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S. Sudan’s Amum calls for political reforms, end to war

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May 26, 2014 (JUBA) – The former secretary-general of South Sudan’s ruling party, Pagan Amum, has agitated for political reforms, as well as an end to a more than five-month-long conflict in the new nation.

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Former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum speaking at Chatham House in London on 1 May 2012 (Photo: Chatham House)

“The first priority is to stop the war; the second one is to initiate political reforms in the country,” Pagan wrote in a letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

“For South Sudan to achieve political stability and socioeconomic prosperity, there must be cessation of hostilities, formation of interim government and democratic transformation in the country,” it added.

Pagan also dismissed reports attributed to the armed faction of the SPLM led by former vice-president Riek Machar, claiming that the 12 former political detainees freed from detention in Juba were “undecided” on which side to join in resolving the conflict.

“First and foremost, we are not undecided because we have already made up our minds that we can’t be a party to the killing, maiming and displacement of our people and the unwarranted destruction of our country,” he wrote.

“We are saying that there is more to a failed government under President Kiir and to the doomed armed rebellion under Riek Machar. The paths they have chosen only succeed in bringing more suffering and death and heartache to our people and shame on our new nation,” adds the letter, which also copied to both president Salva Kiir and Machar.

DICTATORIAL TENDENCIES

The former political detainees, Pagan stressed, allied with Machar before 15 December “in opposition to the creeping dictatorial tendencies of president Kiir who was taking (and has indeed succeeded) our country into the abyss”.

“We represent not only the face of South Sudan, but also its integral leadership, both in the war for independence and post-CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement]. As such, South Sudan is our heritage; we own it and we can’t be expected to join in the senseless destruction of our most exquisite possession,” he said.

Added Pagan: “It is our gift to future generations, not a carcass to be scrambled for”.

DEFENDS THIRD BLOC

Meanwhile Pagan clarified that they decided to form a “third bloc” in South Sudan’s laborious search for peace and reconciliation. The bloc, he said, is composed of himself, the presidential advisor, Rebecca Nyandeng, former ministers, Deng Alor, John Luk, Kosti Manibe, Oyai Deng, Gier Chuang, Madut Biar, Majak Agoot, Cirino Hiteng, Lakes state’s former governor, Chol Tong and former diplomat Ezekiel Gatkuoth.

However, he said that being members of the third bloc does not equate to being neutral in the current conflict, stressing they are part of the peace talks and part of any future government that would bring about political reform within the country.

“Both the government and armed rebels prefer a military solution but we in the third bloc fully support the IGAD peace process as the best alternative to the war in our country,” wrote Amum.

“This makes us more than neutral bystanders: we are not part of the bloodshed, but of the sustainable solution,” he added.

Pagan said it was not in the interest of the former political detainees to please the international community “so that [we] may snatch the proposed interim government’s leadership if both president Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, were to be forced to step aside”.

“Never in the course of our opposition to president Kiir’s creeping dictatorship or the rebels’ penchants for shedding the blood of unarmed civilians have we ever said that we are angels. We agree with our colleague, governor Chol Tong Mayai, that we are all responsible for the mess we are in and should therefore sit down in peace and talk like brothers and sisters to sort out our issues,” reads the missive.

“That South Sudan is a giraffe to be auctioned off to the most brutal hunter is the mindset of those whose hands are dripping with the precious blood of innocent South Sudanese. We can’t be cajoled nor forced to join in the bloody orgy,” it added.

Amum and three other detainees were released at the end of April after they were held in for months connection with the December 2013 alleged coup attempt in the country’s capital, Juba.

NO COUP ATTEMPT

The armed opposition led by Machar denied staging a coup, claiming that president Kiir took advantage of fighting within the armed forces to try and silence his critics within the ruling party.

The former ruling party secretary general, for instance, observed that it was never their intention to overthrow the government because it was and is still their government.

“A military coup entails war, death and destruction and that was never our cause,” he said.

Amum stressed that his group would be never be a party to any group engaged in the current conflict or use violence as a means to resolve or react to the political differences and “failures” within the SPLM leadership that triggered the conflict.

“Let me reiterate once more, we are never going to be a party to the bloody war going on in our country. Nor can we be a party to any interim government merely meant to reward evil. We can only be a party to peaceful negotiation toward ending the current evolving catastrophe in South Sudan,” said Amum.

“We can only be a party to the peace talks and an interim government meant to heal wounds and to initiate peace, unity and reconciliation among our beloved people,” he added.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 27 May 09:34, by Gatjang

    Regardless of your sweet words to please the public, will not get you out of the masses you guys caused in the country. Both of you are they cause of the of failure to the nation, not Kiir alone because you and your colleagues were the part and parcel of the government. If got you right through your word, you said that, you was on opposition before 15, which mean that, you are part of the problems

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    • 27 May 14:04, by Ito

      Pagan Amum, sad, sad and sad for you and your so-called third bloc. If democracy,peace and the rule of law cannot be achieve by political means what option do the masses have? Dr.riek has answered this question and the same question was practically answered by General Tafeng in 1955 by Vincent Kuanyi and James Bol in 1972 and by Kerubino in 1983 and now by Dr. Riek in 2013. Amum why did you take a

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      • 27 May 14:11, by Ito

        against the successive regimes in Khartoum? why you and your late hero Garang did not use your mouths to achieve your unachievable New Sudan Vision? You are against guns now because it is turn against your masters. Only your family in Shilluk support you otherwise your name has been erased long time ago. Your intention of using this confusion to ascend to power will not materialize.

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    • 27 May 20:38, by Nyesi Ta

      Pagan, ur so called 3rd Bloc, not excluding you were individuals on the list of the most corrupt 75 officials in Kiirs previous governments who squandered billions of dollars and therefore, have killed more south Sudanese than Kiir and Riak combined in the 5 months old conflict. Pagan you and your thugs bloc have become irrelevant and need to shut the .... up.

