At the end of 2004, while the Sudanese people were closely following Naivasha peace talks with a lot of expectations for freedom and democratic transformation, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) was plagued with rumors and accusations of conspiracy.
To put an end to this acute crisis, an extraordinary meeting was convened to dissipate rumors and misunderstanding related to the removal of the deputy chairman of the SPLM, Salva Kiir Mayadrit and his replacement by the young Nihal Deng Nihal.
The importance of this meeting stems from the fact that it safeguarded the unity of the SPLM at a critical stage and paved the way for signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005.
The following is the full text of the minutes of the three-day meeting which took place in Rumbek from November 29 to December 1, 2004; one month before the signing of the CPA.
CONFIDENTIAL REPORT ON THE RUMBEK MEETING 2004
On the Joint meeting of the SPLM/A leadership Council, General Military Command Council, Heads of Commissions, SPLM Secretariats, SPLM County Secretaries, Civil Society & Community Leaders.
RUMBEK 29TH OF NOVEMBER TO 1ST OF DECEMBER 2004
DAY 1 Opening Prayer: Rev. Clement Janda
Introduction: Cdr. Dr. Riek Machar
Briefing: Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit
Cdr. Dr. Riek Machar Thanked Cdr. Mark Nyipuoch, Cdr. Dr. John Garang and the other participants and announced the beginning of the meeting, which had been ordered by the Chairman. The first part of the meeting comprised of the leadership council, the Secretariats, and the members of the General Staff. The second part was composed of the members of IGAD team, and the Commissioners and Secretaries of the SPLM.
In the opening of the meeting the Chairman Cdr. Dr. John Garang, thanked members of the SPLM/A national leadership Council and welcomed all the participants who traveled to Rumbek. ‘I thank you in the name of the Almighty God. To begin with I wrote two messages:
One on 14/11/004 (No. 001/11/004) to address the following accusations/rumours;
• That there was a meeting held in Nairobi under the Chairmanship of myself where Cdr. Salva Kiir would be replaced by the Chairman with Cdr. Nhial Deng.
• That I went to Kampala and met with Cdr. Pieng and ordered him to arrest Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
• That Cdr. Malual Majok went to Ramciel to collect forces to go and arrest Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit at Yei.
They are all lies and a big propaganda initiative.
The second message was on 23/11/04 calling for this meeting which we are now convening today and where I want to make a general briefing about the signing of peace next month in which each and every one should be informed accordingly.
Cdr. Machar then welcomed Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit to brief the national leadership meeting where he welcomed the Chairman and C-in-C and the national leadership. ‘I confirm the two messages read to you by the Chairman are all true. The rumours came from Nairobi and around the leadership of the SPLM/A. The second message I got was through Cdr. Pagan Amum who was visiting the liberated areas with friends from friendly countries. I requested Cdr. Mabior Kuer to ask the HQs why I am not talking directly to the Chairman. I spoke to the Chairman when he was in Kampala and he told me that I should meet him in Yirol, which I didn’t reply to in the light of the rumours.
The rumours implied that I will be arrested at Ramciel where the Chairman was, so I decided not to go. When I received that rumour, I called the security personnel in Yei and discussed the issue in length with them. I also informed them to find out where the sources of the rumours from Nairobi were coming from, which they did.
After I spoke with the Chairman, I also met Cdr. Pieng in Yei for the whole day and he was advising me to join the Chairman in Yirol, which I refused. After that I met Cdr. Kuol Manyang and Cdr. Deng Alor. They came from Nairobi with information that I should go to Nairobi for reconciliation between the two of us. I considered the word reconciliation as something very serious, and therefore decided to tell them that I will not go to Nairobi. The HQs of the Chairman complained that they were calling me and that if I recognized their number, I would switch off the telephone. That is not true; I never received any call from them and switch off my telephone.
I assure you that the allegation that I am against peace is not true. I am really for peace so that the International Community could rescue our suffering people. People of Bahr El Ghazal have suffered too much from repeated famine and from the Arab militias – and for these reasons I am the first to embrace peace to relief them from suffering. Peace efforts such as the Wunlit Peace Conference have up to date ceased hostilities between Western Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal; and that is good. So I need peace. There are those who want to create confusion in the Movement and fabricate such things. I don’t have personal problem with the Chairman.
If we are National Leaders, which I don’t believe we are because we have no cohesion within our leadership structure, let us be sincere with ourselves. After meetings are concluded, we run to foreign countries. There is no code of conduct to guide the Movement’s structures. When the Chairman leaves for abroad, no directives are left and no one is left to act on his behalf. I don’t know with whom the Movement is left with; or does he carry it in his own brief case?
The Chairman killed the national Executive Council (NEC) by creating the leadership Council. But there is no provision in the Convention for a ‘Leadership Council’. Does he want to revive the Political Military High Command? The Leadership Council creates a situation where all are directly reporting to the Chairman – including SPLM County Secretaries. When I mentioned these facts, they should not be construed to be my personal or family problems. Those around the Chairman don’t tell him the opinion of the public. The Chairman is everything, from a finance officer to one at the lowest level.
Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.
In fact, there are many outstanding administrative problems that require our attention. These include the infrequent converting of conferences at the leadership level, causing an absence in the SPLA/M chain of command and making others to directly communicate with the Chairman without following the right procedures. This should be corrected. If the responsibility of Governors goes directly to the Chairman, what will be the work of Cdr. Daniel Awet? I hope Cdr. Daniel Awet will address all those things. The Chairman should not make appointments of SPLM County Secretaries; it is the work of the Governors.
The other issue I would like Comrade Chairman to address is how the CANS structures are now operating, e.g., take the absence of the SPLM Regional Secretary for Bahr El Gazal from his area of responsibility while there has been sporadic tribal feuds within the region – and which has resulted into sectional conflict. The Chairman most of the time send Cdr. Deng Alor on foreign missions which were supposed to be the work of Cdr. Nhial Deng.
There are several other administrative issues that require correction. We are three Deputies without functions. The Chairman is responsible for all systems including the Army General Headquarters. Our HQs. started in Yei, then Rumbek, then new Cush and now Ramciel. When are we going to establish our HQs? The deputies of the General Staff are the ones commanding the forces; they should stay in the General Headquarters instead of commanding. Yet the Chairman is the one who dismantled the General Headquarters. Comrade Chairman, the establishment of the General headquarters hasn’t been fulfilled and this I have been requesting ever since Yei was liberated. Branch officers such as the Director of Military Intelligence and his deputy are now in your Headquarters, though they are supposed to remain at the General Headquarters. The Chairman concentrates on his headquarters forgetting the rest of the army. It is only his headquarters, which has military uniforms, boots and other supplies.
