In 1991, Dr. Riek Machar wrote the famous document, “Nasir Declaration; A Case for Self-Determination”
By: Cde. Bol Ring,
October 12, 2015 (Nyamilepedia)—-This document laid the foundation for a new objective in which Southern Sudan people will be fighting for. The idea was popular among many southern Sudanese, but everyone was afraid to challenge the status quo of ‘SPLM/A was fighting to liberate the whole Sudan’ In 2002, during Nairobi SPLM reunification, the right of Self-determination was added to SPLM/ Manifesto.
At that time, Dr. Riek Machar didn’t care what position he took as long as his idea of Internationally supervise right of self determination(Referendum) was added to the peace agreement for all southern Sudanese to choose their own fate.
He was willing to be the third man inline as long as his objective is included in the peace agreement. He had trust in southern Sudanese to make the right decision when presented to them.
Surely, 98.75% agreed with Dr. Machar and voted for independence of South Sudan in 2011. July 9, 2011, a new country was born. They rightfully Self-determined their own fate. In 2015, South Sudanese are witnessing another fundamental transformation.
According to surveys carried out by Juba university, 88% of Equatoria favor Federalism, 40% of Uppernile(before the war, it probably risen significantly now) favor Federalism, and 18% of Bhar El Gazal favor Federalism. Again, this ideas is popular but nobody is willing to challenge the status quo of, centralized form of government.
Just like in 1991, everyone is afraid to speak about what is popular among South Sudan civilians. They want a local government that they trust and hold accountable for their well being, not far away elites that are Unreachable by the populace. Again, Dr. Riek Machar has stepped up to fight for the right of South Sudanese to be governed with the form of government they favor, federalism.
Furthermore, after Dr. Riek Machar proposed 21 states to compliment federalism, Salva Kiir rejected the move. Kiir regime’s argument against this popular demand of the people was that it create ethnic division within the country.
After fierce resistance from Kiir regime, Dr. Riek moved the debates of federalism to transitional government. He wants the people of South Sudan to make the decision on how they will be governed.
Surprisingly without warning, Salva Kiir one morning decided to unilaterally announced a decree to create 28 states on national TV after resisting the call for federalism for twenty-two months. What happened over night, changed of heart or an attempt to derail peace? Again like previous times, Dr. Machar ideology was realized to be the right one.
However, such decision belong to all South Sudanese. They’re the ones to debate and decide on federalism just like they did with independence of South Sudan. The decision does not belong to a single man abruptly showing up on national TV announcing he had created 28 states for South Sudanese.
History taught us that South Sudanese always make the right choice when given an opportunity to make it, will they make the right decision about federalism?
And has Dr. Machar once again, provided an opportunity for all South Sudanese to, Self-determined their way of life?
God bless you all