Open Letter to Bor Youth all over the World
A BRIEF GLIMPSE INTO THE YESTERYEAR OF OUR LOCAL POLITICS (July 24, 2013 – July 24, 2014)
Dear Brethren and sistren in Crisis,
This is a personal letter to every member who has ever or never been talking about or against me. It is specifically addressed to the Youth of Bor Communities, but generally to the ‘Youth of the South’. I am addressing those socially malicious ‘militias’ whose mind-reading assumptions have led them into a plunder by blunder on personal issues amidst national concerns; those who pretend to be political foxes yet live in tribal boxes.
The Main subject matter of this letter is to review the year from July 23, 2013 to July 23, 2014. This is a special period worth looking into by all the concerned citizens of South Sudan, especially those whose loved ones and property have been lost to the war of egos. Let’s look into the year in two halves: July to December 2013 and December to July 2014. There also is a glimpse back through the length of the CPA’s period under the GOSS (Government of Southern Sudan), where ‘Adam ate the apple’ politically.
In the first place, I am writing to you as a South Sudanese from Jonglei State, Bor County, Jalle Payam, Kolmarek (Majok) Boma and a Pen Clan of the Aboudit Section of Bor Sub-tribe of Dinka. Why this introduction? It is an answer to some members who have been traumatized by the war, and hence, have dramatized the war to their advantage against other victims of this war, like me and other relatives among the suffering millions of the minions in South Sudan. Every native, especially from the GUN region (the three states of Greater Upper Nile), has a brunt of this war to bear in their own way.
Secondly, another part of me is this. I said it last February that I am not a December 15 reactionary. What did I mean? I did not learn of the war and the danger facing my country on December 16; say, from the Press Conference of the ‘Coup attempt’ announced by the President of the Republic , or from the killing of a relative by White Army or a friend by Gelweng Army. No, I had survived, foreseen, scrutinized, publicized and criticized the horror committed by our State against its own people. This began in Jonglei (to be tackled in a separate article later as done previously in one of my blogs).
But this must not go without pointing out. In 2012, I proved to the people the reason of my citizenship as a South Sudanese. I (with my like-minded youth) organized a series of rallies in Juba and Bor for peace in Jonglei. These included rallies in Bor Freedom Square to mobilize youth and public against the threat of foreign invasion from the north, during the Heglig War. These rallies were addressed by the governor or his deputy, SPLA commanders, UNMISS and other stakeholders. One of them held on April 21, 2012 had the following Position Paper that I wrote and presented in public gathering attended by thousands. Click here to read the full paper… http://thejongleijongleur.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/position-paper-for-civil-society-rally-in-bor-april-2o12/ Or this media coverage page links: http://thejongleijongleur.wordpress.com/media-coverage/
Why do I have to justify myself with all these uncomfortable I-sentences? Because some youth are being misused not only against me/us but against the order of our nation and society by conducting rallies for a few individuais’ political survivals, not national interests. My rallies were voluntary and nationalistic, not tribalistic as such. So, I want to show that my campaigns through writings and rallies were (are) not meant for ethnic benefits or individual defences. To those who blame me for not standing with ‘my people’, who said the Didinga or the Dinka, the Nuer or the Murle, etc. are not my people? Am I not using the passport of the Republic of South Sudan? Show me whoever is carrying a Dinka or Acholi passport!
Back to those who have called me this and that just because I have dwelt much on criticizing their ‘DemoKiiracy’ (Kiir’s democratic leadership) but not Riek Machar’s quest for leadership, again, I am not a December 15 reactionary nor am I the same December 15 revolutionary. I did not react by reflex action, I knew it was coming. I had done my constitutional duties of being faithful to the nation, not the person, by pointing out the ills, which were befalling our country. Those who believe in a person at the expense of a nation are right to misunderstand me/us and call me/us all names, including prescribing death on me/us or proscribing me/us in 2012 and early 2013, respectively. We left (especially John Aborcup and I) before the rest of the citizens were also subjected to the same leadership inability crisis that has brought us thus far. One year prior to this leadership crisis, now sold to tribes for selfish gains, I lost great gentlemen to the state’s security. I mentioned Karbino Kollen Dhullo, Wiyual Manytap and later Lam Chuol Thichuong, who saved by life by giving me an exit ticket as a personal friend, only to lose his life after I left! And you think I will worship Kiir and his system that rewards Yau Yau for conducting war and kills Karbino for conducting peace campaigns in Jonglei State?
