Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 8 May 2018

SPLM Reunification: Is Taban Deng done politically in S. Sudan?

By Peter Gai Manyuon

Taban Deng Gai has been the First Vice President of South Sudan since 2016 after J1 incident that killed thousands from both Kiir forces and Riek Machar forces. Previously he was the Minister of Mining and the Governor of the Unity State, a position he held before and after South Sudan’s independence in 2011 until 2013 when he was sacked by President Kiir.

On the 7th of May 2018, Taban came out with a press statement amalgamating his bodyguards to the Kiir forces claiming the reunification of the Sudan Peace Liberation Movement (SPLM) when in fact his closed allies were not part of the decision and many from his group are currently confused about the unfortunate decision from their boss.

It should be noted, General Taban Deng Gai is done politically in South Sudan and what he (Taban) will enjoy now and beyond is the title former First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, nothing more. You can’t tell me, General Taban will be President after President Kiir or whoever will be the President in South Sudan.
Why do I say so? In fact, general Taban has got four groups of enemies in South Sudan as per politics is concerned.

The first enemy is the general population of the Country because many masses have taken him as the only obstacle to peace in the Country after the collapsed of the peace agreement in 2016 July. Taban was taken as an opportunist who only wanted destruction and position, not peace.

The second enemy is Kiir group, because they normally say frankly Taban is the only Nuer man dangerous than Dr Riek Machar in South Sudan politics and therefore, he (Taban) covered himself with the name of SPLM in opposition as the only protector in Juba and in the region but now his position and resources in serious risks. Don’t ask me why now but ask me after two months from now so that, I will be able to give you an answer. Furthermore, Micheal Makuei Lueth, General Kuol Manyang and other extremists from Kiir camp will eventually introduce a methodology of finishing Taban politically in SPLM since they looked at him as the person who caused 2013 crisis.

The third enemy is Dr Riek Machar group, where currently I don’t see any possibility of Taban assimilating or associating himself in the Nuer-Nation politics is 1% as per now and beyond. Grassroots Nuer population have taken Taban as an obstacle to peace since Khartoum Peace Agreement and the 2015 agreement that Taban claimed the position of First Vice President through deception.

The fourth enemy to Taban are his supporters in Juba mainly Hotels officials, there will be instruction from Kiir soon to evacuates the hotel’s accommodations to their various homes in Juba or States. In this case, many will defect from the government and joins any rebel factions in the Country because the aims of many who are with Taban is money, nothing else.

In summary, since Taban and his group denounced being part of the SPLM in opposition, than he should be ready for serious humiliation both physical and political and most likely, he will be sack from being the first Vice President and will not also get any position either deputy chairman of the Party or Secretary General as he wishes. Taban will go home in peace after sacking from the second top official in the country and all his supporters especially those in the hotels and other cities will disintegrate to other political parties in the Country.

Peter Gai Manyuon, is an author, Independent Journalist, and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan He can be reached at southsudanjournalist@gmail.com or independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com.