June 21, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Dr. Riek Machar, the former vice president, congratulates the governors and the people of greater Equatoria for their “bold step”.
“I first want to congratulate governor Clement Wani, governor Joseph Bakosoro, for really stating their views on system of governance, on federalism. To me this was a very bold step, which the two governors took, and I think they are leading their people in the right direction. Lately, I heard governor Luis Lobong joining again the bandwagon” said Machar, the chief ideologist, in appreciation.
Machar called for federalism to be included in the transitional government in 2011, however, he was criticized and accused by Salva Kiir of running a government within his[Kiir] government.
Without claiming credits for the fundamental idea, which he has backed several times in the past, Machar believes that federalism is what the people of South Sudan had been craving for, since 1947.
“The demand of people of South Sudan since 1947 was looking for a good system of governance. I’m hoping that the government in Juba will accept that so that we can strike an agreement based on federal system” said Dr. Machar.
Machar, who has crossed many red lines from his former boss, has yet again stepped on the newly redrawn red-line, reiterating that the stakeholders will restructure the legislature and most of the main government organs.
“We will then restructure our army, we will restructure our security system, we will restructure our public service, the judicial system, the legislature; so that a new system is hatched in” another bold statement from Dr. Machar.
According to Salva Kiir, restructuring the government and the army would rob his current officials jobs, which he has declared as a red line.
The people of Greater Equatoria have made attempts in the last few years to call for federalism, citing many reasons that include land alienation, unequal distribution of resources, tribalism, nepotism, marginalization among others.
The leaders and intellectuals of Greater Equatoria, without fear, started gathering within Juba, at Nyakuron centre, to openly discuss federalism despite sharp criticism from the president and his supporters, mostly from his home region of Greater Bahr el Ghazal.
Machar, a living witness of speaking out within Juba, has admitted that the governors and the intellectuals from Equatoria deserve congratulations for their bold move.
The governors, strongly united, argue that it is the people of Equatoria that demand federalism.
Salva Kiir Criticize the People of Greater Equatoria:
The president, who recently drew red lines for rebels, has drawn more red lines for the people of Greater Equatoria. Kiir stresses that it is not the people of Equatoria that demanded federalism in 1947.
“And I said many times that the request for federalism was not an issue of Equatorians when it was presented in 1947 here in Juba” The Mayardiit said.
The president argues that federation was “demanded between” the South and the North Sudanese but not “among themselves”, the Southerners.
“All southerners were here and they all demanded federation not among themselves, they demanded federation between them and northern Sudan,” he further explained.
Salva Kiir tells the people of Equatoria that they were not the only ones who called for federalism in the past [1947 & 1955], and so they shouldn’t claim it now.
“Now [in] 1955 again they demanded it here, southerners demanded it in Juba. It was not only the Equtorians who were calling for it.”
The president, frustrated with the rebels, blames the group for introducing such a mind-blowing idea to divide his “internal front”. Salva Kiir nakedly tells his parliament that federalism is a trap, set up by Riek Machar, to tap support from the three states of Equatoria.
“Now the rebels have introduced another setup to the effect that I am opposed to the introduction of federal system of government in South Sudan. This time they are doing it to gain support of our people in Equatoria, Greater Equatoria, whom they believe are diehards for federalism for some reasons,” Kiir told the assembly.
While still wondering of what the next trap would be, Salva Kiir asks the remaining parliamentarians to support him and firmly stand with him during these testing moments.
“We have to be firm and stand together as leaders in the interest of our people and our country. I promise to be in the front and I call upon you to support me in this endeavour,” Kiir told lawmakers.
Although the nation is bitterly divided, Salva Kiir believes that federalism will divide the country.
“This is a policy of divide and rule,” Mayardit added