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Nuer refute accusations against South Sudan Amb. in Washington

Nuer Community Condemns Baseless Accusations Against Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth

Public Statement

Nuer Supreme Council (NSC)

January, 26, 2009 — A letter dated January 5, 2009, and was written to President Salva kiir Mayardit, was posted on the Gurtong website, South Sudan Nation and lastly forwarded to the SPLM-Diaspora by some of the readers. The unknown writers of the petition entitled: Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth should be removed and relocated to another GOSS Mission, which claimed to have been Nuer intellectuals and seniors, are strongly condemned by the entire Sudanese Communities and Nuer Community in particular for character assassination launched against Ambassador Ezekiel lol Gatkuoth.

The entire Nuer and marginalized communities should not be surprised to see baseless accusations floating around in the internet. The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) had spotted a clandestine group last year whose aim is to target Nuers who supported the wise leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This group has been mobilizing their supporters among the Nuer community in the U.S. to tarnish the image of those they regarded as “traitors of Nuer leadership”.

It should be recalled that Amb. Lol Gatkuoth took a principled stance during the SPLM Convention in May, 2008, and sided with the majority of the SPLM members who wanted the party united behind the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit. His stance did not sit well with some individuals who longed to return our people to dark period of the 1990s. As an instrumental figure for the merger between the SPLM and SPDF in Nairobi in 2002, Ezekiel Lol has been the champion of “unity is strength” ever since. The current SPLM Chairman knew back then that had it not been for the intervention of Ezekiel Lol, Nairobi Declaration signed between late Dr. John Garang and Dr. Riek Machar could not have been possible. The nationalistic decision he took to urge unity between the SPLM and the SPDF, under the historical leadership of Dr. John Garang, is widely known among the leaders of the SPLM.

It would indeed be shocking if the people of the South discovered that Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth joined forces with prophets of doom to turn against the historic leadership of the SPLM during the May Convention of 2008. There were figures who consulted deities to attempt to persuade him to turn against Salva Kiir Mayardit. However, he refused to betray his own principles that the strength of the South lies in the unity of its children.
The Nuer Supreme Council would like to inform the entire Sudanese community from all walks of life to disregard the allegations made by this unknown disgruntled group that claimed to be living in Nebraska in the United States. The leadership of the Nuer Community in the U.S. would refute their false allegations as follows:

I. The allegation that Amb. Lol Gatkuoth is an Ethiopian

To tarnish the name of Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the clandestine group alleged in their letter that he is Ethiopian who is not supposed to be appointed as head of the GOSS Mission to US. Unless the group is underestimating the intelligence of our wise President of the GOSS, such a claim cannot persuade Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit who does not need any lecture about the Nuer society. The President was SPLM/A Commander who liberated most of Nuerland from the enemy and knows it village by village.

For those who are keen to know the biography of Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the Nuer Supreme Council is pleased to briefly mention his background. During the first Sudanese war, Ezekiel’s family left Sudan and took refuge in Ethiopia. When Addis Ababa peace agreement was signed in 1972, Ezekiel’s father was one of those who did not believe that Neimeri was serious about the peace agreement and refused to return to Sudan. However, due to family reasons, he decided in 1975 to move back to Sudan and settled at Malual Gahoth. The town is near Ethiopian border and is far from Malakal, where there was large concentration of Jellaba soldiers. This town was entirely administered by Southerners and the fear of Jellaba was minimized.

After the formation of the SPLM/A in 1983, Malual Gahoth was the first town to be attacked. As a result of this, Ezekiel’s family returned back to the refugee camp in Ethiopia. Most Southern civil population around the Ethiopian border fled and became refuges in Itang, Gambella.

The people of South Sudan are conscious of the fact that there is considerable number of Southerners born outside the South as a result of the first and the second wars. For instance, so many children of CDR William Nyuon, CDR Salva Kiir, CDR Kerubino Kuanyin Bol and many more were born in various refugee camps of Ethiopia. Their children are recognized by law as Southerners because their fathers fled to Ethiopia with an objective of liberating their people. If there are misguided individuals who may attempt to argue that Ambassador Lol Gatkuoth is not a Sudanese because his father took up arms during Anya-Nya One to liberate his people, the people of the South may wonder whether such an argument would not question the citizenship of the children of the above mentioned Southern heroes. The principles of our liberation would not have any tangible meaning if the children of Southern heroes are denied citizenship because their fathers went to foreign land in order to liberate the oppressed masses of the South. Such a denial cannot be left unchallenged in the Constitutional Court of the South. Luckily, the South Sudan Interim Constitution (SSIC) stipulates that a child of Lt. Gen. Kiir or anybody born in a refugee camp or displaced location in a neighboring country, is a Southern Sudanese. This principle adopted by the framers of our Constitution is predicated on the belief that it would be uncivilized to deny citizenship to children of Southern heroes born outside the South.

