South Sudan should have a prime minister after independence – SPLM
Rumbek meeting, PART FIVE (final)
? Cdr. Kuol Manyang. I think this meeting is historical and as we enter a new era, we are going to be more united after this meeting. You differ with someone and you reconcile. Differences are natural. A person can easily make a problem between him and another. We have to unite and this is how you can overcome rumours, which confuses the people. Like the recent situation, I was informed through unofficial channels that Cdr. Salva had been removed. I called Cdr. Deng Alor and we were joined by Cdr. Awet and we went to Cdr. Salva and told him that what is being alleged is a lie, and that there was no meeting held concerning this. We then moved to Nairobi where we communicated this issue to Dr. John Garang and that was when this meeting was planned and Cdr. James Kok and Cdr. Nhial were asked to organize transportation to this end.
So I thank both Cdr./Dr. John Garang and Cdr. Salva Kiir for having attended this meeting and permitting us to discuss and come up with decisions that promotes unity and harmony. Differences between Cdr. Salva and Dr. John existed from a long time ago, as Cdr. Chagai mentioned, but there was no decisive steps taken to resolve them until today.
As for structures, they are there. The only problem is how to maintain and have them effectively function due to a lack of resources. Our structures have to be operationalized. But the matter is not a question of dissolving other bodies such as the Leadership Council, NLC and so on. I don’t have any objection with the formation of committees, but I only say that reorganization of the army must be the responsibility of COGS and his Deputies. I urge both of you, the Chairman and Cdr. Salva to open a new page in order for us to go forward.
? Cdr. Nhial. People should be judged by what they have contributed to the Movement. We should sincerely address our issues. I am absolutely prepared for the proposal to dissolve the Leadership Council and we all see what scenario we can take.
To have structures and institutions you need to have three things; 1) the structure itself, 2) resources, and 3) the people, because its people who run the structures. The resources and the personnel go together. Without having prepared for this, it is now one of the serious problems we face as we enter the forthcoming era.
? CDr. Malik Agar. The current issue of the differences between the Chairman and his deputy is surprising in that I was aware of this even ten years ago. Whenever it is about to be addressed, each of them says there is ‘no problem’. The big problem is trust among yourselves. This needs to be rebuilt and you will be the ones to arrive at sound solutions to the existing problems.
Comrade Chairman, as we enter the new era, we shall be competing with other parties. Let us start with the effective establishment of our structures and draw up our programmes. We need a system. I have worked as a Governor for ten (10) years; yet, I could have committed many mistakes during that time. Has the Chairman any day called me to tell me that I have made a mistake? There is no system here.
The issue of reorganizing the army is a burning issue as most of the soldiers are now in an unorganized form and this will work against us. As monitors will verify, we don’t have the army. The distribution of powers is the vital issue to avoid future misunderstandings.
Cdr. Pagan Amum Okech. Comrade Chairman, I will focus on the crucial issue, but before that, I want to tell you this. We are here to discuss the rumours that have been circulating and which almost created a very serious development within the movement’s liberated areas, in Khartoum and among the Diaspora. My advice is to the Southerners who have fought for the last twenty two (22) years. I am first going to concentrate on the recent rumours. Cdr. Gier happened to ring me asking me whether I came across information from Yei that the leadership have met and decided to remove him from the second position. I advised Cdr. Gier not to believe that because it is a rumour, and if it spreads, it will create confusion. He then heeded my advice. Again Cdr. Deng Alor phoned to me on the same issue, but I also told him that these are rumours and Cdr. Salva should not believe such rumours. There had been meetings in Khartoum and there was a public statement made by Uncle Bona Malual and r!
etired General Joseph Lagu. If the enemy succeeds in dividing us, it may lead to our failure and peace may not be achieved.
This time is very critical Cdr. Salva and Cdr. Chairman; if we say we will remain here to deal with the rumours only, I think we will be here up to the coming year. I advise both of you to put aside these rumours. Even though we did not defeat the enemy, what we had achieved will make the enemy coincide with what we tell them. At this crucial moment we must think thoroughly of what we should do to enable us go forward. This is my appeal to both of you Cdr. Salva and Cdr. Chairman. There is another rumour now that I want to take the place of Cdr. James Wani Igga. I assure you Cdr. Wani that there is nothing like this at all.
