September 21, 2021 (NAIROBI) – Mabior Garang de Mabior, son of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has ruled out war as an option for regime change, proposing that dialogue be held with the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) splinter faction fighting in the Magenis area of Upper Nile state.
- Mabior John Garang de Mabior (File photo MC Clatchy Newspapers)
“After seven years of imposing the agenda of regime change and senseless violence on our civil population, those who hijacked our Movement and the peace process have failed to deliver peace. Therefore, regime change is no longer a viable option. It is too costly”, wrote Mabior in an op-ed co-authored with Manasseh Zindo.
He explained that the call for regime change has retarded the development of struggle, both in 2013 and 2016, arguing it should not be allowed to happen again.
“We must be honest in our quest for and implementation of the negotiated settlement to achieve fundamental change in our society without bloodshed. The Kit-Gwang Declaration represents revolutionary corrections in our struggle for self-reliance, based on the principle of Self-Determination”, explained Mabior.
The objective of the group, according to him, was to champion reforms in the security sector because institutional reforms were necessary due to the proliferation of paramilitary forces loyal to individual politicians and other leaders.
“It is of paramount importance that all the forces that fought during the war of independence are unified into national organized forces – there is need for order,” Mabior wrote.
However, this honorable call was hijacked and turned into an agenda for regime change by unscrupulous politicians. When the Lou Nuer White army were marching on Juba – in response to the massacre of predominantly Nuer civilians – some politicians saw this as an opportunity to impose their agenda for regime change on our Movement for reforms, and a deadly power struggle ensued”, he said.
He called for public support in all social and political affiliations to subscribe to the Kit-Gwang Declaration, saying “it is not a political party; the call of the Kit-Gwang Declaration is expressly for the implementation of security arrangements”.
“We further call on all the military, paramilitary, and civil defense forces to embrace the Principles in the Kit-Gwang Declaration. All these troops have a stake in our hard-won freedom as many fought side-by-side during the Independence war. We are not enemies; thus, the Kit-Gwang Declaration should not be viewed with suspicion by any group,” he further wrote.
“The implementation of security arrangements is in all our interests as the only way to ensure political stability and socio-economic development in our land”, he added.
Last month, forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar and a splinter group clashed in South Sudan, with each claiming to have killed dozens of soldiers from the other side. The clashes erupted after rival military leaders of the SPLM/A-IO announced on that Machar had been ousted as head of his party and its armed forces.