In other words, Riek Machar and the armed opposition of the SPLM are a byproduct of Kiir’s leadership style, so why waste my time on him or other rebels of Kiir’s power greed as if I were a December-15 reactionary? Riek or Mabior de Garang have their own reasons for running away from Juba, but we meet in two main grounds: Common citizenship, common reform agenda—varied methods.
Having had an ability to see this coming in 2012 and 2013, I wrote about it. It is the very youth, especially from Bor, who were the first to fight me in defence of the leadership that has brought the country to the brink of collapse today. My heart bled and I told them what they were killing us for! It came to pass! I followed closely the political development in the run up to the war in 2013. And I said it boldly with a confession why our youth are in this confusion: three times in my own personal statement, which I am repeating here for the purpose of speaking out not only my mind but the truth—which must be said to set us free as a new people and a young nation.
“There is no amount of Tribe, Bribe or Threat that will compromise the person in me to tell other than the truth against the will of God, the constitution of my nation and the lives of my fellow citizens of the Republic of South Sudan.”
This means belonging to a certain community cannot and will not make me defend a wrong leader, neither will any personal benefit do me this damaging change of heart, nor will I ever vow to any threat in the name of committing a constitution-coated crime in order to save and serve the interest of one citizen or a group thereof. That explains why I left Juba and turned an appointment letter into a disappointment one. I sincerely concur with the critical sympathizers of my current conditions that the job I was to do for the Office of the President this year was going to be good for my life and family, but not for my name and the nation. I was hired and destined to reverse my fighting/rioting by writing like Ateny Wek and others, but realizing that I was going to say, write or broadcast a message other than what I have believed in all the way before and after December 15, I turned down the offer!
However, I must apologize to the office, my friends and well wishers who saw the ability in me and asked me for the job. I ‘betrayed’ them by not fulfilling what they wanted me to do, but that is what it means following the truth, and nothing but the truth. The TOR (terms of reference) of that job did not rhyme with my name, especially by the time other innocent citizens were in prison and court facing crimes they had not committed. I am a peace and rights activist, therefore, would not do well in churning out war justification propaganda, though I sympathize with some individuals and situations. I promise to take up that job or any other one meriting my personal ability and national capability on condition that the government and opposition forces bring back our nation through peace to our people.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters (especially to the staunch zealots of ‘our tribe’), allow me to go against the grains of your guts and egos to point out some few instances where we clashed in opinions and were later fulfilled in one way or the other:
AN ATTEMPT TO WARN OF MY PEOPLE OF THE PENDING DISASTER FROM POLITICAL MEDIOCRITY
The Juba Declaration in which Salva Kiir dumped Garang’s CPA arrangement of OAGs’ (Other Armed Group) integration modalities and chose what he called “Paying Price for Peace” by which all tribal militias marched into the National Army in columns other than individual screening has resulted into the the mess he is in today. January 8, 2006 is the day I flew to Juba and covered the Juba Declaration agreement signed between himself (Kiir) and the late Gen. Paulino Matip on behalf of Other Armed Groups. I predicted the political hardship our country was booked for as a result of such sudden changes in the CPA document in my Editorial column of The Southern Eye Newspaper, for which I was the editor. This was not condemned by me alone. The SPLA-Proper was not also impressed. Look at the Press Release I published in The Southern Eye from the SPLA General Headquarters in this picture….
