The Power of rumours in South Sudan: A country where wars are created through rumours.
By Manyang Mador Koch Dengdit.
Country: The Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne, Victoria.
The Republic of South Sudan is a 9 year old nation succeeding from the Sudan in 2011.
The SPLM led government of South Sudan successfully waged successful arm struggle against the North which led to the signing of the Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.
Given the brief historical background of SPLM led government. The former revolutionary party (SPLM) turned government of the day in South Sudan came in with baggages of promises to the people of South Sudan.
This promises including freedom of speech, press and freedom of assembly.
Unfortunately, there is always problem with SPLM’s top ranking guards/leadership. This goes back to the early days of inception of SPLM in 1983.
The first problem started with nomination of Late Dr. John Garang De Mabior as Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A.
People like Akuot Atem Mayen, Abdullah Chuol plus many more of Anya nya2 opposes nomination of Dr. Garang De Mabior as their unify leader. This idea of forming a unifying forces under John Garang was bitterly opposed by the group of senior veterans of Anya nya1 who refused to take part in the 1972 Addis Ababa’s agreement.
It is quite evident and well documented that Late William Nyuon Bany Machar, the first SPLA Chief of General Staff was assigned to dismantle the Anya nya2 movement.
Commander William Nyuon successfully manage to destroyed Anya nya2 movement.
SPLM V SPLM:
The real problem started with formation of SPLM/A hierarchy.
The establishment of first 5 SPLA/M high Command was the first source of quarrel between Arok Thon Arok and Dr. John Garang De Mabior.
Commander Arok wanted to rank third position or fourth at least which was going to make him more Senior than Salva Kiir.
Those of Arok Thon Arok and Daniel Awet Akot were senior officers in the Sudanese arm forces before SPLA. They were Majors and President Salva Kiir was a Captain. This issue was solve peacefully as Dr. Garang consider regional balance.
Then, come the formation of SPLM/A’s Political Military High Command. Such a move gave birth to a serious of tension which led to imprisonment of those of Late Martin Majier Gai Ayuel, CDR Martin Makur Aleyou, Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba, Dr. Amon Mon Wantok, CDR Kawac Makuei Joseph Malath Lueth, Arok Thon Arok, Kerbino Kuanyin etc. The list is longer than that, but I want to shorten my article and focusses on the real issues.
That was the starting point or start of the crisis within SPLM/A.
- In 1991, it’s started as a rumours that there was a group accusing Garang as a dictator. The rumours later led to Nasir declaration. It was a rumours.
- In 2013, the war start because of rumours. The rumours led to President Kiir sacking the entire cabinet including Vice President on the 23 of July 2013.
- General Thomas Cirillo rebelled because of rumours. Every single time he travel abroad as Deputy Chief of General Staff, the more rumours we use to hear about his rebellious activities.
- In 2016, J1 Palace battle start as rumours which created panicking in Juba and than fighting erupted because of the rumours.
- The sacking of General Paul Malong Awan in 2017, started as another rumours.
Out of shocked and overreacting, General Awan’s immediate attempt defying Presidential order proved the rumours. It is another evidence to the power of rumours.
- Continuous rumours led to House arrest and detention of General Paul Malong in Juba. It was a rumours within the SPLM.
- General Stephen Buay Rolyang was arrested in a meeting because of rumours.
- It was a rumours, General Johnson Olony was accused. It was a rumours and eventually become true.
In conclusion, to those who are familiar with SPLM’s politics of rumours, then we must not ignore rumours of SPLM. It is time for President Salva Kiir to learn from all rumours of the past. General Akol koor kuch is doing his job and he is a true revolutionary Cadre of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement.
The author is a Human Rights and Political Commentator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring International Studies and International Development, Flinders University of South Australia.
Currently Studying a Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Entry, Victoria University, Melbourne Australia.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org