To President Kiir: We’re Peacemakers for National Reconciliation, not Peace-machars for Personal Riek-Conciliation


NATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND HEALING OR PERSONAL RIEK CONCILIATION AND ‘HAILING’?

The cartoon is fully captioned to capture the theme of the story and speak by and for itself

The cartoon is fully captioned to capture the theme of the story and speak by and for itself.

A cartoonist’s impression of the power struggle that ensued between the top two principals of our new nation. This prediction has now come to pass, and will still come to pass…! Let’s just wait and see…!


In Juba, capital of the 18-month old Republic of South Sudan, the atmospheric thermometer mills around 40 degrees Celsius whereas the political thermometer reads around 101 Decrees Presidential in the month of April, just under 30 days to the ‘month of revolution’, which marks our 30th anniversary of liberation . This is a pointer that we are rolling down the road of political expedition, say, of revolutionary perdition. That is why I am writing this one-man petition to His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit and his administration to reconsider their position on how they are managing our nation building project.

To rephrase the sentence, we are doomed to political perdition if our leaders continue hijacking processes accruing to our national interest to solve their personal contrasts. I am talking of how African leaders have ventured into our world of project management and used and abused technical terms to sugarcoat their political mismanagement. I am talking of words (as opposed to actions) like peace, reconciliation, justice and the like. It was recently in Kenya that justice was sacrificed at the altar of peace during the presidential elections. We saw it openly done but from the reverse end of the cylinder in Juba. Peace sacrificed for…(Kiir is yet to tell me the right word to use here since I hereby swear to refuse, refute and dispute any use of justice or its next of kin to justify the abolition or of peace and/or abortion of reconciliation initiative in that infamous Republican Decree of April 14).

I have no problem with H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s political game of ‘withdrawing delegated powers’ from his deputy, Dr. Riek Machar Teny. But I have more problems with him (Kiir) cancelling a multi-million dollar national peace and reconciliation initiative that he had put under the docket (I almost said pocket) of Dr. Riek Machar. So long as the president knows how to withdraw powers from his second-in-command, I believe that the ‘powers’ withdrawn included that of supervising the most coveted-cum-envied national initiative, themed: “A Journey of Healing and National Reconciliation”. So why did His Excellency fail to redraw strategies for the continuity and sustainability of this national peace project?

To delve into that confusion with more explanations, it is my humble request that the unconditional supporters of the president read and understand this concern very carefully; and very peacefully, too. My allergies are to those whose allegiance is thrown wholesale “behind His Excellency, the President, and his wise and able leadership” (to borrow from their sycophancy) to understand the intentionally concealed political blunders and economic plunders I am trying to point out here. Well, to first disqualify the above embarrassingly worded flattery and then demystify the adulation of believing that the historical heroism on the CVs (resumes) of our leaders is itself political holiness, hence a certificate to let one rule by old fashioned system of decrees to the detriment of our national unity. No way should we allow a political pope to pop up and install himself over our ‘baby nation’ by sheer manipulation of our common history that his cronies load and lord upon him by forgery and perjury. So let’s talk as they stalk us, for any attempt to stopping me tempts me into stocking all their mess in future books such as my ‘Wrong Walk to Freedom’.

I think the president has overdone it for his peace of mind just as he may think I have overdone this piece of mine. I mean there is no justification of withdrawing ‘delegated powers’ from the Vice President (for reasons well known to all South Sudanese) and also destroying our painstakingly peace and reconciliation project that was started by the president himself in 2012. When Jonglei State was locked in ethnic cannibalism (read: intertribal massacres), he commissioned a committee and christened it Presidential Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church (of South/Sudan), including his own President Advisor on Decentralization and Intergovernmental Linkages, Hon. Tor Deng Mawien among 23 others. The team was able to bring the Jonglei communities together to sign the All-Jonglei Communities Peace Accord. This was officiated by H.E. Salva Kiir on May 5, 2012 at Bor Freedom Square.

That, to all the beneficiaries and participants (me included as a civil society group leader), was a successful pilot project that could be replicated all over the nation, hence the recommendation that the committee get a national character under the office of the president (delegated to his Vice President) and Hon. Tor Deng Mawien, among others. We, the civil society, were warming up to be the wheel of the bus to the so-called journey of healing and national reconciliation. The project descended to the present day National Reconciliation and Healing Conference, or a series thereof thereafter had it survived political purging. It’s not me alone on thus complaining. My colleague, Mading Ngor, put it in his well informed analysis, like this.

