With my daily difficult experiences of trying to save my fellow media socialites from being bamboozled by politicians and tribal zealots, I had to apply my grandpa’s Dinka wisdom this time: “Never warn a fool on their way to but on their way from” (Raan kuc kang acie joony ke lo, aye joony ke bo). This means to let them first learn from their mistakes since experience is the best teacher. Yes, being at the same venue, I was the first to learn of the ‘For-Immediate-Release’ news but had to let the child feel the fire so that I warn them better next round.

Experiences have shown me that once I try to counter a not-so-proper propaganda such as the ‘Attempted Coup’ and this ‘Attempted Assassination’, all on the life and job of our ‘demokiiratically’ elected president, boot-lickers call me a rebel supporter. Of course, I don’t care if the truth I support tends to benefit a rebel, an IDP or an MP.

Secondly, ‘Gordon Boy’ (Naath spells it ‘Buay) is nowadays a fictitious ‘press releaser’, but Jon Pen is a non-fiction character. So why should I encounter (equalize) him?

Therefore, my apologies for the hundreds of ‘inboxes’, phone calls or e-mails ignored till the third day of the rumour, which has now turned out to be humour. But this is the main reason I gave the news my cold shoulder. I did not want to repeat myself, after having warned my readers on the morning of mourning (December 16, 2013), thus:

Jon Pen added 2 new photos.

A Facebook picture I used for illustrating a post on December 16, 2013 upon the fabrication of the so-called coup attempt by President Kiir upon his political rivals, sparking off the current war.

Dear friends, sorry if I’ve not responded to all these hundreds of inbox and phone call inquiries. You know they say: IN WAR, THE FIRST CASUALTY IS TRUTH. That’s my fear, I promise this to you…I am going to update you with lies because I have lost trust in my information sources since the first bullet was fired last night at Giyada Military Garrison.

No I will trust only my personal analysis based on the previous happenings. Therefore, the only news I rely on so confidently to relay to you now is: IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CEASEFIRE IN JUBA, THE FIRST SENIOR POLITICIAN WILL BE ARRESTED OR THE FIRST GENERAL WILL BE KILLED HERE ON FACEBOOK…!



10646935_10152686963869031_7020695021517815585_nJust at the same time the ‘Gurong Press Release’ was published, I entered through the same door of Elilly International Hotel, the venue in which the SPLM-iO and the SPLM-iG (in Opposition and in Government) are crammed for accommodation. I passed my bag through the metal detector machine and dived through the arch of a body scanner. It made noise! They opened and searched my bag. There were my laptop, disks, metallic pen, and other accessories, including a spoon! (Aluel, my little naughty daughter might have deposited it there before I left Nairobi three weeks back…don’t know). They massaged (searched) me, then ushered me in. And so were those on the queue and many other daily arrivals and frequenters of Elilly International. As Mabior put it, Elilly is far away from Sheraton or the Palace where peace was being signed. And I have never seen Kiir’s ‘Long Body’ guard, leave alone himself, putting up at Elilly or the radical Radisson, where all the stakeholders are accommodated. The G.10 and Civil Society groups are in Radisson Blu Hotel as the Government and Rebels are at Elilly. Of course, Mabior was not on the Big Ones team, who went to sign or resign the peace papers at the Palace. The rest is for your 6th sense, if you are gifted with it.
Well, it must not go without noting that somebody must have been ogling and Googling around, roving and roaming around the venue as usual…to spot and report on such much ado about nothing for nothing as published by ‘Gordon Buay’. I mean, the SPLM-in Opposition team should always watch out for insider informants so that Mabior or so does not fall victim for the third time, this time.


Again, not to repeat myself, this post had advised them enough on this blunder of half-baked propaganda, such as going on now on SSTV and other state-owned info-outlets.

