Chollo Members in SPLM-IO, North America
March 12, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — We, the Chollo members in SPLM-IO in North America, write to correct and analyse reasons that prompted Chollo individuals led by Gwado Ador to defect from SPLM-IO in order to benefit from the deceptive amnesty of Salva Kiir. We also want to assure the Southern Sudanese that their defection will never deter SPLM-IO from victory because of heroes and heroines they left behind in SPLM-IO.
Political Autonomy: This group has legitimate right to decide their political destiny providing that they speak for themselves not as representatives of Chollo people in SPLM-IO, because they were not elected by Chollo people to join SPLM-IO. They individually acted and are responsible for their actions like other tribes who defected from the SPLM-IO and went back to defend Juba regime. While we acknowledge their right to reconsider or re-evaluate their stance, we would also like to remind the readers that true heroes never give up or abandon their cause of action, but they march forward for ultimate victory and endurable peace, security, harmony and prosperity for generation to come and as reward for our fallen heroes and heroines.
Stand your ground: We live in a world where individuals or group rise, plan, develop and protect their undertaken mission through serious commitment and sacrificial stance. It takes courage, determination, resiliency, accountability, wealth, time, life and selflessness. With these values, we will fight to overcome this great battle against injustice government of Salva Kiir in South Sudan who murdered thousands innocent civilians in Juba, that action caused loss of more life in greater Upper Nile and mainly in Chollo Kingdom, until this time as we speak Chollo are still losing many precious lives. However, others can give up their fundamental principles or cause for action under hard circumstances or pressures and seek for a short cut to meet their personal aims. Martin Luther King JR: said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. I Have a Dream. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back”.
Common grievances for Chollo dissatisfaction with Salva Kiir government: Coercive eviction of Chollo from their land, mass killing of civilians after 2010 election, marginalization of Chollo from taking part at national institutions (military, political and judicial) of decision-making are common pressing concerns that entitle every Chollo person including Gwado Ador and his group to must struggle for social justice. These facts are asserted in article, the Scathing search for Unity of Chollo Drums Support for Federal System written by Mr. Gwado, and we quot: “following the 4th Anniversary of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on 9th Jan. 2009 in absence of strong Collo leadership to defend the interest of the Collo people; Malakal became an area for outright plunder, and a free zone to claim by ‘Jieng Apadang’ with consent and encouragement of Presidential Palace (J1) in Juba. President Kiir decided to give away Collo land (Pigo and Korfulus) to Dinka Thoi and Paweng without any shame or even resistant from Collo politicians in the contemporary South Sudan. Many petitions have been written and addressed to reverse this unfair decision remarkably by H.M. Reth Kwongo Dak Padiet who wrote a letter with that effect. James Ogilo Agor, Chief Mathew Obur and Collo Intellectuals Committee in Juba wrote also letters addressing the same grievances. But none of all these petitions came to bear on the decision passed or even attracted concern of President Kiir who was intent to press ahead with the project. A situation described by observers as occupation and President Kiir being viewed in Collo land as ‘a mere Dinka Chief”.
History is mirror to see the past: Let remind ourselves of stances and contribution of our predecessors who stood up for cause of Chollo and South Sudan. In past, we have Chollo political and military heroes such as Pagan Amum, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Oyai Deng Ajak and others. Those dignitaries have served South Sudan with professionalism, dedication and diligence. Nevertheless, they are now disarmed of their political and military powers and prohibited from exercising their professions and intellectualities. They are now devalued and demoted to the level of office boys and banned from free mobility. It is a total annihilation of professional, political and military abilities of Chollo people. As result, every upcoming hero should be aware of the past and act steadfastly to uphold their principles they stand for. However, if Chollo people permit to be fool again, that will be our problem not problem of cheaters. There is a popular say “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. Individual Chollo generals who reached deal with South Sudan government found themselves under governmental surveillance and face sequential attempts to end their lives.
Analyze of reasons for defection:
We quoted “After one year from joining the movement, we felt the necessity to evaluate our stand, whether we were moving on the right direction or not?” said Mr. Gwado J. Ador, the leader of ‘Collo Group for Peace and Reconciliation’. But what will Gwado tell the relatives of his followers who believed him, fought and lost their lives for his unfinished cause of action that he has now abandoned? It is a violation if an employee breaches a constitution, but it is a sin for a legislator or employer to invalidate his/her own legislation. In other word, Mr. Gwado has sinned against his own ideas for action to condemn the government by barrel of gun and then returns to the same government without any accomplishment.
We quote, “Collo Community Deserves an Apology to tip balance for Peace in South Sudan, March 04, 2015: Gwado and his group are totally right to request for an apology. But is it a good time for accountability and apology? AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan did not publish their report until March 07, 2015 after warring parties failed to sign peace agreement. AU and international community prioritized ending of war because it is difficult to hold individuals accountable for alleged crimes while they are still in power. So Gwado should have presented his request for an apology to Dr. Riek Machar and pushes for it before defection.
We quote, “In Collo land, everyone detest solutions through the barrel of gun; but continuation of this senseless war which was developing in earnest prompts us to respond to the calls of the amnesty which was decreed recently by Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit the President of the Republic of South Sudan”’ wrote Gwado J. Ador. The war in Chollo land was started by former Chollo heroes such as Gen. Othow Aloung, Gen. Robert Gwang, Gen. Aywak Ogad and Gen. Johnson Olony because of oppressive policy of government toward Chollo people. Now Gwado called it a senseless war because he decided to become part of Salva Kiir government.
Amnesty is a governmental decision to pardon criminals for their political offense for committing a national treason. That means Chollo individuals who recently defected from SPLM-IO to benefit from presidential amnesty have acknowledged their crime against the state of South Sudan. Then how can Gwado and his group claim to defend interest of Chollo since they treat their action to fight for interest of Chollo people as a crime?
Example of Yau Yau and government: David Yau Yau fought for his tiny tribe till he forced the government to sit with him on negotiating table in neighboring countries. He bargained with government for his demands and the government conceded by giving him political and military power over his region. Unlike Gwado Group who accepted amnesty. This group is not honest to Chollo people by putting three demands to government, and we quote, “We demand for their reparation through the mechanism of compensation to let life return to normal. Also, we express intention to work side by side with the government to help in the process of binding wounds among various communities at home. We demand for a speedy implementation of border demarcation between counties, which was the source of recurrent conflict within various areas in South Sudan.” In any conflict, political bargaining or negotiation takes place between warring parties before signing any agreement. Gwado and his group never sit with government to discuss these demands. How will it be possible for Chollo group for peace to influence government to give them their demand since they are now under governmental mercy, as “criminals” who are forgiven?
In conclusion, this group has right as individuals to give up a fight to benefit from presidential false amnesty, but not as representative of Chollo people in SPLM-IO. They are like any other individuals from other tribes who abandoned SPLM-IO and gave themselves up to Juba oppressive regime.
Long live SPLM-IO and long live people of South Sudan.
Chollo members in SPLM-IO in North America can be reached through.
SPLM-IO’S Provincial Coordinator, William Dak in Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org or
SPLM-IO’S State Coordinator, Othow Awang in USA: email@example.com