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Articles and Analysies «Š’›Õ… «Šŕ—»Ū… Last Updated: Jan 5, 2010 - 8:20:23 AM

Dr. Riek Machar: The next president of South? BY: Gatkuoth Deng, USA

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Dr. Riek Machar: The next president of South?

BY: Gatkuoth Deng , USA


Thank you so much, Mr. Isaiah Abraham, for your matured and balanced analysis of Kiir's incompetency and lack of vision. As you correctly said in your nationalistic article, President Kiir has never been himself and he will never be himself. Expecting him to change positively is also a waste of time.


Kiir had never prepared or dreamt one day that he would be the president in the caretaker government of the South as expected in 2011. The man just got crashed into the presidency after the untimely death of our late leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Kiir just got the leadership unexpectedly, unprepared and knowing nothing about it given his confinement to military issues back in the bush. He has no clue how to lead a young nation like this to prosperity. And most of his advisors (private and public) who are from his tribe (clan) only deceive him by giving him ill advices.


Kiir should go peacefully home and be remembered as somebody who has kept the people of South Sudan together at least despite the wrangling and his sponsored conspiracies against some of his colleagues.


Dr. Riek Machar is qualified for the presidency that can really make the South see the dawn of a new real day. The man loves all the people of South Sudan and has a vision for the future of this young nation in the making.


I challenge Mr. Atem Angok who alleged that Dr. Machar is a tribalist. For those of you who were familiar with the small government (South Sudan Coordinating Council) he formed following the 1997 Khartoum Peace Agreement, Dr. Machar instead appointed a Dinka Bor politician called Shiek Bech as the minister of Finance; something Kiir has never given to any other tribe other than Dinka since 2005.

Dr. Machar had never appointed a Nuer as minister of Finance from 1997 until the year 2000 when he returned to bush. Dr. Machar did not also appoint a Nuer as his Vice President like what late Dr. Garang did when he appointed Salva Kiir in 2005.


As for the past deeds of 1991 which have always become the reason for those who dislike Dr. Machar, you should not judge your leader's performance in the government based on allegations of fighting your community back 19 years ago. The people of South Sudan in general cannot judge their leader because of allegations by one community who happened to dislike Dr. Machar for whatever reasons.

Besides, there are no evidences implicating Dr. Machar in the killing of some Dinka Bor in 1992. Somebody else in his group might have done it without his knowledge. And people should not forget that more than two million southern Sudanese died during the war, it would be difficult not to find any field commander having involved in certain mistakes that led to the lost of many lives.

These accusations alleged against Dr. Machar are outdated and boring, and to many who read them would easily interpret it that the community of Bor simply disliked Dr. Machar because, to them he was responsible for challenging their son, late Dr. John Garang in the 1991 coup. That is all!


What we should be doing instead is analyzing our leaders based on the things they have being doing for us now during this peace time when we have something called government. This is what the people of South Sudan want to know not about what a certain leader is alleged (falsely) to have done to a single community in the whole South.

The issues that qualify leaders are more than that! Dr. Machar has done a lot for us during these 5 years and can do even more for us if given the chance for top position.


Also as an advice to those who always want to conspire against the system (leadership hierarchy) that keeps SPLM together, don't also forget its negative consequences. Remember that Kiir was not challenged after Garang died but was given the presidency without any challenge (contest), not because he qualified for it that time, but because the leadership respected his hierarchy position.

If there are a few in the SPLM who want to change the rules through the back door for whatever reasons, they will also expect resistance from those who support Dr. Machar. If they want to change the rules, let the SPLM contestants for presidency go for primaries in the South and the winner is confirmed the candidate.


Dr. Machar is both qualified to be the president and at the same time is the next person in the SPLM hierarchy, which was the only thing that qualified Salva Kiir in the first place. I hope the SPLM will not make another mistake that will cause the party to have serious internal misunderstandings that can again be used against us by the enemy.

The lessons learned during the SPLM Second National Convention of May 2008 in Juba should not be forgotten very easily. We should leave tribalism behind and choose leaders based on their competencies and visions.

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