By: Gatgong Koang Thany,
June 07, 2015(Nyamilepedia)—The Group of (G10), Former Political Detainees (FPD) or the SPLM-Uhuru, is a group of ten South Sudanese Politicians who were briefly detained following the shot-out between elements of Tiger-Battalion, the Presidential guards which sparks this explosive mayhem in our Country. Initially the group was associated with the SPLM-IO under the leadership of former vice President Dr. Riak Machar Teny Dhurgon, in fact the Rebel first condition for peace talk with the Government was freeing of the detainees (the G10) from jail, a demand which the Government eventually accepted following pressure from Regional and International actors who wanted a quick-start to peace Processes that was impossible without first meeting the demand of the Rebel.
However following their release, the group except for one out of the eleven (11) detainees Dr. Lol Gatkuoth, Deputy head of external relation wings of the rebel moment (SPLM-IO), shocked friends and foes alike when they opted to stand on the fence, describing the military resistant, a dire necessity to counter Salva Kiir’s Merciless onslaught against innocent people as unnecessary , Pagan Amum said in one of his interview after his release that the killing of Innocent Civilians in Juba is not enough reason to fight the Juba regime for, making everyone to wonder as to what else on earth would it take then to pick-up arms if not to defend one’s own life and Nation? Left without direction, the G10 therefore were confined to Nairobi since their release with few fruitless trips outside Kenya.
as most South Sudanese are aware, almost the entire G10 membership is drawn from the so called Yaal-El-Asaad, or Dr.John Garang’s good-boys, following the tragic demise of the former, the later were rendered orphans Politically and had to wrestle for political survival as they stumbled through the diluted-Political-waters of the newly emerging South Sudan, as a result they were constantly at longer-head with the new Political landscape revolving around Salva Kiir and his new-found allies notably the former Vice President and Khartuomers whom the SPLM-Torit and the Yaal Assaad in Particular saw as traitors and opportunist, as such members of this infamous group had always been angry Men with dangerous mission and a lot of scores to settle.
As far as South Sudanese Politic was concern individuals making up the G10 and their associates represent the angle of Political bullies in SPLM and the Country Political scene at large, they were therefore view with utmost contempt by most players in the Politico-Arena, furthermore Salva Kiir’s Political Circles has always been very suspicious of them, no wonder whenever rumors of coups ring-up in the air, fingers suddenly pointed not very far from the very group and their associates. consequently their sudden, militias Political allegiance-shift from the President’s camp to that of the former Vice President prior to the eruption of the crisis did not only heightened the tension between the two camps but also aggravated and escalated suspicions, mistrust and eventually lead to dangerous confrontations between the two SPLM-Camp which further fueled the already volatile and fragile inter-ethnics tensions
However following the former detainees’ move to walk the middle ground and play innocent as the Country went-up in heart-breaking inferno, foreign commentators hints the G10 as possible alternatives for national leadership, some went as far as suggesting names for instant Pagam Amum was rumored as best-possible candidate to lead a transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) which would result from a political negotiation between the warring parties plus multi-stakes-holders , the dream however died before seeing the light , unfortunately such ignoramus assertions by foreign actors/ commentators which are devoid of facts and delinked from the practical Political setup with in the Country falsely embolden the group’s opportunistic ambition to land the Country’s leadership like some manna from Heaven
Since then, the group has been opportunistically stalking and scratching-the-walls behind the scene for a possible path to resuscitate their seemingly dead political fortunes, mostly casting their hopes on foreign intervention for fair-deals. At times the two warring parties kicked them out of the Negotiation table since their selfish interest rhymed not with either side hence serves only as jeopardy element to the peace process, but they never learnt, they would run around and return.
Lately sensing possible lost of Political relevance and facing eminent permanent Political-careers drowning in the Country, G10 devised a new strategy which they call ‘restoring the Nation, Sandwiched in to the Arusha deal which merely call for reunification of the cursed SPLM-Party, restoration of its sacked Leaders in to their initial position within the party and pardoning the OYEES group from their heinous crimes, including killings of innocent , destruction and looting of civilians’ Properties and of the Nation , corruption to name but just a few, which is other words taking the Country back to square one .
5th June 2015, after more than one and half year in exile, Five (5) out of the Ten (10) former detainees namely; Deng Alor Kuol,John Luk Jock, Kosti Manibe, Cirino Iteng and Bior Ajang finally swallowed their pride and landed in Juba airport, dressed in black suits, visibly ashamed and scared, accompanied by South Africa ANC Party’s Deputy Leader Cyril Ramphosa, they were greeted at the airstrip with low reception and less attention , this was possibly done intentionally to avoid according to the group unnecessary significance ,they were hosted at New-York Hotel along the Nile, a less prestigious Location in itself ,the Government spoke person who have repeatedly disputed any significance to their visit was correct for the first time .
Speaking at the dinner hosted by SPLM-KIIR-FACTION for the five former jail-birds, unless I misunderstood Mr. John Luke Jock’s statement, the repeated declaration of the group’s allegiance and support to the ‘Chairman’ Mr. Kiir faction could not be misspoken, and if that is the case then the so called ‘restoring the Nation’ might be but just a surrendering maneuver for the group, like Lul Ruai Koang (Former Rebel Military Spoke person),the group’s talk does not match their walk, one couldn’t blame them though life in exile requires ultimate sacrifice, commitment and importantly a mission, the hardship renders the weak to surrender, otherwise Signs and symptoms had in the recent past indicates that the group, under influence of Luk and Deng might be on their way back to Juba, after all, the two are committed friends of the President, once restored to the Secretariat and acquitted from his corruption charges, Mr. Pagan will surely not waste a second to jump in, but for the sake of the doubting ‘Thomases’ let’s accord them the benefit of doubts.
Finally, true our nation desperately needs a good peace and all our leaders from the various Political divides must shoulder the entire-responsibility for restoring the Country back to normalcy, therefore this belated initiative by the Group of Ten (G10) if is genuine and sincere should be lauded and backed. however given the obvious ill-intentions behind it all, South Sudanese are bond to view it with utmost caution and suspicion. Once bitten twice shy, records still portray the group’s betrayal path, hence wherever they go loathness and suspicions reign, its therefore highly likely that ‘Restoring the Nation Crusade’ could be just one of the group’s tricks to get their ugly paws on to something, and like many, I already doubts it success having considered all factors.
with the Country’s population both at home and Diaspora divided solidly behind the two main warring parties, with whom will the group build their fallacious rhetoric and imaginary ship-upon?, moreover, implicitly or explicitly South Sudanese from both divides view the group as either conspirators or direct perpetrators of this bloody conflict, thus squarely place the responsibility for this destruction wholly or partly upon them. With my back upon the trees, I chose to wait and watch from a distant as these tricks unfold.