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Lt. Gen. Mayardit to quit SPLA for the second time.

By Justin Ambago Ramba January 18, 2010 -- After receiving an embarrassing warning letter from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on 16th January 2010, the SPLM was forced to reveal one of its most hidden scandals, that their boss is both a retired and an active General in the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), hoping that his ambiguous position can be acceptable in running for the elections. The long debated issue as to whether Salva Kiir Mayardit can be allowed to contest the elections in his military uniform seems to be finally settling down in favour of the constitutions and the laws. And the NEC has made it explicit to all, including of course the SPLM chairman that unless he relinquishes his military position, he won't be allowed to contest. It must also be stressed here that, whichever way we would want to interpret the huge debate that took place over the above issue for the last whole week or so, we need to be very fair to one another. It can be gathered that some of us are blinded by narrow partisan politics as well as subversive ethnic motivations to throw all their weights in an attempt to falsely mislead the entirety of south Sudan into accepting the gross disregard for the constitution, a position well demonstrated by Dr. Luka Biong, the GoSS Minister for Presidential Affairs. Dr. Biong who will rightly go into history as an opportunistic politician who came up openly to champion what would have otherwise been the beginning of a dreadful political turmoil in among a people that has not had enough time yet to recover from the trauma of the devastating civil war. The SPLM secretary general Mr. Pa'gan Amum, his deputy Yasser Arman and their colleague the immediate aide to President Salva Kiir were all on record for justifying the running of Kiir for the elections while retaining his military post. However this should now sound ridiculous when none but Dr. Biong himself who turns around and declares to the whole world that Lt. General Salva Kiir was in fact a retired Army General, though went on after that to appear on several official occasions fully dressed up in his military suits (legally or illegally is left for the SPLA military police to answer). The GoSS's anger at the NEC letter has no space in this article for it is considered a mere knee jerk reaction from a confused minister who has been confusing the whole south Sudan politics over the last one week or so. He is the one who invited that letter and he deserves the way it was delivered. However after realizing that he can no longer play tricks with the interim constitutions, the NEC laws and the SPLA regulations, Dr. Biong took all the pains, the shame and the desperateness to yet create another story whereby he has to implicate the late Dr. Garang de Mabior in order to gain the public sympathy. But surprisingly enough, what came out in the new story is in fact too defaming for Salva Kiir himself because it depicts him as someone who was long dismissed from the SPLA ranks, but in defiance to that he not only continued in the military institution, but also went ahead to promote himself from Lt. General to First Lieutenant General. (Sudan Tribune 18/01/2010). May be to keep it in rhythm with his political post of First Vice President. It is all scandals after scandals, and the SPLM heavy weights who earlier (including Dr. Biong himself ), ruled out any possibility of General Kiir stepping down from the army even if he is nominated as SPLM candidate for presidency, again declared over Radio Miraya 101 FM ( thanks to technology as this radio can well heard in far place, even as remote as the Baffin Island, the Greenland and further south far beyond the New Zealand), that, "Salva Kiir [already] retired from the military as First Lieutenant [General] in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in 2005." Once more no official explanation is given as to why the retired 1st Lt. General currently continued to put on military uniform with the same rank and uses the title after 2005 retirement However according to Sudan Tribune (a credible source) it is stated that, "A reliable military source which asked not to be named corrected minister Biong and further explained that Kiir was actually retired from military by late Dr. John Garang in 2005 at the rank of Lt. General (not 1st Lt. General), and silently reinstated himself in the army in 2007 during which he also promoted himself as 1st Lt. General". "Kiir currently heads the recently formed military Command Council, composed of more than 40 senior SPLA officers. He is also the Commander-in-Chief of the army by the virtue of being the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS)." They went to say. Ladies and gentlemen, H.E Luka Biong and his Boss President Kiir must be advised not to insult the mental faculties and the intellectual capacities of their subjects. There is no way that they can ever be allowed to behave in this crude manner as if they are leading a herd of cattle. Most of us are sound human beings and rightly deserve to be treated with respect. Anyway our grassroots should by now be well informed that we are at the mercy of a very dangerous leadership. No body is denying the fact that these people were in the SPLM/A that fought the war for over two decades, but does that justify them to break the laws and worse still dishonour the constitutions. Are they indeed free to move in and out of a national military institution like the SPLA while continuing to enjoy the countless promotions and privileges that they attached to all these random and Brownian like movements? And why has it to take us this long to find out that Kiir was acting in defiance of his retirement from the SPLA which according to his office aide, Dr. Luka Biong, should have been in effect from the 16th July 2005, while the late Dr. Garang was still with us. (Information Dr. Biong tried initially tried to hide). Our quest for justice and respect for both the law and the constitution shall continue to dominate in all the articles to come especially after having identified that the current leadership is indeed harbouring the traits of dictatorship and eventually a clear disregard to the constitution and the rule of law. We stand by the National Elections Commission (NEC) laws and their responsible move to save the entire Sudan from any unlawful elections. Should the NEC compromise its role to favour any candidate, especially the strong ones like the incumbent President Omer al Bashir and the First Vice President and President of South Sudan, (RETIRED) Lt. General Salvatore Kiir Mayardit, then they stand to face the wrath of the people both in the north and the south. There are still issues that the NEC should be expected to handle diligently and it got to do with the aspiring candidates' accounts and assets. In south Sudan, it is our concern that many of our present politicians are one or the other indulged in corruption, grafting and money laundering. Public money in millions of dollars has been flushed down the drain in order to maintain the fluid life styles of some polygamous and promiscuous political figures and their aides in the civil service. Those villas, mansions, deluxe flats in far places like Australia, Canada, USA, the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Juba or the various states capitals , all call for thorough investigations before their owners or their powerful relatives ( who are in fact the real owner )could finally be allowed to run for the elections. It may be true that our people lack the full capacity to defend the emerging democracy intended for south Sudan, but let us trust in our very humble efforts of standing for what is right and against what is wrong, and the rest will be blessed by God Our Creator. The SPLM and their desperate boss, (Retired) Lt. Gen Salva Kiir should understand that they are better off going by the laws. Should they have anything against their rivals, then it will only look civilized if they take their concerns to the NEC or the Constitutional Court or still to any legal institution and it is time that their leaderships start acting as cultivated people. At this juncture it is sensible to repeat the call for fair, free, transparent and credible elections. The electoral playground must be left levelled as stipulated in the laws. No one should rush to any conclusions and once we have legally recognized candidates for the different seats, it will be fair enough to encourage all the candidates to debate their programs in a typical civilized way, fit for 21st century elections. Only and only then can people make informed choices. There is good news in the air, and hopefully the Sudan and especially the people of south Sudan will vote for the first time in a civilian democracy. The last thing we want is war, and the worst thing is to live under a military dictatorship. So wake up sister, wake up brother for you have in your hands a piece of paper that can make all the difference and that is your vote. Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. He can be reached at either or

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Jan 19, 2010
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