Our present situation requires us to be organized and prepared. If peace is signed, the question is; what have we done in training our military cadres so that they meet the standard of their counterparts in the integrated army. There are rumours that the Chairman had already selected by name those Commanders who would command the Joint Integrated Army. What about the rest of the army and who will pay them? The Chairman seems to have taken the Movement as his own property. As we leave Rumbek after this meeting, I would like to see that all our administrative issues be addressed and implemented following this meeting’s resolutions.
I would also want Comrade Chairman to give me full powers of the Chief of the General Staff (COGS) to enable me expedite the regrouping and reorganization of the SPLA, and if Comrade Chairman sees that I am not able to do that job, then he can appoint another person to do it.
The Chairman is to be 1st Vice-President of the Sudan and the head of the Government of Southern Sudan, but he is not talking to Southerners. The North is organizing southern militias so that we fight among ourselves. We must unite our own ranks and not just unity with the north. On a personal basis, I don’t have any problems with the Chairman but our working relationship is bad and leaves a lot to be desired.
I would also like to say something about rampant corruption in the Movement. At the moment some members of the Movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of system are we going to establish in South Sudan considering ourselves indulged in this respect.
Response from the Chairman. I give the floor to the national leadership to comment on what had been said by Cdr. Salva Kiir, I don’t want this to be a debate between Cdr. Salva Kiir and I.
Edward Lino thanked the Chairman and said we are really in need of resolving the problems within the SPLM/A. The people of Abyei are accused of being Dr. John’s supporters and as such, are victimized for that. Cdr. Pieng made an intervention that Cdr. Edward was not addressing the issues.
Cdr. Elijah Malok stated he really supported what Cdr. Salva Kiir said, and recommended that a collective leadership be created. Here in Bahr El Ghazal Cdr. Deng Alor has been away for too long and these are known facts; the leadership council should address and resolve these outstanding issues and go back on the right track. Let us form committees to reorganize the army, since all the units are here. I don’t believe what Cdr. Mayardit said about the people being victimized. Structures are to be recognized right way as a government so let us reorganize them and work in the right way as a government.
Dr. Justin Yac. I will go with the suggestion of Cdr. Pieng that the Chairman response to the issues raised by Cdr. Salva Kiir.
Cdr./Dr. John Garang I will give my contribution to what has been raised; that firstly we need to dispose of rumours. In the whole of South Sudan, there is a general concern from the citizens, and in Yei, the officers and citizens believe there is a danger facing the Movement. We have to clear the danger and give our people assurances.
Cdr. Salva Kiir and I have been together in the movement for 22 years, and have been close friends, and we will continue that way. 22 years of friendship can’t be thrown away by rumours; Cdr. Salva will be with me now until the end of the interim period and beyond, and I will cite what was said when I visited Malual Kon and the “Luak” of the family of Cdr. Salva where I entered the house to show comradeship and a long cherished friendship. At a meeting while visiting there we were told, “You are the two orphans” left because the original members of the High Command died, both of us will carry on to bring peace.
I cited what happened at New Site recently when the Chiefs a ceremony where a bull was sacrificed to show how we are united. At the spiritual performance, one traditional leader said that 4 things will happen:-
– 1. The bull will urinate.
– 2. The bull will fall down.
– 3. The bull will face the North.
– 4. The bull will die without being slaughtered.
And all the four happened.
The allegation that I was going to dismiss Cdr. Salva and arrest him was not only a lie, but it did not even occur in my mind. I was preoccupied with the peace process and not trying to create a crisis. Before UN Security Council Meeting, I received a telephone call from President Bush who said that he now had those who will work with him during the next four years and that I am one of them. President Bush said, “John don’t let us down. We want peace before the end of the year”.
The allegation that I will be replacing Cdr. Salva was a bad lie. If Cdr. Salva was dismissed and replaced with Cdr. Nhial Deng Nhial, it would mean that I would have dismissed all those senior to Cdr. Nhial which includes Cdr. Riek, Cdr. James, Cdr. Daniel Awet, Cdr. Lual Diing, etc. – which would be bad for the Movement. So this allegation is a lie. The crisis only has the support of our enemies who want a crisis in the Movement. This situation was created by our enemies because they do not want to sign the peace agreement.
The Chairman pointed out that the GOS has never been happy with the protocols, specially the Machakos protocol, because of the self-determination clause. The GOS and their supporters don’t accept the security arrangement and the Wealth Sharing Agreement, which gives the South of Sudan 51%. The Khartoum Government wants to reject the agreement being signed or at least delay it. By delaying in signing, Khartoum will gain $2.5 billion from the oil revenues, which we must prevent by all means possible. Khartoum was unhappy with the Power Sharing and 3 areas protocols. Neither I nor Cdr. Salva had any interest in delaying the peace agreement. I have nothing to gain by dismissing Cdr. Salva.
Finally I have never had any thought of dismissing Cdr. Salva. And it should be considered a lie. This rumour has caused commotion everywhere in Southern Sudan, Khartoum and the Diaspora – so I will assure our people everywhere and send a strong message to Khartoum Government that they will not divide the SPLM/A.
Cdr. Salva and I are innocent of the situation, and four of our leaders will appear in a press conference telling the whole world about our unity and that there is no problem among SPLM/A members. Secondly, I want to assure you of my confidence in Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit. My relationship with Cdr. Salva goes back to 1983 – Cdr. Chagai Atem, Kerubino and many others were close to me. I still have personal relationship with Cdr. Salva and I trust and have confidence in him. This is needed now than ever before. I want Cdr. Salva to be around me during the interim period, and beyond.
The Government of Sudan called upon all the Newspapers to stop making allegations against the Movement. So let us put that issue to rest.
Secondly, Cdr. Salva said that I brought all the officers around me, leaving him alone in vacuum. What I can say is that is not true.
On internal reforms, I agree that reforms are necessary. We are all behind them. We have been making reforms since 1983, e.g., the Zonal Command, Political High Command, NLC, NEC, etc.. these structures can be changed but the objective remains the same. Our imperfect structures have brought us to the present day. Let us not throw away these structures now, otherwise we will throw ourselves away.