We foresaw how Yau-Yau war was coming, warned the authorities about it, got involved in trying to avert it, but were betrayed by our own youth to the extent that I lost three very competent leaders of my group and of South Sudan in general. I survived death with a few others and left the country. Therefore, I became a non-violent rebel to the state on January 31, 2013, as I lost brother Karbino Kolen on the way to the airport en route to Kenya for asylum. This is the story…https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/unmasking-my-judas-iscariot-report-on-the-betrayal-in-my-persecution-and-denial-of-the-prosecution-from-2006-to-2013-ii/
I protested the wholesale dissolution of the government by Kiir. I called it, just like others did, that it was a recipe for war, given the way the army and government have been structured ethnically as shown above. I condemned the removal of Kuol Manyang from his elective post of a Governor in Jonglei to come and protect the job of the President who was under political threat. I said in July that Kuol was sacked (or swapped with defence minister Gen. John Kong Nyuon) and brought to Juba to save ‘the job of the president at the expense of the lives of the people’ outside Juba, and it came to pass. This is the quote, for which I was condemned by relatives and beneficiaries of the leaders in question. “Five ministers from Jonglei, 3 from Bor County (Gok & Athooch) alone. Hmm, our prediction has come to pass: KIIR LOOKING FOR MR. FIXER AFTER THE MESS, SEEMS TOO LATE TECHNOCRATS, TOO LITTLE SPLM HISTORICALS, THOUGH. Me…still waiting to see for solution…!” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200329541547446&set=a.1599057502624.2080230.1421628562&type=1&theater
Secondly, I condemned the appointment of Michael Makuei Lueth to the post of the Spokesperson of the Government and Minister for Information. I analysed this on technical ground, not that I had any grudge with Uncle Makuei. This cost me an image from Makuei’s relatives and friends, including his home/office/private secretaries who went up and down searching my background, researching my foreground, and exposing damning propaganda on me, just because I had said the following in my contribution as a media/public betting participant on those appointed to public offices. I got it rough later by posting this!
“Why do we need to protect the journalists if they will write things that defame people,” Hon. Ajang Bior member of an opposition party commended also during the debate.
(Hiii my Uncles!)” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200329680150911&set=pcb.10200329687631098&type=1&theater
And then followed by this damning rebuttal and debate from one of ‘Makueyans’ against me and my friend Manyang David Mayar who also questioned makuei’s post in Information instead of Ministry of Justice. “I write to respond to your comments you made against Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth which are seemingly defamatory and lack professional ethics. If you became journalists through classroom you would know your limits… If you think Hon. Makuei is misplaced, then let me break it to the whole world your credentials… ” And the credentials and private backgrounds on me and Manyang our brother Awan Majok gathered and exposed to the world have nothing to do with the betting of our public servants by the citizens expressing their different opinions like us. This is where our youth graduate and melt back into their communities (making sponsors regret their time and money wasted on universities).
Let’s evaluate the performances of the two leaders from Bor; Makuei who was tasked with defending the people and their nation (later the person and his notion) by words of mouth and Kuol who was tasked to defend the same with the bullets of gun. How many allies are with South Sudan diplomatically and domestically through Makuei’s ranting of ‘rebellizing’ everybody (individual), every body (organization e.g. UN), every nation, etc. that seems to have contrary analysis of their Juba narratives. How many women, children and soldiers has Gen. Kuol defended from massacres and other inhuman abuses since he came to power?
However, as I said before, I owe Kuol Manyang the highest level of respect among current Kiirists (those saving and serving Kiir in the name of the nation) in the way he has conducted himself, his words and actions throughout this internal war of political and tribal attrition. I know him personally as a man allergic to lies and corruption from the Day One of the liberation struggle. I worked with him briefly in Jonglei State and can attest that he is one of the very few leaders who can put this nation back to normal if given a chance (even as part of the Interim Administration).
Besides, my reaction to Kiir’s divide-and-rule of the three-county Bor Community raised jitters everywhere. For goodness’ sake, where did the president crammed three big ministries into one county, leaving the other two gaping for inclusion into his business? In a political community that sees itself as three brothers in the name of Bor, it was ill-intention for Kiir to divide by throwing a bait to hook the most ardent diehard to his advantage. This was reflected in the massacres and destruction of Bor town during this war, and by the social disorder being engineered along that Kiir’s fault lines, so far. I was part of the people who foresaw and condemned this for which I was condemned by the very victims of this political manipulation of a people. Is this not a lesson enough for our Bor’s next generation to go national?
