Mabior Garang de Mabior, a prominent member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO, has ruled out that he will never set foot in Juba no matter what —unless the IDPs and refugees return to their homes.
“I would like to assure our civil population that, the only thing that can take me to Juba is the freedom of our people in the IDP and Refugee camps. I will not go to Juba for a V8 Toyota Landcruiser, nor for Kombo Samak and Shurba La’am,” said Mabior Garang in a Facebook post.
On June 3, Mabior resigned from the unity government as Deputy Minister of Interior in protest at the slow implementation of the peace agreement, however, his position has not yet been replaced.
“It has become abundantly clear that our partners in peace implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the only way we can restore some semblance of sanity to our nascent Republic.
Adding that, “the SPLM/SPLA (IG) – have no intention of as Your Excellency is aware, I am among the many SPLM/SPLA (IO) cadres who have been suspicious of the intentions of a regime which insists on implementing the Agreement without security arrangements,” said Mabior in his resignation letter.
“I personally protested and brought it to Your Excellency’s attention that I could not put my hand on the Bible and swear on a lie – an illegitimate R-TGONU – and so I declined to participate in it.”
He accused the Kiir administration of dragging it feet on the implementation of the peace agreement and using lame excuses as delaying tactics.
Response to Matthew Debuol – Personal Assistant to the Minister of Defense of the R-TGONU)
Opinion |By Mabior Garang de Mabior
Dec 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–On the 12th of December I received a missed call, followed by a message from Matthew Debuol, who goes by the username Troika on Telegram. He urged me to contact him directly, which I did later on the same day. I was taken aback since I have never received a call from this Comrade. To my surprise, he was calling me regarding the now infamous Facebook post by Comrade Kalany Mamuon in which he criticised the Hon. Minister of Defense, Mama Angelina.
He went on to – in a passive aggressive manner – intimidate me by giving me a lecture on party regulations and procedures. He wanted me to take disciplinary action against Comrade Kalany, whom he had previously threatened and failed. I wondered with which authority he was calling me and giving me directives.
In response, I declined to take any official action against Comrade Kalany since his was a personal opinion expressed on social media and not an official SPLM/SPLA (IO) position. It is the right of any citizen to criticise and hold accountable any constitutional post holder. While what Comrade Kalany said may have been insensitive, it was accurate.
It is for the same reason we criticise the President, that we can criticise any Minister; it comes with the territory, as it were. It is for this reason that I resigned as the Deputy Minister of Interior. In the absence of security arrangements, it was a set up for failure. However, I did agree to talk to Comrade Kalany and told him he could have found a better way of expressing the same view.
After several unsuccessful attempts to use me to intimidate Comrade Kalany, Comrade Matthew Debuol’s true colours came out suddenly in a sectarian rant. It started with an innocent question, asking how I propose we change the regime, which I told him was a question to be answered by the leadership, rendered irrelevant by the Luak Ltd. He then went on to tell me, ‘with all due respect’, Nuer children should not die for my regime change agenda. That I should go and bring children from Bor to die for regime change. At this point, I knew the Conversation was over.
I have received several messages from some party members counselling me not to dignify such myopic views with a response. I agree with these Comrades in principle. However, I felt it was necessary to write an “Opinion” on this issue because it is one of the propaganda talking points of a sectarian-cultural interest group in Juba who have hijacked the leadership of the peoples’ movement in the name of “giving peace a chance”.
Compatriots, this is mischief!
I am less concerned about the damage these words may do to my ego. I do not even believe they are the words of Comrade Debuol, I believe he picked them up from the senior partners in what I call the Luak Ltd. The enemy within is trying to use sectarian sentiments as a smokescreen to conceal their surrender to the status quo. They are suffering from struggle fatigue. The dishonourable surrender of the NPTC regime has nothing to do with saving the lives of Nuer children, it is magendo – corruption in the South Sudanese vernacular.
