June 3, 2014 (JUBA) – A senior official in the South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), has resigned from the party, accusing South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, of "failure" and a "lack of vision" in governing the country.
- Peter Adwok Nyaba (The Niles/Pascal Ladu)
Peter Adwok Nyaba, who was a member of the highest legislative organ of the party, the National Liberation Council (NLC), declared his resignation in a 1 June letter seen by Sudan Tribune, addressed to the party’s chairman Kiir.
Nyaba said the ruling party had abandoned the ideology that propelled it to popularity both in the country and abroad and resorted to conspiracies against able colleagues soon after the demise of its former founder, John Garang de Mabior, who established the movement in May 1983.
The senior party politician, who is currently confined to Juba and denied movement abroad, said president Kiir’s sustained negative attitude over the years has subsequently resulted to the current crisis the country is embroiled.
“Mr Chairman, you will recall that between August 2005 and October 2007, backbiting, double-crossing, double-talking and outright conspiracies against specific comrades in the leadership characterized the SPLM internal condition. This culminated in the attempts during the SPLM 2nd National Convention 2008 to remove Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon and Pagan Amum Okiech from their positions as SPLM first deputy Chairman and SPLM Secretary General respectively", partly reads Adwok’s letter.
"The reasons for that attempt to remove the two leaders from the SPLM hierarchy were not sufficiently explained,” adds the long letter.
He further went on to accuse the party chairman of reducing the democratic reforms in the party into a struggle for power in which he sought military confrontation.
“It is inconceivable that you reduced to a struggle for power the disputes over democratic reforms in the SPLM. Political and ideological differences in a political party are inevitable. However, they are resolved not through military confrontation but through democratic dialogue and debates aimed at uniting the ranks and file,” he stressed.
Nyaba further accused the president of violating the constitution by mobilising, recruiting and training a private army hailing from Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states and massacred thousands of civilians from Machar’s ethnic Nuer community in Juba.
“This was blatant violation of the constitution. You cannot possess a private army besides the SPLA of which you are Commander in Chief,” he said.
He said the ruling party and the government should come out clearly and acknowledge the crime in which innocent civilians were massacred by the regime because of an alleged coup attempt.
“The SPLM leadership and the Government of South Sudan have not to date acknowledged the massacre of ethnic Nuers in Juba. The SPLM government has not told the people of South Sudan the truth about what transpired on December 15, 2013 apart from the coup attempt attributed to Dr. Riek Machar,” he added, further stressing that “The people of South Sudan want to know the linkage between the coup attempt, which occurred in Tiger Battalion, and the massacring of the ethnic Nuers in the residential suburbs of Juba.”
He further pointed out that among the issues that propelled his resignation was “South Sudan’s current context of ubiquitous ethicized conflicts, insecurity in the rural and urban domains driven by land grabbing with impunity, corruption, disappearances and assassination of political dissidents, stagnation and lack of development, and now the civil strife.”
PREVENTED FROM LEAVING JUBA
Nyaba, who was briefly detained in December last year for an alleged coup attempt “with no evidence“ said the national security service has since refused to return his passports to enable him travel for specialised medical attention.
“They told [me] clearly that I have to remain in Juba to ‘feel the heat’, whatever it means,” he revealed.
He accused the government of exhibiting its inhumane attitude when they could not let him even to travel and visit his wife who was in critical condition in a Kenyan hospital.
“I am denied my passport and therefore could not be by the side of my wife, when she underwent a five hours operation in Nairobi Hospital,” he lamented.
He said because of the situation the country is in due to the lack of responsible leadership in Juba, he had to resign.
“Given these facts, and in view of the fact that the SPLM under your leadership is prosecuting a civil war, I do not want, by virtue of being a member of the SPLM, to be privy to the some of the horrendous crimes being committed against the people of South Sudan," wrote the ex-minister for higher education.
“I, also, do not want to be privy to the transformation of the SPLM into a totalitarian machine, and an oppressive regime that is destroying South Sudan. I am therefore in all dignity and honour submitting my resignation from the SPLM as of June 1st, 2014,” he concluded.
Nyaba, a university professor who holds a PhD in Geology, was seriously wounded on his leg when he led a battle to capture Jekou, the first town to be captured by the SPLM/A in 1986 at the Ethiopian border with South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.
In 1991, however, he defected together with Machar, accusing late John Garang of dictatorship, but later abandoned Machar in mid 1990s and returned to the SPLM/A Torit faction under the late Garang.
He was appointed minister for higher education, but was sacked in the July 2013 cabinet reshuffle.