The establishment and building of structures at this particular time is vital. Our priority is now to finalize the peace talks. The Chairman and his deputies must go to Nairobi so that we are not considered intransigent because the process can easily be derailed. Concerning the reorganization of the COGS and his deputies, we can do that unless the problem of resources hinders us.
? Cdr. James Wani Igga. I congratulate the Chairman for calling this important meeting. I also congratulate Cdr. Salva for having attended this meeting. This paves a way for a solution to our problems. I thank both of you for your patriotic stand since the beginning of the struggle – both of you have collectively worked to protect this movement from upheavals. I consider you as the central pillars of this Movement. Let me come to the main topics, which are the SPLM/A’s major problems. Solving a problem is like bringing pus out from somebody’s gull. Problem No. 1, we are not working as a team, which results in disgruntlement.
No. 2, we have the structures formed in the 1994 Convention which were only the NEC NLC, but by 1998, people became fed up of those structures. I appeal that we keep these structures but make necessary changes. I would like to underline something connected with structure. In 1998 we came out with a constitution named the SPLM constitution. This was not passed by the NLC because they were expecting a state constitution. But we had agreed to use that constitution, and there are structures there. In one of the L.C. meetings we had revised the constitution and even the manifesto. Up to now, we had passed four (4) documents. The SPLM constitution. The SPLM manifesto. The 3rd document is the SPLM policy on dialogue and it concerns how we go about South-South dialogue. Our main constraint in starting South-South dialogue is the lack of money. Documents No. 4, is the SPLM policy on the transformation of Sudan. All these documents are there ready. Comrade Chairman, our constraint i!
n the political Affairs Commission is lack of facilities, but we have really tried our best. As for the army reorganization, if we become surprised by the signing of the peace deal, I think it will be difficult to regroup our army simply because we don’t have resources. Once peace is signed, there is going to be the establishment of standard national structures. Structures are our No. 2 problems, including the official management of office institutions.
Cdr. Wani listed other problems:
No. 3: The existence of a Kitchen Cabinet is deplorable and creates doubts and mistrust.
No. 4: The geographical imbalances found in the movement. If this is not addressed, we will never be in harmony.
No. 5: Poor chain of command.
No. 6: Spread of rumours.
Let’s come to the question of rumours. When rumours were developing I was in Nairobi and I went to Kampala. When I reached Kaya, I was being asked what had happened. I was then told that you are coming from Nairobi and that you met and decided to replace Cdr. Salva with Cdr. Nhial. I told that that this is just rumours and I believe that Cdr. Salva will not believe this. He will immediately throw it out the window.
Problem 7: Lack of implementation of resolutions and the lack of a follow up body. Our resolutions always die on the paper.
Problem 8: Corruption which remains rampant in the Movement. Corruption must be fought for example, some years back the Chairman in a meeting informed us that Cdr. Deng Alor brought some money from Nigeria, but how that money was spent had never been explained to us again. I ask the question where is the transparency and accountability we talked about?
Problem 9: Lack of cooperation, accompanied by sabotage. Some work for the
downfall of others without any accountability.
Problem 10: Neglect of the army and its welfare.
Problem 11: Absence of job description, which cause confusion.
Problem 12: Nepotism. It should be fought.
There are two examples to illustrate the issue of nepotism. One is the removal of Aleu Anyeny from his position and his replacement by the Chairman with an officer from his home village. Another is the appointment of Dr. Lual Deng as an advisor to the Chairman. We all heard this in a meeting in which the Chairman announced Lual’s appointment without any official procedures followed. When I talk about regional imbalances, all I need to say is that no Equatorian was even allowed to be a signatory of the six protocols. We are making history and this history should involve all the people of New Sudan. The protocols are only signed by individuals from Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Nuba Mountains and Funj!
Problem 13: Neglect in the chain of command, which has led to indiscipline.
Cdr. Wani proposed a way forward. I suggest that an investigation committee be appointed by the Chairman to find out the origination of these rumours. Let’s avoid ‘Kitchen Cabinets’ and combat corruption. We need a mechanism to be adopted to fight corruption. Let’s respect the chain of command. Let’s avoid any regional misbalancing. Job descriptions must be effected. South-South dialogue advanced. The convening of the second National convention requires additional money. The reaction of the Chairman to all the listed problems is necessary. As a sign of true reconciliation, they need to warmly greet themselves in front of us here, then follow that up with a joint statement. A traditional ceremony should be carried out by some of the elders here. We take what had happened like a normal wave when in a canoe. Let us reconcile so that we defeat our common enemy.
