The South Sudanese peace talks have been dogged with controversies. Big stories have been going round among the delegates and IGAD here. One of them was the fabricated arrest of Mabior Garang de Mabior, a story created by some Gordon Buay, which did not happen at all. But related ones include the following:


As the old adage goes, there is no smoke without fire. The story of Mabior Garang de Mabior’s attempt to assassinate President Salva Kiir had its parallel in Addis Ababa here. The same day the rumour of Mabior’s arrest was spread, there was commotion at Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa) around President Salva Kiir who was about to fly back to Juba. The flight was delayed, hence cancelled by the Ethiopia Security.

The allegation was that Kiir’s guys had kidnapped one officer from Riek’s group. The man, Col. Paulino, a former army commander who fell out with David Yau-Yau and joined Dr. Riek, went missing suddenly. Riek’s guys raised an alarm through IGAD and the authorities at the airport were alerted. As the search continues, the president was delayed as his flight was suspected to be carrying some strangers (Paulino suspected to be in).

Insider sources said that the president flew away the following morning but there was no Col. Paulino aboard. However, the Pibor faction commander is still missing to date! “Instead of this news spreading to the media, the president supporters created a situation on a different person (Mabior) as if it was a ploy to detract attention on the hotter rumour of kidnap,” said one rebel member who is not allowed to speak to the media.

Nevertheless, the government sources claimed Col. Paulino was not forced but he surrendered to the government voluntarily. Paulino fell out with Yau-Yau early June 2014 as his group were not happy with the agreement signed between Yau-Yau and the Government of South Sudan. The Paulino faction accused Yau-Yau of having used them during the war and later dumped them after achieving his objective.

Later sources claim that Col. Paulino was actually taken and is now detained in Juba. It is said Yau-Yau solemnly requested Kiir and warned that unless Paulino was restrained, the Lango Generation Set group of Murle fighters would water down that peace agreement of Greater Pibor Area Administration (GPAA), whch is led by David Yau-Yau in the capacity of a governor.

Meanwhile, sources in Jonglei State said that the Deputy Governor, Baba Medan, and other ministers and MPs who come from Pibor area (Boma, Pibor, Pochalla) have refused to relinquish their positions as they do not recognize the GPAA deal between Kiir and Yau-Yau. Some quarters of Jie, Kachipo and Anyuak communities are also said to have turned down the offer, as other tribes (Bor and Lou) are complaining that they had not been included or consulted when the peace agreement was signed in Addis Ababa.

Aguil Chut in one of her national activism in South Sudan

Aguil Chut in one of her national activism in South Sudan


Just before the wild claims of arrest of Mabior Garang de Mabior, the true story that was doing the round at the peace venue was the arrest and deportation of a South Sudanese popular activist, Aguil Chut Deng. Aguil came to champion the push for the inclusion of a special women’s group in the peace talks by IGAD. With her lobbying already accommodated and women brought in  as part of the peace negotiation, she lost the chance of participation in the talks, altogether.

Cde Aguil (as she is known)  was arrested on the first week of August at Radisson Blu Hotel and detained for more than two weeks. The cause of the arrest is said to be her action of staging a ‘lock up strike’ at IGAD’s office. She locked the office and detained the officials for 7 hours while demanding that IGAD write a document recognizing their women’s bloc, called South Sudan Women Advocacy for Peace (SSWAP). The paper was said to have been produced but with Aguil immediately picked up by the police and charged for causing terror and disorderliness in Ethiopia.

A month later, she was then arraigned in court and deported. However, the reason for the long time detention was not by IGAD but the hotel in which she stayed. IGAD refused to foot the bill, so the hotel detained her and took her to court to personally clear the bill. She was fined heavily and she paid the bill at last through her brother who flew in to rescue her.

The most unfortunate thing is that South Sudanese government denied any knowledge of Aguil. Neither the embassy of South Sudan to Ethiopia or the government delegation accepted to intervene. “That woman is troublesome and she came alone,” said one leader of the government team. On the other hand, one SPLM-iO member seem to be celebrating her arrest. “She is one of those who sparked off this war,” said a member who could not be mentioned by name here. “When the situation was tensed in Nyakuron Cultural Centre, she started war revolution songs, which were forced into the mouth of the president. Both sang provocative song in Dinka just a few hours before the shooting started,” he narrated, adding that Aguil could even be investigated and charged for incitement to war.

By the end of her case, she was asked to clear the bills and deported right away. Deportation in this country means she will never come back to Ethiopia again. She can only do so if she appeals the case or changed her nationality or identity.

This is Comrade Aguil Chut…http://player.mashpedia.com/player.php?q=1ndYztAmswA