A JOURNEY OF NATIONAL HEALING OR A JOURNEY OF PERSONAL SAILING?

QUOTE OF THE YEAR: “I asked the state governor and the security to identify these people. If they are with me in Juba at the national government, let me know and I will deal with them. If they are here in Wau, then it is simple [Governor] Rizik will deal with them. We cannot compromise this land”, Warned H.E. President Kiir Mayardit.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR: “I asked the state governor and the security to identify these people. If they are with me in Juba at the national government, let me know and I will deal with them. If they are here in Wau, then it is simple [Governor] Rizik will deal with them. We cannot compromise this land”, Warned H.E. President Kiir Mayardit.

“Entitled ‘A Journey of Healing and National Reconciliation’ in South Sudan and spearheaded by Vice President Riek Machar, the reconciliation initiative’s stated aims are to ‘promote reconciliation and build trust’ among and between South Sudanese communities. In the pursuit of freedom, some South Sudanese inflicted untold misery on their own people and no one has been held accountable for these grave crimes. Mr. Machar goads citizens of the new nation to start a new page and let go of past injustices.

“At home and abroad, the project’s noted for its potential to inspire a nation of over sixty ethnic groups to bury their hell and heal. However, vital questions about the process and the people who are tasked with leading it, are unsettled. A conceptual document says the project will emulate South Africa’s post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Nonetheless, there’re unresolved ambiguities. The document conflates ‘truth and reconciliation’ with ‘peace and reconciliation’ as though they were interchangeable. The first requires truth telling while the second approach puts peace search before the truth. It also fails to clarify the questions of accountability and amnesty for perpetrators of crimes and what’s being asked of the aggrieved.” (Mading Ngor Akech Kuai: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mading-ngor/

Again, it should be born in mind here that we are not agitating for or against the president’s decree that strips the Vice President bear of his powers but are just murmuring in the process of mourning the innocent murdering of peace at the altar of political culling. A poor farmer is one who cuts off the whole plant instead of trimming off the unwanted part. So while weeding his political powers, General Kiir should have been extra careful not to prune off the necessary fruits of our national nutrition. Otherwise this act of careless culling or thinning for one’s own political nutrition may bear consequences of political malnutrition. I mean the result of which is demobilizing the public or peace lovers as such from supporting one’s political propositions. And the worst game in politics is to multiply for yourself opposition by poor decision making as such.

It is not unusual for Salva Kiir and his followers who advise him (sounds like ‘add vice’) on national decision like the unilateral shutting down of oil production. Oil and peace are the lifeline of our nation, and whoever switches off either or both is not far by action to the one who intends to destroy us. Therefore, our president should be informed that his decision of cancelling the peace and reconciliation project just to stop Riek Machar from ‘stealing’ it is like shutting down the oil wells to stop Omar al Bashir from stealing it. As if there is no other non-regrettable means of removing the bad guy from the good buy in the business of politics, disrupting peace and healing process or disrupting the flow of oil in order to stop it being hijacked is tantamount to destroying your kitchen to deprive the cook of stealing your food or destroying your water pipe to stop the plumber from diverting your water. Why not just sack them, cook and plumber, and continue with your business?

PEACEMAKERS OR PEACE-MACHARS?

As if I have not said it and cited enough of this grueling grumbling, I herewith advise those critics who descended on me due to my reaction in personal comment on Facebook the other day to turn the door of their arsenal that way. When we complain to the president for his consequential decision on his personal interest upon his deputy, Riek Machar, that would harm our national interests, nobody should label us Peace-Machars supporting Riek Conciliation and healing project. By condemning this abrupt cancellation of our National Peace and Reconciliation Conference, not Kiir’s ‘withdrawal of delegated powers’ from Dr. Riek Machar, we are being sincere peacemakers for national healing and reconciliation, not the other way round.

