WHY I REJOIN THE 45 MILLION CITIZENS OF ‘NATION X’
Just by the end of the first month of this year (2013), I became a citizen of the ‘Republic of Nowhere’, from what I used to call ‘Nationext’ to now ‘Nation X’. Nationext was the would be born (now independent) Republic of South Sudan, whereas Nation X is the current status I am in. I am in the Republic of Kenya, but not a Kenyan. I am not yet a refugee, but already in the pipeline of UNHCR!
Who are the refugees? Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, former High Commissioner for Refugees, the youngest to serve the refugee agency (UNHCR) at my current age of 33 in 1966, had once tried to discover the roots and the root causes of these amorphous, non-indigents called refugees. “The refugee is a product of our errors, his predicaments an indictment of our conduct as peoples and nations. He exists for our education as a warning.” So whose educative warning do I exist for here in Kenya? Having done it in the recent past for Omar al Bashir, I am now two years after independence, serving the turn for Salva Kiir and Riek Machar’s errors, right? I trust history, he will tell us so.
However, let this not be a curse upon my leaders and let it be that I am the last refugee from South Sudan! Amen? No, with what I left behind, my leaders will produce more and by the end of their tenure, UNHCR may ‘boast’ of 5o million ‘citizens’ later. God forbid!
This year’s world refugee population is estimated at 45,000,000 people. I guess I am that 45th million member. I found the world with 44,999,999. I do not know what number I was in 2003, just a decade ago when I was a refugee. I could have been the 40,000,000th refugee in Adjumani, northern Uganda, in 1997.
So what brought me here? By the way, I am not alone. And I don’t wish to be with so many other refugees from my home country. It is like we just got a break (hardly a decade of anxious peace from obnoxious war) to resume manufacturing out of ourselves millions of other refugees. I am a refugee with my family, three ‘and a half’ children and their mother. I can’t forget to enumerate my sister and her daughters, who came back to Kakuma refugee camp last year (2012), just back to humanitarian relief dependence one year after the declaration of their nation’s independence.
So why am I back to the camp again? I won’t explain it enough here. I give you a link to another story this way… But if I had not been here today, I would have been dead with John Chuol Mamuth, Karbino Kolen, Wiyual Manytap and Malueth Anyang! They are my fellow Jonglei Civil Society leaders (RIP). Karbino is said to have been killed in Pibor, just a month after he disappeared behind me as we were escaping to Juba International Airport, en route to Kenya. I made it alone with his bag and travel documents! It is mysterious. I will explain more another day. I am with John Aborcup Akuer, another fellow survivor in this asylum shit of life. The other week, we prayed that no other colleagues or families join us in Kenya. But does God know the plans of our leaders and their ‘securities’?
But who is giving us that war in Jonglei? They think it is David Yau-Yau, a Murle who shares a village with Karbino Kolen, who was delivered to him to kill. For what? Somebody is giving Jonglei a war for his future benefits, but this will not go unpunished by natural justice if humanity fails as now being crushed under the weight of our African leadership brand of impunity. We cannot afford another war a year during or after our independence. Politics of tribal wars will take that country to hell soon (God, forbid it please)! I don’t wish it so, but my calculation after leaving my country tells me so. For a very instant example, you cannot set fire to purge your right hand and think the left leg will celebrate. Jonglei’s problem will mature into a nationwide crisis if that situation is left an unattended to. I do not want to speculate or point a finger at anybody apart from Yau Yau and his (as my poem puts it) ‘Yahoo-Yahoo Rabbles’.
However, conscience was bothering me: who gave him his passport and stamped it EXIT to Khartoum at Juba International Airport? Why and where was he running a radio station (in the half of 2012) for mobilizing the youth of Pibor for a full-blown war and nobody was bothered? And when we, the yout, got bothered, we got ‘bordered’! Why is the disarmament done almost selectively among the Jonglei communities? Why is there not a single protocol of the All Jonglei Communities Accord (of May 5, 2012) implemented? Why are we (peace activists) being persecuted at home? And so on.