? Cdr. Riek Machar. I was struggling whether to speak or not because of the nature of the issues being raised. When we met as a Leadership Council, there were divergent views. Before that I met Aleu Anyieny and he told me that if you are going to talk to Cdr. Salva, don’t talk about the problems being personal. These problems are administrative. Serious rumours have also been circulating in London when I was there. They talked about a ‘change of the guards’ and the removal and replacement of Cdr. Salva by Cdr. Nhial. I appealed to the participants in that meeting that we should unite since we are entering peace, because if there is a split, the enemy may dishonour the agreement we had already signed. In any case, suppose we sign the peace, the SPLA will be a national army whereas the SPLM will be competing with other political parties. The SPLA must retain an independent national character.
Concerning the structures, I have participated in a workshop on the formation of structures at all levels including the transformation of the SPLM into a political party. These are all being worked out. We are only behind in our military preparations. This doesn’t need a committee to do that. The COGS, his deputies, directors, and local commanders can do that. The army is the most important element to protect the gains of the struggle and as such we need to organize it and take care of them and their families. We all have to participate in calling them to report to their units or camps where they should regroup and organize. Our chiefs are important institutions that can effectively participate in this endeavor.
Another problem we will face is the returnees, which are estimated to be up to 4 million residing in exile for almost fifteen years. They have acquired different attitudes, culture and perspectives. Not only are they in the north, but we have a good number of our people living in various western countries. We will be confronted by all these groups with a series of problems of cultural differences and we must be prepared to integrate these two groups into our civil life and norms.
I believe that unless something happens in Khartoum, the war is over. Unless the enemy causes us to split, the war is over. This requires us to expedite the reorganization of the army. I do not agree with Mathiang Rok about his suggestion that committees be formed to discuss the six (6) signed protocols. In addition, we should be privileged that the UN SG visited Africa to discuss the issue of peace in Sudan – The first time it happened was during the decolonization of Africa – making the achievement of peace highly likely this year.
As for South-South dialogue, we can start now. We should be prepared to negotiate with whatever party is ready to dialogue. If we wait until the government is formed, they will be the ones to undermine the GOSS. We must achieve consensus. Let us not delay south-south dialogue. The lack of dialogue can be a source of disunity, but if we handle it properly, it can also be a source of unity and this will allow the people to rally behind the leadership. There is a need to call the NLC as soon as possible to deliberate on the agreement. What I mean is the current NLC. The next convention, which needs to be convened as soon as possible, will elect a new NLC and who will be charged with the responsibility of working on a national constitutional government of south Sudan, etc.. From now, we have agreed that the judiciary be independent.
? Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit. Greetings to the Chairman and Madame de Mabior and others in this meeting. We apologize for not allowing you to attend the first meeting, which lasted for two days. The second meeting is composed of SPLM Counties Secretaries, civil society, women groups, the youth, etc.. The decision was deliberate and we did not want the meeting to be talking shop.
I have no more to say. The issue which brought us here have been raised and you all have given your concerns. Let us take the line of peace to be the priority. In the absence of peace we must be prepared for war. There had been many Security Council resolutions of the same nature passed like this of Sudan, but have not been implemented, such as the PLO, Western Sahara, etc..
I thank those who have exerted efforts to travel from their various locations to Yei where they met me on the situation. As I told you, there were no personal problems, they are administrative given my profession, and I know that rumours are dangerous. Rumours must be treated as rumours, but there is no smoke without fire. I don’t agree with Cdr. Wani that these rumours were created by the enemy. There are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy. I must warn the Chairman that Nimeiri was made to be unpopular by his security organs. Those who are misleading you and giving you false security information about others will suffer with you together or leave with you. The government, which is going to be led by you must include all. Without unity, the agreement will be a source of our disunity. We are not organized in all aspects, and as such will be exploited by other political parties that are more organized. The lack in our structures and political guidance will lead us to a very serious political defeat. Mr. Chairman, you have talked about people eating the boat while we are in the middle of the river. Let me add this; the issue is not eating the boat in the middle of the river. The issue is that there are a few who have already crossed to the other side of the river and when the remaining ones asked them to bring the boat, they refused to return the boat. This is the problem.