I have a strong opinion that Kiir needs a formidable propagandist if they want some of us, who have ever dealt with strategic mass media propaganda, to get involved in spreading their messages. My friend Ateny Wek and the team should redouble their effort. I know it is an uphill task for a lawyer who lost an election in a state assembly in 2010, only to vent the same frustration to create a column in a daily newspaper dedicated against Kiir and Malong Awan, then miraculously graduated from that column into Presidential Pressman to handle war propaganda in local and international media. You must convince well experienced editors and activists to accept to spread your message in their media, else you would make your boss attack the media with naïve accusations that the world is against your nation.


I can now see on Sudan Tribune the government ‘image cleansing task force’ trying to do a postmortem risk management on the busybody Gordon Buay’s ‘Operation Keep Kiir Clean’,whose alarming ‘assassination attempt’ news had roamed the world with the same controversy the ‘coup attempt’ story stirred. Before proceeding ahead, I bring forth the following two divergent quotes from not only politically — but blood — related spokespersons of Kiir’s administration on Gordon-cum-Gurtong propaganda (the ever contradictory duo that once waged a politically family duel as spokesmen for Kiing and Malong on The Citizen Newspaper, are: Ateny Wek Ateny and his Nephew Akol Ayom Wek Ateny):

The Guardian story associated to the ‘Gordon-Gurtong’ source through Akol Ayom Wek. See how sources who claim to speak for the government have had the world is misled!

WEK I: “The Office of the President would like to categorically deny these allegations as false. It has no basis. No truth. Never did the president come closer to any attempt on his life whilst he travels abroad in search for peace,” say a press statement released by presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny on Wednesday. “The Office of the President would like to condemn this type of rumour-mongering in strongest term possible, and call on the people of South Sudan to disregard these lies.”  the statement said. “If Mabior Garang was arrested in Ethiopia, then it has no connection with any attempt to assassinate the president. Otherwise, the responsibility of such arrest has not been shared by the Ethiopian’s intelligence with the president,” Ateny said. (Sudan Tribune:

WEK II: Here, Here, world’s renowned news services like The Guardian have been fooled to run the headlines of the assassination and the subsequent arrest. Even the Associated Press (AP) allowed itself to be pressed harder and associated with the Gordon-Gurtong source of the story through Wek II: “Elsewhere in South Sudan, Wek said that the son of deceased South Sudan rebel leader John Garang was arrested in Ethiopia after being discovered at a reception at Kiir’s hotel with a loaded gun. Wek said that during interrogation Mabior Garang said he wanted to confront Kiir for destroying his father’s legacy, suggesting that Garang may have intended to carry out an assassination attempt,” said the spokesman for the governor of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal state, Akol Ayom Wek. (AP:

10610711_817034001664236_628859092603076951_nHere, the alarmist headlines and press release directly attributed the helicopter shoot down to the rebel forces immediately before UNMISS made their own investigation and release. Meanwhile, in a series of press releases, Facebook and Twitter updates, UNMISS did not point the accusing finger till the investigation is now directed by the Security Council in New York in their press release today (August 28, 2014):

“The members of Security Council strongly urged UNMISS and the Government of South Sudan to conduct a swift, thorough and transparent investigation of this attack.The members of the Security Council strongly emphasized that those responsible for the attack must be held accountable and all necessary measures to avoid such attacks in the future must be taken.They also requested that UNMISS take additional measures, as appropriate, to ensure the security of its air operations in South Sudan and report thereon to the Council.” It is self-incriminating for one side of the war to bilaterally accuse and condemn the other side immediately upon hearing an ‘accident’ has occurred in a disputed zone.

HOW GURTONG WAS HACKED, THEN HECKLEDThe first time I saw the for-immediate-release story published on Gurtong’s website, I was like, “Hm, what happened with my Senior Jacob J. Akol who is not only the Gurtong’s editor but also the South Sudan journalists’ boss as chairman for AMDISS (Association for Media Development in South Sudan). Somebody told me ‘Gurtong was hacked’, just to reflect on the claim by Sudan Tribune on the Fools’ Day death of Dr. Riek Machar. I interjected that “Gurtong’s password couldn’t be cracked technically but can be hacked either politically or economically.” Well, the debate on Social Media about the intergrity of Gurtong went on from that day (August 26 to date). Others claim it’s because its founder is one of the security officers in the Office of President Kiir. Others said the hot press releases were a media stunt to drive up the website’s hits (number of clicks per story) to give the ranking of the site in competition with others. But does it raise the status bar on the integrity question?