The Chairman urged the meeting to introduce changes slowly. He said he is for change but slow change. The Chairman reiterated that all SPLM/A members will be protected; he assured all members that no one will be left out. On the issue of new comers who are said to be taking over the Movement, he said we should accept all southerners new or old because there are more southerners than members of the SPLM/A who must be accommodated; but no newcomer will displace anyone who has been with us for years.
On the appointment of Governors; all Governors will be appointed from their respective areas, e.g. in Lakes the Governor here will come from Lakes. As for States, people of each State will form their governments with no marginalization within States.
As for the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), there will be representation based on the states, fairness and justice. Similarly at the Central Government, there will be State representation. All Governments, whether GOSS or State Governments will be based on modern standardized structures.
The army will be organized based on modern standards. The SPLM will be reorganized democratically. There will be a mult-party system. There will be no need for coup d’etat anymore, so for example my friend Dr. Riek Machar will not need to make a coup because he can form his own party if he is discontented with SPLM.
The issue now is how to achieve a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. After that, the 2nd national Convention will be convened as soon as possible after the peace agreement is signed. The NIF Government is not happy having to sign the agreement on or before 31st December 2004. The Government is not happy with the UN Security Council Resolution1574. The NIF want to create an armed group loyal to them. They also want to create a political group from among southerners to be used by them. We must stop such a move that will create enemies among Southerners to fight among themselves.
South-to-South dialogue must be organized properly, but the leadership has refused outside mediation. I told the European groups about our stand on this. The Power Sharing protocol states that the SPLM will form the Government in the South. The protocol give 15% to non-SPLM/A members and 15% to members of other parties. There will be discussions therefore with Southern parties.
On Civil Society, we need to dialogue with them including the Churches. On top of that, lawyers and other concerned members will write a constitution for Southern Sudan. There will be a constitution for states and the rule of law will be established.
Finally, regarding our vision and strategies; we must continue with our programmes because we are succeeding in the process. I reject the view that there are some of us who are unionists and others separatists within the SPLM/A. There are no such differences among our people. We are all for the unity of Southern people, and the Movement will carry out the referendum. As for members of the Khartoum National Government who have mutinied, there is a group calling themselves SPLM/A members. I told them that we want peace and we don’t want you to be SPLM/A now. I told the group to organize their own independent Movement, and not be associated with SPLM/A.
On the structures the only way to resolve it is through the national Convention, which should be convened as soon as possible.
Cdr. Deng Monydit. Greeted everyone and praised the leaders for coming together. He stated his appreciation of the response given by the leadership; ‘I want to say I am happy to discuss what was about to be stolen from us, and it is not the concern of those in London. This struggle is not the private property of anybody. Whoever says the Movement is his property is wrong, for the movement is for all.
Cdr. Garang Mobil. I thank the leaders. Since 1997 I decided to stay in my house because I did not believe that our problems should be solved by violence. Facts must be stated now in order to solve them once and for all. On the ‘orphans’ there six (6) members who died and only two (2) are left. The question I want to discuss today, is that there is a problem but the Chairman keeps saying there are no problems, only a ‘gap’ between him and Cdr. Salva. He will not accept there are problems in the New Sudan. But if the problem is not solved, there will be no peace. I also want to say that the movement is in the hands of a few and many are alienated. National resources must be shared by all, no matter how small it is. The structures are controlled by a few minority groups, and this must be sorted out now in Rumbek. This minority group is the problem; hand picking people must stop now because it is creating problems.
Cdr. Agassio Akol. There is a problem because many people avoid Cdr. Salva as Deputy Chairman and Chief of the General Staff. The Governors and their deputies bypass Salva and correspond directly with the Chairman of the Movement, which I consider to be outside proper procedure. Cdr. Salva said that in his talks, he raised specific issues which he needed answers on. The Chairman must have failed to answer these issues, otherwise, the talks would have ended. Cdr. Salva said he did not blame anyone but the Chairman. He wanted the Chairman to tell him whether he was wrong or not. For example Cdr. Salva questioned the legitimacy of the leadership Council, as he considered it to be illegal.
The National Convention is unlikely to come soon to solve the problems of our structures; the convention has no importance for now. For Cdr. Salva, structures cannot be done by a Convention. So who is going to organize the army? Cdr. Mark Nyipuoc intervened by saying a press conference should be made.
Cdr. Taban Deng Gai. I want to express my appreciation and happiness for this meeting. It is good to discuss issues of this nature, which appear to divide our movement. I want to congratulate the leaders for agreeing to come to attend the meeting. I want to congratulate Dr. Riek, Ayendit and others for the mediation. If we had such mediation in 1991, there would have been no problems that year, and the coup d’etat would not have taken place. This meeting is on internal issues. Those in Khartoum are happy to see the SPLM/A destroyed by Southern interests. But we are now victorious for we have stopped that disaster. As for our system, there are institutions but not functioning ones. The Leadership Council will not take us anywhere. The era of the Political Military High Command is gone. We must have a modern system of government created by the following committees:
– 1. Committee for the Army;
– 2. Committee for the Government;
– 3. Committee for the Judiciary; and
– 4. The Parliament.
Justice Ambrose Riny. I greet the Leadership and SPLA officers. In 1994 the Convention created institutions. When I talked about the independence of the Judiciary, many officers reacted against it. It was the intervention of the Chairman who permitted the Committee to complete its work. There have been difficulties and roadblocks by those who did not want a system. There have been difficulties in implementing the resolutions. In 2004, the leadership Council was set up to replace the NLC and NEC. The Leadership Council has no legal base to exist. The Chairman dissolved legally instituted organs of the movement as contained in the national convention of 1994, but unilaterally established illegal institutions which are not supported by any legal provisions of the convention thereof.
I want to say that a lot has been done by a few. Most of the things done are imperfect, but they have served us. I appreciate what has been done on South-South dialogue under the SPLM/A Secretary General. The Chairman was supposed to establish a constitutional committee to draft our constitution. We must come together in a place where all departments are residing; there should be one center for the government of SPLM/A to stop all these rumours.
I would like to point out that many members of the movement have lost their ability to sit in an office. I want to point out an incident where a commander told me that what Dr. John or Cdr. Kuol Manyang say ‘up there’ does not work in the South. What kind of a system is this, if it is not respected by its officers? There is no system respected in this movement. I suggest that a committee be formed to organize the army and a conference to inform the world and our supporters that there is no problem from within.
