Juba’s proPaganda of Two Armies and Danger of Piecemeal Solutions

By Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol,

Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, the head of foreign affairs committee with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and a member of its negotiation delegation with the government and other stakeholders.(Photo: file/Nyamilepedia)

Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, the head of foreign affairs committee with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and a member of its negotiation delegation with the government and other stakeholders.(Photo: file/Nyamilepedia)

April 11, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — The regime’s machinary of propaganda, the State-owned SSTV is continueously misleading the public opinion in South Sudan and the world at large that the SPLM/SPLA has proposed creation of two armies in the country. This is absolutely misleading statement. The truth is that the Movement proposes expansion of the period that preceeds amaglmation of the two forces to 900 days, contray to the government proposal of 90 days.

The Government proposal of 90 days maximium as duration for reintegration of those soliders who rebelled and joined the opposition since December 15, 2013 is unrealistic and will never bring peace in South Sudan.

According to Juba regime, the 90-day period is enough to enable rebels reporting back to their previous units with the same military ranks and titles they had before their rebellion . Those civilians who were recruited after the 15th December, 2013 by the rebel leader Riek Machar to fight against government must lay their weapons down and go back to their previous jobs without taking part in the army or in the organized forces generally.

The Government also demanded for a peramenant ceasefire arrangment that its scope is Greater Upper Nile. Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria are to be excluded. Their justification was that war has not been extended to these two regions. Therefore, there was no reason for the government to discuss issues of peramenant ceasefire with the rebels in Bahr el Ghazal and Ewuatoria. The government delegation infront of IGAD Mediators repeatedly challenged the SPLM/SPLA abilitiy to transfer war to Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria.

In the last meeting of the two principals Dr Machar and President Salva in ECA, in Addis Ababa, the SPLM/SPLA forces in Bahr el Ghazal under overall command of Maj. Gen. Dau Aturjong and Maj. Gen. Thomas Bacilio attacked and captured Sira Malaka Military Garsion in Western Bahr el Ghazal. President Salva maliciously misreported the truth about the Sira Malaka battle and decided to hide facts by stating that his troops were attacked by Lord Resistance Army (LRA) at Sira Malaka.

He also misreported what took place in Western Equatoria in the same day as a mere activitiy of the LRA in the area. However, it was unfortunate for President Salva that evening, during the newshours on SSTV that Col. Philip Aguer spokesperson of the SPLA-Juba went on air and admitted that the attack at their base at Sira Malaka was carried out by rebels of Riek Machar. He went as far as naming those commanders who excuted the Sira Malaka battle contrary to the President’s reports. Basically, president Salva released this misleading statement to serve two reasons; first he didn’t want to admit publically that there was war in Bahr el Ghazal and second he wanted president Museveni of Uganda to deploy more troops in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria under the pretext that Uganda is facing security threats from LRA in South Sudan.

In a democratic society president shouldn’t lie otherwise s/he must resign. S/he must make thorough investigation and cross-check before making any public statement.

Of course, this has not been the case in South Sudan where president Salva depends on hearsays, rumors and lies in governing the state. The propaganda of coup attampt, which died a natural death before the court of law after thousands of innocent people lost their lives and instigation of civil war in the country is a living example.

Another important aspect of the security arrangements being seriously negotiated in Addis Ababa is transitional security arrangment that deals with protection of the opposition and civil population during the transitional period. According to the government there is no need for this type of arranement. They mistakenly believed that leadership of SPLM/SPLA should go back to Juba under protection of the same Presidential Guard that caused distruction in the country in December 15th, 2013.

For a peaceful and smooth transition to commend, Juba must accept one of two options; either accept creation of amalgamated units with equal numbers that will be tasked with protection of major towns, civil poplution and VIPs. These amalgamated units will constitute a seed of new army in the country; or accept a third force that will operate in a complete demilitraized state’s capitals and major towns all over the country.

The SPLM/SPLA calls for ammagalmation of the two forces toward the end of the transitional period, which takes into the account experiences of similair situations.

In peace accord signed between the regime and David Yau Yau last year, the processes of integration are still going on and nobody knows when it will be finalized, despite the fact that Cobra Faction of Yau Yau is a one-tribe movement. Some of the challenges behind the delay are attributed to;poor organization, lack fund, inaccessibility as a result of poor roads and psychology of combatants. The bussiness of integration/amalgmation isn’t a simple task that could be done in a three- month duration. The integration of former militia forces of Jonson Olony and Oyok couldn’t be finalized until now because of the same reasons mentioned above.

In order to avoid failure in implementation of peace accord signed in Sierra Lonne in 1996 the parties agreed to be silent about duration of integration of forces and instead they talked about practicality of the integration. This quotation is from the Seira Lonne peace accord of 1996 “The disarmament of combatants will be effected upon their entry into the designated assembly zones, and demobilization and reintegration as soon as practicable thereafter”.

The concept of one united army is indisputable. However, the Movement believes on a smooth transition in all government’s institutions including security organs. The proposed 900-day period will allow TGONU seperates, assembles, screens, recruits, trains and amalgamates forces of the SPLM/SPLA, GRSS and new recruits representing diversity of South Sudan.

