has been given to IO. Well, if so then it is the time to recognize the consistent efforts of the 2nd Powerful Man in the IO, General Gatwech Dual, the man and his stronghold IO area and people who haven’t betrayed Mr. Machar in time they could get away with it all. Machar must not take Lou Nuer deep understanding, resilience and resolve for ignorance and political weakness. Honoring Gen. Gatwech by appointing Gov. Simon Hoth Duol of current IO Bieh state as the Governor of the reinstated Jonglei state will be the right thing to do for Gat Machar. It is both a strategic political and military asset for him and the IO in the long run and in unstable and uncertain gloomy political environment that’s well charged with all the possibilities, the conflict isn’t over yet. I know Gen. Hoth personally, apart from being one of the three first commissioners of Lou Nuer who have declared their support to Mr. Machar and fought tooth and nails along his side from day one of the bloody crisis of 2013 until now. Like his predecessor late hero Gen Koang Rambang Chuol, Gen. Simon Hoth is a committed hard working individual, down to earth man of people, principled politician and development oriented. Simon is the right person for the transitional period and he would bring the diverse Jonglei together. I do believe those who know Gen. Simon Hoth Duol can attest to that. Dr. Machar must acknowledge that Upper Nile state has vaporized from his control and not to try to chase the wind as usual losing them all. 75% of Nuer in Upper Nile are either have gone to Kiir or support SSOA leader Changson Lew and when it comes to the Chollo except for those who support IO strong General Johnson Oluny, some are either with Dr. Lam, Cde Pagan and Beny Kiir Mayardit himself. We cannot even talk about the staunch opposition of Dinka of Upper Nile to IO, given the raw of Malakal and Ruweng areas. You do the math.
However, there are news that Mr. Machar has rejected the latest presidency resolutions on states allocation which designated Upper Nile state to SSOA and Jonglei to IO. I understand that there is a real show off when it comes to Upper Nile State, in which both IO and IG have strategic political assets they don’t want to lose. Riek can’t afford losing Gen. Oluny’s Chollo strong and consistent support nor Kiir can afford losing the support of Apadang Dinka. Malakal In itself has been a volatile area and its status is still unresolved just like the case of Ruweng area. However, Riek could lose both Upper Nile and Jonglie by trying to chase unrealistic goals. One remembers that before the SPLM politicizing of our people cultural and ethnic differences on either IO or IG lanes, the people of those areas uses to coexist in peace and harmony. Take myself for example, a Nuer and grew up in Malakal among Dinka, Chollo, Anuak, Murle and even northern Sudanese where all these tribes used to live in peace as neighbors side by side and door by door. Even Kiir Mayardit can attest to that reality when he used to live there. As citizens of one country and nation, let us accept ourselves and embrace each other. If we are keen enough of achieving justice and balanced power sharing, we still could distribute that in a way that will truly reflect that in all the 10 states of South Sudan, for example, if a governor went to IG, let the deputy goes to IO and A state secretary to SSOA and vice versa. This will not only achieve balanced power sharing but better performance and accountability as well.
Mr. Machar, this time and around must do the math right. Political support isn’t for granted, even though we might have common objectives and vision but people are humans, they have interests too. The Lou Nuer, given their mechanical majority and heavy political weight in any power wrangling in South Sudan, politically or militarily be it, they deserves a Vice President instead of having two Nuer from the same state leave alone from the same family as Vice Presidents. Greater Bor is already represented by Mama Nyandeng De Mabior. Lou Nuer can’t be taken advantage of as some may think but our resilience and resolve are always for the sake of unity and stability of the country. Since inception, after the deadly differences between Gai Tut and Garang de Mabior, the SPLM/A controlled then by our neighboring Bor people, has marginalized the majority Lou Nuer out of fear of their power. This has been a well designed policy to date and from 2005 to present, 15 years of self ruled and independent South Sudan, no single Lou Nuer politician ever been a governor of the Jonglei state even though they are majority. But fool is that individual that thinks this status can continue as such. It cannot and it won’t.
As the dyansties of Kiir and Riek plans to consolidate their rule and power for a very long time, chances are that they may opt to hit hard on those majorities that they may see as threats to their expected long rule. Hence, there is a plan to make the Lou Nuer area one of the new bad guys in the new town of the R-ARCC era by ocassionally sending the well armed to teeth by Juba and the bribed Murle mercenaries to destabilize it, making our children, women and elderly lives in constant fears, denying our people development services, a marginalization and instability by design by some rival politicians but this will be very much counterproductive to Murle and the rest of our neighbors. We know we are not fighting Murle per se, but some Nuer and other politicians who want to keep us preoccupied, weakened and without any major role in the top echelons of national politics that is equivalent to our political and military power as well. This could be a short dream. The Lou Nuer cannot be caged and won’t accept any sort of marginalization. Mr. Machar need to know that he is between a hard place and a rock at this particular juncture. He must read well what the recent political developments are meant for him, the IO future and political presence. The carpet is being pulled beneath him carefully and gradually and in a while, he may find himself, cornered, isolated and then politically orphaned at best…More details on the “Up coming “In a Nutshell”. Stay tuned.
Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
Author of the “In a Nutshell” book series on South Sudan politics and civil war. They can be ordered from Amazon using “Chuar Juet Jock” as search keyword.