Biting Hands That Feed

By: Deng Vanang

May 25, 2013 (SSNA) — He is at it again. That is His Excellency, President Salva Kiir Mayardit acting contrary to popular opinion. This time is wielding his inverted diplomacy of repelling allies while embracing traitors. The man loves indulging in acts that aim at diminishing our daily bread and endangering our security more rather than enhancing them. The President as always inadvertently springs to his shaky feet to fight the strong at our weakest moments. He is not after winning the fight about which he may be ruffling feathers. He does so to make his ever diminutive stature felt and known among those he considers mighty in who is who list of global or regional politics. But his act begets unintended result. Like craning out one’s neck for a fight in order to be noticed is the height of the falling confidence. And more higher is the falling confidence than when he recoils into an empty shelf he once left when rebuffed into silence by those who determine who should breathe what, how, where, when and why in this unipolar world.

Heglig fiasco tops the list of diplomatic engagements that went awry when he rebuked US President, Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General, Banki Moon against interference over South Sudan invasion of the disputed Heglig oil fields. Only to make an abrupt U-turn after they barked at him for diplomatic insubordination and indiscipline. And now, 23rd of May 2013 goes down in the annals of our history of diplomatic mediocrity at best yet again. It cannot be any different from his past embarrassing moments such as South Sudan’s Ambassador, Dr. Francis Mading Deng voting against the west over Palestine non-member state status at the UN in New York and the recent episode of crawling at the feet of a non-descript tribal chief and commander-in-chief of a vigilante in Eastern African region and not to mention his other blood stained title of an ICC indictee for post election crimes. This guy has offered himself at the behest of Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni as new broom in the East Africa’s dirty house to wipe out clean Raila Odinga’s hope of ever assuming Kenya presidency. Although it was quite unusual hosting, nobody is jealous of Uhuru being feted anyway by South Sudan state on his way to 50th Anniversary of AU which his late father Jomo Kenyatta helped found. He deserved some of the lavish welcome as the recognized President of our neighboring Kenya but not as the shadowy newly elected President in the club of election riglooters by his counterpart who is also new something – leader of the newly found Republic. Never mind being a banana one without bananas. Anyway Uhuru is the leader of the country, Kenya which offered herself as a rented shelter by the UN for some of us running away from Khartoum’s rainy bombs and a bit of forceful call to arms by a few jungle tin pot dictators back then.

However, if there is any problem with this welcome was due to the washing of our dirty linen before Uhuru’s popping eyes we always struggle to wipe under the carpet. That is the whole nation dropping tools of our trade to welcome one man at Juba International Air Port. Because welcoming Uhuru was one way of confirming what the world including Uhuru has all along perceived us to be – bums of the first order. The very act peeled off our mask behind which we always stand in pretense that we are aspiring to be a working nation.

As if that was not enough trouble – making for people already wreathing under the weight of much bigger problem of bread and butter, Kiir added more burdens on us by badmouthing ICC, the brain child of the holders of our granary. That is by leading a bunch of African leaders in unmelodious chorus of bashing the West for undermining Africa and its leaders in what they think is their inalienable right to ride rough shots over their fearful – poverty stricken subjects. By West they mean Americans and Europeans who have never got tired of feeding us on their ever tender laps as the tar baby while Kiir and his friends are running away with our feeding bottle. By pushing for referral of Kenya ICC case back home from The Hague, our President is offending us even more. First, he must be doing so with the view of conceiving to commit war crimes against us out of which Uhuru and Yoweri shall swing around to help him. Secondly, he is fatally mistepping on the ladder of shrewd diplomacy rules. That inter-state relations are all about serving starving stomachs and dear souls with sweet tongues. And in proofing up Uhuru against our benefactors, which public interests Kiir is defending in Kenya more pressing than those we get from the west? It is therefore, only prudent to stand up shoulders high with the west as a friend indeed while we sacrifice Kenya on the altar of expediency as a friend in need who never gives but only comes and takes what the former painstakingly offers us so that we shall one day stand on our own tall and proud.

And last but not least, if you think Kiir is just another spoiled kid in doing what he did, you are dead wrong. He is scratching the backs of his likes that will turn around to scratch his at opportune time of rigging himself to power with no term limit, making himself a bulwark of sorts formulated from the poisonous concoction of both Yoweri and Uhuru South Sudanese electorate must brace to content with.

Deng Vanang is a Journalist, Author of the upcoming book: ‘’South Sudan Contested Legacies’’ and Executive member of South Sudan’s leading official opposition party, the SPLM-DC. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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