Mama Kezia. I thank both leaders for coming together to discuss all the issues. I was happy with the 1st Vice-Chairman for saying everything in his heart. The rumours outside are bad. Both leaders say it was only a misunderstanding. I appreciate what is happening and I call upon Rev. Clement Janda to bless our conclusion. I agree with the 1st Vice-Chairman that there is something wrong with our system. After the death of the Chairman of my commission, no one has been appointed, and therefore there is no one to report to. For me it took three (3) years to see the leader of the movement. There isn’t a good system. But I think that from now on there will be a system in place.
Cdr. Pieng. Greetings. I will be saying something different; that I have not been happy with our meetings that end without resolutions. I am a revolutionary soldier. I have both military and political interest and if anybody things I don’t have both, he is lying. I am not happy with the response of the Chairman; there are problems to be addressed, and these problems must be solved now.
The Chairman has not committed mistakes; for me, they are unintended mistakes, for the Chairman could not create problems for himself. I mentioned that during the time of Kerubino there were problems. There were rumours that the Chairman was going to throw away his SPLM/A cadres and replace them with people who have not been in the movement since its inception. There must be committees to reorganize the movement; I agree with Cdr. Elijah Malok’s call for a system and committees. When the Chairman goes away on a visit, he never leaves anyone to act where officers should report to.
Cdr. David. Greetings. I blame the Chief of the General Staff for having failed to do anything until now. But nothing is too late; I suggest that the army be organized now. First create a General Command for the SPLA, for there is no army without a General Staff.
Cdr. Oyai Deng. I want to add my voice of being happy to participate in this meeting. When the movement started, you were seven (7) and now you are only two (2) remaining. Some said that you conspired against those who died and now you are conspiring against yourselves. I am shocked to hear Cdr. Salva talk here only about Bahr El Ghazal and not the South in general give he is a leader for all. I strongly agree with Cdr. Salva that when the Chairman goes away, he locks the South in his bag. This is wrong. Cdr. Salva has the right to question anything wrong. There is a problem that must be solved by taking the right decisions.
Cdr. Gier Chuang. I understand what is happening; I didn’t believe that Dr. John will sit near Cdr. Salva again today. I am happy to see this conference. Many people have died due to internal differences and I refer to what had happened in the 1991 crisis. There must be resolutions for all issues, which bring about conflicts; there must be committees established, specially for the SPLA. I also pointed out that during the December 2003 meeting in New Site, there were no representatives from the army. What is a government without an army.
Cdr. James Oath. I greet the gathering. When the movement started you were seven (7) and now you are only two (2) – five died having problems with you (Dr. John). Why do you have problems with your colleagues? The leadership has disabled the movement, so why keep it? Why is there a GMC, because it has never met until now? There is no SPLA ready to fight, and for me there is no army to order. If I am ordered to arrest Cdr. Salva, I do not have an army to arrest anyone. Even the Chief of Staff cannot order me to do anything because there is no army. There is no chance to meet the C-in-C – it will take long time to meet him. This is not good, therefore a committee must be formed now to sort everything out.
Cdr. Oboto Mamur. Greetings. The Chairman always had problems with his colleagues. Now you are two (2) and you are turning against yourselves. Chairman you have been lying throughout since 1983. A Chairman should trust his deputies because there is a big problem here. I ask the Chairman whether he has mandated us to judge him? And if so, we will pass our judgment on him now. We don’t want to talk for the sake of talking. There must be a committee to follow up on all the resolutions agreed on here. And I add, the convention will not solve our problems.
Cdr. George J. Deng. This meeting is a good opportunity to talk today in front of other commanders. The reply by Cdr. John to Cdr. Salva is not convincing at all. My suggestion is that a committee must be formed to organize things right away. There is no longer any army. Therefore a committee has to be formed for the agreement to succeed. I view the SPLA as my home; if the leaders want to go then it is up to them.
Cdr. Malong Awan. Everyone is waiting for the outcome of this dispute. Both leaders therefore should solve their differences. If they don’t solve their differences then they should remain inside this room until the crisis is over. Nor should we blame our enemies for the rumours came from ourselves – we should not blame outsiders. For example Ayen Maguat went to talk to Cdr. Salva. Many from Yei volunteered to go to talk to Cdr. Salva. She complained that Cdr. Wani Igga was in Yei but failed to talk to Cdr. Salva. Instead he went to his village. This was not good leadership and I disagree with Cdr. Wani Igga’s position.
Cdr. Santo Ayang. I thank the communities of Bahr El Ghazal, Bor and the committees that went to Yei. Without them things would have got out of hand. The Chairman must tell us the truth about the source of these rumours. All that was circulated was not rumour, and no one was bribed by the enemy. You tell the world that you brought peace to Sudan, but the reality is that peace was brought about by those who fought for it and died. Those around you only please you and do not tell you the truth. I support the formation of committees suggested by Taban Deng Gai.
Cdr. Ayuen Jongror. The conflict is within the leadership. When conflict arises, it must be resolved immediately. The two of you must be in one place and not in Nairobi and Yei. The style of your leadership is causing lots of problems. The GMC Secretariat was supposed to be formed, but since then, nothing has happened. The GMC should meet to discuss the issues of the army and structures of the Movement must be formed before the convention.
Cdr. Elias Wai. There is fire so we need it not to burn further. Cdr. Salva is not convinced. All are not convinced with the reaction of the Chairman towards issues raised by Cdr. Salva Kiir. The Chairman is placing his relatives in key positions including Elijah Malok, too old, for example, to hold the position of Governor of the Central Bank. Note, there might be popular uprising one day and the army will join the public.
Cdr. Jadalla. We are here to solve our problems. Committees should be formed to investigate the rumours. You think you are the founder of this movement, and as such, that you can do what you want without consulting people? The public is not ready for more problems.
Cdr. Patrick Aitang. We are talking about rumours, but what do we do next? The letter alleged to have been written by Equatorians caused serious tensions. Thanks to Cdr. Salva for salvaging the situation. The ball is now in the court of the Chairman and he should come out with the facts leading up to this dispute. The Chairman should be bold and form the necessary structures.
Cdr. Kitchener. The Chairman and Salva should work together until the end of the liberation struggle. We need leadership to lead us.