Therefore, let his advisors and PROs think twice and stop spreading their political insecurity over every Tom and Jerry that cares about our peace and unity or that cheers after our peacemakers for unity. Political insecurity is seen in comments such as this quoted from the Sudan Tribune website from one of Kiir’s officials after the almighty decrees. “There are people who think the president does not know what they are doing. He knows everything and he made a wise decision for this case. First of all he [the president] was not consulted by the vice-president and his group from the day this so called national reconciliation project came to light. The president was surprised when it was brought up in the council of ministers,” the well placed source who spoke on Monday after the decree continued with their worries. “How would they feel if they [the organisers] were the president? This is clearly a political project. You see they went to the extent of collecting people from the states and brought them to Juba without the knowledge of the president”, he added.

I thought I said it before that this is (was) Salva Kiir’s project in his capacity as the topmost head of our state. He initiated this, and signed and assigned eight million South Sudan Pound with the approval of his Council of Ministers and, as usual, rubber-stamped by his parliament late last year. As to why and how it became a Riek’s thing, call it Riekonciliation, calls for more scrutiny here, which may not spare the president for failing to foresee the influence of his deputy since the day he relegated himself and delegated his powers to him. What would stop him from appointing another neutrally experienced peacemaker, preferably a retiree like Gen. Joseph Lagu or Prof. Abel Alier, Bishop Nathaniel Garang or Bishop Paride Taban, or even a foreign arbiter like Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo or Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Tony Blair or Jimmy Carter. The advantage is that all these national and international figures were on the invitees’ list for the April 18 (later June 18) or any future-date National Healing and Reconciliation Conference?

When I use the pronoun, in its First Person Plural form, ‘we’, I mean I am neitheir inciting nor am I the only one reacting or ‘Riekting’ to our monotonously ambiguous presidential decrees. There are, as randomly sampled, these other citizens whose voices the president and his administration should ignore at their own peril.

Peter Tut, a resident of Juba from Unity state, questioned why the president, who himself has been seen as someone preaching peace and reconciliation, cancelled an initiative meant to complement his efforts to bring stability to the country.

“I was surprised when I watched South Sudan Television announcing [these] decrees. One of the decrees was withdrawal of some powers which the president delegated to the vice-president and the decree dissolving and cancelling the entire reconciliation process and finally a decree retiring two senior police officers”, Tut said.

“I do not mind about the other decrees; the one about withdrawal of the powers which the president delegates to the vice-president and the order which retires two senior police officers. What surprised me was the decree cancelling the national reconciliation process and dissolution of the committee because this was complementing the president’s effort about peace”, he said

Deng Lual Baak, a native of Warrap state currently visiting Juba, said the president cannot be blamed because he is surrounded by people who perceive any popular initiative as a threat to them.

“Nothing will ever go well in this country if the president continues to keep the same misleading elements around him. They have blocked him to the extent that he is not getting any meaningful messages from the people. The president is actually not getting fresh air. He is not in touch with the people. He is cut off from the general public by unpopular cliques”, Baak told Sudan Tribune.
WHICH AND HOW POWERS WERE DELEGATED AND WITHDRAWN

There is this popular excuse that the president withdrew his powers that he delegated to his deputy. Yes, no problem with that. But should it be made a big show? Should it be annexed to the already power struggle within the presidency? Should the ‘withdrawal’ be handled alone or bundled along with other innocent projects of our national interest? And should it be done at a timing our political temperatures are soaring and personal temperaments are souring among our top leaders? No! It’s wrong, wrong and wrong despite the following justifications:

By James Gatdet Dak: September 8, 2007 (JUBA) — The President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a Circular to all executive government institutions in Southern Sudan in which he delegated several additional functions to his Deputy, Riek Machar Teny. According to President Kiir, he made the decision after taking into account the recent reshuffle in the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in which the Vice President was stripped of his additional portfolio as the Minister of Housing, Land and Public Utilities.