When I saw that the 1991 catastrophe would repeat itself in Bor and South Sudan in 2013, I used all my personal means possible, including offering my forgiveness to those who killed my father in 1993 as a result of 1991 defection by Riek and the group, just in exchange for peace to save my mother in 2013. When I wrote the following on my Facebook status and on my Weakleaks blog, the Bor youth jumped on my neck. I was shocked to see even the intellectual ones, moreover fellow journalist, colleagues and friends, posting abusive words at me. The crime I committed that day was asking for national reconciliation and healing from the past mistakes of liberation so that we enter the new nation as new people. What did I get in return? ‘STUPID’ as a comment by one of my friends as shown in this Facebook comment scanned from that post of mine.
“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 in 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:” https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/to-president-kiir-were-peacemakers-for-national-reconciliation-not-peace-machars-for-personal-riek-conciliation/
In December, my worries came to be fulfilled, especially when the President usurped and used the same historical injustice from Bor Community for his political mileage, sparking off the current mess. And somebody dares to tell us today, “It’s Khawaja messing up our country,” yet we engineered this conflict by forceful power greed all the way from independence?
This exactly was my reaction to the speech and frustration tactics by the president on his colleagues of the SPLM. I was called a rebel by the same youth, but my worries were fulfilled the following night, and the war is now raging in our midst.
THIS WAS MY LAST ARTICLE ON REACTION TO KIIR’S SPEECH ON DECEMBER 15:
“It is equally as disgusting as capitalizing on a 1991 Bor Massacre to whip up emotions, and then ‘harvest’ these emotions to mobilize political support from victims of history. With tribal partition of the army and parties, I am afraid, anything can happen anytime anywhere! In that speech is a very cheap but old brand of politics. Modern politics talks of what you will do, not what you have done against opponents. I can even see those who took part in the massacre, or those who wished and watched it being done on Bor in 1991 as in 2013, now ‘mourning’ for Bor in Juba. I call it deliberate hypocrisy expressed through crocodile tears! I don’t think those making speeches can also make it on time to defend Bor should it happen (God forbid) again this time.
No, not after Kiir had appointed Riek Machar as his deputy twice in 8 years. When did Comrade Salva realize that Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Riek Gai, etc. are criminals in South Sudan amidst a series of not so serious ‘amnesties’ to other armed groups? If so, then who is to blame for the 2013 Jonglei massacres now that Yau Yau is carrying an ‘Arm-nesty’, from which the politically shooting Riek Machar is exempted? I mean David Yau Yau is demanding Kiir’s position at a gun point and by murdering innocent children, women, etc., whereas Riek, Nyandeng, Pagan, etc. are demanding Kiir’s position by constitutional means and by using the grievances of the ordinary citizens to hide their political ambitions. It seems everyone is forced to use force in order to be understood and included in the system after bloodbath. Bad legacy of Kiirocracy! And then the unarmed politicians vying for reform are now being labelled rebels (not fit for dialogue)! And this can frustrate them to pick up guns…!” Check the link here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201098210123680&set=a.1599057502624.2080230.1421628562&type=1&theater
In short, let’s look at our national problems as national, not tribal members. Let’s look at individual mistakes as personal, not communal. Let’s not lump up individual citizens into ethnic groups so that their opinions, activities and legacies are owned by tribes, not by individuals, groups or parties instead of by the nation they serve.
Having said that, let nobody, especially those who have prescribed means to proscribe me from my Bor belonging, encroach on my three freedoms in the name of the tribe or community. There are religion, choice of what I eat and political opinion (affiliation). If you call me a non-Bor or an outcast or a rebel because I have a different choice among the three from yours or the community’s, you need political and religious deliverance, brother and sister.