Updated at 7:50Am, May 21, 2015(PST)
May 21, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Leaders of the Equatorian community in the two warring parties converged in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Saturday and Sunday last week.
The two delegations were led by Henry Odwar for the opposition, and Lawrence Kurubandi for the Equatorians in government.
According to Henry Odwar, this meeting was a follow up on last month meeting, which was also held in Nairobi on 14th of April.
Unlike the previous meeting, the 16th and 17th May meeting has created more friction between the two Equatorian fronts.
As Hon. Odwar, the former member of parliament at South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, explains the meetings were intended to create more division among the Equatorians.
“It became abundantly apparent that the underlying intention of the engagement was to create division within Equatorians in the SPLM/SPLA in order to form a movement allied to president Salva Kiir and to be funded by hostile groups” Henry Odwar explains.
According to Odwar, the Equatorian reformists categorically denounce the use of divide and rule to confuse the marginalized populations of Equatoria.
“We categorically rejects this old tactic of divide and rule and we shall never submit to Salva Kiir’s machinations and his genocidal government” Hon. Odwar condemns.
“We would therefore like to assure all our comrades, supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers all over the world and in particular the Equatorians inside South Sudan that we remain committed to SPLM/SPLA vision and mission and the total removal of President Salva Kiir and his dictatorial regime by all means” the former MP stresses.
The SPLM/SPLA delegation, however, was sympathetic and call on the “Equatorians who can be purchased” to defect for a just cause.
Other Equatorians in the Opposition were also saddened by the the position of their counterparts in Salva Kiir government.
According to Dr. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, “the SPLM/SPLA is not surprised with the conducts of these individuals who pretend to be representing citizens from Equatoria region yet they are chasing bread and butter.”
Oyet, a political scientist, believes that the governors have abandoned the popular call of Equatorian people and instead harbor foreign interests that auction the country to East Africa.
“The governors are harbouring foreign interest and are out to mortgage the country. They behave like hawker trying to sell Salva Kiir government and yet for us we are non buyers.” Dr. Oyet said.
“They are highly infested with regional (Some East Africa countries) interest having fallen short of protection from their master Salva Kiir.” He adds.
Oyet warns the Equatorians in Salva Kiir’s regime that Equatorian leaders in Opposition will not pull out to form their own movement as they aspire, declaring such a move as a red line.
“SPLM/SPLA is not a tribal or regional political organisation. For the governors to claim that Equatorians in the Movement should pullout is outrageously parochial and a red line.” Oyet said.
The former head of Political Science department at Juba University reiterates that the latest meeting achieved very little except that it has negatively exposed the interests of Equatorian governors.
“The only positive outcome from this engagement is the fact that SPLM/SPLA and Equatorians now know that the so call governors are for status quo and they have abandon call for federalism and reforms which Equatorians have been calling since 2010 hence this affirm lost of their legitimacy.”Oyet said.
Like his counterpart, Oyet calls for a total overhaul of Salva Kiir government including the leadership of Equatorian states.
“We hereby affirm our oath to remove the entire regime of Kiir and its auxiliaries at the states by all means.” Oyet strongly emphases.
Before the conflict, Equatorian elites held several conferences to deliberate on the needs of their people, however, due to the current conflict in the country the region of Equatorian, like other regions, is getting polarized.
While the border line between the two fronts widens, mechanisms to solve inner disputes within the same faction improve.
Attempts to reach the governors and Equatorian elites in Salva Kiir’s government to comment on these outcomes are yet to be returned.