According to the 30 July circular, a copy of which was obtained by Sudan Tribune, the vice president will supervise and coordinate the following:

  • Southern Sudan national programmes such as Southern Sudan 5-Year      Strategic Plan, Poverty Eradication Strategy and Government of Southern      Sudan Annual Action Plans.
  • the conduct of the population census, general elections and referenda      in Southern Sudan.
  • the activities and work of the Presidential Advisors.
  • the JAM-MDTF programmes and projects and Sudan Donors Consortium.
  • the participation and representation of the people of Southern Sudan      and their government in the national commissions, independent public      institutions including national public civil service, public corporations      and public companies.
  • the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
  • the implementation of all contracts entered into by the Government of      Southern Sudan
  • Southern Sudan Disasters Management Strategy and Programmes.
  • the activities of the GOSS Commissions and other public independent      institutions. (Continue reading the whole news story from this link: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article23673)

However, two weaknesses to disqualify this delegation and withdrawal of presidential powers from the vice president could be these:

One, the president was about to announce a new reshuffle of his cabinet in which he had ‘withdrawn’ ministerial powers from Dr. Riek Machar who head, in addition to VP powers, the Ministry for Housing and National Utilities. So to appease his deputy and compensate him for the loss of his new ministerial portfolio, Gen. Salva had to add more powers from his own dockets to the vice president, given the fact that the two principals fall under the Presidency.

Two, nobody should pretend to present the public with false information that Salva Kiir delegated almost all his powers to his deputy because he was too busy as a vice president after Omar al Bashir in Khartoum. No way, nowhere was our president seen to spend hours, leave along weeks, months or years in the Republic Palace in Khartoum during the Interim Period of the Implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement. I am a witness, unless you are not, to the fact that Salva Kiir was not running that or this part of our then united Sudan in Khartoum. There is no time Salva has ever felt the burden of juggling the two powers of running his GOSS with Bashir’s GONU (Government of Southern Sudan and Government of National Unity) since he inherited the position from the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior in 2005. If anyone has been too convinced there to be convinced again here, ask the president, himself. I trust him with facts, not figures.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREES VERSUS PARLIAMENTARY LEGISLATIONS

"YOU SHIT, QUIT OR YOU'll SIT IN YOUR OWN SHITS OF WRITING!" he warned. So I pass the baton to my fellow 'Shitizens and Assholeans': Where do you rank on the rung of our postwar society? Please be honest in choosing a number and take note of the two categories of the classes in the picture below (Top = Citizen vs Bottom = Shitizens. NB: Either you are a citizen/asshole or a shitizen/shit on the picture!):  1- First Class Citizen  2- First Class Shitizen  3- Second Class Shitizen  4- Third Class Shitizen  5- None of the above  6- Not yet sure!

“YOU SHIT, QUIT OR YOU’ll SIT IN YOUR OWN SHITS OF WRITING!” he warned. So I pass the baton to my fellow ‘Shitizens and Assholeans’: Where do you rank on the rung of our postwar society? Please be honest in choosing a number and take note of the two categories of the classes in the picture below (Top = Citizen vs Bottom = Shitizens. NB: Either you are a citizen/asshole or a shitizen/shit on the picture!):
1- First Class Citizen
2- First Class Shitizen
3- Second Class Shitizen
4- Third Class Shitizen
5- None of the above
6- Not yet sure!

Mading Ngor (newsudanvision.com): South Sudanese citizens for the last few years have grown accustomed to onslaughts of decrees, one after the other. In President Kiir’s administration, it doesn’t matter whether you’re appointed or fired– loathed or loved– you get your fate sealed in a decree, in the comfort of artificial communication.  A defining feature of a rule by decree is its ability to convey a precise message in a linear fashion (one-way communication), or so the President’s lieutenants believe. To the contrary, the limited explanation afforded by a decree usually buries its substance in a mirage of legalese. And in all this the public is left to agonize or speculate about the President’s intentions. The vacuum is often filled with unflattering verbiage to the President, which amounts to disastrous communication. No other time has this ineffectual communication by the Office of the President unfavourably marked a seemingly innocuous decree in the court of public opinion than in the wake of Monday’s removal of delegated powers from the President to his Vice President.

A random sample of reactions from social media suggests a vast number of comments consider the decree punitive in nature: they attribute it to Mr. Machar’s declared announcement to challenge Mr. Kiir for the chairmanship of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. While that view cannot be discounted entirely, it doesn’t sufficiently explain how and when the stripped executive powers were assigned to the Vice President in the first place, what they’re and why they were conferred upon him. We will address these questions later.  For now, it seems abundantly clear that Kiir administration’s communication arm is broken: even when the presidential press unit is superiorly in command of facts, they exhibit ineptitude in their external relations with the public. This raises a big question mark about their preparedness in the era of democracy. On the one hand, after Monday’s decree generated a lot of uproar– even confusion– the country’s Minister of Information, Dr. Barnaba Marial tried to do damage control:

“In the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, there are responsibilities and duties of the President as well as responsibilities and duties of the Vice President,” he was quoted by the somniferous Goss.org website.  ‘What happens at times is that the President delegates to the Vice President some of his responsibilities and duties for a certain period of time. In the same way, the President can issue a decree to withdraw these responsibilities.”

