By Peter Gai Manyuon
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else “? Theodore Roosevelt
February 1, 2014 - There are doubts among the people whether the negotiation with go well in the Ethiopian capital on 7 February 2014 as scheduled due to the issue of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition members who are still in custody in Juba. Other analysts are predicting a complex and bitter discussion due to the four gentlemen who are still in Juba.
However, South Sudan government said Thursday that it would only sanction full and complete withdrawal of Ugandan troops from its territory, upon the complete implementation of the cessation of hostilities that permits return of peace and stability. If you may ask; will peace come when the remaining four detainees are still in custody in Juba? Meanwhile Rebel groups led by South Sudan former vice-president Riek Machar openly accused Uganda of fuelling the conflict with the direct participation of its troops alongside the government forces.
And more so, when you see the mixed reactions from United States of America (USA) and Norway, one of countries that played a critical role in 2005 peace deal ending the North-South Sudan civil war, on Wednesday said it was now time for Uganda to start withdrawing its troops from the world’s youngest nation to avoid worsening the crisis.
What will happen if Uganda troops refuse to return to their territory? Will juba not going to be under siege from Dr Machar militants? Will the International Community and IGAD not going to give ultimatum to South Sudan government with short dateline before the 7th of February 2014?
More so, some people might wonder about the meaning of the word siege; siege refers to a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.
What I have noted with concern in my country South Sudan; is the ideology of not telling the facts to ourselves or to our readers globally. Why do I bring this in to your attention? Some people in South Sudan do not appreciate the facts but rather what they like most is to hide the truth.
Hence the bible taught us that; “Proverbs 12:19 , truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment”.
Psalm 5:6 “You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man”
We all acknowledged and appreciates the commitment of the Inter-governmental Authority on the Development (IGAD) and International Community as well on the role they played in compelling President General Salva Kiir Mayardit to release all the political detainees and signing of the secession of hostility that was signed in order to stop the violence in the newest nation.
More interestingly, on Wednesday 29th of January 2013, only seven (7) out of the eleven (11) detainees were released on bail and other remained in custody like Pagan Amum, Majak D Agoot, Lol Gatkuoth and Oyei Deng Ajack. The basis of their remaining in jail is not yet very clear up to date to the people of South Sudan; citizen came out with different judgments. Other People are saying, the gentlemen that remained in door are all knowledgeable in term of experiences, militarily, politically, and they have well internationally relations that might Jeopardizes the existence of President Kiir regime in Juba.
Over viewed about the remaining political detainees
When you look objectively at someone like Oyei Deng Ajack, who was one a Chief of General Staff for the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) and also was a National Minister for National Security in Kiir Government in Juba, you will agree with me that, Kiir loyalists are very worried in case they release him, he might join the bush to bring down Mayardit because Oyei had good militarily background and expertise.
Coming to some like Majak D Agoot, Majak has been in National security some times, he was also a deputy Minister for Defense in Mayardit government. He has got skills of making lobby and advocacy to the world as well. Some guys within Kiir close friends are so fearful about Majak militarily, truth must be say my dear countrymen and ladies.
Likewise looking at someone like Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth who had been a Ambassador of South Sudan to United Nation (UN) for years back, can look for the down fall of the Kiir regime in Juba, Ezekiel is a diplomat who know International Relations and diplomatic approaches, his voice can easy be heard by most of the International Community, and that is why Juba is very much worry.
Furthermore, someone like Pagan who is naturally gifted with wisdom of talking and radical speeches without fear is unsafe for Kiir to release him. He is the one who knows where Sudan People Liberation Movement money is since 2005 when the peace deal was signed up to date. He is still signatory to the party account up to now. Therefore; Juba government cannot release him unless if the International Community can give ultimatum to Kiir and his loyalists like Museveni of Uganda immediately.
However, after the seven political detainees were released on the 29th of January 2013 in Juba, people ask themselves, what is wrong with the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit?
The eleven political detainees were detained by Juba government due to what Mayardit legal expertise’s term as a failed Coup and in real sense was denounced and condemn by the world leadership as something to get rid of the political opponents. More interestingly, the Minister of Justice in the Republic of South Sudan failed to justify the reason why other were released and other were not. When you analyzed the speech of the Minister of Justice, you find that South Sudan government have no legitimate agenda on the detention of the political detainees; they are trying to look for ways but their routes have been blocked up by world leaders and regional block like IGAD.
Right now the two parties are now waiting for the roundtable discussion that will take place on the 7th of February 2014 in Ethiopians Capital on the matter of bring peace to South Sudanese but am viewing it like ,if they fail to reach an agreement, then Juba might be in trouble again.
Will South Sudan be peaceful, if the four political detainees are not release?
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
? William Faulkner
Therefore “Telling the truth to our readers is good then pleasing people who are destroying the destiny and prosperity of South Sudanese”, South Sudan as the nation needs collective efforts to kick away tribalism, nepotism and chronic corruption that has manifested within our leaders.
The author is the independent journalist who has written extensively on the issue of democratisation and human rights in South Sudan. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org