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S. Sudan rebels say former detainees may decide on which party to join in conflict


June 27, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM in Opposition) has revealed signs of deciding moments by members of the SPLM former detainees to join either side of the six-month old political conflict in South Sudan.

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South Sudan political detainees (left to right) Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Majak d’Agoot, Pagan Amum and Oyai Deng Ajak at a trial hearing in Juba on 11 March 2014 (Photo: AFP/Andrei Pungovschi)

On Friday the rebels deputy spokesperson, Mabior Garang de Mabior, announced there would be a press conference on Monday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, during which at least one member will “take a stand” in signs suggesting that the former detainees or g-11 begin to dismantle and trickle in.

While Mabior did not name the politician or those willing to join the rebel group, there are similar speculations that others may also decide to join the government, citing recent meetings conducted between president Kiir and some of these leaders on the sidelines of the IGAD summit last week in Addis Ababa.

The former detainees have previously preferred to stay neutral or participate in the talks as the third bloc, despite the fact that they were politically allied to the former vice president, Riek Machar, in which they together held the 6 December press conference, accusing President Salva Kiir of “dictatorial tendencies.”

The group includes former SPLM secretary general, Pagan Amum, national ministers: Deng Alor, John Luk, Kosti Manibe, Gier Chuang, Majak Agot, Madut Biar, Oyai Deng, Cirino Hiteng; former Lakes state governor, Chol Tong and Ezekiel Lol, former South Sudanese diplomat to US.

After the 15 December violence, which they all alleged was started by president Kiir, they were all arrested, counter-allegedly for attempting a coup with Machar. The rebel leader demanded their release as a precondition for further negotiations with the government to end the crisis.

They were however subsequently released in two groups of 7 and 4; the latter due to lack of evidence presented in court.

Upon gaining their freedom, the group has been trying to participate in the negotiations as a neutral body, but with insignificant impact as their role is being reduced to consultations with either party or the mediation in order to sell their views.

In the course of their neutrality position the group also earned criticisms by South Sudanese rebels and some Kenyan MPs who described them as “opportunists” and “selfish.”

Machar’s supporters accuse the g-11 of betrayal over their reluctance to join the war “imposed on them.” They in particular accused the SPLM former secretary general, Pagan Amum, of allegedly uttering that the killing of the thousands of the Nuer civilians in Juba did not deserve a war, a remark Amum dismissed immediately.

Amum in a statement released last May explained their decisions to not joint the rebels simply means they refuse to be part of the war.

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

However Amum and his group were accused of playing the “good guys”, and plan to lead the proposed interim government with the support of the international community.

On 19 June, Salva Kiir rejected any such plans saying that he would not accept any government without him, the elected president, and accused unnamed countries of intending to dismantle the newly independent South Sudan and the ruling SPLM.

“They intend to constitute a transitional government without me as the elected President. They want to bring somebody of their choice to be the president of that transitional government. That is a red line,” said Kiir.

The expected declaration by the group members to take sides between the rebels and government, if it happens, is seen as the beginning of their melt down.


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  • 28 June 2014 07:06, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    11 former detainees are already joined Riek Machar sine day of date 6-Dec-2013 when they impossed ultimatum against president Kiir.
    There is no dream for gov’t to former detainees to them in any forum during this time of conflicts between Nuer of Riek Machar visa government.

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  • 28 June 2014 07:09, by Chol A.

    They are confuse and shame in they eye of South Sudanese people. They should have hang themselves to avoid being blamed and threat when they joint any other side! Or despare to exile if you guys want to stay alive!

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  • 28 June 2014 07:10, by Mi diit

    No wonder. This is always the fate of selfish opportunists. When did you become good guys while you were part of the mess in SPLM? You tried peaceful means but ended up in detention. You better join the armed resistance against the violent dictator, or you lose out!