It seems the machinary of propaganda in Juba projected this smooth amalgamation as a call for seperate army by the opposition.

Also the government is making mistake by trying to limit the scope of peramenant ceasefire to Greater Upper Nile, meanwhile there are forces loyal to the Opposition in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria. It’s unfortunate that Terioka, IPF and other partners in the peace process are buying this assumption from the government delegation. The concept of piecemeal in peace process will never help South Sudan. If the government strategy succeeds in Upper Nile then for sure it will fail in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria and the possiblity of continuation of war in two regions is imminent. Let me put it in a simple and direct statement; in worst scenario that the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA buy in this cheap argument their forces in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria will never be part of peace agreement. The same scinario applys on the issue of participation of the Opposition in the state and local government levels.

The current conflict is a national crisis, and must be addressed nationally. Any attempt to underrate its magnitute will endanger unity of the country.

The author is Chairman of External Relations of the SPLM/SPLA In Opposition and Deputy Chief Negotiator of its delaegation to IGAD led peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He can be reached at aromjok@yahoo.com

  10 comments for “Juba’s proPaganda of Two Armies and Danger of Piecemeal Solutions

  1. Ramkel Bol Chan
    April 11, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Is Dhieu Mathok really a PhD holder or he just bought the certificate like many of his kind. The language here doesn’t fit to a PhD holder and I doubt his education credential. Is Dr. Machar really know how to attract educated people? South Sudanese still don’t have any leader if this is how their current leaders do things. What a mess!!!


    • April 11, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Machar PHD is a nightmare,he needs Lego Toys to play instead of Hacking and abusing his own government, his own president and his own people. Hacking had kick him out from his nice job.


  2. April 11, 2015 at 6:11 am

    They mislead themselves since they only care of themselves.Big cronies SPLM and Elites who never grow up


  3. April 11, 2015 at 8:18 am

    President of the country start to play rotten-game against his own citizens who vester him, if Dr. Machar made a coup why the international gov’t killing only Nuer, in whiich policies brough civillians?? Ya Agumut


  4. GatNor
    April 11, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Members SPLMA/M-In Opposition would all disappear into thin air and never to be seen again as soon as 90 days is over. This terror would start with the most feared & hated down to the foot soldiers. Such move of agreeing to the 90 days would be suicidal completely naïve. Remember only a few and the top high ranking officers and commanders have life insurance coverage should they end up dumped in the dish like General George Athor, their families would collect dollars from life insurance companies but the rest would be a meaningless & a wasteful lost to the families who already experienced great losses through out the civil wars. In this case 900 days is better than 90 days and 90 days is better than 9 days for everyone. Two armies for a lengthy period of time is what will keep the terrorist groups of Juba at bay and will think twice before attempting any door to door massacres of ethnics citizens as we witnessed in the Dec/2013.


  5. April 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Dr. Dhiew, this is what we have been telling you that your force in Greater Bahr el Ghazal could start fighting but won’t listen now you are crying as if you don’t know what it may cause.


  6. Peace lover
    April 11, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Malong should be imprisoned and a new chief of staff should be appointed. Soldier with military experience and has done proper senior command training. Appointing a warlords is a crime.


  7. Wad Abuk
    April 11, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Mr Ramkel Bol Chan you actually hit the nail in it place. Dhieu Mathok should give him self time and go back to intensive English course, in order to give us a good lecture on peace process, than written a confusable English.
    Any how Dhieu is a made leader of NIF and NCP of sudan, whose spent most of his life in bad politic against the will of people of South Sudan.
    if he is a nationalist why did he failed to joint a genuine cause of struggle of people of South Sudan against Arab?
    During 22 years of liberation struggle of really SPLM/A Dheiu was in Khartoum enjoying a good life, now because of his personal ambitious for power he jointed the so called SPLA-IO. Mr Dhieu your are ordinary civilian who does know a military formation.
    Nothing called amalgamation, either you accept the integration of former officers, NCOs and men who were in a regular forces before December 15, 2013 or you will end up living in exile as a refugees, don’t waste your time go back to London and follow your political asylum application from UK.
    Dhieu for your information majority of southerners are reserve from integration of your militias, so don’t talk about so called amalgamation.


    • warfive
      April 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Mr.Dhieu may have or may not a PHD, but one thing is certain he was not a murderous like Criminal Kiir who proves his incompetent leadership failure by killing thousands of civilians in Juba nor doesn’t preach a hate speech like your uncle PHD Bona Malual who came to US last month and delivered his hatred speech in Kansas City.


  8. Michael S
    April 11, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    It seems to me, that both sides need to stand down MASSIVELY before meaningful integration takes place. South Sudan does not need an army that is nearly half as large as the US Army. Since there doesn’t seem to be much job opportunity in S. Sudan OTHER than the security services, those young men should be mobilized into building paved roads, etc. I’m sure the international community would be happier pouring money into that, than into the military. Such a project requires true leadership, though, and lack of corruption — things which seem to be lacking.


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