Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 13 May 2019

Riek Machar has some questions to answer


Gordon Buay

The Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO, Mr Riek Machar, has some questions to answer why members of his Movement are the organizers of the Facebook Red Card Movement. We thought that the SPLM/A-IO signed peace with the Government last year and we are already in the implementation phase of the agreement.

Therefore, Riek Machar has to tell us why the following cadres of the SPLM/A-IO are the organizers of a protest Movement calling for a regime change:

1. Mr Reath Muoch Tang, who is in Washington, D.C, is the organizer and the fundraiser of the Red Card Movement. Mr Reath is a Senior member of the SPLM/A-IO who was the Representative of the Movement in U.S.A. from 2014—2017. We need to know whether his involvement with the Red Card Movement was approved by the leadership of the SPLM/A-IO. If not, then, where is the statement of the SPLM/A-IO condemning or distancing itself from him?

2. Mr Elbow Chuol Gakah in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is the spokesperson of the Red Card Movement. Mr Elbow was officially appointed last year by Riek Machar as the SPLM/A-IO Youth Leader in Ethiopia. Mr Riek Machar needs to tell us why somebody he appointed is the spokesperson of a group calling for a regime;

3. There are members of the SPLM/A-IO in Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and Sudan who are the organizers of the Red Card Movement, including members of the SPLM/A-IO Political Bureau. How did members of IO involve themselves with the Red Card Movement without the knowledge of Riek Machar himself?

Mr Machar needs to be candid with the world and must explain to us why members of his own Movement are the organizers and spokespersons of the Red Card Movement while at the same time he is claiming to be implementing the R-ARCISS. Unless something is fundamentally wrong within the IO, it doesn’t make sense at all that the SPLM/A-IO called for 6 months extension for security arrangement of the R-ARCISS to be completed while at the same time mobilizing the youth for a regime change. Either the IO leaders are mentally sick and need quick treatment or they are denouncing the R-ARCISS by organizing the Red Card Movement.

I have been monitoring fundraising taking place in the U.S for the last six days to fund the activities of the Red Card Movement. The individuals driving the fundraising campaign are members of the SPLM/A-IO. One may begin to wonder how Riek Machar calls for the implementation of R-ARCISS on the one hand and calls for a regime change on the other hand.

I feel pity for Pope Francis who wasted his precious time kissing the feet of Riek Machar last month so that he should work with President Kiir to bring peace while the same man is mobilizing the youth to overthrow President Kiir. Is it not an insult to Pope Francis that Riek Machar, who was invited to the Vatican and prayed upon, has currently denounced the peace and he is calling for violence? One may agree with Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth who once said that "Riek Machar does not respect Christian religious leaders except Ngundeng".

Even if Riek Machar does not believe in Jesus Christ, he shouldn’t humiliate Pope Francis by letting members of his Movement to form an organization that calls for a regime change contrary to the spirit of Vatican retreat. If Riek Machar does not believe in peace, he should not have gone to the Vatican and then accepted Pope Francis to kiss his feet. Something is fundamentally wrong with Riek Machar if he could now embark on a regime change one month after leaving the Vatican. Although he is not a Christian, he should show some respect to the Pope who is a leader of 2 billion Christians.

The author is a South Sudanese diplomat.