Dear Sunday de John, my Mentee, no Melee!
Sunday de John Along is now Gen. Paul Malong’s spokesman of South Sudan United Front (SSUF), the utility vehicle for a position in the IGAD-led High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in Addis Ababa or Kiir’s position in Juba.
He is my friend. He can call me his mentor, given our long term records in media and public campaigns. He is a medical student, dating back to the days of the peace agreement (CPA) when he was in Khartoum. He wrote to me an email in 2005, expressing his affinity in my column and writing style and requesting me to show him how to write such publishable opinion and news articles.
I was a journalist with the Sudan Mirror and Radio Nile from 2003 to 2006. I was glad seeing him running columns in the Khartoum Monitor, including my newspaper, The Star (2009) and my magazine, The Younique Generation (2010). After that he founded his erstwhile magazine and called it Stone Soup, and so on. He can write very sound opinion articles, as seen in his tone with the SSUF press releases, since April 9, 2018, which their new rebel movement was launched in Nairobi.
Till 2013, we fell out over my stance and his on the government’s handling of the situation. I was, to him, one of those enemies ripe for elimination; in Juba terms, a ‘rebel’. Now, that he has ‘joined’ me in the ‘rebellion’ (opposition Juba), I hope my brother and friend will resume our Social Media and social forums’ interactions, now understood my points of contention. I mean, I remain me, myself and my own ‘rebel’ movement at the moment, just like in the past and the future.
What made us differ was my activism on the issues of peace, war and governance, and the way it was handled by the government. Paragraphs like the following, quoted from my blog, which was posted exactly this time 4 years ago, had put me at odds with the then ‘Kiiristians’, most of them now rebels against Salva Kiir.
MY REACTION TO MALONG’S APPOINTMENT TO SPLA IN APRIL 2014
“In short, since Gen. Malong is deemed so important and now being imported from the Northern Bahr al Ghazal State government to the army with the main aim of crushing the rebellion within 30 days, as he just declared upon his appointment today, this is against the spirit of peace and recovery. To me, this war of 30 days sounds like even 30 months! Gen. Museveni by his UPDF (Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces, now South Sudan Peoples’ Defence Forces) had once declared that against the SPLM-IO, as he used to do against the LRA. Nothing came to pass.Let us now pray that more genocidal operations do not ensue upon Gen. ‘King Paul’s’ exercise of his new powers.
By the way, my obsession with nomenclature interpretation (using meanings of names) tells me that PAUL Malong AWAN ANEI TONG’s names are loaded with political superstitions, viz: PAUL was an infamous terrorized who massacred thousands of Christians in Israel but later converted to Jesus and become the best Christian missionary. AWAN means FOX, ANEI means CONSPIRACY and TONG means WAR (or Spear).
Given the way he has managed his state, ask me not about the context of the name ‘Malong’. There is nothing ‘long’ (lawful) with his leadership. So let’s pray that these enigmatic names resound not bigger in the current confusion around the President Kiir, who has proven a novice being confused here and there by men and women around him. I have heard of such men as Gen. Paul in history, who (were) rushed in to save their masters but later turned into monsters upon tasting power.
In other words, if you bring such a militarily and psychologically power-loaded man near the altar of power, you one day would regret your decision. I am talking to President Kiir. Gen. Malong Awan Anei Tong and such ethnically groomed uneducated leaders are always obsessed with crude power and rude policies. Such a leader is like fire that becomes a good servant in the beginning and a bad master in the end, especially when mishandled.
As usual, nobody will understand what I am saying now till later. I believe in some sort of a Machiavellian principle as recorded in my favourite novel, ‘Darkness at Noon’, which states, “The ultimate truth is penultimately a falsehood.” This means to the blindfolded mass, what appears wrong in the beginning is proven right in the end. Not to argue much into the unforeseen future, let me leave the leaders and my readers, with this quote from one political mind-reader.
“If you give a charlatan power over you, you almost will never get it back!” Carl Sagan. This quote, I trust Paul Malong Awan Anei Tong, will be fulfilled by the end of the war. Which war? I mean by the end of his tenure as army chief. I will say, I told you!”
Continue with the story here… (https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/new-news-will-salvas-salvation-attempts-by-sacking-top-generals-which-is-more-tilted-onto-bahr-al-ghazal-salvage-the-situation/).
Having unearthed my then negative reactions to Gen. Malong’s appointment and his declaration to crash the rebels within 30 days, which I correctly predicted to be 30 months, I detest his anti-peace threats even now, as given below in his Spokesman’s statement.
SSUF’S THREAT BY SUNDAY DE JOHN… (12/04/2018)
After having unleash the desire to resolve the conflict peacefully, it should be noted that we have huge following in the country and beyond and more so a strong force capable of uprooting Kiir Mayardit and his abominable government.
The cessation of hostilities signed or that would be signed does not encompass the South Sudan United Front and hence will not be binding on it in case our forces let loose and conduct military operations. We are giving the benefit of doubt with interest of settling matters peacefully.
The movement resolved that should the mediators proceed as scheduled without admitting this movement to append it’s signature in the interest of cessation of hostilities, then the movement shall continue executing its plans accordingly.
By this the movement has insulated its armed wing from being held responsible for ceasefire violation. SOUTH SOUTH UNITED FRONT shall not ceased from its quest of removing Kiir Mayardit and giving South Sudanese the space to chose a leader that would add value to their lives.
Yours in struggle,
Sunday de John,
South Sudan United Front
In conclusion, I have to leave you with a poem that I used to give my mentees (those whom I helped grow in their careers or talents), of whom Sunday de John Along is one. The poem, now part of my collection in a book that is entitled ‘Talent is Latent’ goes as follows:
My Mentee, No Melee
This goes to my cohort
The ones that I thus exhort
One day when you go gallant
Please, misuse not this talent
Your God’s deposited talent
The one that has been latent
The one I’ve had you taught
Must not be used to extort
Enjoy it up to 70% personal
Yet knowing it’s 30% national
Lest thy Creator is disappointed
For He’d your mentor appointed
In search for deserved promotion
Use not undeserving commotion
Heed to this call, O dear mentee
Exercise not this gift in a melee