South Sudan: The Country Needs Responsible Opinion Writers at this Stage and NOT the “Isaiah Abraham” Type!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

December 1, 2012 (SSNA) — The absence of a free press in the new republic of South Sudan can’t be over-stressed while the incumbent totalitarian SPLM-led government continues to silence all its critics by openly beating them up in the streets and locking them incommunicado in the countless ghost houses run by state security agents.

The end result of living and writing under such environments where basic human rights and the freedom to express an opinion is simply not there, many weak hearted opinion writers have chosen to write under some false names.  A case in question here, is this prolific opinion writer none other but the so-called “Isaiah Abraham”

What is this “Isaiah Abraham” who claims to write from Juba, the capital of South Sudan when he can go at length to bluntly point out some of the governments short comings?  But obviously of course he only does it in well selected cases and in a style that confuses every reader? However there are times when “Isaiah Abraham” has said more than his share as compared to others who were arrested, tortured and even had their papers shut down for issues far more trivial.

So who is this “Isaiah Abraham” who is free to say anything about the SPLM –led government and even at times direct personal attacks at President Salva Kiir Mayardit himself and remain untouched by the security agents who are known for their zero tolerance for these kinds of issues?

One thing is for certain and that “Isaiah Abraham” is an agent of ‘political distraction’ and many theories have already been suggested and put forward to give a face to this “King of Distraction”. With the best possibilities, he the so-called Isaiah Abraham” is a hired-pen recruited by the same corrupt regime to distract the peoples’ attention at certain particular times. Many might have noticed this as well!

But in another equally competing   case scenario, Mr. “Isaiah Abraham”  is nothing but a “media clown” and a one that suffers  from acute dementia for as he writes, he too often than not  forgets to link up his issues and ideas. Can anyone tell me that they had read any of this writer’s articles and never got struck by the too many inconsistencies that poked them right in the eye?!

Hence as responsible citizens, the so-called intellectual community of South Sudan and those concerned about the welfare of this young nation – you all have the moral duty to stand firm in the face of this weird writer. 

Having said this, it’s indeed my deeply held personal belief that the freedom of expression should be granted to ALL for it is part and package of their human rights. In other words I am not in any way trying to silence “Isaiah Abraham”, but I would rather suggest that he commands some degree of courage and comes out to his readers with his true name and identity.

Whatever he is and wherever he comes from, this writer (“Isaiah Abraham”) needs to respect our collective minds by remembering this simple fact that his written opinions are being read by people who enjoy some degree of reasoning capacity.   Let us face it since I haven’t doubted for even a single second that an average person who reads and follows up political opinions in the media is obviously a matured and a learned person! And they deserve every writers respect. Don’t you agree?!!  

There are many issues of controversy in “Isaiah Abraham’s” opinion article that appeared under the title of “Sudan should allow the flow of South Sudan’s Oil”, dated November 19th 2012, (…)

In this article the author seemed to have intentionally chosen to confuse his readers in almost every line that he wrote. He also seemed to be having trouble struggling with how to appear balanced in the eyes of the authorities in the higher offices of the country given the “ beat first then investigate later” culture currently prevailing  in the new country.

Whatever the reasons behind “Isaiah’s” weird attitude in that particular article and no doubt it also showed up in many of his previous writings, it’s not working well for him because by saying the positive and the negative at the same time in the futile attempt to appease those in power across the two Sudans’ political divide, everything in his articles was unfortunately watered down, if not totally compromised.  Could it be that the writer is suffering from some kind of a deeply rooted hypocrisy or is it a manifestation of opportunism?

By trying to naively praise president al Bashir of the Sudan and flatter him by singling him out as a hero who facilitated the independence of South Sudan – that to me doesn’t in any way a   patriotic gesture.  To say the least if anything it only suggests the kind of behavior that constitutes the popular African adage of “colonial hangover”.

Before we go any further, please let me put this crucial question across: What does South Sudan stands to benefit from these kind of writings full of flattery as it has always been the case with “Isaiah Abraham” when he compulsively   misinforms and mis-educates our children to an extend that he wants them to believe that this very al Bashir who killed our people in their millions is also at the same time our Redeemer?

Is it not this same Al Bashir who solely joined the Sudan Armed Forces and graduated from the Sudan Military College with a Diploma as a qualified killer? He then went on to   wage war in which well over three million South Sudanese and other indigenous African people from the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile Region and the Western Province of Darfur lost their lives, a crime to which he is still to answer in the International Criminal Court (ICC)?

