Rebels versus Rebels, the War of Egos

By Dak Buoth,

Members of South Sudan's SPLA forces in Upper Nile State(Photo: file)

Members of South Sudan’s SPLA forces in Upper Nile State(Photo: file)

August 13, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — ‘‘When you stumble and hurt your tiny toe, the whole body bends down to respond to it’’ literally, this wise Africa proverb simply warn us not to ignore, assume, ‘dismiss’ and or pre-and misjudge any prevailing circumstances based on and notwithstanding the size or the length of a matter before hand, and it also advises us pro-bon that we should pay keen attention on matters of significant not considering who it is for or against.

I think most rebel stalwarts pretty remember this chilly morning dated 7th July 2015, when they woke up in their deep slumber only to force their ears and eyes on a deafening breaking news which reads; that General Peter Gadet, the opposition’s popular and deputy chief of staff for operations and General Gathoth Gatkuoth also known as the ‘Boiling water’ the deputy chief of staff for logistic were summarily dismissed by the rebel chief on unknown grounds. In a nutshell, the decree showeth precisely as follows, ‘‘pursuant to December 6th 12, 2014, Pagak conference resolution, I Dr. RiekMachar Teny-Dhurgon hereby relieve Major general Peter Gadet yaka and Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth’’

Concurrently, he also pronounced their replacement with immediate effect in the same circular. Good number of guys couldn’t believe their eyes on that day; at first they wanted to rubbish it as mere media propaganda until when they realized afterward that there was no contradicting information coming up to denied it. And even after it was confirmed as authentic information that emanated from the main source, many armed opposition sympathizers across divides remain mum for they could not jeers or cheers the development, they just can’t cope with it.

Base on how I saw the content of the letter from its ‘wording’ and the ‘characters that are involved, i knew so well that this power squabble would ultimately become a quakes and turbulence, and indeed it is. Quickly after perusing that letter numerous times, I eventually withdrew my eye with enormous amusement; I was almost to a point of becoming confused. Shortly thereafter, I grappled with bated breath to find out exactly which specific article in the said ‘Pagak resolutions’ that grant him such prerogatives to declare such unilateral and devastative orders but all my efforts turned futile. I thought he was only accorded the powers in the Pagak resolutions’ to appoint and not to disappoint.

I concluded the search and said since he did not cited that particular article, perhaps there was none; again I imagined may be he drew the orders off-head or perhaps he gave such orders by virtue that he was chairman and by extension the commander-in-chief of the Army forces; and if that be the case, than the movement was designed not to go far from the onset.

I expected this guerilla leadership (SPLM/A-IO) to have devised a well framed conflict mitigation mechanisms in the so call ‘Pagak resolutions’ such that in case difference over policies emerge in the top leadership echelons such as this, than the movement could hold an extraordinary session first and foremost to amicably resolve them before carry the all problem into media houses. In any event, when an issue like this reaches the public glare, chances of it being contain are rare as gold.

In the start, my first informant mentioned it to me like a joke before the news went viral in the vast airspace call the social media, we were chatting around six eighty hotel environs, he uttered it in dim voice and said, ‘did you hear this Dak, I said no, what is it, I asked, ‘‘Dr. Riek has dismissed Peter Gadet and GathothGatkuoth with immediate effect. Amusingly, my eyes remain widely open like person chewing Mirraa. I was aghast upon hearing it, I interrogated him, when and how? I doubted him because I was unaware the guy had become an insider of late; He told me just keep your eyes online and you will see breaking news trickling on Sudan

Little did I know the letter was already posted for public consumption; and after seeing a white sealed document written and signed by him (Dr. Riek) probably with his left hand, I shook and nodded my bearded head in annoyance. And I told the guy, history could repeat itself in our land. furthermore, this new development did not only affirmed that history is going to repeat itself but other living quotations that have been said by renown and distinguish political pundits about these individuals; it has also affirm to me all the things that I have been observing over the years.

Some of the superficial things that it has truly affirmed include the fact that Peter Gadet is a ‘wild cat’ that cannot be kept in an enclosed bag, he is moving weapon; and he has raise above his colleagues as an astute military junta who will die while running rather than on his knees; Remember you cannot put a Cat in bag and later attempt to close it, if you do, you will loss you sight right away because it will first scratch your face begrudgingly. Cat does like treading and doing things in an open space with clear and wide inlet and outlet. Cat is democratic animal…

Moreover, depending on how this new move will sail through in the coming months or days, Dr. Riek shall be known indisputably as heir and a Bus-like-politician, so far the man is love and hate in equal measure, which is normal in politics. What a looming military and political battle in south Sudan! Of course as we all know, in politic there is no permanent friend or foe and because of that we shouldn’t be astonished extensively for it is just part and parcel of the political game.

