By Butrus Ajak
April 28, 2014 (SSNA) — The baseless rhetoric getting strewed on the net that Bor community is being set up by ‘Bor officials’ is rubbish and unfounded. I will not prevaricate, but get down to business. The truth is, Juba’s government bears blame for setting up Bor community and leave it to her own fate.
Bor community was, and still is made the Biblical sacrificial lambfor Republic of South Sudan (RSS) regardless of heraltruistic and animatedly supportfor the government.In the year 91,political disagreement within the SPLA/M took a tribal dimension, several generations of Bor people, about ¾ of its population to be exact were slain helplessly.Notwithstanding, the political fallout had nothing to do with Bor people. Arguably, Bhar-el-gazal people have different views on Bor people.
I had had numerous heated deliberations at Footscray social gathering place with Bhar-el-gazal boys and all they said, was: “THAAN COL BOR, THAAN YE ARIOC, A PAN DEN PAL NUER KU BEER”Direct translation of this clause reads: ‘Bor community is coward community, it has left its territory to Nuer and Beer’. In addition, Muoranyar Maker, a rebel oriented Bhar-el-gazal gentleman I met on social network (Facebook)shared the same idea and the following are pukes he spewed about Bor community!
“You guys (Bor Community) seem strong and aggressive on the web when your beloved community repeatedly risks undergoing major serious image distortion. You need this aggression beyond website boundaries and face your real enemy. You need to depend your homeland, at least to assure your ‘mothers their labour is never went in vain’. What is the acceptable justification do you give by having your populations protected elsewhere” Writes Muoranyar.
This paper is informed by this outrageous nomenclatureBhar-elgazal boys have on Bor community. As Bor son, I set out to write and challenge this misleading and groundless fustian. Bor community is never coward, keep reading!
In the year 1991 Riek’s forces invaded Bor and uprooted civilians and occupied all towns right to Mangala in Central Equatoria. The situation reigned out of control, all the SPLA commanders were there and no one dared to face Riek’s forces. In fact most were even busy crossing borders to Uganda or Kenya. The SPLA/M Torit faction soldiers were demoralised as no one determined to take a lead. Son of Bor community,commander Lazarus Kuol Manyang restored hope. He stood tall and did what a man could do in such dire situation. He sent out an order that asked all Bor soldiers and able bodies to report to his station urgently. In his opening speech he said: “We got to fight Riek’s marauders with will all our hearts and might, and that nobody should look back once in frontline or else, he would be that should remain back and leave the men to do the fight”.
Gen. Kuol led the fight, flanked by another Bor’s son commander Bior Ajang and our UppernileDinka brother commander late George Athor Deng. Riek’s forces didn’t stand a chance. Actually, what happened then is a history and could be explained best by Riek and BolKoang and the remnants of White Army in that particular showdown. Riek’s forces were culled by Bor community to only rise again in 2013,that Gen. Kuol has gotten old see how this fight is being fought as of now.
If this is not bravery, what is it then? How would our mothers (Bor community mothers) who bore such sons be sorry for bearing soldiers of this splendid?
Juba’s government is to blame for Bor destruction and mass displacement in the following ways:
In 2013 &2014 respectively, Bor Community is caught up impromptu again. President SalvaKiirMayardit being an autochthonous Dinka of Bhar-el-gazal went into political gridlock with his then deputy Dr.RiekMachar, a Nuer native. The political deadlock deepened and on that vendetta and fateful night of Dec, 15, 2013 hell got loose.Nuer civilians were reported by independent actors such as UNIMISS and Right groups that,Nuerwere targeted and killed. This targeted killing was executed by presidential guard, infamously known as Tiger, and Tiger is populated by only DinkaBhar-el-gazal, specifically where president hails. Bor Community was never part of what happened.
Leadership stoush went on for several days in Juba until Riekslipped out of Juba. He rushed to his homeland and mobilised his year 91 militia known as White Army and Bor was invaded for the second time. About 5,000 or sowere killed, and several thousands displaced.Awkwardly, president Kiir has not upto now uttered a word of condolence to the victims of his bad leadership!
From the look of political things, it is crystal clear Juba’s government had an organised sinister plan about Bor community. Juba’s government installed Peter GatdetYaka, a top-class terrorist and political prostitute as headof division eight right in the midst of Dinka Bor.