Cdr. Ayual Makol. To achieve our objective, we must be united. If the two leaders of the Movement only agree to disagree, then it will lead to internal warfare. Form a committee to investigate the rumours
Cdr. Dominic Dim. I agree that the Leadership Council should be abolished and the commissions replaced by the NEC. The Chairman has locked the NEC in his boxes. Dr. John’s response to Cdr. Salva was neither good nor sufficient. For me, there is still a problem as people still remain suspicious of the Chairman’s intentions. I reiterate that if the problem in question is not resolved, there will be a bigger problem in the Movement. I suggest that the Chairman be clear on resolving this conflict. We should remember how General Swar El Dahab was forced to take over during the crisis at that time. Cdr. Salva was asked by many people to take over, but he refused to do so. I support the formation of committees to restructure the movement and provide us with collective leadership.
Cdr. Biong Ajang. I thank the previous speakers. Cdr. Salva has the right to blame the Leadership Council. The rumours are no longer rumours, but facts as said by Cdr. Salva. There is a problem and that problem should be solved now. I support the formation of committees. What transpired in Yei was the product of two rumours; 1) the arrest of Salva Kiir, and 2) the dismissal of Cdr. Salva Kiir.
Cdr. Salva Kiir gave us the chance and invited us to meet. I thank the bodyguards of Salva for handling the situation very wisely. Dr. John has no powers to dismiss Cdr. Salva because the national Convention elected both of them. I emphasize that rumours do not only originate from Nairobi. Yei is also a source. I support formation of committees.
Cdr. Ismail. We should combat the rumours. It is very unusual for a Deputy Chairman not to have easy access to the Chairman. However, forming committees is another way of avoiding the problem. The explanation of the Chairman hasn’t convinced most of the people nor answered what was raised by Cdr. Salva.
Cdr. Dau Akec Deng. I thank the 1st Vice-Chairman for his stand.
Lt. Col. Mathiang Rok. This meeting has saved the lives of many people in the South. I would like to quote from Francis Mading’s book; “things that are not said divide people”. The Leadership Council has taken the powers of the NLC. People still doubt the Chairman’s comments were satisfactory. There are many ‘huddles’ in the system, e.g. the Leadership Council has taken up the role of the National Convention. Our main concern is how the structures will be made functional. We are here to bring peace and harmony among ourselves. If there is anything, which is not clear, it should be said now!
Cdr. Chagai Atem. These rumours started in 1994 and I was the chief negotiator between the two. Now they are caught red handed again.
Father George Kinga. I greet and thank the leaders. The four leaders are great and must be respected. The issues are institutional ones. I also support the formation of committees.
Mr. Pascal Babindi. I am happy to have the chance of addressing this important and historic meeting. The restructuring we decided on at the Gorok NLC meeting pushed us ahead. I am confident that the reforms that shall soon be made will also push us ahead.
Cdr. Achol Marial. A committee should be formed to investigate into where those rumours originated from. I appeal to the leadership to mobilize resources prior to the formation of ministries.
Dr. Komanyangi. The formation of committees shall lead to a final solution to all our problems. I suggest that we give ourselves time for these deliberations to continue for one more day so that all issues are exhausted.
Cdr. Simon Kun Pouch. The speakers have not talked on how to combat corruption. The formation of a committee to work out functions for our structures is not really a priority because they already exist, we need only to share power and prepare job descriptions for all the institutions of the movement.
Cdr. James Kok Ruea. A preparatory committee for the Convention should be formed within the shortest time possible. We should work on the structures that will make the Movement function during the interim period as follows: 1) 1st Vice Chairman to chair the GMC, 2) 2nd Vice Chairman to chair the committee for the interim period and 3) 3rd Vice Chairman to chair the committee for National Convention.
Mr. Muhammad Marjan. I believe that the world is looking forward to knowing what our movement will be like once peace is signed and we emerge as a government.
Cdr. Michael Makuei Lueth. There is no need to form a committee to investigate the rumours, which were circulating, unless Cdr. Salva insists that they have never been rumours. I call upon both the Chairman and Cdr. Salva to build confidence between themselves. I assure the Chairman that as we are entering a new era, and if we remain in an unprepared manner, we will eventually be finished. The immediate establishment of our structures is necessary. The distribution of powers is also necessary. The army must be organized. There is also the importance of speeding up South-South dialogue before we enter the forthcoming era. The other issue is corruption. I am saying that the leadership is not committed to fighting corruption. I am against the suggestion that there should be a committee for the army’s reorganization. It is for the COGS, his deputies, and the directors to sit at the GHQs and issue orders according to the plans they set. The national Liberation members should not blame the Chairman alone. In Gorok, the NLC gave the Chairman a blank cheque to restructure the movement, and that was when things started to go wrong.
Opening remarks by the Master of ceremony after prayers noted that the present meeting has come out in the internet; and a warning was given to those who might have done so.
Mr. Kosti Manibe. I want to add my voice to those who have already spoken. I express my appreciation to those concerned for having resorted to peace negotiations and to end the conflict through dialogue. I am happy that the 1991 disaster has been avoided. I acknowledge the existence of gaps in the system and I call upon the leaders to address the communication needs. I stress the need for media to send accurate messages to our people, enemies, etc.. The Movement should have a capacity for communication to deal with the media when required. I point out that a lot has been achieved – 90% of the objectives have been achieved. There are structures, but a lot of work requires to be done
The JAM’s programme on capacity building should be followed. Functions will be set out. On policy issues, I suggest that a lot remains to be done to build confidence in our system and institutions. I suggest that there is a need to form a small committee to look into the minutes of this meeting and to identify the crucial issues that needs resolutions as soon as possible. Such information should be disseminated.
Cdr. John Luke. I am happy that the rumours have been resolved. The rumours of the dismissal of Cdr. Salva has been on air for a long time. There were other rumours that Cdr. James Wani was going to be replaced by Cdr. Pagan. Some responsible people in the Leadership Council have been quoted as saying that Cdr. Salva, with support from Bona Malual, will make a coup. There has been a problem among members of Leadership Council who have been complaining a lot. There is no system, especially in the office of the Chairman, which is treated as a private entity. The office of a leader must be well organized and staffed properly to do its work.
On the responsibility of leadership, Cdr. Dr. John should not be blamed alone because there are others. The dissolution of the Leadership Council will not mean that a normal system will be established. No proper changes will take place, even if the Leadership Council is dissolved. If Dr. Garang dissolves the Leadership Council, he will appoint the same people in the L.C. There is no need to make changes now until peace is signed. The formation process f or the government needs wide consultation; people should wait for a month until peace is signed.
