Balancing the Era of President Salva Kiir and that of John Garang of South Sudan: One-on-one with a young Politician

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Mr. Ayuel Taupiny is the head of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Diaspora Chapter in Kenya. The SPLM is the ruling party in South Sudan that was founded by the late founding father, Dr. John Garang.


The SPLM has branches worldwide because of its historical roots. The previous administration thought it would be a good idea to involve South Sudanese in diaspora in what is happening at home in other to mobilize South Sudanese and keep them informed about what is happening on the ground while they are overseas, diaspora branches were developed. Finding a way to coordinate South Sudanese efforts has proven to be very vital.


In a chat with ALM correspondent, Mr. Ayuel Taupiny provides some interesting information on the current leadership style in South Sudan while juxtaposing it with of the former leader, John Garang in this regard. Welcome to the first section of the interview.


ALM _ What perks does South Sudan currently enjoy following its 2011 declaration of




Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “Well for South Sudan, I will talk from two perspectives because as a South Sudanese, there is a way I view it. For me, I think South Sudanese have achieved much given that we started from scratch…. from the background where we had nothing. And now that we have a sovereign state where we have our own passports. We are now able to travel and be identified as South Sudanese and we have what we call our Country with the government. This is a significant achievement for South Sudanese men like me. And to some people who are also not members of South Sudan, I can tell them there are some people who feel they want to embrace the challenges. They can feel the changes because if you go to Juba now, it operates like any other country, there are airports, there are also international companies also operating in South Sudan, and you find many business people coming in day and night. So, I believe South Sudan has achieved what any other nation can achieve at that age and therefore I would say. the experience and the difference so far as I am concerned is very much okay, although there are challenges and we do acknowledge them and are working towards correcting them. You have seen our President has compromised many things including creating a necessary position to accommodate the dissenting opinions who think the country was not governed in the right way. Those are compromises our government is doing particularly the President. For that reason, again, I would say We are doing very much okay and we hope as put forward by our president he will not allow the country to go back to war and that is our stand. That we rally behind him to ensure that the country does not go back to war”.


ALM: What are some of the difficulties you mentioned earlier?




Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “Some of the challenges we have seen is that some politicians or people who are also in the SPLM party trying to take over power through unconstitutional means and that is what brought the country back to war in 2013. President Kiir was being honest to the people of South Sudan have identified members of the public who were engaged in scandals, and upon identifying them he read them out so that they can at least correct the situation.


But eventually, he laid them off from the opposition and you could see what happened in South Sudan. They went and regrouped themselves. And attempted to overthrow the government. And that is one of the challenges. Because, as our president is trying to steer the country in the right direction there are forces that are pulling him back, and those forces we are dealing with them in a way that will resolve to peace. A good example is the peace agreement being structured by the president.


We also have challenges in implementing the agreement. Because this agreement was not structured in a way it can help the government achieve its objective immediately because you see this is a power-sharing government. When a decision is made by a person it has to go through a number of political parties to agree. That’s why you can see some delays in the implementation of the peace agreement”.


ALM _ Alright, Did you join SPLM during the era of the late President John Garang? If YES, what enduring impressions do you have of his leadership style?


Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “Most of us were born during that time. Therefore, we are born members of SPLM. Garang’ was a very charismatic leader. I can also say he was a great mobilizer because he managed to mobilize all South Sudanese to rally behind the ideas of the SPLM. So yeah those are things I can say he contributed positively and that’s why we have the country.


Garang would be remembered as a leader who has gone the extra mile to make sure the people of South Sudan are free. And it wasn’t Garang alone, Even the current President was his Deputy Commander. Because that time we had no President. It was the Chairman and Deputy Chairman. And Deputy Commander. These people I would say have done their best to ensure that Sudan is what it is today”.




ALM_ How would you compare his sense of Leadership with that of Salva Kiir?


Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “Well the SPLM has a constitution. And that constitution has been amended severally. Although its core value has been the same and the then commander Dr. John Garang’ Commander was using SPLM|A constitution to start the movement. And President Kiir being one of the founding fathers carries the same ability to make sure the SPLM achieved its objectives. So I think in most of the interviews you have heard our President saying he has missed his brother with whom they were working together. So, I would say that the SPLM in which I was born is the same SPLM that the current President is leading.




ALM _ Good to hear. And what comes to your Mind when the name of your President mentioned ?


Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “What comes my mind when I hear his name is that the Symbol of Liberation and Freedom. He symbolizes many things. Including the ability to stand up despite privileges in the previous government. I mean he left that government just to fight for his people. So I see him as a freedom Fighter”.


ALM _ There’s some very incredible historical context. What major accomplishments have you made since taking office as the Chair of the SPLM Kenya Chapter, please, before we wrap up Part 1 of this interview?


Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “This Month we have launched our operations here in Kenya. Our main purpose of the event is to swear in our officials that will carry out different tasks based on our constitution and we will basically mobilize, organize and then recruit and eventually register our members in Kenya in preparation for the 2025 elections”.


ALM _ Lastly, kindly allow me to touch on the event that the African Union is hosting this month at their AU headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. As a politician born and raised in South Sudan, what would be your call of action to them?


Mr. Ayuel Taupiny _ “Well speaking as a citizen of South Sudan nation, I don’t think I have ever had proper representation in the African Union. Because most of these agreements you see in South Sudan that are not working well were suggested by the African Union. Then, after that, they were suggested to the IGAD, and in turn, the IGAD proposed them to our leadership. So, It is a dream of African States to have access to many things including education and other things. And I don’t think African Union has ever found it useful to also prioritize countries that have challenges for instance scholarship opportunities. Our citizens are still struggling. They ought to give equal opportunities and they also need to prioritise the neediest students. So to me, I would not say there’s much information I have about them”.


Alright. That ‘s it for PART 1 of this interview, PART 2 will follow soon.

Balancing the Era of President Salva Kiir and that of John Garang of South Sudan: One on one with a SPLM young Politician

Balancing the Era of President Salva Kiir and that of John Garang of South Sudan: One on one with a SPLM young Politician

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