Nonetheless, for the sake of better political future of Unity state, the Upper Nile region and the entire south Sudan; and for the betterment of ourselves and that of generation to come; for the sake of their own legacies, I had anticipated a change of game no matter how unpredictable things may turn; a change of tactic and a change of thought in dealing with the current war affairs.

I had expected a change in the sense that matters of this magnitude can be deal with calmly and with immerse sobriety and not with this unnecessary, conventional political jostling and supremacy as it has always been the case over the years, the ‘politic of use and dump’ and if they do so, they risk not only losing against their fierce rivals but also the blind civilians support that they have always thrived on.

In the beginning and after, when I asked people, what cause this problem between Riek and Gadet? Sometime I got more than I beg, and the obvious answer was that those of Gadet had planned an coup against Riek in the movement; and as such he was left with no other wise but to kick them in their faces. Yes it true, such decision can be taken sometime, but an action of the sort and on this matter could be taken only and after other avenues have been exhausted, considering that a criminal do always kill his brother first and foremost before he went for other in the streets, just like the Arabs do say, ‘‘use a slave to kill a slave; in the then white minority rule, they call it ‘divide and rule’ and you would probably know that strategies such as those are what Khartuom regime have successfully applied over the years in oppressing black community in Sudan. Hence, with this emerging new infighting, ‘rebellion within the rebellion, its crystal clear that they will set each other on fire before they go for Salva Kiir and company which they both accused of butchering people in Juba; and as they battle to elbow each other to the periphery, the status quo handlers will be busy digging themselves deep on the ground in view to maintain their iron hold on power.

To narrow this argument down, the sobriety and change of tactic that I mentioned therein is anchored in the opinion that Riek and Gadet and the likes, and particularly Gadet should have had comradely discussion before this matter run out of hand; because I’m certain if we go by the narrative that there was an aborted plan to topple Dr. Riek in the movement, I know the deal cannot hatch or materialized without Gadet’s blessing’. I’m quite sure that before the smoke rise up, there must have been rumors going underground, therefore, Riek in his wisdom ought to have detected or foreseen that some of the Generals in the camps aren’t happy with this and that, and in realizing that, he would have call Gadet and Gathoth and Gadwech for a gentlemen meeting to sensitize one another on every single decision that each of them hold in so far the movement policies and peace talk is concern. And if et all they did not have a consensus, they can still involve other people that they all believed and respect would offer them a wise counsel.

I’m sure if that angle was considered in advance, thing would have been different today. You know dialogue is the ways, in the bible, for those of you who are religious, they say words were there before creation of man.

Therefore, I urge, if there is anybody who owe this movement a duty of care, he could still pursue and push for the dialogue between Riek and Gadet before they throw their dirty linen on each other. And this dialogue to me is very importance more than the one the one they have with Salva Kiir.

The situation is still at rescuing stage. Right now the movement should just constitute a huge committee that comprise of some military Generals in the movement, community Elders, youth and also senior politician of the movement to try to broker and harness understanding between these former and erstwhile comrades and by large, Dr. Riek should spearhead the dialogue himself to make sure that the situation does not escalate into mess.    

In addition, folks, let’s avoid being economical with the truth, particularly when dealing with issue that concern life and death, I called it deafening news in the sense that no single person among the rebels’ proponents really wish to entertain such disadvantageous and let down story; in fact, it was heart-aching breaking news; and up to now the rebels and their sympathizers are still quibbling in despair to find answers on the same…even though you see some sideshows in the media regarding the same, the fact remain that dire consequences are eminent and inevitable following this political blunder

In Kinyarwanda, they say, ‘‘yashyzeumunyu mu gisebe’’ in English mean, to add salt in the wound, subsequently, the Rebels’ mouthpiece, Mabior Garang published a wayward immediate release on the same the following day, terming the dismissal of the aforementioned conventional revolutionaries as ‘normal reshuffling; he further stated untruthfully that the pair would be redeployed later to serve in other capacities within the movement’s rank and files.

In the same vein, he went on like a hornbill and make references to Salva Kiir’s weird and archaic political precedents as their moral justifications for doing what they did, he stated and I quote ‘‘that SalvaKiir has dismissed some top military generals in his camp but nothing nasty has happened. Particularly, he cited the cases of Gen. Gathoth Mai and Mach Paul who were recently stripped of their constitutional duties unjustifiably, of course, it was crystal clear that their dismissal was very humiliating for its lack legal bases. It only signified and affirm Salva Kiir‘s total disregard for any rationality and professional ethic, and by then, if I was one of Mai and Mach, I would have fought for my rights that I feel I’m granted by law, if not in battle lines but in different flat forms.

Unexpectedly, it later became surprise that the two are still sun-bathing in Juba like tethered goats waiting to be slaughtered….. The cowardice decision made by Mai and Mach not to face the misrule head-on reminded me of story once told by zoologist, he said when a frog is drop in basin with hot water, it will jump out immediately, but if you first drop it in cold water and later add hot water it will never think of getting out of that basin, that it will just die inside the basin because the frog always doesn’t know how it can change its environment when it is surrounded by or in a fatal circumstance.