On the credibility question, Gurtong has lived on for over 10 years now, and is meant for peace as the whole project is called ‘Gurtong Peace Project’ under Gurtong Trust. ‘Gurtong’ is an Anyuak or Dinka phrase meaning ‘blunt the spear’, an old way of stopping the war. The meaning and goal of ‘Gurtong’ should always feature in its messages so that the irony of ‘sharpening the spear’ does not invade its website, hence, the minds of the people at the time they are being sold this sluggish peace deal. And it is disturbing to see those Gordon-Buay headlines still glaring on the site for God-knows-why after the corrections have been made. I thought Gurtong editor should intervene and pull down the queer news, if not posting an apology.

The Guardian story associated to the 'Gordon-Gurtong' source through Akol Ayom Wek. See how sources who claim to speak for the government have had the world is misled!

Mabior Garang: “What puzzled me and made the whole thing suspicious is the media release and that tells me that some agents might have conspired with the hotel staff in order to make this thing up. Our suspicious became apparent also after Gordon Buay report appeared on Gurtong and that gave me a reason or certainty that someone might be behind the deal to create another chaos for the country”.

Mabior Garang, the victim wondered thus on his Facebook page. “I used to think that gurtong could be trusted (see what I did there?)…but it seems that Gurtong “Trust” is part of the propaganda machine of the government. I wonder what their interests is in misleading the people of South Sudan…I am writing this statement because of public demand for me to clear the air…the incident is a fabrication by government sympathizers…I would like to assure the People of South Sudan and the world that the members of the SPLM/SPLA do not want Salva Kiir dead. We want him alive so that he may answer to the crimes that he has committed. For more information, credible journalists should contact the Ethiopian authorities for clarification. I am surprised that people take Mr. Gordon Buay seriously…seriously!!!

“Those who are familiar with the security details of any hotel will have to get this correct and any alleged report will be dealt with as per their security situation without any reservation or favour. Hence, I was not arrested but gave my version of the story which was confirmed correct and no such arrest as it goes. On our side, we are also doing our own investigation if some people are trying to create a situation that will undermine peace”.




Recently, General Gordon Buay Malek, a dangling rebel’s outfit on Kiir’s government has been an ardent worshiper of the president at such a rate that people around the Big Man began to smell a rat! Of course, it should be noted that he is the very ‘General’ Buay who declared himself as the ‘New President of the Independent South Sudan’ on July 20, 2011, according to this Youtube video. Gordon Buay’s instant conversion puzzled everyone. According to me, he has hacked President Kiir’s system. The picture here shows how he ‘hacked’ into President Kiir’s seat symbolically. Otherwise, who, if not your ‘drunk-mate’ in a bar, can sit with the president like that. Why lie on him like a lover? Well, they might be political lovers, but was the cameraman really professional enough to realize the shameful posture here? If not that, then my conclusion is the photo was photoshopped, just like the one of Lol Gatkuoth in which Akot Lual was inserted and claimed to have met the recently defected former detainee-turned-rebel ambassador, whom Buay claimed to have turned 360 degrees to join Kiir’s rule by decrees.

Anyway, it is the nature of fools to make every day an April Fools’ Day, is it also the nature of  our people to consume hate speech in the name of defending the nation in a notion of one incompetent person? Well, let Carl Sagan end this article with this lamentation here. “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

In this my personal conclusion on the state of South Sudan’s governance and mass sensitization system, I have nothing to offer you but to leave you with an American writer, Jack Kerouac’s confession in concession, “I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”