On July, 7, 2011, former head of SSLM/A Military High Command, Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak, left for Jordan under the pretext of going for medical checkups. He was later joined by the former Spokesperson Col. Bol Gatkuoth Koal and both secretly met with bodyguards of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet was supposed to return to SSLM/A Headquarters of Mayom on July 25th as per confidential correspondences between him and the High Command. However, he didn’t show up at SSLM/A General Headquarters in Mayom and went straight to Nairobi accompanied by Col. Bol Gatkuoth. In Kenya, they were engaged in secretive negotiations and deals with President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s security personnel while being monitored closely by SSLA’s External Security agents. On August, 1st, the duo struck a deal with Salva Kiir Mayardit which offered Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet $3 million dollars plus a villa in Nairobi’s suburbs in exchange for assisting Salva Kiir in neutralizing Garang’s boys within the SPLM who have plans to stage a coup against the president of the Republic of South Sudan.
We would like to inform the people of South Sudan that, contrary to allegations Col. Bol Gatkuoth stated in the media, what took place was not a peaceful negotiation to end rebellion in South Sudan because there is no peace process that could be negotiated by two people. But it was a deal between Salva Kiir and Peter Gatdet in which the latter is needed by the former to assist him in neutralizing Garang’s boys who have plans to overthrow Kiir’s government. The statement of former Spokesperson Col. Bol Gatkuoth that a ceasefire was declared is a political deception to cover-up a deal aimed at eliminating Majak Agok, Pagan Amum, James Hoth Mai, Nhial Deng Nhial, Kuol Manyang Juuk and Rebecca Nyandeng Mabior.
We would like to inform and educate the Southern public that former head of SSLM/A High Command, Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet, joined the Movement that was already in existence on April, 11, 2011 while he was accompanied by his friend Col. Bol Gatkuoth Koal. They chartered a plane from Nairobi to the headquarters of SSLM/A on March, 28, 2011. When they joined the SSLM/A, they didn’t bring a single soldier along with them except their SPLA’s military uniforms. Prior to their defection to SSLM/A, our Movement was well organized with 780 officers and a force of 5,000.
When Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet joined the Movement, we made him the head of Military High Command as an honor although we knew what SPLA’s Chief-of-General-Staff, Lt. Gen. James Hoth Mai, said about him that he was a man who could not stay in one place for more than three months. Despite the fact that we knew he would one day return to SPLA based on his defection records, we accommodated him thinking he was genuinely motivated by objectives of liberation. Little did we know that Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet’s personality has not changed with age and experience as many people in the South would assume. On August, 03, 2011, he and his friend returned to government of South Sudan through Nairobi Kenya, the same route that they once used to join our Movement. We are not surprised for his return back to Juba because he came with his friend Bol Gatkuoth and they have now returned via the same way but unfortunately without taking their SPLA’s uniforms with them.
We would like to inform the public that Maj. Gen. James Gai Yoach is now the head of SSLM/A Military High Command. He was the head of SSLM/A before Peter Gatdet joined our Movement and has now resumed his duties after Gatdet returned to Juba with his friend Bol Gatkuoth. It is important for the public to disregard false allegations Col. Bol Gatkuoth made because the return of Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet to Juba has not affected the SSLM/A. He joined the SSLM/A in April with his friend and has now returned to Juba with him without taking a single soldier. Maybe President Salva Kiir would prove James Hoth Mai wrong regarding the fact that Peter Gatdet cannot stay in one place for more than three months. Based on his record, it is possible that he may defect again to SSLA without surprising anybody.
It is important for general public and the international community to note that South Sudan Liberation Movement/Army has never declared a ceasefire with the government of South Sudan because the reasons why we took up arms have not been met. We took up arms because we realized that our nation had groomed a monster that would swallow generation after generation in terms of bad leadership and extreme level of corruption which poisons our values and tradition that rejects thefts in our midst. What we saw in the last six years of the interim period was a complete deviation from the path set by the CPA. There was an absolute failure in the area of good governance. For instance our entire nation had witnessed rampant corruption on the top echelon of GOSS. It is shocking that only six years in government, the private bank accounts of the leadership of GOSS in foreign banks rose from Zero to tens of millions of Dollars! More than 20 billion dollars of oil revenue received by GOSS could not be seen in terms of tangible services delivery in areas such as health, education, water, etc. Our children went without schools while the Children of our leaders enjoyed the best education in foreign lands. Our people continued to die from treatable diseases while those in charge and their families visited the best hospitals abroad. In fact, the current leadership of GOSS never felt the sense of belonging to the South for their families continued to stay in their expensive mansion in east Africa, America, Australia, etc.
In the ten states of South Sudan, the security has broken down due to tribal and sectional fights gripping the entire South as the traditional leaders are deprived of their traditional authority. County commissioners have turned the counties into fiefdoms where their misbehaviors have become sources of insecurity. On the political level, the SPLM leadership continues to pursue the politics of exclusion within itself and outside it. It denies the other Southern political parties the right to propagate their ideas and present their political program to the people. Above all, the SPLM leadership used SPLA high command to intimidate other leaders in the South reducing the level of our supposedly national army to a party militia.
The SSLM/A Military High Command would like to state, in no uncertain terms, that bribing individuals to join the government in Juba will not bring lasting peace in South Sudan nor would it end rebellion against the illegitimate government in Juba. Right now there are three Movements fighting the government of South Sudan such as SSLM/A, SSDM/A and SSDF of Gordon Koang. We strongly believe that the solution to end conflict in South Sudan is for international community to mediate a comprehensive peace accord that shall settle grievances of all Movements languishing in the bushes of South Sudan. We don’t believe that striking deals motivated by monetary kickbacks will indeed lead to peace in South Sudan, which is a divided society. Since there is a deep mistrust between the SPLM/A and other groups in the South, a higher degree of international mediation is needed. A centralized dictatorship based on bribery and coercion would not generally prove to be a viable means of state-building in South Sudan, since centralized dictatorship could only be imposed through violence.
Therefore, the SSLM/A Military High Command, calls upon the IGAD, UN, USA, UK, Norway, AU and all peace loving nations in the world to advise Juba government to accept international mediation which would achieve the followings:
1. The dissolution of the current government of Southern Sudan to be replaced by a national broad-based government agreed upon by all the South Sudan political parties, armed groups and civil society organizations. The formation of a legitimate government is a necessary condition for order and stability. Trust and confidence in a national government can be gained through the establishment of democratic principles reflecting an inclusive representation. A new government needs to be formed where executive power can be shared among the representatives of all political and armed groups through a grand coalition in the cabinet.
2. A meeting of all the South Sudan political parties shall be convened immediately to discuss and agree on the transitional process and form a transitional government of South Sudan that shall prepare the newly born state for free and fair elections. A South-South Consensus on democratization and transition from conflict should reflect a wide representation of groups. Representatives of major political parties, armed Movements and civil society organizations can work together toward forming a new political culture based on compromise and negotiation. A negotiated democratic transition requires political dialogue that can lead to easing of tensions over the process. A more inclusive political climate will contribute to popular support and legitimacy.
3. The transitional government shall carry out general election in the Republic of South Sudan within two years to elect the Constituent Assembly that shall promulgate the permanent constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. Elections usually imply a step forward in state-building and democracy with former adversaries pursuing their opposing ideologies and interests in a non-violent fashion. We believe that holding elections in two years time is only the first step toward the establishment of a functioning political system and multiparty democracy.
4. South Sudan must practice federalism because ethnic plurality can be protected by the structure of federal government. Through decentralization of government functions, a political system with dispersion of power reduces the fear of domination by one group in an ethnically diverse country like South Sudan.