TWO TYPES OF RIEK MACHAR IN THE MINDS OF BOR FOLKS
Just imagine the mood of the congregants who were listening to the First Vice President of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, in the Emmanuel (Jieng) Parish (Church) of our Saviour and Prince of Peace, ‘Yecu Kritho’, reacted hypocritically against their own peace prayers for the peace they were now seeing live in their church and country.
Given the conduct of the supposedly holy crowd in that church, our folks really need serious healing and enlightenment. During my peace campaigns in Jonglei in 2011 through 2012, my prescription for such communities was ‘Psychological Disarmament and Peaceful Development’ (www.thejongleijongleur.wordpress.com).
However the challenge lies in the hands of those foxy folks, who are ‘tribalistically, cannibalistically and hypocritically critical’. They attack themselves in the stead of Riek Machar. However, when he pops up in their midst as such, they coil into a proverbial ostrich (burying their heads in their hands)!
Imagine a young hater who spoke very ill to the extent of soliciting death on me in a Juba-based Bor community meeting in 2015 for my well-intentioned trip to Pagak is now the first to disturb Alier Ateny, Mabior Garang and Jesus Deng Madingchaui with job application from the vacancies of the SPLM-Riek’s half of the Trransitional Government of National Unity! This is happening while I am staying put in Nairobi, not tempted by those juicy vacancies in spite of my free access to Dr. Riek, President Kiir and Mr. Pagan as done during my 2014/2015 peace campaign tours in through Juba, Pagak, Addis, Nairobi, Kampala and Arusha. My homeboys just hated me for a reason best known to them. Otherwise, they have no problem with Riek Machar now in their churches, Taban Deng, Mabior Garang de Mabior, whom they are disturbing for jobs, etc. That’s what I mean!
Otherwise, this is what I told my Bor youth assembly in Nairobi a few days ago: Buor are suffering from two types of Riek Machar: the ‘Physical One’, who is always their leader in South Sudan, the one from whom they are looking up for jobs and service delivery; and then this ‘Psychological Riek’, the one that lives and has lived inside their minds for the last 25 years, against whom they (Buor or Bor people) attack or label or libel one another as rebel or enemy.
To continue with the ambivalence of our peace-loving people, the case of Mama Rebecca Nyandeng in the same church and the recent protest in Bor town by the ‘Dookdit’s widows’ against the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU), thinly veiled as ‘No IO in Jonglei’, are glaring examples of hypocrisy in our community–saying this and doing that on the same subject at the same time. It’s akin to Kiir’s system habit: shooting first, aiming later. That’s what I am suffering from among my Bor folks.
It is imperative on our leaders to preach peace to the traumatized people. Unfortunately, they dramatize it! As I am typing this piece, I am watching Vice President James Wani, saying to Tiger Battalion near Nesitu: “Comrades, you should wash your face like the Kachipo. The Kachipo do not cover both eyes like we do when washing our faces. They first wash one eye while using the other one to see and guard against any attacker around…” And the Tigers interrupted with their very uncomfortable war morale-boosting songs. Hon. Daniel Awet Akot, Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, congratulated Tiger for the work well done during the 21-month war.
The same style of veiled warning about the looming of the war was echoed by Hon. Maker Thiong Maal to a Jieng congregation in St. Andrew Parish at Zimmerman in Nairobi. Having delivered a very wise piece of advice to the youth (students) and women both on economics and peace, the Bor (Gok) appointed Member of Parliament, as well as of Jieng Council of Elders member, concluded his speech with a negative remark throwing the church into a dilemma. Having called upon the community to watch critically on them (politicians) and also to correct them, he also went back to his early days when he joined school together with Salva Kiir during the days of Anya-nya I (1955).
“We liberated this country to the point of having the flag and our president installed in Juba.” Then the twist, “I have 5 children, and I can give them to fight the war even if it means death. We must protect this country by all cost.” Speaking in Dinka, the congregation clapped for him, but without a room for a question, especially that of: “Which war again do you mean, honourable?”
Back to the issue of the Riek Factor, many projects and ideas have been literally killed because they originate or are related to Riek Machar, not to talk of thousands of lives lost either directly or indirectly in the name of this Riek Machar. Not to do the doomsaying, the attitudes of our people towards Riek (Riekophobia) is just a self-destructive hate. The feelings now arising in Juba, fuelled by the usual Kiiriek power struggle and ethnic mobilization hatred, more blood will be shed, unless we drop such hearts towards one another (God forid). He is enigmatic in the lives of South Sudanese, particularly the Bor, and politics of South Sudan. Even this piece of my mind will suffer that negative attachment to the support of Riek Machar. This man, he has ‘wRieked Havoc’ in our community and country for long, both as a physical or psychological character. But we, as enlightened community of South Sudan, must use our minds to save our unsuspecting masses of the so many ‘Riek’s Risks’ imposed on them for selfish political gains in such an innocent life-costing political game.
Having just concluded my part as above, I should also include my past as below (dating back to my ‘Open Letter to Bor Youth’ in 2014):
Selected from my poetry manuscript entitled: KIRRGYSZTAN…
From the poetry Series titled: ‘Politics in Poetics’…
AGAIN, HE ‘RIEKS’ HAVOC!
When De Mabior wreaked havoc for the Sudan,
Then De Machar ‘rieked’ havoc for S. Sudan.
When De Mayar rigged havoc for autocracy,
Then De Machar wreaked havoc for democracy.
All these havocs liberate only lives,
Innocent lives out of natural bodies;
The bodies of their national buddies,
The would-be liberated ones by the process!
Any leadership struggle that costs naive lives
Is but always regrettable access to success!
EXCERPT FROM MY LETTER TO BOR YOUTH IN 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.
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)…
Continue on this link…
NB: Nationalistically speaking, learn from Manyaŋ Debid Mayar’s full Facebook post below:
“Trending: Riek Machar in a Dinka Bor church
Riek Machar decision to enter into a predominantly Dinka-Bor Church was a surprise to many Christians who prayed in that church that day. I just want to say brethren, don’t let satan ruin your peace loving hearts.
I know this church has been praying seriously for peace in this country and the return of Riek Machar. And when he comes with a message of peace and reconciliation, you start running away from him and talking words.
Don’t be like Pharisees and Jews who diligently waited for the coming of Messiah and when He came and declared His presence, Jews rejected Him and despised Him. I am not saying Riek is like a messiah, but I am simply saying he is what you prayed for when you prayed for peace.
It was a prayer and a desire of everyone to see Riek Machar back in Juba and accepting peace. And when he comes closer to you, it should be seen a sign of a possible return of peace.
Take it normal and know that you don’t have a power judge.”