By Deng Riek Khoryoam, South Sudan
March 29, 2011 (SSNA) — In his apparent reaction to my article, dated 25th of March 2011, and which appeared on the citizen news paper on the 27th, the so called PaanLuel shot himself on the foot unknowingly or knowingly, perhaps. I thank him any way for having gathered the courage or audacity to face me head-on, especially when it comes to meddling on such issues – which is my style anyway! Nyankai, I have to be honest with you that you are wrestling with a wrong pig in the muddy water.
At the outset of this, I want to refute the baseless and unfounded claim that the article I authored was a mere political propaganda. You are dead wrong and you miserably missed the core of my argument or writing, unfortunately and for whatever reasons best known to yourself. I believe you were sober when you wrote this and heaped all the insults on me that day; hoping that you were not in a sleepy mood, which could have been the reason or warranted all this. If that was the case, then I tell you to wake up from your slumbers and face the bitter pills – plain truth; which I know will not go down well with you, too.
I personally believe in mature and intellectually sound debates, not sheer naivety characterized by unreasonability and emotional ones; and also not acrimonious debates, whose owners suffer from the fear of the unknown. I did not paint an eerily and dark picture of the beleaqued SPLM SG, I just presented facts as naked as they were/are. Who doesn’t know that your political godfather, Pagan is the cause and source of almost all the problems besetting the nation-in-waiting? It’s no longer a secret but a known fact that Pagan is fighting a proxy war through the SPLM to get what he wants – his own tinny little interest. The question is: why should Pagan transform his personal problems and grudges with one person into a national problem?
Again, you are dead-wrong, Nyankai; Pagan is not a “doyen of the liberation struggle” as you would want others to believe, he is just an opportunist. He never participated physically during the war of liberation like Dr. Lam Akol that he now sees as an ‘enemy’ instead of political rival. Tell me, which town did Pagan ever capture? Which battalion did he command during the war? Dr. Lam was the zonal commander for Norther Upper Nile and he fought vigorously during those years when he was with the SPLA before the historic Nasir declaration of August, 28th 1991. It goes without informing the records that Pagan, whom you now falsely described as a “doyen” of the liberation struggle, was just in Cuba doing nothing there. Some said he went there for military training but it’s not true because if he went there for the said military training, then why didn’t he come back and use or apply the newly acquired military skills to reinvigorate the army – the SPLA? And I think that should, presumably, have been the sole purpose why he was sent there in as far as the liberation was concerned.
People like Pagan and his political mentor, who is suffering from senile dementia are the ones and the only ones drawing a wedge between Salva Kiir and Dr. Lam Akol, primarily because Dr. Lam is the most qualified cadre amongst the two, hence he is a savvy politician, and secondly because of his growing popularity across South Sudan and particularly in Chollo Kingdom. I said James Hoth is a slave-hearted and unscrupulous general, I did not say he is a Dinka-slave; that’s your own conclusion, but since you’ve drawn your own conclusion and confessed that he is a “Dinka-slave” there is no problem.
Do not deceive your good self that the CPA was brought by the “sacrificial and steadfastness” of the unscrupulous Pagan and Hoth, it’s a big lie. Those who selflessly and enormously participated are well known and are thus honoured for their braveness and heroic sacrifices; unfortunately Pagan and Hoth are not among those whom we know, who did not only nurse the SPLA from its infancy but also gave it a good look and kept the morale for the real “liberators” the soldiers. Unfortunately most of those whom I alluded to above did not live to see the light of the CPA and enjoy the fruits of their hard work and commitments! People in the persons of William Nyuon Bany, Keribino Kuanyin Bol, Majier Gai, Joseph Oduh, Fr. Saturino Lohure, Samuel Gai Tut, William Abdallah Chuol Deng, Akuot Atem and the list is endless, are the ones who really liberated or fought the war of liberation.
Since our work defines who we are, if Pagan has misdeeds or evil acts, then it follows logically that he is an evil and I didn’t mean to soil others as politically clean and innocent and others as black. I have no godfather as you would want the public to believe. But for clarity’s sake, who is my godfather? Is it Dr. Lam or who? Assuming that the person you alluded to as being my godfather is Dr. Lam, and then wouldn’t it also be fair to say that Pagan is your political godfather? My friend is only the truth. However, having said that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have friends; I do have many friends, genuine ones but I always side with the truth.
