Articles & Analyses

​South Sudan: Taban Deng’s political career ends here!

By Tor Madira Machier,
Analysis: The recent efforts by General Taban Deng Gai to host Machar – and eventually let to his appointment  today, Monday – do not only potray him as a failed politician, but also reminds the people of South Sudan in general, and the people of Unity State in particular, of the revival of Taban’s dark and sinful political background he developed beginning from the onset of his tenure in 2005 as the governor of the oil-rich Unity State. 

Through his tenure in office as the governor of Unity State, Deng developed a shaky political position for himself based on the believe of excanging  and switching loyalty every now and then. Prior to his expulsion from the gubernatorial seat in July 2013, Deng was a dieheart political ally of president Salva Kiir. After President Salva Kiir Mayardiit sacked him and immediately replacing him with Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil Wijang, Deng  was already an arch-critic of President Kiir adopting a pro-Machar political strategy and joined the SPLM internal effort to democratically host Kiir from the leadership of the SPLM party and would have been afterwards denied of carrying the title as the SPLM party flag bearer in a general elections which were supposed to run in 2015.

With Kiir losing popilarity among the South Sudanese and the SPLM party supporters in particular and Dr. Machar, on the other hand,  gaining momentum in an ineternal power struggle within the SPLM party, Deng  took this as an advantage for him and having already been engaged in an internal effort within the SPLM’s two main bodies, the Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council, to host Kiir, which in return setin hope for him to gain a political popularity after a dirty political games during his tenure as the Unity State Governor.

In March 2014, one month after he was appoited by Machar as the Chief Negotiator for the armed opposition faction of the SPLM, Deng begun the mission which officially kicked-off on Saturday at Crown Hotel in Juba. He was not happy of Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba and Dhieu Mathok, then Member of the SPLM in Opposition’s negotiating team and the Secreatary for External Affairs respectively of the movement. Many political allies of Machar abandoned the camp citting Deng’s negative role in derailing most of the SPLM in Opposisions’s affairs from running. 

Peter Gatdet, a army general from Machar’s camp afterwards left the camp and went to settle in Khartoum but did not launch a war against Machar and was waiting for the results of the peace deal. Many who left the camp with Gatdet went back to the government but Gatdet went to settle in Khartoum. 

After leading SPLM in Opposition’s  advance team to the national capital Juba, Deng was about to defect, but was to wait for the results of his fate in the Unity Government. He was expecting to be appointed as Petroleum Minister.

After the Transitional Government was formed, Deng begin to revive his old mission of derailing peace at the expense of Dr Machar while in favor of his interest. He resigned as a member of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commision which threatened to read apart the opposition camp.

Although Kiir  was to blame for the clashes which occured at J1, Taban played a great role in Kiir and Jieng Council’s assasination plan on Dr Machar. After the fighting that Friday, and while the clashes were continuing arround Jebel site, the residence of Dr Machar, Taban came out with Michael Makuei Lueth, Government information Minister reassuring the public of Kiir’s control over the town and also announcing a cease fire which was not announced by the opposition. 

Taban was expecting the assasination plan to succeed and that he would later be nominated by the SPLM in Opposition as it Chairman should Dr Machar died.

During the four-days of clashes in Juba, Taban was moving with Michael Makuei, the Minister of Information and the government spokesman, also after Machar left Juba. And during that time, he security was not at risk compared to other SPLM in Opposition minister’s and memebers of the advance team.

He pretended to be neutral untill Saturday when he announced that he was nominated as the First Vice President of the Republic by what he termed as the SPLM IO political bureau which was actually attended by Alfred Lado Gore and Dhieu Mathok who were actually threatened to either endorse him or either sign their life away. 

Despite these efforts by Taban, his political conspiracy against Machar has failed, although he has been finely appointed to replace Machar today, and thus, his political life.

All these political background are always the potrayal of a failed politician.Once Kiir and his Jieng Council learned that Taban has nothing to give them, they will eventually sell him and this will be the END of Taban Deng Gai’s career in politics.

Tor Madira Machier is a Columnist and a South Sudanese student persuing Law at Egypt’s University of Ain Shams, he can be reached at tormadira2013@gmail.com and at tormachier.blogspot.com