My dear reader, I think it’s worth reading this quotation from the writing of this undoubtedly confused “Isaiah Abraham” and  I quote:

“President Omar Al Bashir would be received in Juba with pomp and dances if ever the well-publicized and politicized visit will take place.” Isaiah wrote. (SSN 22 November 2012)

“President Al Bashir is respected here and shall continue to enjoy being respected because of his Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with our hero Dr. John Garang de Mabior. No Northern politician has that gut like that of Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir.” He went on to add!

As matured citizens of this new country, we already know that no future will be easy with our northern neighbors without me going into any specifications.  It is our history and as we jointly made it, we too jointly own it.  

What he (Isaiah Abraham) refers to as ‘the threat to South Sudan’s Oil exportation by Khartoum’ being real, is indeed true.  But the real question is:   Is it a new development that “Isaiah Abraham” has just come to understand now and only now? Or is Khartoum’s continued undermining of the South Sudan’s Independent sovereignty by any means a new phenomenon that has never become clear to him (Isaiah Abraham) up to now?

By Mr. “Isaiah’s” own confession the leadership in South Sudan is weak. Here I quote him again:

“Dr. Lam must not deceive himself that our people will surrender to the North again. It is only here that we have a weak leader who is led, we couldn’t have given away Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas, Kafi Kingi, Warawar/Mile 14 and Abyei”. This what Isaiah wrote in his article? (SSN 22November 2012)

This confusing, confused and partial columnist, although a prolific writer seems to behave as if he alone owns the sole right to opine in the whole of the republic of South Sudan. One  wonders  as to  whether this writer  as  inconsistent as he is,  does actually  write independently or is he  a pen in the market?

For how does “Isaiah”  consider  himself the  rightful person  to point out  the weakness in the leadership in South Sudan as it  clearly appears in the  above quoted lines of his, while at the same time he smears all others as being traitors and thus non patriotic,  whenever they choose to exercise the same rights?  If this is what he and his type used to do during the bush-war days, then they better sober up for times have indeed changed.

The other argument here is how on earth this Mr.  No direction wants to rally the people of South Sudan behind the  very leadership that he has categorically designated as weak? In “Isaiah’s” own words the weakness in South Sudan’s leadership is so huge that it led to the loss of territories, the latest being the Mile 14 Area. But as if to confirm his hypocrisy and flattery, we can still read about Isaiah’s loyalty to the same system.

Where does this leave us my dear readers?  Does “Isaiah” take the people of South Sudan as his herd of goats that he can direct at wish?  What our confused friend has seemingly dedicated his life to promote can only operate and be understood in the context of some secretly brewing political dispensation which his behaviors and writings are about to betray

To fully understand the above, we will need to jointly revisit these lines that I quote from the writer’s article:

“We must rally as people of South Sudan behind our president and stop traitors from undoing our gains. We will not bow down to Khartoum’s moves. It is better we die with dignity than return to the wilderness under Khartoum. We are better off without food on our tables.” Isaiah Abraham wrote!

Exactly if this what Mr. “Isaiah Abraham” wants the leadership in South Sudan to do, then all he has to do is to join the citizens of Northern Bahr Ghazal in their “No Recognition” of the 27th September so-called Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement Over the inclusion of the Mile 14 Area in the suggested “Demilitarized Zone” and stop lecturing us that South Sudanese are ready to dance and sing for Omer al Bashir should this wanted criminal put his feet in Juba.

In his own obsession “Mr. Abraham” went on to claim that Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin of the SPLM-DC is behind the non-implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between Juba & Khartoum.  Is short he wants to rally public opinion to support his own laid and hatched theory that the main reason behind Khartoum’s unwillingness to allow the flow of the South Sudan Oil through its territory squarely rests with Dr. Lam Akol’s political aspirations and ambitions. What an oversimplification of issues solely driven by tribal politics?!!

This is exactly where he (Isaiah) got it terribly wrong and it only explains how he (Isaiah) and his types have become so paranoid of the so-called Dr. Lam’s assumed intentions to overthrow the incumbent government of South Sudan. Is it something that can happen that lightly and overnight?

If we are to put  “Isaiah’s”  proposition to test  using his own logic  as presented in his article then Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin should in fact be happy to see the Oil from the republic of South Sudan get exported through Port Sudan and not block it.  For by the same logic a savvy politician of Dr. Lam’s caliber cannot be expected to bite the very hand that feeds him, assuming that he is indeed an NCP ally for that matter!!

Let me say this to you my dear readers  about Dr. Lam’s position on the Oil exportation issue; however before  I do that I would like  first to inform you about my own position on the issue,  then we can make informed comparisons.