“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”
This absolute nonsense, it’s not a “cheap tribalized propaganda” it has absolutely nothing to do with tribe but a national concern. I am not jealous of Pagan and his unseen or unheard of achievements. I don’t envy people in my life because of their success or because they do not come from my community, I have gotten rid of this since I became mature and put away childish thoughts. There is no reason as to what I should hate him as a person; I just don’t like his behaviours, especially his war-monger mentality and the archaic communist ideologies of always going the opposite direction. Thus your statement that I am jealous and therefore hate Pagan is totally impugning, to say the lest!!
I am afraid you are constantly using a wrong title for these two gentlemen undeservingly. The title of “Honourable” is not a simple title that gets used by anybody, unless its real meaning is lost. Pagan’s frivolous conduct or behaviour towards the affairs of South Sudan is undesirable.
No body gave incentives for people to rebel or as a reward for having rebelled against the very government that gave them the incentives in the first place. It has never happened in the whole world, let alone South Sudan. I am surprised to hear this from a supposedly learned person like you, but I understand the drive behind this. At first, this was indecipherable but when I analysed it, I came to realise that you are talking about the integration of SSDF forces into the SPLA in 2006, famously known as ‘Juba declaration’.
But let me tell you the truth, it was in the interest of peace that it was done that way. We applaud and give credit to H.E. Salva for uniting all the forces whose objectives were in conflict with those of the SPLA during the liberation struggle. And besides, no one did not kill and maim, even among the SPLA generals, death or alive now, we just put all that happened in the past, closed the chapter and moved forward as one people regardless of the bitter experiences of the past.
It would be a sheer stupidity for one to assert that people who killed are given incentives for having killed innocent people. Are you implying that George Athor was given incentives by GOSS to go and massacre innocent people in Fangak County? I know yours was driven by tribal prejudice, because Paulino Matip, who is a pure Nuer, was made the deputy commander in chief of the SPLA. But if you are in your rightful senses, you wouldn’t have said he “killed and came back threateningly” and demanded he be given this position, it was for the sake of peace to prevail. If it was you, what would you have done? Would you have told them that they didn’t a place in South Sudan, like what your late King said? That would have been disastrous!!
George Athor did not rebel because of this reason; his rebellion is driven by the known fact of greedy for power. He wanted to seize power in an undemocratic SPLM party. He wanted power to unleash fear and terror on his subjects instead of using it for the good of the people. Something was hunting for George Athor, and its still hunting him up to this movement – perhaps may be Ngundeng’s prophecies will become true, even though am not a Ngundeng’s believer. Remember he amassed a lot wealth to himself in 2006 – 2008 when he was made the commander of greater Upper Nile region, based in his home-town of Khorfulus. In retrospect, he was the creation of the so called “Not confirmed” soldiers, implementing one of the Dinka’s 39 laws against Nuer.
You are employing a very fallacious argument in this respect. No one “rewards evil and incentivilize rebellions” it shows that you are very naïve and immature since this gives us a very bad impression about you. I never advocated that George Athor be killed despite the atrocious killings of the 280 innocent people of Fangak. You cannot extinguish a flaming fire with another fire, it doesn’t make any sense. When Dr. Riek said that let’s engage with the rebels peacefully or bring them to a negotiating table, those who have personal problems/grudges with Athor erroneously accused Dr. Riek as siding with Athor because he wanted people to choose peace over war, which does not benefit anyone. As a result, a detrimental effects of the war can now be felt with so many funeral rites finishing only last week, one of which I attended.
There is no incentivization of rebellions, there is only Machiavellian politics playing or replaying itself. The English adage quote you used is now beginning to backfire as you face my wrath. The message I put across to Pagan and the likes is pretty much simple and it’s like this: do not transform your own personal problems into the problems or make them become national problems to the extent of causing instability that would eventually drag us back to those dark days of wars and sufferings. It had nothing to do with the SPLM as a party per se, it has something to do with a few hawkish politicians using the party to settle scores with their political rivals-turned-foes or enemies. You/they either take it or leave it; it’s up to you/them.
South Sudan is too big to be a property of Pagan and the likes or the so-called liberation heroes/heroines alone. This is the bitter reality I want you know.
The author could be reached at [email protected]