On the 12th of December I received a missed call, followed by a message from Matthew Debuol, who goes by the username Troika on Telegram. He urged me to contact him directly, which I did later on the same day. I was taken aback since I have never received a call from this Comrade. To my surprise, he was calling me regarding the now infamous Facebook post by Comrade Kalany Mamuon in which he criticized the Hon. Minister of Defense, Mama Angelina.
He went on to – in a passive aggressive manner – intimidate me by giving me a lecture on party regulations and procedures. He wanted me to take disciplinary action against Comrade Kalany, whom he had previously threatened and failed. I wondered with which authority he was calling me and giving me directives.
In response, I declined to take any official action against Comrade Kalany since his was a personal opinion expressed on social media and not an official SPLM/SPLA (IO) position. It is the right of any citizen to criticise and hold accountable any constitutional post holder. While what Comrade Kalany said may have been insensitive, it was accurate. It is for the same reason we criticise the President, that we can criticise any Minister; it comes with the territory, as it were. It is for this reason that I resigned as the Deputy Minister of Interior. In the absence of security arrangements, it was a set up for failure. However, I did agree to talk to Comrade Kalany and told him he could have found a better way of expressing the same view.
After several unsuccessful attempts to use me to intimidate Comrade Kalany, Comrade Matthew Debuol’s true colours came out suddenly in a sectarian rant. It started with an innocent question, asking how I propose we change the regime, which I told him was a question to be answered by the leadership, rendered irrelevant by the Luak Ltd. He then went on to tell me, ‘with all due respect’, Nuer children should not die for my regime change agenda. That I should go and bring children from Bor to die for regime change. At this point, I knew the Conversation was over.
I have received several messages from some party members counselling me not to dignify such myopic views with a response. I agree with these Comrades in principle. However, I felt it was necessary to write an “Opinion” on this issue because it is one of the propaganda talking points of a sectarian-cultural interest group in Juba who have hijacked the leadership of the peoples’ movement in the name of “giving peace a chance”.
Compatriots, this is mischief!
I am less concerned about the damage these words may do to my ego. I do not even believe they are the words of Comrade Debuol, I believe he picked them up from the senior partners in what I call the Luak Ltd. The enemy within is trying to use sectarian sentiments as a smokescreen to conceal their surrender to the status quo. They are suffering from struggle fatigue. The dishonourable surrender of the NPTC regime has nothing to do with saving the lives of Nuer children, it is magendo – corruption in the South Sudanese vernacular. If these people cared about Nuer children, why have they forgotten about those in the Protection of Civilians Camps (PoC) and those in the refugee camps? The very same army he (Matthew Debuol) claims he wants to save by going to Juba, is the very same one which has been abandoned in the bush and are languishing in the cantonment centers. They are now under attack by an army led by a senior member of their party also in charge of security in the party.
In 2014, many South Sudanese from all walks of life joined the struggle for fundamental change in our country after the Juba massacre. Our indignation at this tragic chapter in our history was not because Nuers per se were killed, but because those who died where our fellow citizens.
In conclusion, members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and our civil population in general, should understand the difference between Peace and an Agreement. The current Agreement in Juba will never bring peace, which is our ultimate objective. Not necessarily the implementation of the Agreement. There is a difference between giving an Agreement a chance and giving Peace a chance. We have seen the results of giving this Agreement a chance, it has ended in war in Moroto. Let us now give real peace a chance by being honest with ourselves; there is no Agreement and we the politicians have surrendered. Perhaps we may find peace out of this noble admission and negotiate a good surrender which may have a better chance at ending in peace.
A luta continua!
Cpt. Mabior Garang