Mabior: Open Letter to SPLM/SPLA (IO) Members
Dear Comrades in Struggle
Nov. 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–In reference to the above subject, I am writing to members to set the record straight surrounding the current state of confusion in the leadership of your Movement. This confusion is related to the recent rumour and forged letter alleging I had resigned. The letter in question was fabricated by those who want to push me out as they have done to many Comrades.
This letter was easily verifiable by members as a forgery as it is nowhere to be found on my website, the medium through which my publications are released to the public. I later released two communications between the Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar and myself. In these two memos, I communicated my frustration at the hijacking of the Movement and made my intention to resign as the Spokesperson clear to the leadership. It was these memos which some Comrades took and decided to use in a propaganda campaign to push me out. We fondly call these Comrades the NPTC regime. We all know who they are and they know themselves.
There was already a struggle being waged for fundamental change in our country by the time war broke out in December 2013. As soon as our country gained independence, progressive citizens started to voice their concerns, claiming that the historic SPLM had failed to deliver the promise of the liberation struggle. We lost several Comrades in this struggle, including the infamous case of our brother, Isaiah Abraham, murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen in 2013.
All these politicians who today find themselves on various sides of the political divide, hijacked this struggle from these progressive citizens after they were all sacked in 2013. In so doing, they have squandered an opportunity to birth a bona fide Republic and have plunged the country into an abyss.
These opposition groups were not serious about the struggle for radical reforms in our country; instead, they piggybacked their vested interests on the peoples’ struggle. As such, they failed to present a unified opposition which could bring pressure to bear on the regime, as an incentive to make them implement the Agreement.
In the history of struggle, no divided opposition has never defeated an incumbent. These so-called opposition groups have used the Agreement to get back positions they lost in 2013. They abandoned the reform agenda and are today helping to maintain the intolerable status quo they claimed they wanted to change.
This is mischief!
The decision to go to Juba was neither discussed by the leadership, nor was it put to a vote – it was the decision of the Chairman and a small group which has emerged over the years. It was not only the decision to go to Juba which was made without consultation; this is true about most decisions. Members have always wondered why I never attended the meetings that our Movement held in Pagak. It was because decisions were literally made by a “kitchen cabinet”. There are Comrades who slept in the Chairman’s kitchen in Pagak to be admitted into this exclusive club. In most meetings, the resolutions are presented as the agenda and Comrades are made to feel like they have participated, but this is not so.
This interest group has now openly hijacked the movement, delivering our Chairman and Commander in Chief to an open prison in Juba. In addition, they are helping the regime portray an image to the public that the Agreement is being implemented. There are several legal bodies of the movement which briefed the Chairman and Commander in Chief that the move to Juba was premature. In the end, it was the advice of the interest group – the NPTC regime – which prevailed and the entire leadership was ordered to go to Juba without consultation.
The Committees for security and the military leadership were denied any meeting with their Commander in Chief, who assured them he would return in three days. The Chairman and Commander in Chief, Dr. Riek Machar, has now been in Juba for nine months under serious restrictions despite being the First Vice President (FVP).
He cannot communicate with the real political leadership or the military leadership, he cannot hold rallies, speak to the media or even go to church. This can hardly be called peace. This clique which has hijacked the SPLM/SPLA (IO) still claim “the peace is going on well”, when we all know there is no peace.
The NPTC regime has created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, labelling anyone who points out the lack of implementation of the peace Agreement and the movement’s loss of vision and direction, as anti-peace. They have rendered the National Committee for Information useless.
We have countered this mischief through opinion pieces to inform the public in an unofficial manner. It is obvious that we have opposing definitions of peace. To the revolutionary intellectual, peace means that a boy from Yirol can sell his meat in Yambio and a girl from Yambio can sell her pineapples in Yirol. That is our definition of peace, not the distribution of positions between eminent persons.
The SPLM/SPLA (IO) has so far been the best political movement in the country with the most potential to bring fundamental change in our country. We joined the Movement in April 2014 to contribute our faculties to the objective of delivering the promise of the liberation struggle to our peoples. It is unfortunate that today, the political movement has lost vision and direction. Therefore, it is important for us to look inwards so that we can make revolutionary corrections.
We must start the radical reforms we propose for our peoples within the Movement first. Otherwise, we have no business calling for reforms in the country. The Political Bureau (PB) and the National Liberation Council (NLC) are not the highest bodies in the SPLM/SPLA (IO), it is the members through the National Convention. I call on the members of our movement to rescue her by calling for an extraordinary convention to discuss the crisis in the leadership. If the objectives of our struggle have changed, it should be made clear and those who wish to take a different direction can decide in such a meeting.
Yours in the struggle,
Cpt. Mabior Garang