Friday, August 17, 2018

The Bad Blood Between President Kiir and Riek Machar Should be On the Peace Agenda*

In 2001/2002 when Riek Machar finally agreed with Dr. John Garang to come back to the SPLM/SPLA, Dr. John and other senior members of SPLA agreed that Riek Machar should be welcome back and given the third senior position within the movement.

President Kiir, then the Chief of Staff of the SPLA (after William Nyuon left in 1992) and Garang's second in command, objected, arguing that rebellions shouldn't be rewarded.

By that time, Dr. John had dismantled or sidelined the National Liberation Council - which was supposed to be the most important decision maker in the SPLM - and formed what he called the 'Leadership Council', which analysts saw as the reconstitution of the defunct politico-military High Command of the SPLA.

So the Leadership Council voted and Commander Kiir's voice was defeated 'democratically' so he got in line. Commander Wani Igga (now Ph.D.), graciously I guess, had also excepted to step aside for Riek Machar.

So, when Kiir assumed power in 2005, people thought he'd forgotten his distaste for Riek Machar. And Kiir thought Riek would be subtle about his quest for power after the debacle of his 1991 rebellion.

So, when Kiir and his inner circle decided that it would be a good idea (for them) to kick Riek out in 2008, hell nearly broke loose. It was contained, luckily.

So when Riek challenged Kiir openly for the chairmanship of the SPLM in March of 2013, Kiir, now with unlimited powers, decided to show Riek who's the BOSS and who will SOB. So Kiir dismantled the reconciliation process Riek was leading, stripped Riek of delegated powers and in July, FIRED Riek.

(And I would assume Kiir had signed).

So when Riek ante his opposition to Kiir after he was fired, Kiir became furious and the old enmity combined with the unlimited powers of his presidency gave the meek Kiir enough confidence to insult Riek and his co-oppositionists straight in their faces by invoking 1991 on December 14, 2013.

So, as long as IGAD doesn't pay attention to the bad blood between Riek and Kiir, it will be foolhardy to think that Riek and Kiir will just work together for peace.

The IMPLEMENTATION MATRIX being discussed now in Khartoum need to put KIIR-RIEK HATRED onto the 'ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED.'




As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!