If these people cared about Nuer children, why have they forgotten about those in the Protection of Civilians Camps (PoC) and those in the refugee camps? The very same army he (Matthew Debuol) claims he wants to save by going to Juba, is the very same one which has been abandoned in the bush and are languishing in the cantonment centers. They are now under attack by an army led by a senior member of their party also in charge of security in the party.
In 2014, many South Sudanese from all walks of life joined the struggle for fundamental change in our country after the Juba massacre. Our indignation at this tragic chapter in our history was not because Nuers per se were killed, but because those who died where our fellow citizens.
In conclusion, members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and our civil population in general, should understand the difference between Peace and an Agreement. The current Agreement in Juba will never bring peace, which is our ultimate objective. Not necessarily the implementation of the Agreement. There is a difference between giving an Agreement a chance and giving Peace a chance. We have seen the results of giving this Agreement a chance, it has ended in war in Moroto. Let us now give real peace a chance by being honest with ourselves; there is no Agreement and we the politicians have surrendered.
Perhaps we may find peace out of this noble admission and negotiate a good surrender which may have a better chance at ending in peace.
Dec 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–Mabior Garang de Mabior, head of the SPLM-IO Committee for Information disclosed on Saturday that he had been threatened and intimidated by some SPLM-IO members after one of his aides shifted the blame onto Defence Minister Angelina Jany for failing to take action following a series of attacks on SPLA-IO forces in the Equatoria region.
“I was called today by one of the Junior Partners in the Luak Ltd [ referring to the SPLM-IO]. He tried to intimidate me about the Facebook post of Comrade Kalany Mamuon in which he criticized Mama Angelina – the Hon. Minister of Defense. He wanted me to take disciplinary action against him (Kalany), which I declined to do,” said Mabior in a Facebook post.
“His contention was that they went to Juba – in essence surrendered – because Nuer children are dying and that I should bring an army of our own children from Bor if I want regime change. He went on to talk a lot of sectarian nonsense. It seems he’s popular view among certain sectarian interest groups in Juba.”
This is not the first time that the senior member of the opposition has complained of being discriminated on the basis of his ethnic identity by a certain group he always refers to as the ‘Intellectual Mercenaries of the NPTC Regime’ in Juba.
Mabior, who hails from the Dinka Bor, has been a staunch supporter of the SPLM-IO and has since held top ministerial positions in the previous unity government as well as the current Eevitalized Transitional Government of National Unity formed earlier this year.
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.
Comrades, 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.
Fellow members, 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 Mobile Office
Oct 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–Mabior Garang de Mabior, the eldest son of the late Garang, announced on Thursday that he is recovering from an unknown disease after 3 years of uncertainty.
“I have been sick for three years now, the last one year has been one of recovery. Those who follow me on Fb and IG have witnessed my illness, treatment and recovery process. It has been difficult to get any sympathy when it is relatives who portray one’s illness to the public as alcohol and drug related,” said Mabior
Mabior says he’s now at the point of recovering from an illness he’s been battling for three years.
“I am happy to announce today that I am close to a full recovery, I can walk again, talk again, see again and my strength has generally been restored. It had been shown by my recovery – which further confirms the doctors suspicion – I have been suffering from an illness which has no natural cause,” he added.
The senior SPLM-IO official disclosed that he did not have sufficient resources to receive medical care from a well-developed hospital.
“Since I was afflicted at the hight of the struggle for a second Republic, I had no resources to seek treatment for a while. After one year of illness the toxicology report could not reveal anything, it was too late. It was difficult for those who do not follow me on social media to see this journey because I continued to perform my duties to the peoples’ struggle even throughout this terrible illness, I even did the work from my hospital bed. I am thankful to my ancestors and to the Almighty for sparing my life.”
Mabior said he would have died, had it not been for God’s intention.
“I am not supposed to be alive today, this is a second chance at life.”
