Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 30 July 2015

In memoirs of Dr John Garang de Mabior


By Mabor Maker Dhelbeny

The event of commemorating this day, as a memorial day of our martyrs since 1955 to 2005 was because of the Late Dr John Garang de Mabior. He died in a helicopter plane crashed on the 30th July 2005. By that time I was in Khartoum where the sad news spread across the country just like a wild fire. Many southern Sudanese had lost their lives in protest of his assassination. Shops, vehicles and offices were set ablaze in the major towns such as Juba, Wau, Malakal and Khartoum. Such extent of extremely violent by protesters came as a shock but calm was restored by the two governments – (GONU & GOSS). Some of the SPLM cadres have reacted with dismay and indignation in the Sudanese capital. Because Dr Garang was admired and respected by the people of the Sudan and the government of southern Sudan (GOSS) particularly, the day became an ultimate accolade in memoirs of all the martyrs. But today, we are commemorating this day in a despaired country. A country where many South Sudanese citizens are starving, dying of cholera and other diseases in the IDPs camps of UNMISS. A country where travelers are being killed on their ways to various destinations and a country where economic is almost to collapse as prices skyrocketed all over the markets. And indeed a country where thousands seek refuge again in the neigbouring countries for safety, after the longest civil war fought for more than twenty years. It seems our fellow brothers and sisters, heroes and heroines have died in vain during the course of liberation when they offered their precious blood and souls in order to achieve our Independence South Sudan.

After 21 days (9th-30th July, 2005) in the Presidential Palace of the Sudan as FVP, Dr Garang unfortunately left 180 days plan in order to implement the CPA which had introduced that Sudan will be governed during the six years period through the modality of “one country two system.” Perhaps it could be the above-mentioned principle or phrase under the pretext of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005, that made Dr Garang to prophesy that, “Sudan cannot and will not be the same again,” as we (including this writer) have seen now. As an architect of the CPA, his prerequisite conditions provided were two choices: 1. Unity (to be made attractive by NCP) and 2. Secession (but through the right of self-determination at a referendum vote). This brings me to what Dr Lual Acuek Deng (2013:4) articulated: “Those of us who believe in Garangism see Dr John Garang as a visionary leader and a social engineer who has succeeded in demolishing the old Sudan of hatred, and laying the foundation of New Sudan of justice, freedom, liberty, mutual respect, love and human dignity.” I doubt whether those comrades in the SPLM, including Dr Lual Acuek himself believe in Garangism, then they would not have set this country into some sorts of vicious, inhumane, war, famine and all types of untold sufferings felt by all South Sudanese citizens wherever they are. Of course Dr Garang was a revolutionary and a visionary leader who translated his ideas into practice. For example one of his ideas about the secession of South Sudan significantly became clear when he wrote a letter on the 24th January, 1972, advising Southerners that: “It must be clear to southerners that the retention of the right to secede from such a federation must be guaranteed by the federal constitution and by the existence of a physical Southern Armed Forces.” Imagine he had achieved this by putting the aforementioned statement into practice after 39 years to have the Republic of South Sudan. This had happened because of existence of the gallant forces of SPLA which protected the CPA and the interim constitutions (both INCS & ICOSS) that guaranteed the right to secede from the Sudan. Had it not Dr Garang’s conviction, and courage we would not have enjoyed these fruits of freedom, liberty, justice and prosperity in our own independence Nation State we have destroyed today. If we were to have his heart and his mind in order to understand his ideas and vision, then we would have nothing to confuse us rather than to implement those ideas and vision.

Unlike his living comrades, Dr Garang was a man who practised what he said and said what he practised. With his idea and vision of the New Sudan, Dr Garang seemed in my view, to have influenced and won the hearts of majority during the liberation struggle. He had therefore, garnered extensive support worldwide during his lifetime in wars. This success led to the return of Dr Riek and his followers to the SPLM in 2002, followed by the signing of the CPA in 2005. To know how courageous the founding father of the SPLM was, Dr Garang used to tell his fellow comrades, “My Southern Sudanese Separatists would have to come first with me to Khartoum in order to achieve their goals of an Independence South Sudan.” Of course his fellow comrades he referred to were those of Dr Riek, Dr Lam, Dr Adwok Nyaba and others because they were the separatists by then who were against the idea of struggling for the New Sudan. The substantial evidence was the first failed coup, masterminded by Dr Riek Machar (Now the rebel leader of SPLM-IO) and his associates against Dr John Garang de Mabior on 28th August 1991. Indeed this an attempted failed coup had led to his first rebellion and the first disintegration of the SPLM such as the SPLM-Nasir faction and the SPLM-Main Stream, just like his second failed coup against President Kiir Mayardit on the 15th December, 2013 that has led to his second rebellion now. This was before the second disintegration of the SPLM into SPLM-DC, 2009, SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD, 2013 respectively.

Dr Garang’s political discourse of the New Sudan continues, even after he was sworn in as FVP to mark the dissolution of the Civil Authority for the New Sudan (CANS) in the SPLM liberated and administered areas has become the basis of the governance system. Under the system of CANS by that time, there were no communal wars, random killings and daylight robbery of travelers including insecurity compare to the current system of governance where there is no accountability, rule of law, adequate security for civil populations and their properties. To quote what artists of Akut-Kuei said in their famous song of Dinka language: “Diet ya puoc Deng William ku be ping ka loi rot kam piny ke nhial ee aba piir alanden…” which literary means, “I wish to resurrect Deng William to listen to the things happening between the earth and heaven, will you survive really.” So if I were to resurrect Dr John Garang to come and see this mess, caused by his fellow living comrades in the SPLM across the country, nobody will be spared, even if he dismissed them from their government positions. There is no gainsaying whatsoever due to the fact that our dear leaders in the SPLM put our beloved country into abyss. I wondered as to where on earth under the system of governance in which most of the government officials had squandered the resources of their country without accountability. This, to my view demonstrated that they were inept and unprepared to govern the Republic of South Sudan. Perhaps the mission of Dr Garang ended with the signing of the CPA, 2005 miserably, while his successor President Kiir did his mission through exercising the right of self-determination by vote at referendum on 9th January, 2011 which had resulted to the birth of a New Nation in Africa. But the question that poses itself hereinafter is, who will lead the next mission of our promised land (South Sudan) in term of development and good governance. Will it requires a different leader as it was articulated by Dr Lual Acuek in his book entitled as “The Power of Creative Reasoning: Ideas and Vision of John Garang at p. 46.” We need to ask ourselves these three questions if we were to rule this nation as such: 1. Have we accomplished our mission after we got an Independence South Sudan? 2. Are we really prepared to govern this country? 3. Who will come to develop our country? Hence the aforementioned questions will be answered by each and every reader according to his or her own understanding. Since nobody amongst the SPLM cadres would be expected to emulate him, Dr Garang will be remembered because his ideas and vision did not perish with him. He left us all these ideas either in soft copies through video archives or through hard copies like books, but who cares to implement them. We will miss Dr John Garang de Mabior forever and ever. May his soul and the rest of our martyrs rest in peace!

The writer is a lawyer at Deng Awur Wenyin & Co. Advocates in Juba. He can be reached at mabor.lawyer@gmail.com

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