Conversely, on social media, especially Facebook, Dr. Marial undercut his role as the official spokesman of the government when he egged on thousands of his followers to “have positive conversation on the latest development in our political arena.” He posed: “How do you see the latest presidential decree by our president HON.KIIR on reducing the powers of The Vice president?” One would have expected the Minister to fight the misconceptions, by responding to the overflowing comments on his page but he wrote “have a nice evening.”

John Penn de Ngong (weakleak.wordpress.com): “This is what I call the ‘law of rule’ and not the rule of law that we fought for. A rule of law is one proposed, accepted and implemented by the people, for the people and of the people. However, this is not the case. My own presentation of the opposite (law of rule) is rule coined up by a people (reads person/s or ethnic clique of colleagues in power), of a people or for a people.

What is ‘the law of the rule’ vis-a-vis the ‘rule of the law’? Apologies: I have no definite definition here but just to let the reader benefit from the reverse of our governance system from law to rule. To pretend to be simpler and clearer, a democratic law is made by the peoples’ representatives, the parliament, or electees, whereas a rule (call it Dec(g)ree the Juba way) is made by the appointees. The latter, this Draconian Decree (unresearched unilateral law) is what I refer to as the law of the rule, a law proposed and imposed by a ruler.” (Complete the whole analysis on: https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/just-recovering-from-salva-iis-walk-to-work-or-walk-from-work-decree-in-juba/

THE CONSEQUENCES OF POLITICAL CULLING TO THE PEACE PROCESS

I beg not be accused but excused by presenting my friends’ and my own takes on this emotive issue of our nation building process. This is not the first time for me to react against an unwarranted attempt by a person to prune the government of the people, by the people and for the people in such a way that fruitier and greener parts of the tree of our national unity are hewed off with the ‘unwanted branches’. It is neither a Facebook nor Twitter generation’s bad-boyism, our leaders believe, is the cause of public dissent these days. By the time one schoolboy was still toying with the idea of a Facebook in his Harvard University lecture room in 2004, I was already complaining against such politically miscalculated maths, that may boomerang before 2014 (God forbid!).

For instance, during my early days of journalism and activism, I did write similar open letters sympathizing with Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, then deputy C-in-C (commander-in-chief), emphasizing to (the late) Dr. John Garang de Mabior during the days of the real SPLM/SPLA. I urged or wished them to solve their personal grievances before the signing of the CPA in 2004. This is a wake up call to Gen. Salva Kiir, now the president, who, like the French Bourbon monarchs, seems to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from his past experiences. Otherwise, if Salva Kiir were the man I used to address as ‘Solver Key’ in 2005, expecting from him our national ‘Salva’tion’ to our historically partitioned country, he would not have quashed our peace and healing process just because some competitor is going to benefit from it. What about the eight million South Sudanese hungry for peace?

Riek Machar, John Garang (RIP), Salva Kiir and Wani Igga reconciling in Rumbek after Kiir almost fell out with Garang over the 'withdrawal of some delegated powers' from the deputy chairman by the Chairman in 2004

Riek Machar, John Garang (RIP), Salva Kiir and Wani Igga reconciling in Rumbek after Kiir almost fell out with Garang over the ‘withdrawal of some delegated powers’ from the deputy chairman by the Chairman in 2004

To remind my president of how funny this thing called history is, what is happening to Riek Machar in 2013 was happening to Salva Kiir in 2003. After negotiating and signing our ‘Referendum Protocol’ in the Kenyan town of Machakos, his boss, Cdr. Garang, immediately withdrew his delegated powers from his deputy (Salva), making him worried that he was headed for political dustbin, hence the highly incited decision that made him ‘buried himself’ in the trenches of Yei ready to fight the Garang’s group in 2004 (God forbid in 2014). My worry that time was not the war between the highly feared Rumbek Faction (Garang’s) versus the Yei Faction (Kiir), my worry was the final peace process (CPA) that was going to be buried in those kanadik (trenches).

