Riek Machar Was Not Overthrow, He Was Dismissed
By Dak Buoth,
July 31, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– When I did ‘thoughts check’ a while ago, I spotted an error in my last opinion pertainings the recent events in Juba South Sudan. You would remember, on 25th July, when Riek Machar was dislodged militarily and subsequently replaced with his erstwhile comrade Taban Deng by Salva Kiir, In reaction to the same, I jotted a post on my Facebook page saying ‘’Riek Machar overthrow’’ Today i realized It does not fit to say Riek Machar was overthrow, even if it was Salva Kiir who was forced out of Juba the same way he did to Riek, still we won’t say ‘Salva Kiir overthrow’; the duo are too small to be overthrow.
I hereby withdraw this statement because I don’t want English men and political pundits to have issue with me. Bear with me, it was not my wish to write and speaks in English nor was it my passion to involve in any political discourse. I got myself into these things under duress. Now I learned to write and speak English because they say it was an official language of instruction, and not my mother tongue; and there isn’t little I can do to reverse these phenomena. On the same vein, sometime I involve in politics of South Sudan because it continues to affect my life in one way or another, and there is no any other way to escape it.
On the same note, Dr. Adwok Nyaba, the Minister of Higher Education Minister came on Aljazeera’s ‘inside story’ expressing venom terming Riek Machar’s replacement with Taban as ‘coup d’etat’ orchestrated by Salva Kiir and his cohorts. I think Adwok and I had defined this political event wrongly.
If I was eloquent and good English communicator, I would have said ‘Riek Machar dismissed. There is thin line between these two political terms ‘overthrow and dismiss’, these words are commonly used in ‘dictatorship’. In any case, Coup d’etat is not use for junior politician who was kicked in the face; and it not use when an inept President with tainted legitimacy and credibility has been ousted from power.
When authoritarian President like Blaise Compoare of Burkinabe was removed by force in 2014, his removal was not described as an ‘overthrow; the reporters and analysts only announced that he was ‘unseat’
We can use the word ‘overthrow’ at the time when ‘popularly elected president’ is deposed from office by small cliques with an intention to grab and maintain its iron hold on power, in such a case, we can say, the president has been overthrow and violence is inevitable. In nutshell, only elected leader of country is overthrow. In other words, coup d’etat or overthrow is preserved for a seizure of a democratically elected government using military mean.
In contrast, Dr. Riek Machar happens not to be the President of South Sudan neither was he an elected one. It is on this account that I found it improper to liken his brutal purge as an ‘overthrow. I think he was just dismissed. On the one hand, to dismiss someone from office is undemocratic. The word ‘dismiss’ or ‘sack’ does not exist in a democratic norms. These terms are frequently use where a rule of person prevails against the rule of law.
In any democratic country, when public officer have had issues touching on his conduct or accused of any impropriety, they use the term impeach, recall, resigned and suspension and so on and forth. No decree, no dismissal and no sacking of public officers randomly as it the case in South Sudan.
Even leaders with constitutional prerogatives to appoint individuals into public offices, they’re exempted from dismissing their appointees at whims. When one is alleged to have wronged in his place of work either by his superior or coworker, s/he ought to be informed of the allegations and the next cause of action before hand; on hearing the claims, the accused can tender his resignation pending the resolution of the matter in question
If you read between the lines, I used the words, ‘popularly elected leader and not mere imposed leader who ascend to power through dubious means. It was true that Salva Kiir was once popularly elected in 2010 by all south Sudanese from all walks of life; however, in less than two years later, he betrayed the social contract and instead turns the government against the people of South Sudan. Of late you heard that his soldiers are ordered to rape Nuer girls and women en mass as form of payment for war. Let those who are reluctant to accept the truth click and Google www: Sudantribune.com. Www: daily nation.com. Www: New York times.com and other media. So far hundreds of thousands innocence people have died and more 2.5 million others displaced from their homes.
In view of the foregoing, the day when Salva Kiir’s brutal reign shall be brought down as many yearned for; you will not hear us saying that he was ‘overthrow’. The news would read that he was toppled or dethrone period. The SPLM seizure will not be described as an ‘overthrow’ or coup d’etat but rather liberation.
In the year 2011, when Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Cote D’ Ivoire was deposed from office, his deposition was not termed as an overthrow, the news read that Laurent Gbagbo who refused to step down had been captured and arrested at his bunker in the capital Abidjan. Our situation will soon resemble that of the Ivory Coast.
The writer lives in Kenya, he can be reached for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org