The SPLM-IO is not a freedom fighter movement

Opinion Mabior Garang The reason I say the opposition is the problem and not President Salva Kiir is simple. The manner in which the divided opposition went to Juba - prior to the implementation of security arrangements - was in essence surrender to the status quo. The provisions of the Agreement have been circumvented, nothing has been implemented according to the letter of the Agreement and it is devoid of any spirit. The only real pressure the regime has felt during this peace process was exerted by the citizens of South Sudan after the politicians had surrendered. The regime was forced to return to the Ten (10) States due to popular demand. It is unfortunate that the struggle for positions in Juba has slowed down this momentum of national mobilization and this minor gain is now being reversed and we may soon be returned to the Thirty-Two (32) States by way of Administrative Areas. We already have three (3) unconstitutional Administrative Areas, which are in violation of the Agreement. As we pretend to be implementing an Agreement in Juba, our displaced civil population continues to suffer in "dignified silence" due to rampant insecurity in the country. There is conflict, from inter-communal violence to the continued use of counter insurgency wars by the deep state. Why do we lie to our selves when there is a pink cow in the room, as it were? The reason I say President Salva is not the problem - in the context of the fake peace - is because we have surrendered and we are pretending to the civil population that we are still in the struggle to deliver he promise of the liberation struggle. This is the real obstacle to peace. If we can face the truth and admit we have surrendered, it may deliver a more authentic peace than what we currently have in Juba. A negotiated surrender can ensure security so that our people can go to their villages and till the soil. It will create civic space for our children to be educated and break the cycle of trauma our families have faced for generations. It is the opposition which is the problem because by pretending to be implementing an Agreement when we all know we have surrendered, makes the regime edgy causing insecurity. We should have the political discipline to be able to admit when we have been defeated and lose the war with dignity. In the process of a sincere surrender we could win the peace.Mabior Garang de Mabior/photo Courtesy

By Tawfik M Tongo

It is funny how the IO calls itself a freedom fighter. In what sense is the IO a freedom fighter? The freedom fighters are those who fight for the people. The SPLM-IO does not meet freedom fighter’s definition, not by their actions and certainly not by their words.

The definition of the IO is a position fighter and hotel accommodations fighter. The IO left behind people on protection sites when they joined the Juba regime. Also, the IO helped to send Mabaan to UN protection, including chasing civilians back to Ethiopia.

SPLM-IO are hypocrites in that they repeat and replicate everything they dislike and hate about the Juba regime.

The civilian’s lives and their properties are always a top priority in genuine rebels’ minds when it comes to protection and security. The people of South Sudan did not see such a thing from the IO; IO is nothing but another face of a coin to the Juba regime.

Real and genuine rebels will and can not kill and displace the civilians they claim they want to protect from the Juba regime.

The IO has failed the people of Mabaan and the people of the Upper Nile. The victims of the Mabaan County incident are the people of Mabaan and the people of Upper Nile. The loser of the Mabaan county incident is the IO. And the winner of the Mabaan county incident is the Juba regime. Juba regime allowed the IO to kill and displace Mabaan civilians because, according to the Kiir led Juba regime, the people of Mabaan are IO supporters. The Juba regime accused Mabaan county from the beginning of standing with the IO.

The IO allowed the Juba regime to take advantage of the situation to force the Mabaan people to come out publicly to reject the IO. The lack of leadership and management on the IO as a movement allowed Juba to take advantage of the situation.

The SPLM-IO could have prevented and avoided the Mabaan incident, but due to the lack of leadership and management from IO, the situation got out of control.

Prevention of the Mabaan incident is for the IO to transfer General Ajack Abraham away from the Liang containment site to allow civilians to calm down by cooling off but apparently, IO did not see the transfer of General Abraham as a key to managing the situation. I offered my suggestion both privately and publicly that IO should transfer General Abraham from Liang containment site to some of the IO appointed officials, but no response whatsoever.

The IO is responsible for the killing and displacement of the civilians in Mabaan County.

Also, the IO soldiers are responsible for burning down civilians’ homes, church buildings, schools building, and local clinics. The IO owns the Mabaan incident, for they allowed themselves as a movement to be misled by General Ajack Abraham. General Abraham misled the IO when he fabricated to the IO military headquarter that the Juba armed the civilians. The IO did not do a thorough review of the incident. As a result, the IO as a movement took Banshowa village side on a conflict which began as a clan war. The IO joining the Mabaan clan war caused the incident to grow in size and allowed Banshowa members of the IO to gain the upper hand.

 

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