That, exactly, is my concern today. Before Riek Machar completes our South-South ‘CPA’, some powers are being removed from him, including the peace project, altogether! Let me pray that he (Riek), who holds the key to almost half of our country’s emotional population by influence and affluence, does not get incited by whistleblowers to go to Nasir (again!) and dig for himself trenches to defend his status quo just as you (Kiir) almost did in Yei those days. For me as a former ‘Red Army’ user of these ‘open tombs’, trenches are not mere holes for hiding someone being attacked, they are but graves for burying our peace, which is already in pieces and our unity, which is already in units. Your Excellency, I hope you are reminded enough of history. And if not, then I trust history is going to behave as usual sooner than later (God forbid!).

HAVE WE NOW LEARNED NOTHING AND FORGOTTEN NOTHING FROM THE PAST?

For me, I have learned and earned something, hence have forgotten nothing from the past. I have not forgotten that Aluong Alith, the man who brought me to this world, was killed around the 1991 Bor Massacres. But I have learned that I am in 2013, not in 1993, the year I was informed of his death when I was a Jesh Ahmr in Eastern Equatoria. I have learned that Riek Machar is not going to pay every orphan, widow and widower blood money, say 10,000 SSP in compensation, each. I have not forgotten that…just as I have not forgotten that he can also pay us in blood unless we embrace peace and reconciliation backed up by nationalism. That is why I am hereby inviting back those, especially from Bor Community, who are still in 1991 to migrate to 2013; those who want personal apologies and individual compensations from our murderous leaders, to join us in demanding mass repentance and community compensation through developmental projects. We should forgive but not forget history. That is why I have forgiven and want to be forgiven, and am still able to recall what I wrote during those days of the CPA, addressed to our leaders for their reminder as follows:

I am not comfortable with those who define history as just the “past records”. They think history dies with our ancestors; but have they died, anyway? If we still rename them in our children, worship them as spirits, and live with their blood running in our veins, then how dead are they, and how long ago is history? How long ago is Dr. John Garang de Mabior, for example?

The title of this piece is adapted from the history of the French Revolution in which the Bourbon Monarchy that reigned before and after Napoleon Bonaparte is described as “having learned nothing and forgotten nothing” from the experiences of the French autocratic kingdom of Louis VIX and his predecessors and successors. When Napoleon overhauled the whole system in 1789, the subsequent regimes seemed to have learned no lessons and forgotten nothing from the past corrupt, nepotic and despotic monarchs and their systems. They redid all the amendments and plunged their country back into oblivion; hence the description of them having learned nothing and forgotten nothing, meaning they offloaded the changes brought by Napoleon and downloaded the challenges created by the pre-Napoleonic regimes.

In this column, firstly, I want my readers to look at our current issues in three dimensions, say, with three eyes: the first eye on Yesterday, the second on Today, and the third on Tomorrow of the Sudan. Secondly, my readers, whom I assume not only readers but also critic of the status quo of our present Sudan, should cut across history and not read but share whatever I put on this webpage, lest they are misled or they mislead. If so, then please, place the forgetful Bourbons, the French dictatorial kingdom overthrown by N. Bonaparte, and Bonaparte himself, into the current context in Sudan.

I, for one, do not believe there is something called ‘history’, especially in the case of Sudan. I only believe there is a word, not an event, called history. What is historically different in my ancestors (past) giving birth to me, and I (present) giving birth to my son, and my child (future) giving birth to his or her child? That is why we call it – not production but – reproduction. History is the recycling of events, the hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual recurrences; in short it is the replica of yesterday over today and tomorrow. This is my perspective, as a traumatized and dramatized citizen of Sudan and critic of the Sudanese (South Sudanese after 2010) exotic brand of politics.

They say what comes around goes around; and I complete the saying: what goes around also comes around. Yes, of course, if our chiefs were not bribed or intimidated in that night of 1947, when the Sudan, in general, and Southern Sudan, in particular, were deciding in the Juba Conference, whether to be under the ‘care’ of the British or of the Arabs, the 1955’s Anya-nya I liberation war (yesterday) would not come around. And if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement was not trashed by the Nimeiri’s Bourbon sort of…, the 1983’s SPLA liberation struggle (today) would not come around. And if the 2011’s Self-determination referendum (future) would not be rigged or not reached, the 20XX liberation war would not go around. In short, if we learned something from such past experiences and forget nothing from them, then our future is determined.

