By: Mak Banguot Gok (Makjohnson)
Revolution is one of the most important events in the history of any given human society. It can be defined as change effected by the use of violence against the sitting government, and/or regime, and/or society. Always by dissatisfied society like the SPLM/A-IO’s Nuer wagged revolution. And, it meant above all, the consciousness and the mechanics of communal solidarity, which may be tribal like the Nuer; a peasant such as the South Sudanese rural population; a kinship, national, and so on.
Whence it is a revolution led by the regime unlike the SPLM/A-IO-Led insurgency, it meant the constitutional structure-democracy, oligarchy, monarchy. And, once by the government, it meant specific political and administrative institutions. What really may disturb many minds is, “what makes some of the revolutions succeed and the others fail? Why do some achieve democratic goals while others become new kinds of tyrannies?
In connection to what is actually ensuing in South Sudan today, this definition allows us to distinguish between the normal political seizure of power that leads to a major restructuring of government or society and the replacement of the former elite by a new one. This I think that is how and what Dr. Riek Machar had been wishing for when ascended to power. Whence we take into account the kind of rebellion waging by the SPLM-IO which has been on for nearly a decade, it’s an uprising that involves no more than a change of the ruling personnel (Dinka-led genocidal demagogues) by violence or threat of violence.
Meanwhile, the SPLM-IO-led revolution is somewhat experienced as a kind of restoration, whereby the movement’s primes objectives to restore liberties and privileges, which were lost as the result of the tribalized prearranged government’s temporary lapse into despotism. Well, revolutions are acts of force. You know, it’s when a lot of us celebrate the hard-won achievement. it’s an insurgency of people that, the SPLM-IO Chairman of Juba tends to forget, actually, the tough realities of what revolutions are over the centuries since the French really invented the modern form in 1789.
Therefore, there are so many related grounds that, Nuer people must support Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual’s call for a new set-up of safeguarding the people’s revolutionary struggles from miserably ending halfway the victory. This is partly so if we mean to wag a real revolution. For the sake of concisely point out only a few, I can specifically squeeze my focus on what/how I believe that should be an ideal option if the Nuer people decidedly clinch to the new decent and strength of mind embodied in the new calls for reconsolidation of the people’s revolutionary struggles under Gen Simon Gatwech Dual. This is only part of the history:
Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual is one amongst the very few men of his age bracket who have dedicated most portions of his dear lives in thrash about the freedom of his people. If history could illustrate itself without the meddling of the spectators, more of the living history events were attributed to Gen Simon Gatwech Dual. Many eyewitnesses amongst his lifetime comrades in the struggles credited him with audacity and consistency. Commonly known amongst the entire Nuer as, “Cuäny Cienjaak”, he is an authentic and emotionally intelligent self-leader. He has the ability to execute a strategic actions-result and can work in any type of environment. The “Black Napoleon” as he used to be referred to by buddies.
Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual is also known for being synergistic to work successfully amongst the decentralized groups with a common vision focus. Organizationally, he is intellectual and emotionally intelligent with a culture of fully engaged and mindful of himself and others. How many times have you heard the word carnival-like atmosphere? And, fascinatingly if you are too carnival-like, and you actually don’t redirect and harness all that popular energy strategically against the institutions of power, you end up, actually, sitting in your own prison.
This is how actually the SPLM-IO’s Juba Chairman looks like a carnival, but actually, life goes on around him, and he becomes a kind of museum of failed revolutionary energy.
Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual has a very long and highly thought of leadership proof and ability. He had begun at young ages as early as the 1970s. Firstly, he assumed his initial social responsibility as a local community leader (youth leader) whose scope of leadership covered most part of the Lou-Nuer territory. As a young warrior and charismatic, his reign triumph with a significant effect throughout the Lou-Nuer land. Whilst a community leader, Gen. Simon Gatwech has shown an extraordinary leadership quality which left his legacies since that times to never become paler amongst his comrades in struggles and, the Lou-Nuer community who considered him (Gatdual) both as an incomparable leader amongst his people and, above all, a revolutionary icon whose dyed-in-the-wool trendy served as a role model to many others exemplary personalities amongst his fellow Nuer. And in that sense does not that strategic sense requires organization, require leadership, which is one of the things that seem to be lacking in Machar.
Revolutions thrive on the symbolic and the strategy that, general Gatdual never been symbolic of humiliations. His mission is that we needn’t talk to Salva Kiir’s government which is so humiliated without prior conditions and, that Kiir and his entire tribalized political system must steps down altogether. But symbolic action won’t work unless we have a very strong strategic sense of actually where we can actually jam up the works of the functioning of government. Gen. Simon Gatwech after a long and overhauled service within his community, he and many others leaders of his times were enlisted to the SPLA-led revolution struggle in the early 1980s. He joined the insurgency in 1983 together with hundreds of his kindred who later proven to be exemplary freedom fighters under his command. Gen. Simon Gatwech served with the SPLA through the 1980s and, he accomplished countless velours on battlefields. He started at the rank of Captain and second to the command of Zendie Battalion till the late 1980s.
