Nasir Declaration ended up in Khartoum — a road to betrayal?


BURLINGTON, Vermont – Here are some of the questions I am pondering on in the wake of the recent debate in which Nasir declaration is being legitimized as the political discourse that brought independence of South Sudan:

  1. If Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol are the true champions of the self determination of South Sudan, why are we debating this issue today?
  2.  Why didn’t we debate it then when they made their fateful declaration that led to Movement’s split and loss of liberation momentum for 10 good years?

Of course, it did not take long before the duo split and founded their own splinter groups. And when they split, each signed his own peace agreement with NIF Regime.

  1. Didn’t Lam Akol sign “Fashoba Agreement” with NIF Regime?
  2. Was self-determination part of that agreement?
  3. And Didn’t Riek Machar sign “Khartoum Peace from within Accord” in 1998?
  4. In the case of Riek’s agreement with Khartoum, aside from the fact that Northerners aren’t known for following through with anything they agreed upon with Southerners, was it even a credible peace agreement in the first place since the supposed leader of that group and his team handed themselves over to Khartoum first and then “negotiated— if it ever happened” the deal without international mediation?
  5. Indeed, the self-determination was mentioned in that accord but did NIF Regime ever follow through with implementing this accord including allowing South Sudan to vote for independence? And what did he do to hold Khartoum accountable?

Of course, the answers to questions 4 and 7 (the core of this piece) are big NO’s and the only credible argument to make out of all those questions is Nasir declaration road ended up in Khartoum and self-determination for South Sudan never materialized, if it was ever incorporated into any deal (which could have been made on Khartoum’s terms), period. And by the way, I put the peace agreements in quotation marks because they weren’t peace agreements per se but rather surrender terms euphemized in the names of peace accords to console the souls of those who handed themselves over to the enemy.

The issue then becomes if either of the fathers of the Nasir Declaration claims any share in the independence of South Sudan today, they have to answer the questions on what happened to their separate peace agreements they signed with Khartoum before band-wagoning the legacy of those who stayed put until victory was achieved. And if there is any legacy that these individuals can claim it was their success in delaying the match to victory for 10 years for we would have won much sooner and millions of lives and property would have been spared, just to paraphrase Hon. Elijah Malok Aleng.

Having said this, the most important thing that Riek’s and Lam’s apologists must have learned is the self-determination was achieved through engaging the Sudan Armed Forces to the draw (While both of them were palling around with Bashir in Khartoum) and through negotiating and signing just peace agreement, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), negotiated and signed by none other than the founder and leader of people’s struggle, late Dr. John Garang de Mabior who ultimately sacrificed his own life for this independence. There is nothing to credit Nasir Declaration for because its road didn’t end up in Juba — it ended up in Khartoum and Riek’s or Lam’s apologists know this fact.

Akol Aguek Ngong, MBA, is Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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