Suffering from ETHNORRHOEA: Should we wear white or black on Jan. 9?
I am a man born and grown through a series of serious dilemmas. A dilemma (I call it die-lemma) is a situation where you are forced to choose between sacrificing your mother or your father, as practised by those ruthless parasites in the name of parricides, patricides, matricides, fratricides, sororicides and infanticides of Jonglei State. What are these? These terms describe murderers of relatives, namely: parents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and babies (infants) in that order.
Therefore, while celebrating (better word is commemorating) the major milestones leading to our in/dependence on January today, a group of youth to which I subscribe in principle put me at a crossroad of whether to ‘commemobrate’ (commemorating by celebrating) or mourn the arrival and/or departure of peace in South Sudan on such a day. This message seems to massage, however, not my mood of the day, though it is un/ethical to celebrate when your home state, or even your homestead, has been ( and is still) moaning and mourning till this morning. The Press Release, releaased by the Concerned Citizens X South Sudan that happened to organize the CPA-cum-Referendum anniversary event, reads thus in part:
Yes, my worry is that as Jubans are spread white in turbans or lawa in full bloom for peace, Jongleyans are clustered black in rugs and rags in full gloom of war. So why..and what should I wear and where should I go today? To listen to the voice of wisdom, Okot P’bitek once said in a saying akin to Luo folks, ‘Don’t uproot a pumpkin from an old homestead.’ So I choose this: Ecclesiastes 7: 1 – 6 (OT),
1- A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2– It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.
3– Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4– The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5– It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke
than to listen to the song of fools.
6– Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.
Jonglei, the House of Mourning
Therefore, as my family is in Kampala, my body is in Juba, my heart is in Bor, my soul in Pibor and my spirit in Akobo, the great Tribal Triangle of Conflict in Jonglei State.
Jonglei State, the largest of the 10 states of South Sudan, comprising 11 counties, 18 Payams and 88 bomas, has been the epicentre of the Sudan Civil War since 1983. It is the state that released the first bullet that ignited the over two-decade war that gave rise to those decades of decadence, including this one, and it is again the one that is still releasing the last bullets despite the attainment of the objectives the guns were imported for – South Sudanese Independence in the name of the Republic of South Sudan. It’s therefore our moral duty as Jongleyans to pierce together our fierce communities where peace is kept in pieces and unity in units.
The Outbreak of ETHNORRH`EA!
Wherever we are celebrating, commemorating or contemplating this day of our achievement, we must remember that there is no enough liberation, no enough liberty and no dependent independence in South Sudan as long as we are still dominating the headlines of the news of the world with negative development. We took up arms in order to free our common people, not just our common cities, from suffering, misery and death, which are a result of PID (Poverty, Ignorance and Death).
Therefore, as the rest of Africa are struggle with the menace of epidemics of diarrhoea or gonorrhea, and/or their complicated forms (cholera and AIDS), our populace is laced with the outbreak of tribal diarrhoea in the name of ethnic massacres. This, I call ETHNORRHEA, a result of ethnic diarrhoea. To make it even worse, it is no longer in form of a di-rrhoea (two) but of a ‘tri-rrhoea’. It has hit South Sudan in its entirety and Jonglei as an entity, three times over the last two fortnights: Massacres in Bor (e.g. Jalle and Duk), Pibor (all over) and Akobo (yesterday) in that revenge cycle.
Finally, allow me, before I pen off here, to define a bit about the origin of this ‘ethnorrhoea’ (genocidal epidemic of ethnic riots) in our state(s) from the extract of the abstract of the research I wrote in May last year.
The Jonglei State’s diverse ethnic and geographical background is supposed to be a blessing but is now turned into a curse. The curse meanders in the communities in a triangle of tribalism/ethnocentrism, conflict and then underdevelopment/poverty.
Ethnocentrism is an assumption by an ethnic group (tribe) of superiority over the rests. This is backed up by our African traditional history and contemporary politics of numbers and tribal loyalties with politicized economic royalties. Parochial ethnicity breeds contempt of one ethnic group over the other. This results into tribal frictions, intolerance and eventually violence, the situation more widely believed (as seen by the peace caravan group from the speeches, expressions and references) to be fuelling the conflict in Jonglei.
