Change Advocate Sunday De John Pens Open Letter To President Salva Kiir


Open Letter to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit

President of the Republic of South Sudan       

Dear Mr. President,

Please accept my warmest greetings and best wishes as you continue shouldering the huge responsibilities of your high office.

Over the last two months, I have had the opportunity to briefly participate in the negotiations as a member of the South Sudanese Opposition groups in a mediation dubbed the High Level Mediation for South Sudan-TUMAINI INITIATIVE. It is with a heavy heart that I must directly bring to your attention the concerning developments within this process.

The peace initiative, which you initiated in good faith, has unfortunately been hijacked by individuals with ulterior motives—namely Gen. Paul Malong Awan, Hon. Pa’gan Amum Okiech, and Gen. Stephen Buoy Rolnyang, along with their close associates.

When you reached out to your counterpart, H.E. President William Samoei Ruto, you did so with the sincere intention of fostering an inclusive process to bring all South Sudanese opposition groups on board, hear their perspectives, and work towards lasting peace for our country.

Regrettably, the three in question have misconstrued your wise intentions, claiming that the process was solely theirs and misleading the mediators in the process. Their communication is always convoluted and they can easily distort the truth.

Mr. President, the actions of Malong and Pa’gan are driven by greed for power, material wealth and ulterior motives. Their primary goal in excluding other opposition groups from the TUMAINI INITIATIVE is to achieve political preponderance for their own benefit. They are out for what they called succession politics. Jointly with their comrades in Juba, they could even estimate your lifespan, giving you only 6 months of survival as if they were God. Their sudden change of hearts, given their past rejection of your peace proposals, raises serious concerns about their true intentions.

In 2019, Malong rejected two of your offers to meet him in Juba and Entebbe, Uganda. His rejections, conveyed through a letter to Dr. Ismail Wais the IGAD Special Envoy, on April 21, 2024, was based on a belief that he could overthrow your government.

Having failed in those attempts, Malong and Pa’gan now view the TUMAINI INITIATIVE as their vehicle for returning to Juba and initiating further conflict. It is a change of battleground, not of hearts. This was well reflected in how they disrespectfully taunted you at a dinner in Nairobi.

These individuals have been central to the infernal conflict in our country. Malong, during his tenure as Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), engaged in illicit actions, basically in an attempt to overthrow you militarily leading to his dismissal and subsequent rebellion in defiance to your altruism when you permitted him to seek medical treatment in Kenya following the reconciliation and financial support in your residence. His actions have resulted in significant human and material losses for our country.

Pa’gan Amum, at the SPLM level, repeatedly attempted to undermine your authority, driven by his ambition for the party chairmanship and the presidency. He has been involved in extensive corrupt practices and even sought to place the country under foreign trusteeship.

Buoy Rolnyang, despite benefiting from your clemency after his treasonous actions leading to court martial, continued his violent activities, including the killing of innocent citizens and that of a commissioner in Mayom County.

Mr. President, your heart of forgiveness should encompass all South Sudanese, not just the three. Make adjustments and note too that, the strength of a leader is often measured by the capacity to embrace all, to listen to even the quietest voices, and to lead with both wisdom and compassion. The TUMAINI INITIATIVE, in its current form, strays from this path. By opening the doors to all opposition groups, by allowing a fair and comprehensive dialogue, you will not only honor your original vision but also pave the way for a more resilient and enduring peace.

On behalf of the silent opposition movements, sidelined stakeholders, and myself, I implore you to re-instruct the mediators to open the scope of the TUMAINI INITIATIVE to encompass all voices of South Sudanese.

Many are calling for a constitutional making process, which does not negatively impact the current government’s status, given that it is already an on-going process. Therefore, do not reward the petulant, self-styled Prime Ministers or Vice Presidents in persons of Malong and Pa’gan with any positions that they crave for in the expense of energetic youth whose contribution in the constitution making process would benefit the country.

While Malong, Pa’gan, and Buoy have caused significant harm to our country and your leadership, you still extended a chance for peace to them, knowing their limited contributions. Why is it difficult to offer the same chance to the younger generation? As young people, don’t we deserve peace? Should we remain on the sidelines on matters of our country? Can’t you question Malong and Pa’gan about why they dragged young people into rebellion, only to abandon them after wasting their potential?

We are no longer children, as presumed by Pa’gan and Malong. With good education, perseverance, the resilience of Jesh-Amer (child soldiers), and as intellectuals ready to help the country, we must not be mistreated under your watch. We have grown through adversity, gained knowledge, and now stand ready to contribute to South Sudan’s future.

Your decision to bring sustainable peace should not be constrained by the ambitions of these three. They badly need peace but they don’t want others to have it. Is that not double standard? All these people had worked under you, you know best their dishonesty and greed for wealth.

Consider our plight as a matter of serious concern because these people are uncaring. A truly inclusive process is essential for lasting peace and stability in South Sudan. We urge you to take decisive action to ensure that the TUMAINI INITIATIVE lives up to its name—bringing hope and peace to all South Sudanese.


                                                                                                 Dr. Sunday de John


                South Sudan United Front-Progressive

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