Sunday, 10 April 2011
George Athor should not be the right leader for the rebels’ coalition in the bush
By Ariik-Dut Atekdit
These days, rumors have filled ears of anyone of us in the Sudan about internal rebellions against the SPLM led leadership in South Sudan. Most of the Southerners who have grown the spirit of patriotism and nationalism in the failed olden Islamic Sudan of no human rights and freedom were only hoping to celebrate for independence of South Sudan in July 9 2011 and then access their true feelings of becoming first class and valued citizens in the African South Sudan as a free nation.
However, a Dinka who is a Christian by faith, General George Athor Deng, an ex- rebel who fought against Khartoum for two decades under the umbrella of SPLM objectives has opted to take arms with claims of last year elections being rigged when he independently contested for gubernatorial post in the largest state of Jonglei. Another Dinka who is a muslim by faith and had lived a militia life for so many years under Khartoum leadership and a recent GoSS President’s Advisor, Mr. Abdel Baghi Ayii has also decided to rebelled against the South to pursue the rights of his fellow Muslim brothers in the region and to claim for them thirty per cent power sharing in the coming cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) by force.
Gatlwak Gai who hails from Unity state with ethnicity of Nuer community, the second largest ethnic group in the South, felt sympathy in Angelina Teny and rebelled against the government to fight for the claimed rigging votes of Angelina Teny, the true wife of GoSS deputy leader. With the election unhappiness we have David Yauyau of Murlei who also rebelled against Jonglei for not allowing him to win in his geographical constituency for the GoSS parliamentarian post.
The list is growing very fast and long and therefore we have a Nuer militiaman, Mr. Bapiny Monituel with a tribal objective rebellion, because he believed that he can not stay in the Dinka dominated SPLA and its Government. That was why he decided to join Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of Khartoum based Islamic Government during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period. Again, the SPLA Divisional deputy commander for Northern Bahr Ghazal, Mr. Peter Gatdet from Nuer community has now joined his colleagues because he is cultured to militia kind of military since long time ago and therefore he can not manage to stay in an organized army in the South.
Though Peter Gatdet had been a field faithful commander to Paulino Matip who had been a prime and powerful militia leader who waged a badly war that had killed most of his tribesmen, the Nuer more than any other ethnic group in the south. Gatdet has decided to leave his leader Mr. Paulino Matip because Matip has a big position in an organized army of SPLA. Matip being a deputy commander in chief and aged with an illness had no option to betray the independence of South Sudan. Another militia commander so far known only by the name Olony comes from Shilluk ethnic group. Shilluk is the only strong existing kingdom in the Sudan situated along the While Nile River. His rebellion is claiming the land of Shilluk Kingdom occupied by other communities rather than Shilluk, especially the neighbouring Dinka.
Romuors have said that rebels wanted to form a coalition under one leadership and General George Athor wants to take over the position just because he is greed of leadership. I don’t think that George Athor is the right leader for the rebels’ coalition in the bush. First of all, the reasons of rebellions of all the rebelled generals have no similarities from commander to commander. And I really wonder whether Mr. George Athor would assume to rule their movement in the bush with solitary possible and united objectives. In the recent days Athor was trying to scare the public and glorify himself by saying that he would unite all the rebels under one rebels’ coalition and named it to be: SOUTHERN SUDAN DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT and that its military wing is: Southern Sudan Army.
My doubt is whether Abdel Baghi Ayii shall join this coalition because the majority in the new movement will be Christians and animists and automatically the rights of few Muslims will be buried by the majority, his thirty percent may not come up or be accepted by the committed Christian Mr. George whose ceasefire agreement before referendum with the SPLA was witnessed, negotiated and blessed by two Bishops Daniel Deng Bull and Rudolf Deng Majak both the bishops of Episcopal Church and Roman catholic respectively.
Athor will not qualify to bring another militia Commander Mr. Olony from Shilluk ethnic group to his leadership because Olony’s war claims Shilluk land which is occupied by Dinka. To make things worse the home County of Athor which is currently called Pigi is claimed by Shilluk saying that even the word Pigi exists only in Shilluk language rather than Dinka. This reason can not let Olony join the leadership, should he join then his aims of rebellion shall have been lost.
Well, may be the rebels against the last year elections results may come under one leadership but how can they make it? Gatlwak who stays in Unity state can not cross to Jonglei state to join his leader George Athor nor will David Yauyau make it possible to come to George in the northern counties of Jonglei. These are leaders of similar grievances but in different and far geographical areas. If Athor captures a town for instance neither Gatlwak nor Yauyau can celebrate with Athor because the distance and the presence of SPLA army in the middle can’t allow them.
Bapiny Monituel can not agree another Dinka to rule him in the bush because he truly rebelled against Dinka leadership so it will be useless to accept the formation of Southern Sudan Democratic Movement under Mr. Dinka George Athor or Mr. Abdel Baghi Ayii for instance.
Even Peter Gatdet will not like to switch from SPLA Dinka led and Dinka dominated army to join another Dinka leadership of Athor. I don’t think that Nuer militia commanders will forgive Athor for killing over 200 innocent civilians in Fangak County which is mostly inhabited by Nuer tribesmen. Therefore, Athor can’t just celebrate the huge presence of militias in the bush. Some may turn against him and all of them can not succeed their Khartoum supported war against the separated country of South Sudan which is full of resources.
So to my fellow southerners who voted overwhelming for separation, the country you voted for will soon celebrate its independence as scheduled by the CPA with all your expectations. You should not be scared by power greed and bribed generals. They will wrestle in the bush for a while and shall soon be back. They want only to benefit from our money which was taken by Khartoum mandukuros (Arabs).
The war that Southerners fought was for liberation, but the current atrocities are just a joking of human life, innocent kids, women and elderly people. Jalaba wants to return us to tribal clashes and square one. However, we as southerners shall remain united forever no more breaking. However, George Athor is not qualified to lead the rebels’ coalition in the bush it will terribly fall out of his hands and our votes for independence shall win.