Now, let’s remind ourselves of the recurring events in our liberation history that we have forgotten and learned nothing from.

After a deep-seated silence comes a deep-heated violence. This is what awaits us as our ‘Obamatically’ cold warrior, Gen. Salva is breathing sulfur and their ‘AhmadineJIHADically’ old warrior, Mushir Al Bashir (Field Marshal) is coughing out fire and brimstone through his cancerous throat that croaks and cracks ‘Asharat or cockroaches, insects, etc.’. Unless he apologizes and calls us not insane but ‘insahn or humans’ during his forthcoming forced coming to Juba, our God will never forgive that bullet-spitting gullet, Inshallah!

After a deep-seated silence comes a deep-heated violence. This is what awaits us as our ‘Obamatically’ cold warrior, Gen. Salva is breathing sulfur and their ‘AhmadineJIHADically’ old warrior, Mushir Al Bashir (Field Marshal) is coughing out fire and brimstone through his cancerous throat that croaks and cracks ‘Asharat or cockroaches, insects, etc.’. Unless he apologizes and calls us not insane but ‘insahn or humans’ during his forthcoming forced coming to Juba, our God will never forgive that bullet-spitting gullet, Inshallah!

In conclusion, history still warns our leaders that what we went into the bush for last time is still being gone into the bush for this time, unless it is achieved. What we wanted to change from Nimeiri, Sadig and Bashir can still be wanted to be changed even after our independence if not yet achieved. Yes, history is irony. Any Southerner can still complain against their own system just as a Northerner, Bashir, did on June 30, 1989. He condemned Sadig al Mahdi and overthrew him only to end up worsening what he wanted to change. This can happen to Salva Kiir who wanted to change it from Bashir. Riek can do it! Yes, history repeats itself. That is to say, Riek Machar  under Salva Kiir is wearing in 2013 the shoes of Salva Kiir under John Garang in 2003. That is history. It lives on…!

And the following is also history, which duplicates, replicates and complicates to make the Riek Machar of 2013 look like the Hassan El Tourabi of 1999; to make the Omar al Bashir of 1999 resemble the Sadig al Mahdi of 1989. History can really duplicate, replicate and complicate things to let the Salva Kiir of 2013 ask his nation to kneel for the Omar al Bashir in 2013 at Juba Airport; to make even our Salva Kiir of 2013 look like the Sadig al Mahdi of 1989. Exactly, history can hew a Mayardit in 2013 out of the Al Mahdi of 1989 as read out by Omar al Bashir on June 30, 1989 in these coup justification words, which can as well be read out against our today’s ‘Salbashir’ on June 30, 2013 if the situation continues spiralling down at a breakneck speed with a breathless speech like this:

Bashir’s first coup speech, June 30, 1989: “Political chaos has led to the loss of freedom and democracy…, politicians have failed to unite Sudan by raising the racial and tribal issues…, Economic conditions have extremely deteriorated, all efforts have failed to bring about development or to halt the economic collapse…, the prices of commodities have soared, which made it impossible for citizens to afford to buy them, consequently citizens are living at the edge of famine…, The economic recession has led to the collapse in public sector institutions represented in health and education services…’, ‘… corruption dominated the scene of the public life…, Political patronage and nepotism replaced qualifications in the public sector, for the sake of a so-called public interest many professionals and patriots have lost their positions …’ ‘The provinces were neglected and the capital of Sudan became isolated from the rest of the country…’ ‘Sudan as a country became entirely isolated from its Arabic and African surroundings…”

Having read that, can somebody comfortably add a prefix ‘South’ to every appearance of the name ‘Sudan’ in the quote above?

Source of Bashir’s speech: Mohamed Elshabik’s blog: http://elshabik.blogspot.com/

About the author:

John Penn de Ngong is a South Sudanese journalist and activist who fled his country for self-imposed exile under death threats early this year, 2013. He blogs at www.weakleak.wordpress.com and writes for many media organizations both online and offline. E-mail: penndengong@gmail.com

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