Relatively, it’s realized that there exist a few fellows which tend to behave like frogs, that when a problem caught them up somewhere, they hardly turn their eye to look for exit door, they can’t escape to look for change, and eventually they will just perish there, a lot of people are seen to have such traits in our country, many are still being mistreated and live a miserably in Juba yet they can’t complaint by raising even a figure, they refused to leave juba in pretext that they can’t join the ongoing armed rebellion , I wondered, why can they initiate their own nonviolent meant to seek change for their own good?

In my comprehension, there was no tiny reason at all why Mabior could equalized the cases of Generals Mai and Mach as a justification to this later scenario of General Gadet and Gathoth while every informed south Sudanese knows that the unilateral sacking of Gen. Mai and Mach was improper and repugnant to the law. Even a standard four child is cognizant that the duo were thrown out in the cool simply because they vividly narrated their versions on civilians Massacre in Juba and Coup narrative to the Africa Union commission of inquiry on South Sudan. As such, everyone knows that the two were just a victims of truth telling; except a few educated ignorant among us who prefer wrong information rather than growing in the truth; and for that I think the leader of Zimbabwe democratic institute PedzisaiRuhanya still right, he said, it is better to live with illiterate person than to preserve with an educated fools, that, ‘‘it is better to deal with an illiterate person who is aware that he is ignorant, you are better off with an ignorant person who is aware and conscious of his ignorance , who accepts that he is ignorant than a person who see or hear the truth but later opted for the opposite, ‘if one is ignorant of his ignorance than it become the worse. Mabior ‘s statement only tells us that SPLM whether that in Juba or Pagak will never be safe haven for our people.

For sure, I almost vomit when I perused Mabior’s press release, I paused and asked myself, is Mabior finally exposing his ineptitude or he is on well thought mission to provoke the movement supporters such that they can scattered in disarray with view to ultimately make the movement frail and fail as it is seemingly going to be the case soon. Honestly, to me, I termed it as unwise and unprofessional comment that ought to be erase and rewritten a fresh devoid of any negligent. After i undertook intensive intrapersonal conversation, two questions crisscross my mind; really, why would Mabior borrowed examples from pariah regime that he himself and company seek to dethrone? It was irony isn’t?

In politics, they say when you find someone destroying his house, you can either assist him finish the job quickly or you leave quietly, but let me differ this time around, However, this grand reform movement or new political convergence (SPLM/SPLM-IO) that is deem and expected to be riding on change Boat shouldn’t by any mean whatsoever try to replicate such grave mistakes in Juba by dismissing any of its member simply because one maintain his ground on the truth; if you try to scan and analyze the duo‘s untimely dismissal base on the opinion poll gathered on the social media, you would come to term with the facts that many rebels proponents do not buy the idea. As matter of fact, many of them discourage and curse the move; if it were other scenario, they would pump in an avalanche of criticism but they only keep quiet because they can’t criticized the King, laughably, by fearing to criticize what they don’t like reminded me of one old sentiment political which says ‘the one who rule you is that person which you can’t criticize or question’’

On the other hand, the dismissal of Peter Gadet has made many rebel extremists to open a widow for peace; at least the dark smoke in the social media is reducing a little bid day by day. In fact some of them has begun preaching peace unlike before, perhaps they realize a war without Peter Gadet is equal to tortoise race. Unrelatedly, the story is opposite on the side of Gen. Salva Kiir’s sycophants, instead for them to extend an ‘olive branch’ they are currently busy widening the rebels’ cracks unto their advantage, they consider this discord as rebels’ downfall; and they’re seriously rejoicing and laughing like the one who laugh last with hope and believe that they will continue to hold their firm grip on status quo, ‘God forbid’ perhaps over our dead bodies.

Compatriots, fellow countrymen and women of good will, rest assured that the government of SPLM will be made ungovernable whether in its current form or even after is said that it will later reunited against reform on 17th August, 2015…. ‘aluta continua’ the struggle must go on

The writer is South Sudanese living in Exile; he can be reach for comments via

  2 comments for “Rebels versus Rebels, the War of Egos

  1. Jidu Jay
    August 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    And that is exactly what is your bleedy uncle Gatdet is doing, he is fighting for his jungle rights. that is the mentality of all Nuer even the educated folks accept the most respect former chief of general staff Hoth Mai.


  2. Karab
    August 15, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I like your article. Peter Gatdet should return to SPLM IO but it should not mean that SPLM IO will not win the war with out him. It is the hero freedom fighters who are doing the actual fighting as u know. If the two generals attempt to attack SPLM IO, that is madness? why should a nuer should kill a nuer as if gordon buay is not enough ???


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