The revolt escalated into a bloody massacre in which an estimated 2, people were killed, which has since become known as the Bor Massacre. Machar and his allies were militarily defeated by Garang and forced to defect from the SPLA, though the cleavage between the Dinka and the Nuer lived on. However, evidence suggests that this ideological commitment was merely an attempt to invite international patronage as opposed to an authentic shared vision.
This remarkable act signalled the end of the 22 year-long civil war between the North and the South. In , a referendum was to be held, allowing the Southern population to vote on whether to remain part of Sudan, or to secede.
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Just months after the CPA was signed though, Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. Six years later, the referendum was indeed held and an overwhelming majority voted to secede. South Sudan became a sovereign state on the 9th of July From this brief genealogy of the SPLM, several key strategies of power become visible from the time of war: Machiavellian self interest among its leaders; a notable lack of unifying ideology, matched with a willingness to parrot the rhetoric of foreign powers; intense factionalism; ethnic instrumentalism; and highly personalised leadership.
Most notably, almost complete impunity for the abuse of human rights and a disregard for the security of civilians.
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The major international news outlets have frequently cited an incident in July, in which Kiir dramatically fired Machar and the rest of the cabinet from their positions in government as marking the beginning of the chain of events that have culminated in the violence ongoing in the country today.
However, I would point to another event, a few months earlier, as being an equally noteworthy catalyst. In January Machar made a public speech at a conference in Delhi, in which he apologised for the Bor Massacre and stressed the need for national reconciliation in South Sudan, particularly between the Nuer and the Dinka.
At the beginning of my research visit to Juba, the TRC was still in its embryonic stages and the final structure of the Commission was as yet unknown. The need for reconciliation in some form is indeed felt keenly by many in South Sudan. It transpired that that very morning, Salva Kiir had abruptly issued a public presidential decree that stripped Machar of several of his vice-presidential powers and barred him from further participation in the Commission.
Relations between the two men over the intervening weeks and months have been conducted cordially within the public eye, though many have been certain that a simmering conflict would eventually surface. I would argue that it is equally, if not more, the product of a particular form of politics, history, ideology and most importantly leadership. Flora has given a seemingly good background in the absence of a converse one about the situation in South Sudan.
The question is: how can such insight be used to inform the current engagement to broker peace and agreement in South Sudan. That is mainly the missing link between academic research and practice on the ground. Flora's piece presents some foundational background that should inform the engagement with both parties in the conflict.
I hope those that are leading the talks are privy to these facts. This piece of writing has many important points that are pertinent to the cause of the conflict.
What the article utterly failed to understand is the people of South Sudan. It failed to include the aspiration of the people as to why they were not happy after they score victory and achieved their independent. The issues are fundamental basic rights of South Sudanese people. With high expectation for freedom at last and promising development, Kirr failed to deliver all these promises and became dictator and resort to force of ordering his security people killing out spoken people in the country. Rampant corruption especially by one ethnic group Dinka in the system while no services has disappointed many people in the country.
So the issue is that Kirr leadership has failed to bring the needed promises to the people of south sudan by creating democratic space.
The referendum had actually heals many wounds but the leadership style of the president has retaken people back to those wound because of his lust for power and rule with Iron and fist in the new nation. So if peace is to come people need to understand that what South Sudanese need is democratic government with no tribal supremacy as Kirr did. Government that give freedom a chance in the country and open a space for any one to compete for election freely, a government that also deliver service to the people not to the leaders themselves. So please south Sudan is not the Southern Sudan and leaders that resort to dictatorship will never be tolerated.
With high expectation for freedom and promising development, Kirr and Machar as SPLM leaders has failed to deliver all these promises delegated by the party hero the late Dr.
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