JUBA, OCTOBER 2023 ) – President Salva Kiir Mayardit and four other members of his ruling SPLM party have been dubbed the “big five” who, according to the country’s well-known journalist Garang John, are destroying the world’s youngest nation.
Garang, who was imprisoned in January over a viral video showing Kiir wetting on himself at a road opening event in December 2022, said that Benjamin Bol Bel, Rebecca Nyandeng, Kuol Manyang, Tut Gatluak, and Kiir had all contributed “immense” to the devastation of the nation.
Nyandeng is one of President Kiir’s five deputies and is the spouse of SPLM/SPLA John Garang. Bol Mel is Kiir’s envoy on special missions, Manyang who was a defense minister a few years ago is a senior presidential advisor, while Gatluak is the presidential security advisor.
Garang said in his frank “prison diary” posted on Facebook on Friday that President Kiir was only encouraged to take over by Madam Rebecca and Kuol Manyang, and that he was not yet prepared to head the party and the government of South Sudan at the time of Dr. John Garang’s dying.
“It’s imperative for our citizens to understand that today’s PROBLEMS are the results of yesterday’s SHORT-SIGHTED SOLUTIONS. Unless you just jetted in from London or Khartoum like those of Martin Elia and Tutkew after hearing the death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior, those who followed the events closely at the New Site would recall how the current Salva Kiir was forced to sit on the chair of his comrade, the departed hero,” he wrote
Everyone was consoling with Mama Rebecca Nyandeng and her advice at that moment was the guiding principle. The most feared Kuol Manyang stood with Mama Rebecca. With his reddish bush eyes and voice, Kuol shouted at Salva Kiir and told him to take over the leadership,” he added.
He said that Kiir “was hesitant” and was aware of “his shortcomings but he would be compelled to take the mantle of power.”
On Gatluak, Garang said that former Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir “refused to hand over shared none living assets with the breakaway South. He instead handed over some of his politically ill-groomed, adapted sons.”
He said Gatluak “was one of those used by Khartoum to instigate fight among South Sudanese. He has accomplished his work in Nuer land. Until today, all sections of Nuer are facing each other, fighting wars they don’t know.”
The former journalist said fighting between tribes and sections of the Greater Upper Nile region have “granted Tutkew the title of Presidential Advisor.”
He described presidential envoy on special missions Benjamin Bol Mel as “a man with zero understanding on engineering, business” who “is now at the center of managing and selling country’s crude oil, constructing highways, running affairs of the liberation party SPLM while commanding a notorious gang of black-market dealers.”
This is the man who has gone into history as the first human to construct a 200-kilometer road with 3.1 billion US dollars. Something that defeats engineering logic! He is the King of Crude,” he added.
Garang said “Salva Kiir is the Commander-in-Chief of the suffering citizens” and that “In his watch are gross human rights violations … are thousands of jobless citizens … are huge schemes of corruption. … the poor education system.”
“In his watch, is inability to uphold justice and accountability. In his watch are citizens starving to death. In his watch, are neighboring states encroaching on the country’s boundaries. In his watch are his family members and friends stealing gold for personal gain. In his watch, are dilapidated national hospitals without medicine.
“In his watch are innocent citizens languishing in notorious prisons nationwide. In his watch, are innocent children being abducted and women being raped. In his watch are notorious army Generals terrorizing the population. In his watch is a deadly Star Gin being sold in the market … Kiir has refused to uphold democracy, law and order, opening a window for continuous armed rebellion