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    • 28 June 2014 07:20, by Mapuor

      You are day dreaming my dear.President Kiir will rule for life whatever the cost.Kiir is the only sign of unity and solidarity among South Sudanese politicians.Tribal politicians like Dr Riek Macar have failed and should accept tribal share of power in its right proportion.SPLM is invincible,you tried SSIM but ended up in vain,just lay down arms and the poor Nuer go back to their farm

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      • 28 June 2014 07:42, by Mi diit

        SSIM stood for South Sudan Independence Movement, if I should waste time to educate you. Its zigzagging strategy in pursuit of self-determination brought you the independence your primitive tribesman is now destroying again. Our next move on democracy and federalism shall too succeed. Mark my words.

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        • 28 June 2014 09:55, by Force 1

          If you were proud of SSIM; then why are you still using the name SPLM-in-opposition? Aren’t you ashamed of the name SSIM? How come you claimed that SPLA is 80% Nuer and yet you all ran to Ethiopia for your lives. You see the whole shamed you brought to your entire tribe through lies!

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          • 28 June 2014 12:08, by Mi diit

            Force 1,
            Good your saviours, protectors and masters, Ugandan army, are about to withdraw. We will then see how you will fight in Juba without them. Last time Gen Hoth Mai with 64 tribes including Nuer soldiers saved you, then Uganda came in to fill what you always cowardly called a vacuum. Now this vacuum will widen again. Beg for IGAD regional force. Ahahaha…

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            • 28 June 2014 12:14, by Rommel

              Mi diit:

              Is Kuol Manyang Ugandan? Or do you suppose that he was Ugandan when Dinka soldiers under his command defeated Riek’s troops in a large and unforgettable battle at Gut-Makur, a village just outside Mongalla. Riek’s forces were then defeated at Wuor Baar. Our forces then entered Dinka territory at Gem, defeated all opposing forces in Nuer territory at Kuac Deng...

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              • 28 June 2014 12:34, by Rommel

                .. With Riek’s forces experiencing defeat after being pursued, hounded and cut down as far as Uror, Akobo, Nyirol, Yuai and Ayod. Were the Ugandans present when all of this was happening? The Ugandans were absent, and it was you that had the protection of your Arab masters, and you still couldn’t win.

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        • 28 June 2014 12:09, by Rommel

          Mi diit:

          How in the world can you ’educate’ anyone when you’re one of the most willfully ignorant people in this website!? You don’t like the historical truth and prefer to make up reasons for believing in nonsense. Riek’s *schizophrenic* strategies did not pave the way for our independence. The only people that believe this are you and members of your tribe. No one else.

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  • 28 June 2014 07:15, by Mapuor

    The eleven are nothing but opportunists who survived by worming themselves into a crack of any given difference.They came to prominence by creating problems then pretend to solve those problems they created,South Sudanese are tired of those thieves and do not want even to hear of them, leave alone supporting them.They are corrupt and useless.

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    • 28 June 2014 12:03, by Mi diit

      Mapuor Malual Manguen,

      Cry kid for your rotten uncle Kiir Kuethpiny. He is currently the most primitive and disrespected president in the African Union and the world at large. Don’t you feel ashamed of the one leading the most fragile, failed state? The one who cannot see things beyond his nose?

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  • 28 June 2014 18:30, by Kim Deng


    When British gov’t killed Guek Ngundeng together with countless Nuer Warriors and granted them more lands, which werer under Nuer occupation, they called Nuer defeat. When the Uganda army bombed Mighty Nuer Warriors with world banned weapon Cluster bomb they also lclaim the victory.

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    • 28 June 2014 18:49, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      It’s funny that you seem to think that you can evade the documented truth by evoking events almost two centuries in the past. You can’t run away from the fact that you were Khartoum’s witless lackeys during the war. Do you think Khartoum didn’t use cluster bombs on us!? We lost well over a million. We suffered infinitely more at the hands of your masters then you’ll ever know.

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      • 28 June 2014 22:26, by Peacocktail

        The Choice of South Sudanese is Comrade Pagan Amum Okech as Interim President of Republic South Sudan deputize by Dr.Richard Amulla, the current regime is rotten and no popular support amongst the citizens but a just buying of time to say We are not for This Government nor Rebels. they are all thieves... let them puck and go

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