Dr. Riek Machar Back in Juba

Welcome to Juba! Peace loving South Sudanese people and their government receive you with white hands, peace songs and peace of Christ our Lord “… this is my peace… my peace I give you…”
One believes that many lessons have been learned by you in relations to others. The first was when you joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM, in 1983. You were present, at side of Dr. John Garang when the fighting broke out between SPLA and Anya Nya two was led by Akuot Atem, Abdella Chuol, Gai Tut and others. That war which was definitely between Anya Nya two and SPLM leaders turned itself later into Nuer and Dinka, in spite of the fact that you were with Dr. John Garang.
In 1991, approximately after ten years you broke out from Dr. John’s SPLM and you formed what was to be known as SPLM Nasir faction which later on signed Khartoum agreement with Bashir to fight against Garang in the name of Nuer and Khartoum government at the time. This brought the war between your SPLM and Garang’s SPLM as it was called by Bashir. This war again became known unfortunately, as a war between Dinka and Nuer.
Then after ten years from 1991 – 2001 you decided personally to go back to John Garang. John received you warmly although you are alone and accepted you back into SPLM hierarchy no. 3. In this hierarchy you worked with Garang and Salva until you are able to negotiate the comprehensive peace agreement that embodied the right to self-determination. You worked also with Salva Kiir in the interim government of Southern Sudan from 2005 – 2011. Because of your good relationship, confidence, trust and commitment to freedom and liberty of your people you were able to make referendum a reality that reality brought the all Southern Sudan into freedom and independence we have been fighting for fifty years (1955 – 2005). This great achievement is the fundamental celebration of our people in every nine day of July. This achievement is yours, Salva Kiir and the people of South Sudan.
Now led us come to this unfortunate senseless war which you and the political beuaru of the SPLM caused when you and the group held a press conference on 6 December 2013, in which you heavily denounced President Salva Kiir, the SPLM and the government. On the 15 December 2013, only nine days from your press conference, you were accused again to have attempted a coup de’tat. That coup turned into a war between your forces and the government. As the coup turned into rebellion you told your supporters again that it was a fight between Nuer and Dinka.
Do you believe that this war is truly Nuer and Dinka? I for one, do not think so, because I know that the root caused was SPLM political bureau power struggle. Yes, it has happened many people have died in Juba, Bentiu, Bor Malakal and many properties destroyed. It has happen. So we must console the people who have lost their love one and properties and collective apologize to them to forgive us. Let us forgive and be forgiven, but, “less we forget”.
All in all, the series of the above violence, from 1983 – 2016, have greatly devastated our country and victimized our people. They have incurred tremendous loses in human and property. Right now tens of thousands have been displaced internally and externally as IDPs and refugees. The best the SPLM and SPLM/IO can do is to apologize to the people because they were solely responsible for the destruction and the suffering of the people. Now is the time to restore total peace to our country and the people. This will definitely encourage our people to restore peace and unity in order to rebuild their country and resume their normal lives.
At lease we expect all of you to look back into history of recent violence. Truly you must pray together and ask Jesus Christ to give us total peace.
This Peace Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, (ARCSS), which you have signed provides the rules on which you will setup the transitional government of national unity that will navigate you toward establishing democracy and the rule of law for the coming three years. Nevertheless, this agreement is full of problems that can easily disharmonize its implementation. It is therefore, necessary to iron out the contentious issues therein, through reconciliation, understanding and dialogue in order to harmonize its implementation with openness and consensus in decision making.
By doing so, the government you are about to set up would be seen to function effectively, thus forging the sense of collective responsibility. It is only through such a spirit and friendly feelings that you will be able to implement the reforms you need to inject into political, economical, social and cultural system of the governance.
The last part of the agreement that concerns accountability should be handled with sincerity and care. There are crimes committed which I personally think that they cannot amount to crimes against humanity or genocide. They definitely be cited as war crimes if any. Our courts are capable to handle this crimes if the government accord them freedom and independent of judiciary. At the end give the people the right to reconcile specially the Nuer and Dinka as dictated by their African tradition.

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