ORDERS FROM ABOVE: Will They Deter My Rioting By Writing?
“When the madness of the entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say the man is mad...,” Chinua Achebe as quoted by Francis Imbuga in ‘Betrayal in the City’.
While thousands of hungry and angry citizens are being herded into the streets of Juba and other capitals of the South Sudan’s 10 states to hypocritically protest against the IGAD-PLUS’s proposed Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA II), I am equally forced to riot by writing against President Kiir and those who are shooting down those who are shouting down those sponsored demonstrations.
My second line of thoughts goes straight to Peter Moi Julius, shot down by the so-called ‘Unknown Gunmen’, who may as well be part of the mafia of ‘National SeKiirity Operatives’ (terror-stricken citizens believe in that collective name of the ‘National Security’ that has been constitutionally empowered to search, harass, arrest, charge and execute suspects) in an implementation of the ‘Orders From Above’. For instance, the rant that the president released against the journalists, who constitutionally express their opposition to his position on the peace agreement and other nation building processes, very uncalled for in our nascent republic that was liberated from the same Khartoumism. I hear they are defending sovereignty and democracy (I call it ‘Salvareignty and Demokiiracy’). Unless you tiptoe the lines of Salva Kiir’s brand of democracy (Demokiiracy), you will have a bone to pick with his securicorats (or SeKiirity causing InseKiirity’), and be labelled ‘traitor’ as expressed in his recent whining here:
“I was wondering how did the information got to them? But this is what I said here, now the people who are getting out, the media…And when you close them down, they go and complain that there is no expression, no freedom, and then. The freedom of press does not mean you work against your country (applause). And if anybody among them does not know that this country has killed people, we WILL demonstrate it one day on them (applause).” Video Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNGA8I20Bw
Even before this news crept in on Sunday, 16 August 2015, when the Big Man left Juba for Addis Ababa, I had received numerous messages from my sympathizers, even from within the NS circles, to quit writing and go hiding because ‘something is going to happen!’ My relative (in-law) warned me by inbox. Numbed by anger over this audio of the president and the daily ranting of his internet defence league (the cyber tiger battalion), I brushed it off with my usual line that is enshrined in my series (books) of ‘Politics in Poetics’. This was in resistance to similar calls following the shooting down of Isaiah Abraham in December 2012.
“There you are. I mean if you want to stop us, writers from writing just because some lesser stock of citizens wants to exterminate us in their attempt to terminate our knowledge, which they fear to be their threat, then you are their naïve agent. In other words, I would not stop. And if I stop writing, I will not be a writer. If I write what the leaders like and not what my readers like, I would not be their writer. And, worse still, if I write what I like, I will not be a writer. They would put an end to my penmanship like they have done to my fellow penman, Isaiah Abraham Chan. So what should we do?
“Well, to those who want me to quit writing with commotions and sit writhing with emotions, I leave you with the following excerpt from the preface of my poetry book, ‘The Black Christs of Africa’: https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/tearz-ayuen-penn-de-ngong-maal-maker-are-next-on-the-hit-list-say-prophets-of-doom/
Just a day before Peter Moi was killed, one of my Bor bros, who escaped death narrowly, wrote this in our community social forum, blaming the youth.
“We deliberately decided to let things move the way they are without meaningful discourse. This is our generation. We have failed this nation with our sycophancy spirit. This is not the Bor community which the history talked about.”
To elaborate a bit on his genuine concerns, the problem is not from Salva Kiir. Our nation is messed up by his network of beneficiaries. Unfortunately, the network has involved even my fellow journalists, who once had survived numerous threats and attempts on their lives. Just another day before Peter Moi was killed, one of them, who interviewed the president on this controversial statement wrote a falsified defence of the president on his own Facebook status, thus:
“This report on Sudantribune website (sic) is completely false and misleading. I personally interviewed the President in presence of journalists from other media houses at Juba International Airport on Sunday prior to his departure for Addis Ababa and the President did not say such words quoted by Sudantribune or sent by a journalist to CPJ. As journalists, we must be responsible for information that we relay to the public. This was a high degree of lying. Whoever circulated this false information compromise our work as journalists. BIG MISTAKE IN OUR TIME!”
A host of other journalists that has been converted to ‘Kiiristianity’ jumped on my neck for blaming Kiir over that order that could result in ‘journalicide’. They toe his line of thoughts that we are ‘writing against the nation’. I immediately made it clear in one of my daily Facebook arguments that our politicians have deliberately confused the citizens, including the learned ones! Their ‘naïve natives’ who are recruited into the security sectors take the president’s whining literally. ‘Those who criticize the nation are enemies of the people’. So when I point out something wrong with the government, for this matter the president, who is a person or a national of South Sudan just like me, I am taken by sycophants (call them ‘hypokiirites’) to be criticizing the nation!
“I have never seen a journalist writing bad thing about a community where they come from, anyone out there…? I dont think so… Well, we should try to respect our Nation, be it good or bad, this is our HOME.” Commented one of ‘the patriotic journalists’ on my post a day after the president’s declaration.
And this was my rejoinder immediately after his comment:
“Bro, problem is when politicians confuse our people to equate the government with the nation. We journalists, as you used to do before that ‘baptism’, do criticize the government of Kiir. Why and how can somebody criticize South Sudan or Bor as a land? There is a huge gap between the nation and a national (or a nationalist, if any) of South Sudan. Mark it bro in case they had confused you and those who are killing journalists “for criticizing the nation”! https://www.facebook.com/penndengong
Many comments on my posts by the youth themselves point out that allegation that we are selling the country to the Khawaja. I wonder how they reason. The whole me, Jon Pen, to take South Sudan to Nairobi or Kampala and auction it out to a foreigner. How? For how much? And why?