And according to reliable sources, it is clear Gatdetwas deliberately brought to spy and silence Bor Community on suspicion that Bor yearned to take Garang’s leadership back anytime if not given a close guard.
The same government disarmed Bor community more than twice making the communitymuch more susceptible to her lawless neighbours who remained armed to the brim as I write.
Third, gov’t failed to aptly come for community’s rescue when Gen. GatdetYaka killed Gen. Ajak Yen and drove to Bor-town with armoured mounted vehicles shooting indiscriminately at anyone they saw in Bor-town.Juba’s gov’t failed again to militarily flank the enemy and take the war to Nuerland.
Instead at the time Bor was captured president Kiirordered Borcommunity generals both retired and active to go and liberate their town, forgetting the marauders are coming for his head, and seat. Majestically, Bor sons volunteered their souls to protect Kiir’s leadership, though general Jongroor and Chol didn’t make it back to Juba,this is what we in Bor call heroism! They have fallen decently. Even Bor sons who went for a visit from US, Australia and Canada never abstained to join; amongst them are Mac Achuek Mac (RIP), who left his young family in Australia and AkechMakueiDiing (RIP) left his young family in Canada. They took part in war and lost their souls depending elected leadership from being forcefully taken by force.This is what bravery isMuoranyar!All these forfeitswere happening at watchful eyes of Bhar-el-gazalsons and yet they remain denial to give credit where it belongs.Well, Bor got to claim it by themselves.
But questions remain, how would Juba’s government initiated war becomeBorcommunity war? How would Muoranyarand his community boys miss this glaring fact that the war started by Kiir and Riek and if they were to own it, then it is for Bhar-el-gazal and Nuer? I took this upon myself because Muoranayarand his boys avowal was never an isolated one, they have repeatedly been saying it and other communities have adopted it too, that Bor is coward. It is a white and flaccid lie. Bor is never coward and this position can be attested by those who shared war trenches with Borsoldiers including SalvaKiir. During those tough years, it was common prevalence when war loomed,lotsof officers from Bhar-el-gazalfelt sick and fighting could be postponed or assigned to some officers.Bor officerswere never of this sort.Such fearless Bor commanders dead and the living are as follows:
Commander Majok Mac Aluong (RIP), commander AnyaarApiu (RIP), commander Alier-wala (RIP), commander GeuAtherkuei (RIP), commander Deng Kudum (RIP), commander MadingKudum (RIP) these are brothers, commander Abraham Jongroor (RIP),comrade MakuacAjoot (RIP), commander Deng Aguang (RIP),commander Makor Lual (RIP), commander AwanChol Lual (RIP),commander AkoiMakethDeu (RIP),commander MayenAkuak (RIP), commander MajokAyom (RIP), commander JokReng (RIP),commander Arok Thon (RIP), commander George Gai Garang (RIP), commander Deng Leek Deng (RIP), commander Deng-akutnhom (RIP), commander AyuenMabior (RIP), commander Bior Ajang, commander Kuol Manyang, commander Peter WalAthiu, commander Gabriel JokRiak, commander Wilson Amoc-Arab aka Deng Kuoirot, commander Deng GarangBeny, commander WuorMabior, commander MawutWuoi, commander AtemManyokMabior, commander Mayen Deng Lual (Mayen-adit), commander MajakAgoot, commander MalualAyom, commander Muhammad Sadiq aka PiliphAwuou Leek, commander JokAriing, commander Maker Thiong, commander NyangJook, commander AkechLoi, commander Garang NgangAbui, commander ManyangAgook, commander MathiangAluong, commander MalonyAkau, commander AlierNhial, commander AtemAguangand list goes on. It is worth noting these were only officers and Bor foot soldiers were countless.
If coward is what Bor is,the above gentlemen could have never made names in the revolution history. Second, if Bor is that low, why was it vitally pertinent one of her own was rushed in at catch 22 period, at the moment SPLA/SPLM scaffoldings were failing apart? This alone dictates Bor is not what Muoranyarand his boys want their readers and listeners to believe. Belief it or not, Bor Community is a linchpin of Kiir’s government and any other government that will come.
If this is not bravery, what is it then? How would our mothers (Bor community mothers) who bore such selfless sons be sorry for bearing soldiers of this calibre?