The Chairman is being accused for not implementing decisions. In the army, if you need structures, I see Cdr. Salva as a political figure; so a pure army officer should be appointed as Chief of Staff and Cdr. Salva should be given a Commission. This way, the army should be run by an army officer who is not a politician.
Why is the leadership avoiding South-South dialogue? The Chairman refused to accept dialogue, but claims it after others implemented it. It was Cdr. Salva who supported the Wunlit Peace Conference – but the Chairman was against it. At the recent conference in Nairobi organized by the Kenyan Minister for Planning, the SPLM/A failed to attend because the Chairman had refused to let the SPLM attend. Cdr. James Wani is weak and the Chairman uses him to kill things related to South-South dialogue. The NLC is dead and I suggest that an emergency convention be organized immediately.
Cdr. Marc Nyipouch. Cdr. Marc stated that the rumour that madam Nyandeng was arrested with 3.5 is libel and defamation. He continued to cite the case of General Lagu during the Regional Government. On the issue of Governor Deng Alor, Cdr. Marc said that Cdr. Deng collects money from abroad, banks it with the Chairman’s or his (Deng’s)
bank account, and that is why Deng Alor was taken away from the region – just to do that. Something Nhial has failed to do but what Deng is able to do. Deng should either be a Governor of Bahr el Ghazal or be replaced.
Mr. Arthur Akuien. I am being called the Finance Secretary but without any finance. I want to point out that the rumours have been destructive and that the leadership style encourages such rumours. I want to say that the Chairman does not delegate powers to his deputies. The Chairman is responsible for creating this crisis in the movement.
On the structures, there are structures. But the Chairman after appointing someone to a position does not work with him, but he will appoint someone else to do the work, which is wrong. The Chairman creates all these problems within the system, and this is why he is being blamed. I also point out when a senior person tries to discipline a junior, the Chairman always fails to solve the problem among the staff and instead interferes. The leadership style of the Chairman’s work is bad and cannot be corrected. The Chairman has not been doing well in his job and he may be forced to leave his office before six years.
Dr. Justin Yac. The Chairman is good for external contacts but within his own institutions he is not good. The Chairman is good in talking but poor in doing things. The Cdrs. Condemned him the day before and I quote Cdr. Salva who said that “Dr. John does not forget and does not forgive”, and who ever quarreled him ended up dead.
Many people know the Chairman’s abilities and weaknesses for the last twenty-two years. The Chairman can impress people when he talks, but lacks action. The commanders the day before gave the Chairman grade F because he failed to adequately answer the issues raised by Cdr. Salva. The Chairman should not think that he is always right; rather he must admit his mistakes. The Chairman must work with a team and not be a leader of the NLC and Chairman of SPLM. Leadership must be collective.
The officers the other day faced the Chairman with hard facts, but we have not been telling the Chairman the truth. We are also to blame. The Chairman should respond to issues of structures to avoid the recurrence of this problem. The Chairman can listen and write on issues, but he always discards them. The Chairman has been everything ever since the movement started. I call upon the Chairman to work with people and not alone. The Chairman should know that he has been wrong because some of the members have not been telling him the truth. Some leaders should be blamed for not doing their part, for many have not been doing things properly. I repeat what Cdr. Salva said that Dr. John does not forget and forgive. So I want to say that those without guns are vulnerable. The Cdrs. Are secure because they have guns to protect themselves from the Chairman, but I ask, who is going to protect those of us without guns?
I call upon Dr. John to listen to all the demands and that he (the Chairman) should make changes and suitable structures. I also suggest that the Rumbek meeting should come up with resolutions that we support the finalization of the peace agreement now, all should be committed to the peace process.
On the issue of dissolution of the leadership council, there is no difference so no changes are necessary. I urge the Chairman to work closely with his aids. We have sat here because we are part and parcel of the executive and leadership as well. Mr. Chairman, I urge you to treat us equally and remove doubts that there are people you prefer.
Cdr. Elijah Malok. I propose the formation of three (3) committees, and that they remain here in Rumbek to start their work as we may have problems with resources and the committees should finish before December 31st.
Cdr. John Koang Nyuon. I thank the Chairman and his 1st Deputy to have responded positively to our wish to sit, as we are doing now to discuss and resolve issues that create misunderstandings. Rumours always create problems. The availability of Thuraya telephones in abundance is really a problem as some of their users can verbally reveal our secrets for the sake of money or any other reason. The reaction by some officers is appreciated, as they only want the resolution of our outstanding problems.
I suggest the formation of regional committees to organize our army within the coming month since you mentioned that peace is likely to be signed by the end of December. I see this as the immediate priority other than the rest we are now discussing – as other structures already exist. To organize the army is not so difficult.
A clarification was made by 1st Vice Chairman Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit: “What brought us here to meet is the question of the rumours, which have been circulating. As the Chairman read in his messages, we haven’t reached a conclusion, as we have not known from where they emanate. When I went to greet the Chairman it was immediately announced that Cdr. Salva has met with Dr. John and their differences are resolved. The question is how does this news go out? I believe that they are not from my part. The rumours came from Nairobi not from Yei”.
Cdr. Abdelaziz Adam Alhilu. The structures formed during the 1st national convention exist, the only thing is that they are not effective due to meager resources. The lack of adequate resources is the main problem that affects their functioning. Instability is also a factor. A system normally operates when the enemy is inactive.
The establishment of structures at present when peace is not yet signed will also put us in difficulties, so it is important to wait for a conducive atmosphere. I agree with the suggestion for the 2nd national convention to take place as soon as possible. I don’t agree with those who say committees should be formed to organize the army. I see it fit that local committees shoulder such responsibilities provided that resources are made available.
Cdr. Daniel Awet Akot. This is a good opportunity for one to air out what had been said before, As Dr. John and Cdr. Salva put it, that they don’t have personal or political problems – then that is appreciated.
Cdr. Ayuen Alier. If the style of leadership is changed, things will automatically change for the better. The whole issue is our general problem not only the Chairman and his deputies. Our top leaders restricted travel to Nairobi with their officers, but that cannot work. Every-body gets there on his own. There is a necessity that capacity building starts now. Cdr. Ayuen made the additional observation, that the lack of self- confidence is always the cause of our problems, and as for rumours, which have been confusing, I assure you that those who have self-confidence cannot be affected by rumours.
The suggestion by Cdr. Elijah Malok that committees be formed and start their work here in Rumbek is supported by me. The delegation for the peace talks should be the only ones to go: let us support peace because it is the requirement for now. Mr. Chairman I end by thanking both of you for having cooled your nerves. Come together to discuss so that we can resolve whatever problems are facing us.