I thought it is those who do weird things, those who kill other citizens, those who steal people’s resources and hide them outside the country for the advantage of those countries, those who concert their queer thoughts into national politicies that attract negative attention, etc. are the real traitors. Who is really wrong here, a thief or one that catches and exposes a thief?
To my own observation on those who use their rights to incite the dictatorial regime to kill those citizens with dissenting opinions on the way their nation is being mis/managed, they are suffering from intellectual savagery, call it ‘Salvagery’. This is when an educated citizen thinks their fellow citizens, who oppose President Salva Kiir, are traitors recommended for prison or treason. This new nation is notionally hijacked!
SIMILAR PAST UTTERANCES THAT ENDANGERED JOURNALISTS, WRITIERS AND RIOTERS
Just a week before the current Info Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, was appointed, he had said this:
“They either conform to the law or face it. Anyway, what is so special with them?” Hon. Michael Makuei, the then Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, said during his discussion of the bills.
“Why do we need to protect the journalists if they will write things that defame people?” Hon. Ajang Bior, member of an opposition party asked also during the debate.
Another hot dangerously inciting warning from the president a few days after the 9 demonstrators were shot down by the security agents in Wau, the same month Isaiah Abraham was killed, is here. “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 President Kiir Mayardit in a rally in Wau. http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article44984
As if that was not enough, immediately after the killing of Isaiah Abraham (Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol), Adut Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first daughter, released this statement to Yam Life Magazine in Juba, which bears similar tone and wording with the president’s last Sunday warning:
“Another thing is that they forget what should be newsworthy and it’s not judging private lives of these public individuals. Their work in public office is what matters most, so I wish the government body responsible for communications would give strict guidelines and make sure they are adhered to, so we can start behaving like a country moving forward and not one stagnant in its old ways. If you’re also ready to give it out disrespectfully then you should be ready to face the music… My advice to unprofessional journalists out there is that I want you to do your research, do some background checks before running amok with your baseless hateful stories.”
Maybe, I should add another Facebook warning by another Salva’s daughter. Well, my interest here is how the youth of this nation are being oriented to self-destruction by the Old Guard, worse when it is the children of the leaders giving orders to supplement their fathers’! ”Think before you insult the goverment, rememeber, the goverment are the people and the people are us. So if you say the goverment of south sudan is stupid then your insulting us and yourself”. Achol Salva Mathok (November 11, 2012).
On the same day I shared the audio on social media, Daniella (Awut) Vallentino Wol reacted angrily. She attacked me in person, the journalists of South Sudan in general, and Bor youth in particular, in defence of her uncle, Kiir’s threat, on journalists.
“Lastly, you Jon Pen….You bad Bor boys…confusing people on the internet, those whom Garang Mabior saved from the war and he sent other children to die in the war; whom he called ‘lost boys’, have now got educated and joined in support for the Nuer youth, who are behind Riek Machar. What you always mess up from that county (Bor) will return unto you. You are like a ‘Beny Bith’, the Spear Master, who invokes his magic, then the spear loosens and pierces his own foot to his regrets.” Complete the whole video in both English and Dinka here: https://www.facebook.com/southsudanchick/videos/10153034132990069/?pnref=story
Now, these and many other statements attributed to Kiir’s Administration all accrue to dictator Field Marshal Iddi Amin Dada’s days. For this purpose, I have just reviewed one of Amin’s video documentaries. Oh my, it has a lot to be desired in Kiir’s system! It is estimated that Amin had killed over 300,000 Ugandans, including the bank governor, the archbishop, the chief justice, and many journalists—among them Whites. The worst part of the movie dubbed ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and many other buffoonery documentaries, which is typical of the Juba system, is the way he tried to finish off all tribesmen and supporters of his rival, Milton Obote. See how history repeats itself.
Like AU now headed by Robert Mugabe, the now defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU), hopelessly afflicted with intellectual astigmatism and rabid anti-Western bias, made Amin its chairman at its summit in Kampala in 1975. One Ugandan Anglican bishop, Festo Kivengere, was irate: “At the very moment the heads of state were meeting in the conference hall, talking about the lack of human rights in southern Africa, three blocks away, in Amin torture chambers, my countrymen’s heads were being smashed with sledge hammers and their legs being chopped off with axes.”
“I want you, Maliamungu, to clear all men inside from Lango and Acholi tribes. They are Obote’s men, and they want to steal my presidency. It will never happen!” Looks like Kiir talking in 2013!
And in response to a caution by his friend of how the region would respond to his massacres of Ugandan people, “My friend, I do not fear Obote men. If Sudan attacks me, Egypt will attack Sudan. If Tanzania attack me, my friends South Africa will attack Tanzania. If Kinya attacks me, we will attacks them. Next week when I see queen at Buckingham Palace, she will give me arms (sic),” said the Field Marshal Iddi Amin Dada. See this video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdi84S19kuo
Having pointed out many areas of Salva Kiir’s ‘era of error’ and ‘reign of terror’, I still have one question to take to bank: Should I stop writing? If not Yes, if not No, then this. How should Kiir stop the killing?
“I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.”
Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984)
Indian Prime Minister.
Said the night before she was assassinated.