Oh no, I have forgotten and deviated a bit from the topic! Why have I joined the 45 Million ‘Citizens of Nation X’? By the way, have I not answered it above? If not, then more explanations will come maybe a year later when the bigger truth is revealed. I am just worried that more will join me given the breakneck speed Salva Kiir and Riek Machar are taking our nation down the hill of perdition now. Power struggle will smuggle back to our infant republic the very war we have just thought to have fought to the finish, and were just bidding farewell to. It is seldom my solemn prayer that I am not joined here by thousands of others, save the innocent Jongleyans (like my sister), who have fled their bomas for Kakuma again, already in 2013 like in 1993 or 2003! God blast whoever made that political strategy to depopulate my state again…maybe…just…for selfish gains!
There is a reason to cut this piece of mine for the peace of my mind short now. I am not in my writing mood, not in the mode either. If I continue, I may be seen to be harbouring some ill-wishing feelings against the innocent South Sudanese whom I have left behind, ‘enjoying’ the fruits of their freedom. Really? This envious feeling arises from the fact that I have no house and job for myself and my children, having accepted leaving under due duress what I was doing for their living back home. I could not stand the sight of locking my USTASS office at Nyakuron Cultural Centre and later at the Senior Staff Club of the University of Juba for asylum.
As if that is not enough, Kenya government another damn obstacle–playing a hide-and-seek game with my refugee status documents. Thanks to CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) and other rights organizations for the solidarity. I am ‘paperless’! And this scenario cannot be told better by none other than the late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, again: “If there is one thing that is worse than being a refugee, it is being a refugee without asylum.” To me, another name of being a refugee without asylum is being an IDP Internally (say, intentionally or internationally displeased) Displaced Person. Many of my people back home are IDPs, even in their own villages. They are homeless at home!
I also have some sort of resentment against filling in the resettlement forms like my fellow South Sudanese did during the recent SPLA/M war of liberation. I know the reasons they used to write for leaving their country and continent. In one of my blog articles linked here, I wrote this on this ‘migration form’ saga:
“We are done! I reveal these series of serious project attempts just because I am no longer following them nor am I now in South Sudan. If Kiir visited his ‘village-in-law’ (pathuou de in Bor) this time, he would even be told shocking news that even his brothers-in-law are back to exile because his government has hailed to attack them or has failed to protect them. Of course, be it through their Intelligence or negligence that we, scribes or writers of South Sudan, are on the run for our lives, Kiir’s government is to shoulder the whole boulder of responsibility for the insecurity, including the insecurity that keeps him off his in-laws in the village of Kolmarek (Aboudit in Bor). I will blame him wholly, not Yau Yau or any other rebel leader before or later. The buck ends with the president, they say.
“Of course, I would not proceed to seek asylum overseas if there were anybody who oversees my security as a citizen of South Sudan. However, having said that, I am not in position of directly applying for an asylum because of one shameful question: The Form! As most of us, former refugees, can still very vividly remember, there is a ‘life history form’ that you are required to fill out, especially the section that asks, ‘Why do you want to leave your country of origin?’ Those days, we used to boldly fill in: “I want to leave my country because Khartoum government or Arab soldiers attacked my village, killed my relatives and took away our means of livelihoods…”, or something of that kind. Read full article of this excerpt from here: https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/congratulations-to-zain-kolmarek-is-now-callmarek-boma-the-real-meaning-of-taking-towns-not-talking-towns-to-our-people/
Today, what would I fill in that form early 2013 or thereafter, now that I am running away from Juba unlike my colleagues from Nuba? In case you don’t know why I will leave, am leaving or have left Juba, watch this space closely for a press release coming up shortly…! (Tomorrow or next…).”
Those reasons are no more legit today. But somebody will force his citizens to do so once again. Isn’t that shameful! Excuse my doomsaying but I am worried more will flee after me! Yes, I have learned them, damn leaders!
I shall conclude this on another day. However, the Bible tells us that we, human beings, are all refugees (immigrants/sojourners) in this world. So let those who are making fun of me/us know that the refugee camp of mine here is a subset of another refugee camp, the world they are in:
“Dear friends, since you are refugees and strangers in this world, I urge that you avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives.”(1 Peter 2:11).
In short, bodily lusts and material desires for riches leading to corruption will make the power greedy leaders (not knowing they also are immigrants in this life) turn our young nation into Sodom and Gomorrah from the wrath of the Lord (God, forbid it please)! I mean God forbid this rampant corruption that will result in curse from the robbed peasants or from their power struggle, hence the fight!
Watch this space as usual!
The following poem is selected from my collection entitled: “…And the Truth Will Send You Flee!”