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Statement by Lt. General George Athor Deng on the Referendum on Self-determination of Southern Sudan
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May 31, 2010 - 8:54:28 PM

Statement by Lt. General George Athor Deng on the Referendum on Self-determination of Southern Sudan


In my statement on the 7th instant, I explained the situation that was created by the ruling clique in Juba due to the use of the SPLA and other security organs by them in rigging the general elections, their plan to attack me and the fighting that ensued. I outlined a two-point program as a way out to stop the fratricide now developing, and concluded by the following statement:

I reaffirm my commitment to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), especially the conduct of the Referendum on Self-determination in 2011.

Since then the response of the Government of Southern Sudan was a decision by its Council of Ministers ruling out any talks with me and ordering its army to capture me “dead or alive”.

Well, despite the intense propaganda by the clique in Juba downplaying the gravity of the situation, the grand military offensive to fight me mounted under the command of Major General Bol Kong suffered from internal dissent and mutiny, and finally collapsed four days ago. This dashed the hopes of the war-mongers in Juba on a quick defeat of the Southern Uprising against those who stole their will. 

The Uprising is now spreading as evidenced by the military actions in Pibor area these days, Upper Nile last week, Juba-Bor road and in Unity State today.  More surprises are awaiting the ruling clique in Juba.  Those in Juba who dream of wishing away this revolution should think again.

The clique in Juba is now desperately trying to mislead public opinion that the long-awaited referendum in Southern Sudan is tied with their continuation in power. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, their very presence in power jeopardizes the credibility of the referendum itself.

An illegitimate government that rigged the democratic right of the people cannot be trusted to lead the Southern Sudanese into a democratic exercise to determine their destiny. Since the SPLM ruling clique in Juba rigged the elections with impunity, they can in the same way also rig the referendum. 

The South cannot afford to have a Self-determination result that is in dispute. That will be a recipe for instability rather than the peaceful outcome the CPA was meant to realize.

Herein lay my proposal that all the Southern political parties and the Independents who contested the last elections, should sit down to discuss and agree on a roadmap for the South as the referendum date gets nearer.

No one Southern group, especially one that has stolen an election, can alone deliver the South to such a crucial momentous decision. We still hope that wise counsels will prevail on the ruling clique in Juba before it is too late, to see sense and stop playing with the destiny of our people.

In view of the vital importance of the referendum on Self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan, I would like to assure our people that we shall never be party to throwing away the moment they have been waiting for now for almost half a century.

In fact, our difference with the riggers of their elections is precisely to safeguard their right to make a free and conscientious choice. In this regard, and should the ruling clique in Juba continue to impose war on us, it is incumbent upon us to:

reiterate that the Referendum on Self-determination of Southern Sudan should take place on time, that is, on the 9th of January 2011 as stipulated in the CPA; and

the arrangements for the conduct of the Referendum in the areas we control shall be agreed upon by us, the United Nations and the other stake holders in the process. This is to ensure that the outcome truly reflects the will of the people.

It is essential to be clear right from the beginning so that nobody is taken for a ride by the ruling clique in Juba which has failed the South Sudan people for the last five years and which should have been out of our way now had they not stolen the elections.

We are confident that before long, conditions in the South will be such that our people as a whole will be under one administration agreed upon by all. 

Aluta Continua!

Lt General George Athor Deng,

Bushes of Southern Sudan. 

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