“I am crying for you my brothers,” Yien Mathew tells SPLM-IO Riek Machar followers
In a highly attended Facebook live talk show commemorating the 7th anniversary of the Dec 15th, 2013 Juba Massacre, Gen. Yien Mathew called out to SPLM-IO supporters pointing out several shortcomings with their under-house-arrest leader Dr. Riek Machar, and urged them to think critically about many of their leader’s recurring mistakes and the effectiveness of their movement in the struggle to restore the dignity and unity of the people of South Sudan.
Gen. Yien Mathew, who is one of the leading members of the National Salvation Front (NAS) and a delegate to the latest Rome Talks was a guest on the ‘Voice of Kush Wisdom’ show – a popular Facebook live show hosted by France-based Mr. Sabit Lante Majazif.
Can someone who is under detention negotiate? Can Riek Machar now negotiate with the same strength and vigor as when he was still in the bush, free, not confined, and not under house arrest in Juba?
Directly addressing Charles Ifau Itahile – a die-hard Machar and SPLM-IO supporter based in Canada – Gen Yien Mathew said “You said it with your own mouth, brother Charles, that Riek Machar is confined in Juba…is under house arrest in Juba… Now tell me what can he do, what can he achieve? Can someone who is under detention negotiate? Can Riek Machar now negotiate with the same strength and vigor as when he was still in the bush, free, not confined, and not under house arrest in Juba?
“I know about your financial contributions to the SPLM-IO and trying to help those fighters. Can IGAD come and tell you that Riek must go and be confined in Juba, and then the revolution stops? I am crying for you my brothers… those who have been struggling, wasted their money, and now they have been betrayed!
“If Machar’s day to die comes, he will die whether in Juba or in the bushes of South Sudan…. He should not have surrendered himself to this imprisonment that has rendered him weak and useless even as VP of the country. He can not take with him all these innocent people and claim that IGAD has forced his hand?….Yaki, how many people have died protecting Riek Machar only for him to go back and surrender to the same people who tried to kill him? And the same people who killed the families of those protecting him? …. brother Charles, did you forget how many people died protecting Riek?”
Most of the 5-hour long show focussed on issues pertaining to the Dec 15th, 2013, Juba Massacre that saw the state-run and orchestrated genocide of ethnic Nuer. Other massacres quickly followed in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu, and other towns resulting in the deaths of over thousands of innocent souls from Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, and other tribes.
Gen Yien Mathew went on to explain how the defection crisis that has plagued SPLM-IO since their surrender, where many of their leaders defected to SPLM-IG, was a result of a well-orchestrated plan of the regime to break SPLM-IO into bits. And that has been made possible thanks to Machar’s fear for his life and position, disregard of others’ sacrifices, and surrender to be imprisoned by IGAD and Kiir.
“Now to my final question,” he said, addressing Charles Ifau Itahile, “You said the only way to honour the souls of the victims of the massacres is through justice and equality. Now, will Salva accept justice and accountability? You mentioned ‘hybrid court’, will a criminal leader like Salva allow himself to be incriminated? Does Riek Machar – a prisoner himself – have the power to bring that about, let alone display a resemblance of power that should be reckoned with?”
In conclusion, the guest of the show concluded by reassuring the audience – who highly appreciated his honest and truthful call out – that the negotiations in Rome between SSOMA and the regime in Juba are not about legitimizing the regime, but rather about both sides frankly exchanging views.
“If the people of South Sudan would have had access to the videos of the negotiations, they would have seen what we are doing and who is really talking sense and logic…. and who really has the interest of South Sudan and its entire people versus who is destroying the country in pursuit of a tribal agenda”.
The sample clip of the encounter can be viewed below