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President Kiir should admit his failure and resign gracefully by Jor Deng
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Jan 16, 2008 - 7:55:53 AM

President Kiir should admit his failure and resign gracefully

After the death of Dr. Garang southerners were worried by two issues. One concerned the competence of the man who was to take over. Salva Kiir, the second in command, lacked many leadership qualities and would not live up to the challenges that lay ahead. The SPLM’s partner, the NCP had the advantage of having well educated cadres that gained ‘political gaming’ during their one decade rule of the Sudan . Second, reminded by the split of 1991, many people believed there would be a power struggle over leadership. The second fear did not materialise as southerners convinced themselves it was not for their own good.

Salva Kiir was allowed to take over peacefully. But instead of accepting his own weaknesses, Kiir began to walk it alone sometimes mimicking the dictatorship tendencies of late Dr. Garang. Kiir could not consult his colleagues on substantial issues and soon crises appeared. The first crack was generated by the appointment of many Dinka fellows in both GOSS and GONU. Kiir was accused of being insensitive to the diversity of the south and many called for inclusiveness. The spread of corruption in GOSS departments and the SPLM Secretariat was seen by many observers saw as a result of Kiir’s acquiescence and failure to deal with it using an iron fist. Whiles millions of dollars were being looted through fake contracts and bills, GOSS employees and the army were going without salaries for up to six months. No essential services were being rendered to the people either and Juba became the dirtiest village in the whole of East Africa . Similarly the reintegration and organization of soldiers was not moving ahead. People’s patience was running out as they failed to realise any peace dividends for nearly two years into the CPA. Insecurity was slowly spreading to all states with SPLA soldiers killing innocent people without retribution from GOSS.

All the above problems added more weight to an already fragile situation. To escape from these menaces in the south Kiir had to look somewhere or somebody to blame. Kiir could not of course accept failure because it is not culturally acceptable in his tribe. Very few tribes in the south would let go power when it becomes problematic but not in the Dinka from which Kiir comes from. There is a folk tale that when a chief goes to the bath room some one else including a commoner must occupy his chair. Kiir will never resign except over his dead body even when it has become visibly clear that the load is too heavy for him. The only scape goat that was bringing the woes of the south and that would be palatable to southerners was the ‘Jallaba’ or the NCP. Then Kiir, who abandoned his confidants, called in the “conflict engineers” the “Garang’s boys”. These orphans, as they are sometimes referred to, who were almost leaving the SPLM in despair, cancelled their migration abroad and enlisted in the service of Kiir. In October this year they concocted a ‘double jeopardy’ strategy that would oust Kiir and the NCP. The Americans are believed to be behind this dangerous plan as all of the Garang boys are American government moles. This is the origin of the SPLM pull out of GONU. Observers in Juba say there was no concessus by any SPLM body to pull out of GONU as claimed by Kiir. They believe the decision taken was dictated.

Now that Kiir has undiplomatically and unceremoniously disassociated himself from the CPA as expressed by his statement that he lost confidence in Al Bashir and the NCP, we call upon him to resign immediately. We also call upon all the southern parties, including those SPLM elements that reject Kiir’s unstatesmanlike behaviour, to organise and take over the affairs of the south. Let Kiir and his disgruntled group move to the bushes to fight the NCP. We urge you to save the CPA and allow our people to determine their destiny in 2011. Any war now will shatter their hopes for ever.

Long live the people of the South

Long live the SPLM

Long live the CPA.

 

 Jor Deng

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