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Near Verbatim Transcript: FVP Taban Deng reacts to the U.S sanctions

Author: Eye Radio | Published: Thursday, January 16, 2020

First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai - File Photo / AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA

Frankly speaking, since the disappearance of Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idry, for the last, I don’t know how many years now, I was a worried man. I was worried because the opposition could use it against me. But what I want to tell you – my community – the Nuer, I am not a terror, or cruel, or a violent person. Those who have worked with me know me very well, that I don’t like impunity, people who abuse power or break the laws.

During the SPLM-SPLA, I was one of those people who implemented the General Court Martial – GCM. During the SPLM-SPLA, I have been approving death to all those accused of raping women, and underage girls, even those accused of killing innocent people, they deserve a death sentence. I used to tell people in Bentiu that these criminals who have been killing people are few people compared to us, we the good people, because we are the majority, and we must kill them.

Today in South Sudan, I personally believe in death penalties to those breaking into people’s homes to steal, and criminals accused of rape, for instance; we are hearing Nuer community are fighting each other and hundreds have been killed, or Agaar community are fighting, or Twic are fighting one another, so the only solution for this country for those unknown gunmen killing innocent people, and child abductors is a capital punishment as it’s stipulated in our constitution. For example; if someone is accused of rape, or killing for no reason, such people must be hanged, and people must be hanged.

My community from Bentiu, I have nothing to do with the disappearance of Dong Luak and Aggrey Idry, For the past two years, I have been searching for these people. I met Kenyan’s President twice and I told him that these people disappeared in Kenya, and I told him this will cause trouble to our countries, allow us to help your government in search of these people. I believe one day, people will come to know the wherever of these people, because they disappeared in Kenya, and it has a law enforcement agent, it has the police and security. One day, the Kenyan government will tell us where they are. So I have nothing to do with the disappearance of these people.

First of all, Dong Samuel is my younger brother, in 2015 when he was wounded in Nairobi I was the one, me, Taban Deng who treated him when we were in IO. By the way, for your information, Dong Samuel has never been a follower of Riek Machar, he was not a member of IO, he was an independent person and an activist.

But for Aggrey Idry, he was a member of IO, he remained with me in Juba. And when he was in Nairobi, I had wanted to employ him in Central Bank of South Sudan at that time. But when his appointment delayed, he took permission from me that he wanted to go to Kenya to follow up on something, and also he wanted to go to see his family. But when I asked him that he should return to Juba because his interview will require your presence, he told me that he had enrolled himself in a course in Nairobi. I told him, it is ok, you can complete your course, until the time he disappeared.

My connection to the disappearance or whoever accusing me that I have a hand to their death, it’s not true and very soon, it won’t take long before you know Taban Deng has nothing to do with this. I am one of those people who still believe that these people will appear elsewhere because they disappeared in Kenya, Kenya has got a legitimate government.

On the sanctions, I have been sanctioned on two things. One thing about this sanction, they said I have been sanctioned because I have divided SPLM-IO. They said I have divided SPLM-IO and stood with Salva Kiir, and that is the truth. I told my community in the church that I don’t regret remaining behind with my community in Juba in 2016, and this was because I am for peace.

I told my community that, I did shelve off the heavy rock (describing the unfortunate incident that would have befallen on the Nuer community in Juba) if I were not to remain behind in Juba some of you here would have not survived or been alive today. This is the fact because many of you wouldn’t be alive or even this South Sudan could have disintegrated.

Supposed, I were to leave with Riek Machar, what would I have happened in South Sudan could be worse than the massacre that had happened in Rwanda, and South Sudan could have lost its sovereignty. But now, we have this peace. Even though no one wants to thanks me, I will thank myself and God will give me the strength to move on.

If someone sanctioned me because I saved my country, and help the president of the republic to achieve peace in this country, and gave the opportunity for the peace to be revitalized, then be it. If it was not because of me, we couldn’t be talking about the revitalization of the peace agreement, and what we could have now is a fresh negotiation of the new peace. So if I am being sanctioned because I have remained in Juba because of peace, and it has weakened the opposition, I welcomed it, and I will continue with the implementation of the peace agreement.

I was not happy when the government was not formed last time. So I will only be happy once the government is formed in February. I know very well that the new government will be better than the current government because it will be the government of national unity and for all the people. I told you, early I am a farmer, and farmers are the most people who love peace. I am the man of development, and education.  I will stand by President Salva Kiir Mayardit until he completed the implementation of the peace agreement. I will stand against anything that can derail peace, even the issue of states, I see it as something that can’t delay peace.

I will repeat again, and again, I swear before you now, I have nothing to do with Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idry disappearance, and very soon what I am saying will come to light. I will be one of those people who will be asking the Kenyan government, where are these people? Because these people disappeared in Kenya. If any Kenyan citizens disappeared in South Sudan, we will be held accountable, because South Sudan is a sovereign nation, so it has to start from there (Kenya).

On Christmas celebrations, especially in relation to unknown gunmen, the Christmas celebration this time went well unlike before, crime incidents were not many as before. Now, we have what we called TORONTO BOYS, those snatching women handbags, this will come to an end because peace is coming. Take it from the musician who sings a peace song that goes like this… …PEACE HAS COME, SALVA KIIR BROUGHT PEACE AND RIEK MACHAR HAS ACCEPTED PEACE… this is what is happening.

One thing that is threatening the unity of South Sudanese especially the people of Bentiu is the issue of the state’s boundaries. Who doesn’t know in Bentiu that those of Kuet, are sharing a border with Jikany? And who doesn’t know in Bentiu that those of Padang, Chier are sharing a border with Awet and Kuel? And who doesn’t know Bul are sharing a border with Abiemnom? And who doesn’t know we are related, must we die because of this?

I have read it from social media that our land has been taken, Taban Deng went to Manga… and has done this and that, and I told people many people that, Majiok Chol Deng is my witness, and he is from Awet, that people should not make noise, personally, I was not born in Manga, I was born in a place called Wun-but, in Leek area, but my father came from Kuer-buoni, and where I lives now is where my father is buried. I have to conclude my speech with my appeals to South Sudanese, let’s us embrace unity, our unity is important because we are one people. I now stop here.

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