By PaanLuel Wël, Washington DC, USA
As you make your bed, so must you lie on it—English Adage.
March 27, 2011 (SSNA) — I rarely comment on nor engage in futile debate on trivial issues raised on this news-site though many topics that justifiably demand and does deserve such course of actions from my standpoint of view do abound. Sometimes, however, circumstantial events such as the recent articles authored by Deng Reik Khoryoam—March25th, 2011—called for the embracement of pragmatic flexibility in the face of such unwarranted and sensationalized political propaganda.
In the article, “Pagan and the likes area threat to peace and stability in South Sudan!”, Mr. Khoryoam attempted to paint an eerily dark and reckless picture of Hon. Pagan Amum, the SPLM SG and the Minister for Peace and CPA Implementation in the government of Southern Sudan, as the sole cause of all problems bedeviling the soon-to-be independent state of South Sudan.
Without delving into each and every baseless accusation he congregated against Hon. Pagan Amum, the doyen of our liberation struggle, it would suffice to state that Mr. Khoryoam is of the erroneous notion that “Pagan and the likes” are leveling uncalled-for allegations against the NCP; are strikingly lying before cameras about “forged animated documents” purported to incriminate the NCP; are deliberately diverting public attention away from “the SPLM/A own failures” to provide public security in South Sudan; and are archaic communists fond of making redundant noises at the wrong time/forum.
Mr.Khoryoam further submitted that Hon. Pagan Amum is resolutely drawing a wedge between President Kiir of the SPLM and Dr. Lam Akol of the SPLM-DC, much to the destabilization of South Sudan. This audaciously insinuate that the two leaders—President Kiir and Dr. Lam—would have otherwise been on cordial and collaborative political terms if only there was no this supposedly devil called “Pagan and the likes” near the corridors of power in Juba.
Thus, were Mr. Khoryoam to have his ways and will, he would advise President Kiir, and anyone else who care to listen for that matter, to shun “Pagan and the likes” by all means and costs necessary.
It is worthwhile to supplementarily state that this is not the first time Mr.Khoryoam is unleashing an unearned attack on one of our war veterans. Following the unfortunate and senseless massacre of innocent civilians of Fangak by the forces of George Athor Deng on February 9th, 2011, Mr. Khoryoam, in one of his penned article in the immediacy of the ill-fated killing, called out Hon. James Hoth Mai, another iconic figure of our liberation struggle, as a coward and a Dinka slave.
Yet, all good citizens of South Sudan very well know that without the sacrificial perseverance and steadfastness to the core principle of liberation struggle by the “devil” and the “coward” as Mr. Khoryoam would rather have us believe in Hon. Pagan Amum and Hon. James Hoth Mai respectively; the SPLM/A, that exclusively spearheaded and fought the war of independence, and hence brought the CPA on a golden plate, would have been defeated between the harrowing years of 1991-2005.
And up in smoke, consequently, would have gone the impending independence day of July 9th, 2011. Is this how we should and must deservedly treat our war heroes? Do we have to politically soil others in order to appear politically clean and innocence in the eyes of the public? Is Mr. Khoryoam justified in coloring Hon. Pagan Amum black in order for his political godfather or himself to appear white?
Therefore, I would like to unequivocally refute the irrational perception that “Pagan and the likes are [the] threat to peace and stability in South Sudan!” This is not true because it is, to paraphrase the author himself, a baseless accusations and a cheap tribalized propaganda driven by political motives characterized by Mr.Khoryoam’s personal jealousy of and hatred for the SPLM SG, Hon. Pagan Amum.
The main cause of political instability—read armed rebellions—is the bold incentivization of violence rebellions in South Sudan. A mere glance at the composition of the Government of Southern Sudan, both at the national and state levels, glaringly screams out one fact: there is an incentive to rebel. It pays to rebel and to kill innocent citizens!
The sheer immense attractiveness of political reward for unprovoked revolts and ridiculous butcherings of innocent unarmed inhabitants is what drive politic and guarantee easy access to both power and wealth in Juba. Where the rule of law is abandoned and political terror recognized and embraced, there is only one outcome: reasonable people will follow where incentives are. That, exactly, is the current situation we have in South Sudan.
It is a natural outcome of a systematic state policy. It has nothing to do with Pagan Amum’s alleged political maneuvers and nor is it an SPLA own failures since SPLA, as a national army, can’t be expected to fight tribal wars and end up killing innocent civilians—no matter how brainwashed and tribally indoctrinated they might appear to be.
Rational as all humans are, what do you expect the likes of George Athor Deng to do having just witnessed NCP-allied militias he not-long-ago fiercely fought against being placed above him as his new bosses? The most logical thing any sensible human being can do, of course: find a flimsy pretext, rebel, kill and maim, and then come back, threateningly, in the name of peace. Undisappointingly, the GoSS would go ahead and promote you as a reward for the rebellions and the want on killings you engaged in.
For the record, I am not necessarily against the so-called South-South Dialogue if conducted in good faith with the sole goal to achieve collective national unity, long lasting peace and development in South Sudan. In fact, I applaud President Kiir for taking the mantle from the late Dr. John Garang, the former leader of the SPLM/A, and successfully integrated all the NCP-allied militias, a process without which the referendum would not have seen the light of the day.
All that I am saying though is that we must all be prepared to live with the consequences of that very necessary political process. It rewards evils and incentivizes violence rebellions. It may not be the case that George Athor Deng and his colleagues necessarily take delight in armed revolts or love to kill innocence nationals or even have anything against the government of President Kiir or the governorship of Kuol Manyang Juuk; they are just communicating a message which we all know how it all began: give us better position like what you did to other militias or else we go on rampage killing!
Killing them—George Athor and his colleagues—is not doing any justice either for that would be a bald-faced discrimination on the part of President Kiir: rewarding one criminal while killing the other, yet for the same crime is inconsistence. Not only that, hunting them down to death would reasonably follow that all militias, those already in GoSS included, must be excusably killed too. Yet, that is unattainable, both politically and militarily. Arguably, that is a dead-end enterprise as there is no point in trying an exercise in futility.
We are fortunately or unfortunately left with one invariable choice: forgive, forget and reward. But instead of desperately scavenging for scapegoats as Mr.Khoryoam helplessly strained himself to do in the person of Hon. Pagan Amum and the likes, we must all be prepared to live painfully with the consequences of our necessary national actions.
The predicament here though is that this national necessity begets inevitable nasty lemons that we must learn to make lemonades out of. As we make our bed, so must we lie on it?
Among all the economic, social and political dilemmas we are, and will be, confronting in South Sudan, their causes doesn’t, and won’t, matter as much as their ultimate solutions. Let’s prioritize the urgent while trivializing the unnecessary.
You can reach PaanLuel Wël at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, or through his blog at: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/