ANALYSIS - Was Salva Kiir wise in granting amnesty to the south Sudanese renegades?


Sudan Armed Forces Major General Gebriel Tanginye enters the residence of Taban Deng, the governor of southern Sudan's Unity state, in Bentiu, southern Sudan. His visit to southern Sudan reflects a growing interest among southern Sudanese factions to establish unity within the south ahead of a self-determination vote – Tanginye, a southerner himself, formerly commanded a vast southern militia loyal to the northern Sudanese government. Pete Muller/AP

(Vancouver BC) - Before delving on the mentioned topic let us wear a political, economical, psychological or scientific goggles and carefully analyze the below maxim stated by President Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah (Osagyefo means redeemer in Ghana’s Twi language). President Osagyefo Nkrumah was the initial advocate of Pan Africanism and founding member of OAU as well as the first president of Ghana who concretized the call of independence of Africa from the European colonial powers. We will just do the analysis in the context of the state of South Sudan. If you do not have these goggles or if you are frustrated from wearing these goggles, grab one for the time being and raise your goggles up on top of your nose as if you are a medical doctor trying to diagnose a sickness from a patient just like how my dad used to do in his medical field. Let us proceed now to quote Nkrumah:

Military strategies presuppose political aims. All military problems are political, and political problems are economical

Looking into the above maxim, one can be tempted to make a deduction that the previous happenings and disunity of political figures in South Sudan following the April’s elections, if not now at least, are the very problems President Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah was trying to decipher. We have heard many opposition parties from the South fiercely criticized the manner the April elections were conducted, even some SPLM members decided to stand as independent candidates and also “whined” after the declaration of the results, just to mention but a few. Nonetheless, Carter Foundation and other elections observing organizations stated that the April elections, in the whole of Sudan, did not reach “international standard”. Worse, the so-called generals who falsely claimed to have resigned from the military reinstated themselves and took back their military uniforms and ran to the bush to make a u-turn attack against the Southern government and its people through the help of the main South Sudan arch adversary who is now regretting to have signed the CPA which has given the South a legal avenue for departure. Because of all these mishaps and internal wrangles, many innocent lives prematurely found their way into the dust where mankind originally came from, according to the Holy Bible.

The “kicks from dying horses”

Consequently, due to all the aforementioned mishandlings and disunity, in addition to the recent tribal conflicts, nepotism and corruption, if any, the prophets of doom who refer to themselves as pundits, began to lecture the international community and the South Sudanese themselves that there is nothing good that could come from Nazareth—the South. If the call for independence continued, there was going to be a “somalization” in the South. To make it funny, these “lecturers” began to term those who boldly call for separation as “Taliban” of Sudan. Not withstanding, some elites originating from the South have also echoed such unrealistic notions of somalization and talibanism. However, the SPLA/M/ GOSS tried so hard to refute all the alleged matters, but some of the “thorns in the flesh” like the renegade George Athor and his colleagues including other critics who sounded their gongs louder and louder with their mallets in order for the international community to hear were inescapable from the minds of people. As a result, the NCP and its allies took this misfortune as a chance for preaching unity and to discourage the South from seceding in order to prevent fatality, they loosely think. Not so well, the somalization notion comes in a critical moment where South Sudan should have terribly needed unity with its people across its political spectrum to avoid any kind of satanic invasion to the conduct of the referenda. Hon Arop Madut Arop of Abyei describes such stings from NCP and its allies as last “kicks from dying horses”.

GOSS/SPLA/M retrospection

In order to forge a unity among politicians in the South and clear out the mounting criticisms from within as well as curb any u-turn disruption to the conduct of the referenda by renegades and evil wishers, and to erase the “somalization” doomed prophecy, the Government of Southern Sudan, under the leadership of H.E. President Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit, took a bold step by reconciling with all the “angry” oppositions as well as pardoning all the runaway renegades. Southerners have so far lauded his wise decision. Hence, it also signals to those who are against the aspirations of the South Sudanese by claiming they are ungovernable people who would never unite to have a one voice that, they are liars. This bold step has also been warmly welcomed by all opposition parties in the South as was heard in their comments after the outcome of the last week’s outstanding South-South Dialogue held in Nyokuron Cultural Centre, Juba. The runways have even voiced their appreciation to the President for pardoning them despite their causative atrocities.

Analytically, President Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit has wisely raised his “goggles” and perused into what Nelson Mandela once said, “Never fear criticism when you’re right; never ignore it when you’re wrong”. Commonsense can tell anyone that the President made a thorough retrospective and introspective search within GOSS and SPLA/M bodies in order to find the actual “fire” causing all these smokes; for there is no smoke without fire as commonly known. This search into the Government’s bone marrows, championed by the Southern leader, has made a significant “purge” and improvement within and even to the entire political spectrum in the South as well as signaling dawning of peace to the people of the South (See who disagrees). The reconciliatory call has also sprayed some aroma to the international community that Southerners are on one “murkab” thus determined to cross through the sea, despite their political differences.

Now, should we say that the military and political unrests in the South, before the Juba Conference, were due to economical alienation to some figures? In addition, should we say that the Juba Conference of last week has cleared the political and economical alienation? Well, this hypothesis is left to your own deduction as you examine Nkrumah’s premise. More so, the nine renegade delegations in Juba are voicing a “confidence building” between them and the Government so that the breakaways be reinstated into their former ranks in order to “feed” well; for they had officially resigned from the army when they declared their candidacies in the April’s general elections.

The author of this article, Peter Towongo, is a South Sudanese living in Vancouver Canada. He is also a contributor to The New Sudan Vision. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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