August 30, 2021 (JUBA) – A prominent South Sudanese politician has said failed leadership in the young nation has turned the peoples’ long-held demands and their hopes into a “nightmare”.
- Lam Akol (Photo Reutrers)
“Three decades ago, the true demand of our masses long abandoned was revived; two decades later full of hope they decided to have a country; and in the last decade their dreams were turned into a nightmare by a failed leadership. But their hope is much alive”, Lam Akol tweeted on Monday.
The opposition leaders tweet was in memory of the 1991 event in which a faction under Akol, Riek Machar and commander Gordon Koang Chuol, announced they have ascended to power, causing split into a Torit faction under former founding leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), John Garang de Mabior and Nasir faction under over all leadership and command of Riek Machar.
Machar, Akol and Chuol depicted themselves as advocates of secession, democracy, and human rights and branded Garang a “dictator” and someone wanting the south to fight for Sudan’s unity.
The split caused destruction of properties and loss of lives as each side wanted to claim monopoly and control affairs of people and forces to gain recognition from the masses and global community.
The leaders, however, rejoined Garang’s faction at different times in 2002 and 2003 after talks with Sudanese have started and a provision recognizing self-determination for the people of South Sudan to decide at referendum was included.
However, with the independence of the south, the two leaders pride themselves as among leaders who revived and advocated for secession and Akol celebrates every August 28, the day on which they made the declaration in 1991. He sees himself as a progressive politician and one who would make a positive and meaning impact in the lives of the people, if given the opportunity to propagate and freely sell his vision to the people.
Akol, who contested against the incumbent President Salva Kiir in the 2010 general elections, now heads the National Democratic Party (NDM), a non-violence political entity, but has pervasive influence and armed groups operating in his constituency.
The outspoken opposition leader hopes to ascend to power someday if there is a leveled ground to propagate his policies and talk to the people freely. He believes he could a make significant impact and difference since his popular in his constituency and among young people in the country as well as among educated class except his political competitors and people who see him as the architect behind the 1991 split.