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Veteran soldier warns civil unrest will disrupt peace gains in South Sudan

Gen Khamis Abdallatif Chawul Lom

By Staff Writer

Initiating civil unrest in South Sudan will go against the philosophy of the peace deal under implementation and only reverse gains made in the African Nation, a veteran politician said.

A new pressure group calling itself the People’s Coalition for Civil Action is agitating the country towards holding a mass protest against the way the government is being run.

Their call centers around the peace implementation in the country.

The group claims the parties to the peace agreement have deviated from the pact leaving the country bleeding from communal violence, poor service delivery, and dictatorship in Juba.

They set August 30 as the day for the protest.

“The protest will come with negative results inside or outside,” Gen Khamis Abdallatif Chawul Lom, a former security advisor in the Ministry of Interior said.

“I am not opposed to their opinion for rejecting Kiir but I reject the invitation for protest,” Lom said in an interview.

“Security-wise and strategically, there are a diverse community, tribes with hatred, hungry people, criminals, people angered for different reasons and so the protest in Juba would be damaging, it will cause a collapse in market and homes,” he said.

“The crisis that will follow will affect those inside and as well those in diaspora,” he said.

Lom urged people to ensure they work towards the collective well-being of the country as opposed to personal interests.

“What is important is the security of the nation. Pursuing personal interest is not of help,” he said.

He warned against negative social media propaganda against leaders in the country including the Minister of Interior, Paul Mayom Akec, and the DG of the National Security Service, Gen Akol Kor Kuc.

“Akol Kor, Obote Mamur Mete, and Lual Wek are doing good jobs,” Lom said.

“There will be no security if there is no military police, national security, and other security agencies.”

Lom is well versed in the political situation in South Sudan.

He served in different capacities during the leadership of former Sudanese President, Jaffer Nimeiry, worked with fallen liberation icon Dr. John Garang during the war and has been the Director-General of South Sudan Television (now South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation).

He was also a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition.

When the peace agreement first faltered in 2016, Lom opted to remain in Juba with Taban Deng Gai and Dhieu Mathok among others.

He rejoined the SPLM under President Kiir and is a member of the SPLM second convention.

According to him, people must let the peace agreement under implementation lead to elections in the country.

“People need to implement the peace deal and wait for elections,” Lom said.

“Everyone will express opinion through a ballot after the transitional period, implementation is critical then votes will come. It needs patience, we need to work for security and unity of the country, people should think well, getting into power by force is not the right way to go.”

He criticized the current split in the SPLM-IO and called for a peaceful resolution to the problems.

“The split within the SPLA-IO between Riek and Simon Gatwech needs to be resolved amicably, such clashes are not good for peace, people need to be united,” Lom said.

“The two factions should quickly resolve the dispute because the unity will help South Sudan.”

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