Cdr. Kuol Manyang. I think this meeting is historical and as we enter a new era, we are going to be more united after this meeting. You differ with someone and you reconcile. Differences are natural. A person can easily make a problem between him and another. We have to unite and this is how you can overcome rumours, which confuses the people. Like the recent situation, I was informed through unofficial channels that Cdr. Salva had been removed. I called Cdr. Deng Alor and we were joined by Cdr. Awet and we went to Cdr. Salva and told him that what is being alleged is a lie, and that there was no meeting held concerning this. We then moved to Nairobi where we communicated this issue to Dr. John Garang and that was when this meeting was planned and Cdr. James Kok and Cdr. Nhial were asked to organize transportation to this end.
So I thank both Cdr./Dr. John Garang and Cdr. Salva Kiir for having attended this meeting and permitting us to discuss and come up with decisions that promotes unity and harmony. Differences between Cdr. Salva and Dr. John existed from a long time ago, as Cdr. Chagai mentioned, but there was no decisive steps taken to resolve them until today.
As for structures, they are there. The only problem is how to maintain and have them effectively function due to a lack of resources. Our structures have to be operationalized. But the matter is not a question of dissolving other bodies such as the Leadership Council, NLC and so on. I don’t have any objection with the formation of committees, but I only say that reorganization of the army must be the responsibility of COGS and his Deputies. I urge both of you, the Chairman and Cdr. Salva to open a new page in order for us to go forward.
Cdr. Nhial. People should be judged by what they have contributed to the Movement. We should sincerely address our issues. I am absolutely prepared for the proposal to dissolve the Leadership Council and we all see what scenario we can take.
To have structures and institutions you need to have three things; 1) the structure itself, 2) resources, and 3) the people, because its people who run the structures. The resources and the personnel go together. Without having prepared for this, it is now one of the serious problems we face as we enter the forthcoming era.
CDr. Malik Agar. The current issue of the differences between the Chairman and his deputy is surprising in that I was aware of this even ten years ago. Whenever it is about to be addressed, each of them says there is ‘no problem’. The big problem is trust among yourselves. This needs to be rebuilt and you will be the ones to arrive at sound solutions to the existing problems.
Comrade Chairman, as we enter the new era, we shall be competing with other parties. Let us start with the effective establishment of our structures and draw up our programmes. We need a system. I have worked as a Governor for ten (10) years; yet, I could have committed many mistakes during that time. Has the Chairman any day called me to tell me that I have made a mistake? There is no system here.
The issue of reorganizing the army is a burning issue as most of the soldiers are now in an unorganized form and this will work against us. As monitors will verify, we don’t have the army. The distribution of powers is the vital issue to avoid future misunderstandings.
Cdr. Pagan Amum Okech. Comrade Chairman, I will focus on the crucial issue, but before that, I want to tell you this. We are here to discuss the rumours that have been circulating and which almost created a very serious development within the movement’s liberated areas, in Khartoum and among the Diaspora. My advice is to the Southerners who have fought for the last twenty two (22) years. I am first going to concentrate on the recent rumours. Cdr. Gier happened to ring me asking me whether I came across information from Yei that the leadership have met and decided to remove him from the second position. I advised Cdr. Gier not to believe that because it is a rumour, and if it spreads, it will create confusion. He then heeded my advice. Again Cdr. Deng Alor phoned to me on the same issue, but I also told him that these are rumours and Cdr. Salva should not believe such rumours. There had been meetings in Khartoum and there was a public statement made by Uncle Bona Malual and r!
etired General Joseph Lagu. If the enemy succeeds in dividing us, it may lead to our failure and peace may not be achieved.
This time is very critical Cdr. Salva and Cdr. Chairman; if we say we will remain here to deal with the rumours only, I think we will be here up to the coming year. I advise both of you to put aside these rumours. Even though we did not defeat the enemy, what we had achieved will make the enemy coincide with what we tell them. At this crucial moment we must think thoroughly of what we should do to enable us go forward. This is my appeal to both of you Cdr. Salva and Cdr. Chairman. There is another rumour now that I want to take the place of Cdr. James Wani Igga. I assure you Cdr. Wani that there is nothing like this at all.
The establishment and building of structures at this particular time is vital. Our priority is now to finalize the peace talks. The Chairman and his deputies must go to Nairobi so that we are not considered intransigent because the process can easily be derailed. Concerning the reorganization of the COGS and his deputies, we can do that unless the problem of resources hinders us.
Cdr. James Wani Igga. I congratulate the Chairman for calling this important meeting. I also congratulate Cdr. Salva for having attended this meeting. This paves a way for a solution to our problems. I thank both of you for your patriotic stand since the beginning of the struggle – both of you have collectively worked to protect this movement from upheavals. I consider you as the central pillars of this Movement. Let me come to the main topics, which are the SPLM/A’s major problems. Solving a problem is like bringing pus out from somebody’s gull. Problem No. 1, we are not working as a team, which results in disgruntlement.
No. 2, we have the structures formed in the 1994 Convention which were only the NEC & NLC, but by 1998, people became fed up of those structures. I appeal that we keep these structures but make necessary changes. I would like to underline something connected with structure. In 1998 we came out with a constitution named the SPLM constitution. This was not passed by the NLC because they were expecting a state constitution. But we had agreed to use that constitution, and there are structures there. In one of the L.C. meetings we had revised the constitution and even the manifesto. Up to now, we had passed four (4) documents. The SPLM constitution. The SPLM manifesto. The 3rd document is the SPLM policy on dialogue and it concerns how we go about South-South dialogue. Our main constraint in starting South-South dialogue is the lack of money. Documents No. 4, is the SPLM policy on the transformation of Sudan. All these documents are there ready. Comrade Chairman, our constraint i!
n the political Affairs Commission is lack of facilities, but we have really tried our best. As for the army reorganization, if we become surprised by the signing of the peace deal, I think it will be difficult to regroup our army simply because we don’t have resources. Once peace is signed, there is going to be the establishment of standard national structures. Structures are our No. 2 problems, including the official management of office institutions.
Cdr. Wani listed other problems:
No. 3: The existence of a Kitchen Cabinet is deplorable and creates doubts and mistrust.
No. 4: The geographical imbalances found in the movement. If this is not addressed, we will never be in harmony.
No. 5: Poor chain of command.
No. 6: Spread of rumours.