I am making all these points to empathise our mothers have actually given birth to heroes and not the other way around. Just assume Bor community was fighting to liberate Bortown from Jallaba, the aforementioned heroes would have not fallen in the way they did. In fact, most of them fell liberating your towns. If anything, Bor community have contributed more than its population, this in turn says much more about Bor community’s bravery. If we were to fight Murle or even the entire Nuer in the way we took the revolution war up on ourselves, I tell you we would be in better position to secure and protect our territorial borders from any external aggression. There are a lot more pretty good evidences to suggest these men were a cut above the average soldiers.
Message to Bor leaders at home, and abroad.
First thing first, Bor community has to separate powers. Monopoly of powers has destroyed our community and this has to stop forthwith. I understand those of Justice MakueiLueth, Deng Dau and RueiPuot are doubling up, as politicians and community representatives. This takes away community interest. Politicians are politicians and community has to be led by community representatives not politicians. Community representatives are people who will present common people interest.
Tough time calls for decisive action, this is to say Bor Community survivability has to be approached with foresight prudence and I think politicians have done all they could do and community is crumbling down. This is a ticklish moment, Bor Community has to recourse its political stance from Kiir’s government, this requires join forces from community representatives, youth leaders and politicians. This community cannot have it both ways, standing for a government and at the same time being labelled names by the same government it respects and protects. Bor community is being scornfully mocked as if the war was of herown. It doesn’t have to be this way!
I know Bor community can be mocked because it has no numbers, but I am very sure we can swing, and bolster any elections results.For this, I am calling on our young leaders to act, especially our young leaders in the person of Madol Chie Anyang, the Bor Youth Leader in Australia, Deng LuethMayomAyiik, the Bor youth leader in USA, and those at home.
I suggest you really burry our differences deep and let’s start sending delegates home for sensitization and consultation with our people. Let’s consolidate and solidify our conformity as this will assist in denying our opportunists within and outside the wherewithal to downtrodden Bor community vulnerability.
Nuer, Murle and Dinka Bor community have lived with vengeance against each other, particularly cattle rustling and no community has ever disposed each other. What is it this time?Juba’s government has invisible hand in Uppernile’s predicament. Thanks Deng Lueth, I came across your following witty call for Bor community.
“Dear Greater Bor People, by now, each and every one of you should have a very clear understanding of this conflict in South Sudan. It has affected us beyond description. However, we must remain resilient and do what spares our love ones who are still alive and the future of our community and country. Therefore, we must understand that:- We are part of Upper Nile region not Bar-el-ghazal region – Lou/GaweerNuer are our neighbors; we cannot scoop our land in Jonglei and move it elsewhere for safety. We must, together with all communities in Jonglei, find ways to peacefully co-exist together.SalvaKiir government does not care about Bor communities – chronic insecurity in Jonglei prior to the conflict and government was not doing enough to fight it”
Good on ya comrade Deng Lueth. Precisely, what you have narrated is exactly what it is; all you need is to take it to another level. Boryouth leaders in diaspora have to have a task to dialogue with Nuerleadership and find some commons ground for our communities. It is time our people understand these egoistic politicians have, and are continuing destroying our communities. It is we the common men who are hit the hardest. Leadership can never be obtained through aggression or killing people so as to stay or usurp power.
In recap, Bor community survivability lies in her hand. Old politicians are not helping the escalating situation. I suggest Bor youth leaders take a lead and implement change, or else the ripple effects of this political strategy will be the nail in the coffin of Bor community. More and more mass migration is yet to come. This is a world of allies and this community cannot afford to have allies who never care about its existence. It was understandable when this community suffered because of Garang’s leadership in 90s, how about now?
Bhar-el-gazal community needs to know you can’t have two at the same time.If you choose to stay put to power, you got to depend it then. Cowards is when you have four states at the time of budget allocation and have those who can’t persistently depend the gov’t when war strikes. It is about time Ngok Lual Yak community and Bor community can never accommodate Bhar-el-gazalmess anymore.
Finally, by the look of shambolic politics in RSS, especially this loosely talk without ethics both in media and on the street, it is obvious citizens of congruent feeling with me will feel ashamed for doing everything they can to make sure the elected government stays in power until its tenure elapse.
Butrus Ajak is a health professional who resides and works in Australia. He holds MPH, MHP &BBus from various universities in Australia.