Dr. Justin Yac. I will go with the suggestion of Cdr. Pieng that the Chairman response to the issues raised by Cdr. Salva Kiir.
Cdr./Dr. John Garang I will give my contribution to what has been raised; that firstly we need to dispose of rumours. In the whole of South Sudan, there is a general concern from the citizens, and in Yei, the officers and citizens believe there is a danger facing the Movement. We have to clear the danger and give our people assurances.
Cdr. Salva Kiir and I have been together in the movement for 22 years, and have been close friends, and we will continue that way. 22 years of friendship can't be thrown away by rumours; Cdr. Salva will be with me now until the end of the interim period and beyond, and I will cite what was said when I visited Malual Kon and the "Luak" of the family of Cdr. Salva where I entered the house to show comradeship and a long cherished friendship. At a meeting while visiting there we were told, "You are the two orphans" left because the original members of the High Command died, both of us will carry on to bring peace.
I cited what happened at New Site recently when the Chiefs a ceremony where a bull was sacrificed to show how we are united. At the spiritual performance, one traditional leader said that 4 things will happen:-
1. The bull will urinate.
2. The bull will fall down.
3. The bull will face the North.
4. The bull will die without being slaughtered.
And all the four happened.
The allegation that I was going to dismiss Cdr. Salva and arrest him was not only a lie, but it did not even occur in my mind. I was preoccupied with the peace process and not trying to create a crisis. Before UN Security Council Meeting, I received a telephone call from President Bush who said that he now had those who will work with him during the next four years and that I am one of them. President Bush said, "John don't let us down. We want peace before the end of the year".
The allegation that I will be replacing Cdr. Salva was a bad lie. If Cdr. Salva was dismissed and replaced with Cdr. Nhial Deng Nhial, it would mean that I would have dismissed all those senior to Cdr. Nhial which includes Cdr. Riek, Cdr. James, Cdr. Daniel Awet, Cdr. Lual Diing, etc. - which would be bad for the Movement. So this allegation is a lie. The crisis only has the support of our enemies who want a crisis in the Movement. This situation was created by our enemies because they do not want to sign the peace agreement.
The Chairman pointed out that the GOS has never been happy with the protocols, specially the Machakos protocol, because of the self-determination clause. The GOS and their supporters don't accept the security arrangement and the Wealth Sharing Agreement, which gives the South of Sudan 51%. The Khartoum Government wants to reject the agreement being signed or at least delay it. By delaying in signing, Khartoum will gain $2.5 billion from the oil revenues, which we must prevent by all means possible. Khartoum was unhappy with the Power Sharing and 3 areas protocols. Neither I nor Cdr. Salva had any interest in delaying the peace agreement. I have nothing to gain by dismissing Cdr. Salva.
Finally I have never had any thought of dismissing Cdr. Salva. And it should be considered a lie. This rumour has caused commotion everywhere in Southern Sudan, Khartoum and the Diaspora - so I will assure our people everywhere and send a strong message to Khartoum Government that they will not divide the SPLM/A.