Let’s come to the question of rumours. When rumours were developing I was in Nairobi and I went to Kampala. When I reached Kaya, I was being asked what had happened. I was then told that you are coming from Nairobi and that you met and decided to replace Cdr. Salva with Cdr. Nhial. I told that that this is just rumours and I believe that Cdr. Salva will not believe this. He will immediately throw it out the window.
Problem 7: Lack of implementation of resolutions and the lack of a follow up body. Our resolutions always die on the paper.
Problem 8: Corruption which remains rampant in the Movement. Corruption must be fought for example, some years back the Chairman in a meeting informed us that Cdr. Deng Alor brought some money from Nigeria, but how that money was spent had never been explained to us again. I ask the question where is the transparency and accountability we talked about?
Problem 9: Lack of cooperation, accompanied by sabotage. Some work for the
downfall of others without any accountability.
Problem 10: Neglect of the army and its welfare.
Problem 11: Absence of job description, which cause confusion.
Problem 12: Nepotism. It should be fought.
There are two examples to illustrate the issue of nepotism. One is the removal of Aleu Anyeny from his position and his replacement by the Chairman with an officer from his home village. Another is the appointment of Dr. Lual Deng as an advisor to the Chairman. We all heard this in a meeting in which the Chairman announced Lual’s appointment without any official procedures followed. When I talk about regional imbalances, all I need to say is that no Equatorian was even allowed to be a signatory of the six protocols. We are making history and this history should involve all the people of New Sudan. The protocols are only signed by individuals from Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Nuba Mountains and Funj!
Problem 13: Neglect in the chain of command, which has led to indiscipline.
Cdr. Wani proposed a way forward. I suggest that an investigation committee be appointed by the Chairman to find out the origination of these rumours. Let’s avoid ‘Kitchen Cabinets’ and combat corruption. We need a mechanism to be adopted to fight corruption. Let’s respect the chain of command. Let’s avoid any regional misbalancing. Job descriptions must be effected. South-South dialogue advanced. The convening of the second National convention requires additional money. The reaction of the Chairman to all the listed problems is necessary. As a sign of true reconciliation, they need to warmly greet themselves in front of us here, then follow that up with a joint statement. A traditional ceremony should be carried out by some of the elders here. We take what had happened like a normal wave when in a canoe. Let us reconcile so that we defeat our common enemy.
Cdr. Riek Machar. I was struggling whether to speak or not because of the nature of the issues being raised. When we met as a Leadership Council, there were divergent views. Before that I met Aleu Anyieny and he told me that if you are going to talk to Cdr. Salva, don’t talk about the problems being personal. These problems are administrative. Serious rumours have also been circulating in London when I was there. They talked about a ‘change of the guards’ and the removal and replacement of Cdr. Salva by Cdr. Nhial. I appealed to the participants in that meeting that we should unite since we are entering peace, because if there is a split, the enemy may dishonour the agreement we had already signed. In any case, suppose we sign the peace, the SPLA will be a national army whereas the SPLM will be competing with other political parties. The SPLA must retain an independent national character.
Concerning the structures, I have participated in a workshop on the formation of structures at all levels including the transformation of the SPLM into a political party. These are all being worked out. We are only behind in our military preparations. This doesn’t need a committee to do that. The COGS, his deputies, directors, and local commanders can do that. The army is the most important element to protect the gains of the struggle and as such we need to organize it and take care of them and their families. We all have to participate in calling them to report to their units or camps where they should regroup and organize. Our chiefs are important institutions that can effectively participate in this endeavor.
Another problem we will face is the returnees, which are estimated to be up to 4 million residing in exile for almost fifteen years. They have acquired different attitudes, culture and perspectives. Not only are they in the north, but we have a good number of our people living in various western countries. We will be confronted by all these groups with a series of problems of cultural differences and we must be prepared to integrate these two groups into our civil life and norms.
I believe that unless something happens in Khartoum, the war is over. Unless the enemy causes us to split, the war is over. This requires us to expedite the reorganization of the army. I do not agree with Mathiang Rok about his suggestion that committees be formed to discuss the six (6) signed protocols. In addition, we should be privileged that the UN SG visited Africa to discuss the issue of peace in Sudan – The first time it happened was during the decolonization of Africa – making the achievement of peace highly likely this year.
As for South-South dialogue, we can start now. We should be prepared to negotiate with whatever party is ready to dialogue. If we wait until the government is formed, they will be the ones to undermine the GOSS. We must achieve consensus. Let us not delay south-south dialogue. The lack of dialogue can be a source of disunity, but if we handle it properly, it can also be a source of unity and this will allow the people to rally behind the leadership. There is a need to call the NLC as soon as possible to deliberate on the agreement. What I mean is the current NLC. The next convention, which needs to be convened as soon as possible, will elect a new NLC and who will be charged with the responsibility of working on a national constitutional government of south Sudan, etc.. From now, we have agreed that the judiciary be independent.
Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit. Greetings to the Chairman and Madame de Mabior and others in this meeting. We apologize for not allowing you to attend the first meeting, which lasted for two days. The second meeting is composed of SPLM Counties Secretaries, civil society, women groups, the youth, etc.. The decision was deliberate and we did not want the meeting to be talking shop.
I have no more to say. The issue which brought us here have been raised and you all have given your concerns. Let us take the line of peace to be the priority. In the absence of peace we must be prepared for war. There had been many Security Council resolutions of the same nature passed like this of Sudan, but have not been implemented, such as the PLO, Western Sahara, etc..
I thank those who have exerted efforts to travel from their various locations to Yei where they met me on the situation. As I told you, there were no personal problems, they are administrative given my profession, and I know that rumours are dangerous. Rumours must be treated as rumours, but there is no smoke without fire. I don’t agree with Cdr. Wani that these rumours were created by the enemy. There are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy. I must warn the Chairman that Nimeiri was made to be unpopular by his security organs. Those who are misleading you and giving you false security information about others will suffer with you together or leave with you. The government, which is going to be led by you must include all. Without unity, the agreement will be a source of our disunity. We are not organized in all aspects, and as such will be exploited by other political parties that are more organized. The lack in our structures and political guidance will lead us to a very serious political defeat. Mr. Chairman, you have talked about people eating the boat while we are in the middle of the river. Let me add this; the issue is not eating the boat in the middle of the river. The issue is that there are a few who have already crossed to the other side of the river and when the remaining ones asked them to bring the boat, they refused to return the boat. This is the problem.