“I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all the sisters who called me and kept me company during the height of my trials and tribulations. I cannot forget to thank the many brothers and sisters who supported me financially, I would have gone blind without your support.”
“Finally to those who are disapointed that I did not succumb to the illness and find it difficult to explain why they left me to die, I am not bitter, I feel liberated by this experience.They say, “what does not kill you can only make you stronger”.
(Thessherald)–I appreciate all the messages of congratulations which have been pouring in for the last few days. However, I doubt we will achieve anything. In fact I am being set up to fail.
I was going to turn down the portfolio but after many Comrades pleaded with me, I decided to take up the post. My position remains the same despite accepting to participate in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU);
We should congratulate ourselves when we free our citizens from the refugee camps and the Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDP) camps.
It is difficult to fathom how after eight (8) months of the pre-interim plus two (2) extensions we have not been able to implement Security Arrangements, we would suddenly find the will to implement them in the next thirty-six (36) months. There are even more critical tasks to be addressed during this Interim Period. We should have started our work in the Ministries after disarmament of civilians, demilitarization of Juba and other major towns and so on. If the C-in-C is against change, there is little we can do. Furthermore, the intransigence of our partners in peace is well documented.
It is also difficult to fathom how the R-TGONU will survive beyond six (6) months before it implodes under it’s own weight; five (5) VPs, thirty-five (35) Ministers, nine (9) D/Ministers, five hundred and fifty (550) MPs, thirteen (13) Governors with their Ministers, MPs, Commissioners. Then there is the Public Service and the Organized Forces. Where will we get money to sustain this huge machine?
The oil prices have dropped to a new low and the donors will not fund a government run by the same sanctioned financial criminals. It is the same on the IO side; with some of the people who have looted the National Pre-transition Committee (NPTC) money during the eight (8) months pre-interim – plus two extensions – are among the IO appointees. There is not a single provision of the Agreement which has been implemented.
It has instead continuously been dismantled from the day it was signed. If we are not using the Agreement as our road map for the peace process, how will we arrive at peace? The SPLM-IO has surrendered and all we have done is legitimize the status quo for another 3 years – within which the hardliners, most of whom have returned on the regime’s ticket – will precipitate another conflict. The seeds of intercommunal violence are all over and will not take much for it to be politicized into tribal war.
I am only going to Juba because of the popular demand for my return. I will help our people see the realities on the ground and continue to speak truth to power. With the political appointment, I will capture some attention and use it to capture the imagination of the public. I will not go to Juba with the delusion that I will be able to change things in any grand way. It is not a matter of plugging the right people into positions.
I will do what I can within the constraints of what we are calling a unity government and resign if we fail to implement the security arrangements in the next eight (8) months- something which should have been completed before we start our work.
I am certain that the regime will not implement the Agreement, or President Salva Kiir would have cut his losses and implemented Chapter II – Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. It is not the Deputy Minister of Interior – as an individual – who will bring peace from his home. This idea is a continuation of the untenable status quo and countless Ministers have been set up to fail in this way.
It is mischief!
There is still an uphill struggle before us to implement the negotiated peace settlement. It is the only way we can bring about fundamental change in our country. We must all be part of the peace process and all Junubeen – South Sudanese in vernacular – must be part of this and are indeed stakeholders in this peace. The SPLM-IO cannot do it alone, the SPLM-IG cannot do it alone, SSOA cannot do it alone, FDs cannot do it alone; the Ministry of Interior alone will not bring peace, there is no single movement great enough to bring peace on its own. Nothing short of the full implementation of the Agreement in letter and in spirit will bring peace. The current peace Agreement we are struggling to implement is an opportunity for our civil population to rise up – in a non-violent way – to assert their hard won independence. An uprising out of abject poverty and the brutal status quo, a political uprising and not a violent revolution.
Mabior Garang de Mabior is a senior member of the SPLM IO and newly appointed Minister in the Transitional Government of National Unity.