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    • 28 May 04:35, by Augustino

      I wish Dr Riek Machar Teny or Kiir Mayardit could have turn their guns and killed all of third bloc members. (1) they participated in the running of government but loot and failed all government projects. (2) they decived Dr Riek in false support and now pretend to be good people while pushing Riek into war until 15/12/2013. I am sad and think they should be isolated by either side.

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    • 28 May 06:47, by jubaone

      Pagan Amum´s 3rd Block is just politically irrelevent and misplaced as it is stupid. It adds no value toward peaceful resolution of the conflict, rather duplication and doing that old shit allover. They either side with Kiir or with Machar, they cant have it both ways.

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  • 27 May 09:38, by Gatjang

    Regardless of your sweet words to please the public, will not get you out of the masses you guys caused in the country. Both of you are they cause of the of failure to the nation, not Kiir alone because you and your colleagues were the part and parcel of the government. If got you right through your word, you said that, you was on opposition before 15, which mean that, you are part of the problems

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    • 27 May 10:01, by Bentiu son

      Pagan Amum opportunism,bourgeoisie behavior,gossiping policy and conspiracy attitudes had been reveled by his own nattering mouth.Pagan and his followers should rescind and recant from such betrayal and treacherous stance of gossiping bt two warring parties-SPLM/A in Government under incompetent Salva Kiir Mayardit and SPLM/A in Opposition under democratic leader Dr Riek Machar Teny.Hell away

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      • 27 May 10:11, by Bentiu son

        with your cheap cunning policy. Whom do you want to blindfold brainwash,blackmail and luring with pure propaganda of being neutral,Angels,Mandela in this conflict. You 12 former detainees had betrayed our freedom fighters under Dr Machar who fought and campaign to your release under Juba genocidal regime custody and entire SPLM members who rallied behind u during your political rally 6 Dec 2013

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    • 27 May 10:04, by Modi Lo Laja

      You are right. The two leaders are caused for newly nation bloodshed of the innocence people.
      These two are support to be out of the government.
      regards,
      Modi Lo Laja

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  • 27 May 09:52, by Gatjang

    whether you are a Dinka or Nuer or wherever you came from, you have all failed the country. your greediness of powers and wealth, is the caused of all these atrocities. you are all looters, power hungry people, you have no a good leader among you, better my chief in the village to come and lead this country the better. we all know what you people are after. But Nyadeng, will the most to regret

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  • 27 May 09:56, by Jalaby

    Pagan Amum,
    You’re absolutely already part of the killing that’s happening in the south now, you’re one of the SPLA/M leaders who promised southerners a paradise in the south and completely poisoned the relationship between SPLA/M and NCP after Nivasha agreement and failed the real purpose and objectives of the peace agreement and led the

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    • 27 May 10:24, by Jalaby

      south to current catastrophic situation!
      You never worked it out for the benefit of southerners but for your own agenda which 100% concurs with the communist Yasir Arman agenda, you’re 100% northerner from inside but with southern face and look only and you used south issue as a bridge to achieve your communist agenda and create new Sudan!

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  • 27 May 10:04, by Gatjang

    by associated with enemies of peace and of the late husband. you, your son and Majak will not stand in front of Twic East community, because you are betrayers. how come that you associate with riek who was one time the enemy to your husband. lioness is far better then you, when a lion is killed, a lioness revenge. that is what i can say so far. enjoy your cool drinks, but cries of innocent

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  • 27 May 10:09, by Letigolight

    Pagan Amum, you can not make yourself and other former detainees look good, you are all corrupt, indecissive, visionless and lacking public support!, You have been the SG of the SPLM that blocked primary elections leading to exclusion of many competent young talents in our current parliament - most MPs were handpicked, so the word democratic transformation is not and will never be friendly with yo

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    • 27 May 10:14, by Letigolight

      Gier Chuang was the then minister of Interior and this resulted into the retrenchment of competent police officers who were not hail from th Dinka tribe and promotion of so many generals from his own and creation of over 27,000 ghost names in the national police payroll some of which have currently been struck under the leadership of Aleu - the current minister of interior!

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      • 27 May 10:21, by Letigolight

        Gier was also taken to serve as the Minister for roads and bridges, so many roads closed and many bridges collapsed!
        The worst is, if there is any acid that could detect corrution, non of you is free! All of uoy are part of the USD4.2 Billion and of recent another USD5 Billion, out of this, no pipe water, no single road, and even no salary! God save South Sudan!

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        • 27 May 10:24, by Letigolight

          For the transitional government, if not Riek Machar, then Joseph Bangasi working together with people like Edward Lino Abyei

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  • 27 May 14:43, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear Reader
    I personnel do blame those dead and alive former political military high command of the SPLA/M ,instead for them to bring up officers who were commanding forces during the war in 1980s to 2005 ,they brought up their body guards who prepared t food/ carry bags for them and washed their clothes .
    These elements even they did not go for intensive military training/courses in (Bongo) o

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  • 27 May 14:51, by Alfredo christiani

    or abroad however the groups came up with mentality of guards to lead the nation which led us to the failure of our state. I hope they will follow their masters in the hell and true revolutionaries who joined the movement in 1980s will come up with good leadership and kick out those who were captured in the SAF and those who were conscripted in the new system .Mark my words & GOD is great.

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  • 28 May 02:28, by Philosopherking

    Pagan Amum can make a great leader...but he will have to undergo a declaration of assets....we want all public money returned....only then shall he be able to fight the epidemic of corruption in South Sudan. Our 4 Billion Dollars is not forgotten, we want it returned...

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