II. The intention of the writers

The marginalized people of Sudan are tired of the NCP-like tactics of “Divide and Rule.” We have seen the intention of this disgruntled group, they are aiming at the followings:

1- The group wanted to see H.E Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Commander in Chief of the SPLA and his deputy, Lt. General Paulino Matip Nhial, Deputy Commander in Chief of the SPLA, to have a problem that would lead to the division of the people of Southern Sudan that the two leaders had vowed not to see happening during their time.

2- The group wanted to tell H.E Lt. General Salva Kiir not to work with Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth because he can leak-out information. The intention is to cause mistrust between the President and his Representative to Washington.

3- The group is aiming at creating frictions between H.E Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth because of the alleged claim that Ezekiel is working with H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit other than Dr. Benjamin.

The above points are aiming at the “Divide and Rule” tactics practiced by the enemies of the South for a long time. The Nuer in particular and the people of the South in general, may wonder whether this clandestine group had not struck a deal with the masters of the divide and rule to Balkanize the SPLM into tribal units that cannot govern the South.

III - The role of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth in Washington, DC

Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was appointed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit as the GOSS and SPLM representative in the United States of America. The services he provided go to the marginalized people of Sudan and Southern Sudanese in particular. He was not appointed to Washington as a Representative of a particular community. There is no denial that he is a Nuer by tribe; however, he is not in Washington to represent Nuers as a community. The so called Nuer intellectuals and seniors may have forgotten their role in the Nuer Community; their role should have been to work closely with Ambassador Gatkuoth to promote the policies of the GOSS. People may begin to wonder whether the group was not driven by hatred not intellectual adventure because all the GOSS Representatives throughout the World were appointed by the Ministry of Regional Cooperation after a thorough scrutiny. Nobody could be appointed or employed by the Regional Cooperation in Juba without summiting his/her Curriculum Vitae. It should be noted that any modern CV contains the biography of the individual applying for a job.

IV - Communication between Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and GOSS President

In the rule of diplomacy, a representative of the country, in the level of ambassador, representative, or envoy, do solely have right to have a direct line with the President of the Republic or Government. They do represent the President himself or herself. That does not mean they don’t have any line with their boss, the Foreign Minister or in our case, the Minister of Regional Cooperation. They do get their directives from their Minister, but the communication is always open with the President.
The clandestine group failed to understand the art of diplomacy in which communication channels are being managed. Our community is at ease to argue convincingly that Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth is legally mandated to communicate with his Minister and his President. The argument of the clandestine group is not based on established principles of diplomatic missions, but on ulterior motives of drawing a wedge between the Minister of Regional Cooperation and the GOSS Representative to U.S.

V- Relationship between Ambassador Gatkuoth and Deputy C-in-C

The people of the South are insulted by the clandestine group that alleged that there is a friction between Deputy C-in-C and the GOSS Representative. The Deputy C-in-C dismissed such allegations raised in the letter of the group because they don’t contain an air of reality. It has to be recalled that the coming of Deputy C-in-C to U.S.A. for medical treatment was tremendous and tireless work of Ambassador Lol Gatkuoth. When the U.S. Embassy in Uganda failed to issue a visa to Deputy C-in-C, Ambassador Gatkuoth had to intervene by persuading U.S. State Department to issue a Ministerial Order that overrides legal hurdles. The GOSS Mission to U.S.A. made sure that the Deputy C-in-C is examined at the best clinic in the World. Ambassador Gatkuoth had conducted regular visits to the residence of Deputy C-in-C in Minneapolis to ascertain his medical needs and respond accordingly.


The Nuer Supreme Council would like to warn the entire Sudanese community in the U.S. about the existence of a clandestine group whose first enemy is the unity of the South. Their plot is not only to launch a smear campaign against those they deemed as the enemies of their machinations, but also are longing to eventually imperil the leadership of President Salva Kiir after they succeed to assassinate the character of Ezekiel Lol. It is known throughout the history of South Sudan liberation that certain clandestine groups had attempted in the past to destroy the peoples’ Movement. However, such attempts did not succeed against the SPLM/A in the 1990s. We are sure such a group will not succeed against Ambassador Ezekiel lol.

Press and Public Affairs

Nuer Supreme Council (NSC)

Branch Office

United States of America

Email: naath66@hotmail.com