My position on the exportation of South Sudan’s Oil has since been made public through my many writings. I strongly believe that the true Independence of South Sudan can only come about through economic disengagement between Juba and Khartoum. I also maintain that for as long as Juba continues to depend on Khartoum, and how minimal that dependency maybe, then South Sudan is not yet Uhuru! I will continue to stand by my belief and continue to propagate for it, for it is indeed a noble stand!

Coming to Dr. Lam’s stand and I quote from the man’s mouth: “South Sudan’s Oil stands a better chance if it is to be exported through Port Sudan as the cost of doing that will by-far remain cheaper than if new pipelines are to be constructed  either through Ethiopia to Djibouti or through Kenya to the Indian Ocean. This position is not any different from the ones reverted to by the ruling SPLM Oyee leaders in Juba. And now it even includes Mr. “Isaiah Abraham” who is more than willing to spend a whole day dancing and singing for Omer al Bashir in return for exporting South Sudan’s Oil through Khartoum.

On the other hand the realities on the ground have convinced the western governments and those who call themselves the friends of South Sudan that the new country is on the verge of economic collapse if Oil export is not resuming immediately. Where many of them cannot even differentiate between the SPLM as a political party and South Sudan as a country, the drama becomes even too bigger to withstand.

The bottom line now is that the SPLM-led government in Juba due to its failure to raise the necessary funds is not capable of achieving the dream of constructing any alternate pipeline for exporting the country’s Oil through the proposed route of Kenya or Djibouti.

To save the already dire situation in both the Sudans, the US administration and the international community suggested that Juba and Khartoum should patch up their differences and amongst many other things should immediately resume the export of South Sudan’s Oil through the territory of Sudan.

In short, that was how the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement [CCA] between SPLM and NCP came into being.

However at this particular point in time the NCP-led government in Khartoum has other urgent priorities and that’s to crack down on the growing home brewed dissent within its ranks. Oil transit and normalization with the republic of south Sudan though import but is no longer the  ideal panacea  to stabilize the al Bashir’s wing of  the NCP to hold fast  on power as it could have done some few months ago.

Things don’t even stop there for today as it stands (the current political uncertainties and the imminent security threats from old buddies to the very existence of al Bashir in power, the 27th September 2012 Cooperation Agreement between SPLM and the NCP is even now seen by al Bashir’s loyalists as a ploy likely to aggravate the already volatile situation on the ground than help ease it.

The whole world is aware and especially so the US administration that Juba has better relations with the rebels of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (the new alliance formed  from the SPLM-North  and the different  Darfuri rebel factions) than it has with Khartoum, just like Khartoum has better relations with the Hamas regime in Gaza than it has with Juba.

The two countries are now interlocked in what can be described as an ideological tug of war by design. Khartoum which clearly is not in any hurry to implement the CCA with Juba will continue to drag its foot on the agreement. It knows too well that Juba will NEVER sell-out its comrades in the Nuba Mountains or the Blue Nile Region, but this is one good thing that it [Khartoum] intends to use at will in order to disrupt any attempts to normalize with South Sudan.

Realistically speaking this latest Addis Ababa CCA was a still born truce, and even the attempts by the AU or the UNSC or even the US administration to resuscitate it is definitely a waste of resources. It’s  only a naïve minded like “Isaiah Abraham” who will continue  to raise people’s hopes  that  there will be an easy  breakthrough any soon.

As things with the Sudan under the NCP Islamists and currently joined by ultra-nationalist like the “First State Uncle” – al Maybe Mustafa of the Just Peace Party JPP), the relationship between Khartoum and Juba  maybe not even improve within the lifetime of these  current regimes across the two Sudans’ political divide.

Soon the two  neighbors may enter a state of no war no peace and then things may from there  get frozen  pulling the two countries into a propaganda war and subversive activities across the existing ill-defined borders for  maybe  some decades to come or even forever. It’s for this very reason that our pathetic leaders should be brought to understand that they better prepare themselves for a long economic draught and readjust accordingly by opening up to democracy and more freedoms.

But most importantly it must be remembered that throughout the human history failed economies are notoriously known for shortening the life spans of governments worldwide and neither Juba nor Khartoum will   be exempted. So instead of apologists like Mr. “Isaiah Abraham” wasting their writings in sub-standard spins, they will do much good to themselves and the country by propagating for a democratic system that can see a peaceful transfer of power as determined and thus necessitated by the evolving realities of the day.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba is the Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: [email protected] or [email protected]

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