By: Yien Lam Tot
January 20, 2016
The South Sudan will not be freed under Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s laissez-faire leadership. The newly created country will be successfully liberated under different leadership approach. Briefly, laissez-faire leadership style is one of the styles that were described by Lewin, Lippitt and White (1939). The advantage of this style is that it allows maximum freedom for the members of the organisation. It is more effective when dealing with highly experienced group.
The disadvantage of the laissez-faire leadership style is that it causes severe tensions and constant confusions amongst the team members because the leader does not involve in the decision-making. The leaders who are addicted to the use of this approach allow the team members to make their own decisions exclusively. Due this reason, it takes too long to get the job done. This style is less effective when working with inexperienced people Lewin, Lippit & White (1939).
Dr. Machar is one of the peaceful people in the World and also one of the highly educated persons in our planet. Historically, Machar was born in Leer in Unity State in South Sudan in 1953. He went to Khartoum University and obtained a Bachelor Degree in Engineering. He later studied at Bradford University and received a PhD in Philosophy and Strategic Planning in 1984. In 1984, Dr. Machar joined the SPLM/SPLA under late Commander John Garang de Mabior’s authoritarian leadership. He attended military training in Ethiopia and honoured with the rank of major after the completion of the military leadership course. He led several (Muor-muor) battalions to the war-field and became one of the Political-Military High Command (PMHC) of the SPLM/SPLA.
On 28th of August 1991, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Dr. Lam Akol and Commander Gordon Koang Chuol officially declared their defection against late Dr. John Garang de Mabior. Their defection from the movement was caused by Chuk dum convention. The tension arose when Dr. Machar attempted to propose the incorporation of the Self Determination for the people of South Sudan into the SPLM/SPLA political manifesto. The three Political-Military High Commands formed the SPLM/SPLA-Nasir in 1991 and later shifted it into SPLM/SPLA-United in 1993. The SPLM/SPLA-United was renamed as SSIM/SSIA in 1994.
On 10th of June 1996, Dr. Machar signed a political Charter and later signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) with the Government of Sudan (GOS) on 21st of April 1997. The SSIM/SSIA was changed into UDSF/SSDF after the signing of the deal. He became the Assistant to Gen. al-Bashir of Sudan and President of the Coordinating Council for Southern States (CCSS). In the year 2000, Machar abandoned most of his senior military officers in North Sudan and escaped to the bush to renew the rebellion against the Khartoum forces. He founded the liberation organisation titled (SPDF) to defend his territory against internal and external threats. On 5th of January 2002, Machar signed the Nairobi Declaration on Unity between the SPLM/SPLA and SPDF to stop tribal and factional conflict between the two rival movements. Dr. Machar was appointed by late Dr. Garang as General Secretary and number three in rank of the SPLM/SPLA. In July, 2005, he became the Vice President of the semi autonomous Region of South Sudan and was sworn in as Vice President of the newest nation in July 2011 in Juba.
On 23rd of July 2013, Machar was removed from the office for refusing to worship Gen. King Mayardit as his Lord and Saviour. On 15th of December 2013, the SPLM/SPLA broke up again into two armed groups during the SPLM/SPLA convention. This armed conflict occurred when Gen. Mayardit authorised the disarmament of the presidential guards who are loyal to Dr. Machar. He withdrew his armed group from the Capital and travelled towards Jonglei State to mobilise the youths against the government. Most of the Nuer civilians who were living in the South Sudanese Capital Juba were massacred in front of the International Community (IC) by the SPLM/SPLA-Dinka extremists from 15th-17th December 2013. The survivors of the Juba genocide are those who managed to escape to the (UNIMISS) after the eruption of the first phase of the South-South civil war. The (UPDF) and the (SRF) were hired by the (SPLA) to participate in the killing of the Nuer civilians and the non-Nuer who criticise Mayardit‘s unethical leadership.
Dr. Machar founded the SPLM/SPLA-I.O. after his arrival at his desirable destination to topple the current tribal government in Juba. Most the citizens from the Greater Upper Nile Region provided maximum support to new SPLM/SPLA faction to eliminate Mayardit‘s regime through the barrel of the gun. The liberation of the South Sudan was hijacked by laissez-faire leadership style. Dr. Machar completely failed to bring advanced modern military weapons, first-class-uniforms, good quality of boots, ammunitions, advanced communication equipment, sleeping materials, food, and other army needs. He told his followers that the oil and gold are for the future generations and not for the current generation. What was experienced from 1991 to 2002 repeated itself. Dr. Machar was running the Nasir faction (NF) without sufficient military hardware, medical supply and food.
On 17th of August 2014, Dr. Machar signed the Addis Ababa Compromise Peace Agreement (ACPA) to bring to an end tribal as well as factional conflict in the country. The leader of the SPLM/SPLA named Mayardit later put his signature on the document on 26th of August 2014 in Juba. The (ACPA) was not yet been implemented because the governing tribal body called Dinka National Council Elders (DNCE) introduced additional 18 stated into South Sudan. The advanced team that was sent by the SPLM/SPLA-I.O. is very likely return to Pagak because the (DNCE) breached the agreement that was signed on 17th and 26th of August 2014.
In conclusion, the enslaved, marginalised, forcefully kiirised and the dinkanised citizens will not be rescued under Dr. Machar’s laissez-faire leadership style. The people of the youngest nation will be liberated under different leadership style. The liberation of South Sudan from the new masters requires strong leaders and not weak people. A great leader builds a strong and ethical team while a weak leader creates a powerless group. The SPLM/SPLA-I.O. will not be able to remove Gen. King Mayardit from power. The rebel movements that will remain in the bush will successfully liberate the whole South Sudan because they will be using different leadership approaches.
The writer is Commander Yien Lam Tot, the President of the (SSNDP) and Commander-in-Chief of the (SSNDF).
You can reach him; email@example.com