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Press Releases Last Updated: Dec 20, 2009 - 3:34:53 PM

Nuer Community Calls upon Lt. Gen. Kiir to Reverse Upper Nile StateAppointments

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Nuer Community Calls upon Lt. Gen. Kiir to Reverse Upper Nile State Appointments

Immediate Public Release: Nuer Intellectuals & Seniors for Unity among Southerners (NISUS)

The Seniors and intellectuals of Nuer community throughout the World are troubled by the appointment of Chambang Both as a Commissioner of Longichuk County in particular and the whole reshuffle of Upper Nile State in general. After conducting serious consultations with the SPLM leadership in Upper Nile and the SPLM Secretary General, Cde Pagan Amum Ukec, we have learned that GoSS Representative Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Dr. Luka Biong misled President Salva Kiir Mayardit in appointing Commissioners of the Upper Nile State.

What disturbed the conscience of many citizens of the Upper Nile State is how the rules of consultation espoused by the SPLM party were by-passed to serve the interest of a clique around Salva Kiir in violation of rules and regulations of the SPLM.

Since May, 2008, the people of South Sudan have been told that the SPLM was transformed from a rebel Movement to a democratic Movement which should be governed by democratic principles. Among others, consultation ranks first in any attempt to democratize the Movement.

Unfortunately, the leadership of the Movement has yet to democratize itself in order to practice bottom up approaches of decision making. A democratic Movement cannot reshuffle a government by resorting to dictatorial top down approaches which can alienate the electorate that can sustain the SPLM.

We're aware that the SPLM is in deep trouble because if the SPLM’s Secretariat and the Deputy Chairpersons of the party were not consulted about the reshuffling, then it is clear that the SPLM is not a democratic Movement that shall survive for long. What disturbs many Nuer intellectuals is the undue influence of Ezekiel Lol in misleading the President to appoint his Cousin and nephew as a Commissioner and a Minister respectively.

We know that Salva Kiir has a constitutional prerogative to appoint whoever he likes until such time that the people will stop him from doing that in the coming election. But, there is nowhere in the Interim Constitution of the South where it is written that the President of the GoSS has a prerogative to appoint foreigners as Commissioners and Ministers. We thought that somebody has first to become a citizen before holding a political office.

If this legal principle does not hold dear to Kiir Mayardit, then the SPLM is in real trouble because a lot of Southerners would find it difficult to support a party that lost touch with reality of democratic transformation.

There are many troubles that will destroy the leadership of Kiir Mayardit. First, the fact that Kiir is hijacked by a small clique is a cause for concern. If somebody like Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth could have an input in reshuffling the Upper Nile State , then the future of the SPLM is at stake.

Ezekiel Lol has no political constituency and had never set foot in Longichuk County because he is not a Sudanese. If Kiir Mayardit could rely on such a person who has no political base, then Salva Kiir might be alerted about the dangers of alienating an electorate that could vote for SPLM.

We understand that Ezekiel Lol is a security agent of Kiir who monitors Rebecca Garang, Pagan Amum, Oyai Deng Ajak and Riek Machar and report their plans to Salva Kiir. It is normal for any leader to have security agents to infiltrate the camps of people he perceived as his rivals.

But it's abnormal for security agents to be involved in political decision making in reshuffling a government in Southern Sudan . The CIA agents cannot tell Barrack Obama who to appoint in his cabinet. If Ezekiel Lol is feeding Kiir with lies concerning Pagan Amum, Rebecca Garang and Riek Machar, the President should not go as far as listening to him about who to appoint in Upper Nile State .

We've learned that Ezekiel Lol misled the President about the appointments by arguing that his relatives would get rid of Riek Machar in Eastern Nuer. People are wondering whether foreigners imposed could indeed persuade the local people to turn against Riek Machar.

Common sense should dictate to Kiir Mayardit that people who're Ethiopian Nuers cannot help him to convince the electorate to support his leadership. What he'd done by appointing a foreigner as a Commissioner would lead to violence. If Southerners took up arms against the North for imposing itself on the South, what then would prevent eastern Nuers from taking up arms against a Commissioner who doesn’t belong to the area?

If laws have no meaning in the U.S. , a foreign-born like the California Governor could have declared himself as a candidate for U.S. President. But Arnold Schwarzenegger was barred by the U.S. Constitution not to run because he was born outside the U.S.

Unless Salva Kiir has unilaterally amended the Constitution of the South, it is illegal for him to appoint Ethiopian Nuer as a Commissioner of Longichuk before acquiring citizenship.

The second problem that will destroy Kiir’s leadership is the fact that the clique around him is engaged in humiliating prominent SPLM figures by concocting lies. When Kiir removed Dr. Lam Akol as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, he appointed him as a Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

Before Lam Akol could be sworn in, Ezekiel Lol allegedly mobilized Brian de Silva, Roger Winters, Luka Biong and Ted Dange to cancel the appointment by telling him that Lam Akol is bad apple. The same tactics were used against Riek Machar and Pagan Amum last year during the SPLM Convention but failed because the people rejected them through the threats of violence.

The humiliation of Lam Akol would cost the SPLM dearly. If Kiir will continue listening to Ezekiel Lol and Luka Biong to humiliate Riek Machar, Rebecca Garang and Pagan Amum, then SPLM as a party will collapse before 2011. It's mind-boggling that the same party could engage in undermining itself and yet it is boasting of winning election next year.

It is clear that more supporters of the SPLM will defect to SPLM for Democratic Change led by Dr. Lam Akol because Salva Kiir is hijacked by people like Ezekiel Lol and Luka Biong. Southern Sudanese are not stupid to continue supporting a leadership which appoints foreigners as Commissioners and Ministers. Our biggest concern is that President Kiir will make mistakes that may trigger more violence in the South unless he liberates himself from people like Ezekiel Lol and Luka Biong.

The third problem of Salva Kiir is that he takes decisions after losing the confidence of the people. It took him five years to realize that Salva Mathok Gengdit destroyed the SPLA Army. The changes he made in the SPLA Army recently are excellent indeed. But the problem is that he took the right decisions after the damage had already been done to men and women in uniform. It would take a while for Lt. Gen. James Hoth Mai to reclaim the morale of the SPLA forces.

We therefore call upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit to reverse the reshuffle of Upper Nile State for his political benefit. The election is only seven months away and it is prudent for him to take the feeling of the electorate very serious if he wishes to be elected. 

For Contact :

Mr. Peter Kiir Bum; Secretary of information

Nuer Intellectuals & Seniors for Unity among Southerners (NISUS)
3314 S 44th Ave , Omaha , NE 68105 , U.S.A.

[email protected]


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