To complete the whole picture of the cause and the course of this perennial conflict, read my whole analysis in a report on our Gunpi-peace blog: http://gunpipeace.wordpress.com/,
Or download and keep on your shelf for your self this 36-page PDF booklet on the Jonglei Conflict Assessment on my blog link here: https://weakleak.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/peace-assessment-report.pdf
Lastly, as I say wish you a happy new year in Juba (which sounds like Heavy New Year in PiBor and AkoBor), see my prediction of the whole situation in South Sudan as I wrote it in a summary of the war on January 9, 2007, by the time I thought the war had gone for that wrong reason that I could only tell in this right season (from my ‘The Black Christs of Africa’ poetry book’s chapter 5, entitled “The Horror of Terror in the Era of Error):
The Summary of the War
In the aftermath of our war-peace euphoria,
Sudan is reduced into a vast village of sudatoria,
Where conflict convalescents await their fate in sanatoria,
As Doctors vendor words of war in wards of war or auditoria.
Lifespan is equated to a quarter in Eastern Equatoria.
The epicentre of conflict lies in Central Equatoria,
And war has wasted Western Equatoria,
And worn out Western Bahr-el-Ghazal.
Death is nursed in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal.
Warrap State is a war-rapped estate.
It is lakes of tears in the Lakes State.
Wells of blood swell wells of oil in the Unity State.
It’s all up and down, upside-down in Upper Nile state,
And tons of skeletons jangle in the jungles of Jonglei State.
Grave mounts outnumber the Nuba Mountains.
It blew up into blue night in the Blue Nile.
Abyei, an abyss of abuse!
Darfur: impossible to dare for!
Sudan became just another example of a resource-rich country torn by war and mass poverty—another case of ‘natural resource curse’ (Stiglitz 2006). The ‘resource curse’ cannot be eliminated without a development process that combines growth with equity and quality of life and without the appropriate structures to govern the development process. This is more easily said than done in the case of Sudan.
Post-war Development and the Land Questions in South Sudan
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)
As for those tribal vigilantes and political marauders that pillage our villages in Jonglei and South Sudan, the book tells this about them in a poem dedicated to the LRA bandits that terrorized us when I was their raw material (a student in Northern Uganda).
To Whom It May Concern
Here reads the confession
Out of voluntary conversion,
Pinned up for every over-rover
By a lonely homing hover-over.
Of human weeds,
Ogres, ghouls, ghosts;
They take cannabis
And turn into cannibals.
They inhale herbs and heroin,
And boast like a hero and heroine.
They are out of the noose,
They are on the loose,
At large at random
To prey on our freedom.
Fathers, keep a distance from fatherless patricides.
Mothers, there roam your merciless matricides.
Parents, avoid these parasitic parricides.
Keep out of reach of children the infertile infanticides,
Hey, my brothers, mind your moves: furious fratricides!
Sisters, I saw you on the rape list of sorrowful sororicides!
To all families; keep indoors from homing homicides,
For they fake martyrdom in the name of suicides,
My community, keep an extra eye on genocides.
Students, leave not campuses to meet your studicides.
Traders, you’re easy prey to marauding businicides,
And refugees should be saved from refugicides.
Leaders, you are prone to regicides.
Let the citizens guard against silly citicides,
And the nation close its doors to ethnocides.
The churches to fast and curse their clericides
The villagers to dodge and lodge not their villigicides,
All in all, save our economy from conning economicides.
The only defence is in offence, which means that you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.
Stanley Baldwin (1867 – 1947), British prime minister. Hansard, Speech
The Black Cries of Africa
Twenty years of tears gone,
I visit my home town,
A ghost town torn
By war storm;
My vile village,
Popular for wattle villas,
Populated vainly by mild villeins,
Hunted and haunted by wild villains.
Who are they?
Or northern mercenaries?
Or the Anya-nya?
The African black cries,
Not brought from the White lands
But brewed from the White hands,
Who do pretend to organize but agonize;
The black crises,
Based on crusades for Christ,
Movements for Mohammed,
Appeasements for outdated deities.
The black crises of Africa
Caused by vermin
And by famine:
All by fame.
The question tonight, as I understand it, is “The Negro Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or “What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the ballot or the bullet.
Malcolm X (1925 – 1965)
U.S. African American activist.
FOR MORE ABOUT TRIBALISM VERSUS NATIONALISM, OR ANY OTHER PERSONAL INTEREST PLAYED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, CLICK THIS LINK TO ONE OF MY LETTERS-TO-EDITOR PAGES OF THE STAR NEWSPAPER IN 2009. JST0406007