Simon Gatwech switched from John Garang’s Vision of New Sudan in 1991 along with others comrades, included Dr. Riek Machar. He later co-founded the well-known South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A) with Dr. Machar the leader, whilst Simon Gatwech and many others Commanders lead the military wing. Throughout the 1990s whilst commanded the SSIA’s armed forces in the Lou-Nuer area, Gen. Simon Gatwech stood firmly committed to an objective of the movement (SSIM/A). He protected both the movement’s initial purpose which was the independence of South Sudan from Sudan while at the same time headed the mobilization.
And, above all, Gen Simon Gatwech preserved the image of Dr. Riek Machar in person and his political endeavour. According to many living testimonies by witnesses of that time events, he (Gatdual) have accomplished countless success through ranged from fighting an internal sabotages, external intruders and/or helped established a symbiotic relationship with the Lou-Nuer community through appeasement.
In the year 2005 after the CPA culmination, and, followed the amalgamation/what later appeared to be, according to almost all the Nuer during that time a humiliated Demobilization and Reintegration process, Gen Simon Gatwech joined hands with others South Sudanese former fronts which were independently operating and formed/regrouped under the SPLM/A’s CPA projection. After the commencement of the South Sudan Autonomy, General Simon Gatwech briefly deployed at Bilpam General HQ underneath the intense political disquiets from the same enemies of today. He (Gatdual) was removed from the post and thereafter repositioned under unmerited and beleaguered harsh treatment by the Dinka-led government under Salva Kiir.
From 2005 to 2013 with very few interludes, he spent all the time in and out of confinement, arrest, banned, and humiliated to the extent of exposed his life to unnecessary sabotage. He was targeted by the Dinka-led government because of what they believed to be his pivotal roles during 1991 ‘splits and its followed consequences.
In the year 2013, the aged veteran was forced to yet again wag a revolutionary struggle after the 15th of December’s inception of the conflict in Juba. Whilst placed under none active category after being released from detention, General Simon Gatwech was disquieted with the rampant targeted killing of the Nuer people in Juba. He and others comrades unexpectedly sneak out of Juba with few forces. That came after he survived several high profiled assassinations attempt on his life, and, with one that resulted in many deaths of his men, including one of his trusted army colonels
For the first time in our history, Gen Simon Gatwech whilst constantly being attacked on his way toward the Western Upper Nile region, he swats from Juba through Bhar El Ghazel region and reached the Southern Unity State breakings through the tied enemy’s lines. History has abundant in stores for the general once he did in 1986 whence, Gen Simon Gatwech successfully crossed through the mysterious Jonglei Dessert (Sahara Tigilig) with his forces. A journey that took the middle-aged commander 9 days nonstop footings without food and water in hostile no-man-land. After he and his forces treaded through the frightening desert from the edge of northern Jonglei, the journey ended with only Commander Simon Gatwech and a few of his bodyguards reached the Easter Equatoria region alive.
Whilst in the bushes for the third round of resistance, the aged veteran was entrusted by the same Dr. Riek Machar to lead the SPLM/A-IO ‘armed forces. With great enthusiasm, Gen Simon Gatwech led successfully through mobilization, organization, training, and directing the war Conduct. From 2024 to 2021, Gen Simon Gatwech, including the two consecutive years spent in South Africa by Dr. Riek Machar under force confinement, has shown emends loyalty to both the movement’s objective and leader in his absence. In the year, 2016 whence the same warring parties signed an unjust agreement in Addis Ababa, and, without proper security arrangements in Juba as stipulated in the draft agreement, Gen Simon Gatwech was under intense pressure from both the regional body (IGAD) and his Commander-In-Chief -Dr. Machar, forced to accompanied the political team led by the Chairman to Juba whence militarily unequipped.
Faced with untold conspicuous agitation from the ill-wishers, Gen Simon Gatwech organized forces of few men under strictest scrutiny of the enemy’s destructive agent and arrived at Juba in 2016. What happened thereafter was the July incident that, an aged Gen Simon Gatwech after vigorously defended his people including the leader Dr. Machar from a highly prepared assassination attempt by the enemy’s destructive forces, he was expelled and retreated towards Congo under bloodiest fightings on the mountains and in the valleys of Western Equatoria. Encountered countless attacks in the air and on the land, he managed to reach the edge of the DRC with a few of his forces who made it through.