May 4, 2014 (SSNA) — Dr John Garang De Mabior was a charismatic, at the same time a very strong willed and a heavy-handed leader. Like most great leaders in prolonged possessions of absolute powers, he morphed into a Tyrant, and intolerant of opposing views while surrounded by mostly poorly educated individuals with the exceptions of a few the likes of Dr. Lam Akol and Dr. Riek Machar.
Because of this intolerance to opposing views, many of his comrades and founders of the movement, many big names and those equally educated like him but particularly those who advocated for a separate South Sudan rather than Garang’s vision of New Sudan perished in Garang’s very own hands or parted ways with him.
It was under such climate, when a fellow PhD holder, Dr Riek Machar, questioned Garang’s Tyranny and his wisdom of insistent to sacrifice the lives of Southerners for a new, united Sudan, when the northerners themselves seemed disinterested in the idea other than shoving Islam in our throats and wanting our resources.
Dr Machar argued, rather than using our limited human resources for liberating and achieving a United Sudan, We should rethink and forget about a United Sudan. This was the beginning of the Split between Dr Machar and Garang.
This not only set Garang into mistrust but he sought to eliminate Dr Machar whose life became in danger like the dead separatist before him who perished in Garang’s very own hands. He had an option to escape just like the current Juba saga or end up dead like his fellow separatist who did not leave to see an independent South Sudan.
Dr. Riek had to escape for his life. It is important at this point to remember because Dr. Garang wanted Riek dead; therefore Garang had declared himself a sworn enemy of Riek not a brother.
It is equally important to remember, South Sudan was not Garang and Garang was not South Sudan. The quest for South Sudan independence predated both Garang and Machar. The real question was not who fought who, but rather who fought what and stood for the aspirations of people of South Sudan and that aspiration of separatism predated both leaders!
Khartoum did not declare death on Riek Machar but rather war with his rebellion. Riek had a choice to either keep dodging the hunt by Garang and end up dead like his fellow separatists, abandoned his liberation dream for an independent South Sudan and let Garang’s quest for a New Sudan unopposed such why and leave his people exposed to genocide or choose a lesser evil at the time and that lesser evil compare to the one that wanted him and his dream of separate independent South Sudan dead (Garang), was Khartoum.
It is important for those selective self-righteous who say Dr Machar Joined the Jalaba (The Arabs) for which it make him the worst of worst and ineligible for South Sudanese leadership to note that, Garang was fighting to subdue the Jalaba to subsequently harmoniously live with them thus the new Sudan not separate so what makes Machar’s Joining Jalaba to defeat an immediate threat to South Sudan quest of separations worst? Mind you, Marchar hurt Garang’s dream of united new Sudan, not independent South Sudan.
These selves righteous today are the same people who, when their butts caught fire, run to and fro like prostitutes signing military agreements with the devils themselves, the Jalabas in Khartoum and Cairo and now both are in the Bushes of South Sudan fighting for Kiir or is it now acceptable while it was not for Machar? What Hypocrisy! They now know, survival instinct knows no ideals.
South Sudan yearned for independence but from what and to what? Well it was from Tyranny but the question, is it any different now? When we consider democracy and judge our history and nation by democratic yardsticks, the person majority of Dinkas agree qualifies for presidency Mr Kiir scores very poorly however very highly in scores for tyranny, consider the following, how many democratic leaders in our modern history massacre their own citizens at seat of government? How many legitimate democracies pick fights and quarrel with the UN? Some of the aggressions against UN include mobilizing his faithful to demonstrate against the UN, the likes we see with Sadam Hussein. We saw his artillery gun down a UN helicopter with the word UN visibly written on it, He attempted to blackmail the UN accusing them of arms smuggling. His security forces disguised as Civilian, armed and marched in pretense of handing a petition, ended up massacring fellow citizens in UN campus, something unheard of in democratic governments. Now if this same Kiir can massacre fellow citizen in the capital city and gun down fellow citizen in the watchful eyes of the UN, what is he he doing away from the Capital city and where UN does not watch? Yet such a person is said to qualify for presidency?
If such a murderous cowboy is supported, still in the eyes of his kin and kith, for the presidency, then why not one who through out his life advocated for nothing else, nothing indirect as some claimed to have done, but direct, simple and plain, South Sudan and more importantly a united and independent South Sudan with sound economic and social goals for all of its citizens regardless of tribes. One who was willing to reconcile with those who attempted to murder him in the past yet again now? The Dinkas have deprived South Sudan of this true leader and attempted to eliminate this visionary leaders now twice, in the past by Garang and now Kiir wanting to complete the unfinished work of his predecessors forgetting the predecessor himself forgave and moved on for the sake of one South Sudan without which we would have not reach an independent south Sudan. This patriotic attitude of Garang’s rising above their differences is clearly demonstrated by his widow, the Matriarch of our nation in this current crisis. Indeed if we are to regain tranquility in our nation Kiir and his tribal hardliners must put down the pursue to kill and like Garang reconcile with this visionary leader, Dr. Riek Machar.
We saw in the past the two heavy weights of our liberation movement, Garang and Machar fighting to kill each other’s ideologies not just physical killings, in their declared intentions, Garang was fighting Machar to defeat him in other to obtain a United, fair, secular Sudan to eventually live with the Jalaba, while Machar was fighting Garang with the help of the Jalaba to achieve at the end, a separate independent South Sudan so as to live with Southerners not Jalaba.
Indeed the Idea of referendum was that of Dr Machar and it was imbedded in the deals of his agreement with Jalaba, which later became the corner stone for the CPA, the tool through which we reach nationhood!
In this regards of their declared objectives, had Garang succeeded in defeating Dr. Machar and Khartoum, there would be a New United Sudan today not an independent South Sudan.
Dr Machar in essence frustrated Garang’s dream of New Sudan and made Garang realize that without Riek and Nasir factions he was getting nowhere. Thus he did not resist and made every effort to reconcile with Machar as brothers should do despite of the bloodshed in each of their hands and that is what true leaders are capable of, It is easier to kill than to make peace and they choose the difficult and made peace for which we today have an independent South Sudan! The appreciation for this peace and its dividend of an independent South Sudan goes equally to both Garang and Machar!
This is one reason why today Garang’s legacy is different and we all hold him in high regards despites of the lives he took, from all tribes, all over south Sudan, but yet the selective moralities of the Dinka eliites tells an incomplete story of our liberation struggle in exclusions, worst demonization of none jieng, Dr Machar in particular.
It must be pointed out here that while Dr Garang killed almost all our prominent separatist in the movement, Kuol manyong by all reports the worst killer of the brethren during the war of liberation, Garangs right hand, yet they have not been demonized by the Nuer or the other 63 tribes that lost many lives to these two Dinkas as the Dinkas have demonized Riek.
Indeed the numbers of prominent South Sudanese lives Garang took; in comparison the Arabs did not even come close! The two wars combined. The Dinka to the contrary came out with a full-fledged campaign of demonization of Riek for the killings of Dinka that occurs under Riek’s leadership. Garang and his Dinka elites took more lives of South Sudanese than any other group but yet are not demonized; simply they like hurting others but do not want being hurt partly due to their superiority complexes.
What is the main reason behind this de-campaigning of Dr Marchar by the Dinkas? Is it really because of the so-called Bor Massacre and him joining the Jalaba while Garang was fighting to stay with the Jalaba? The answer may lie in the very reasons they ended up this time going after the Nuer civilian in Juba and the war torn areas.
The Dinkas have, declared objectives of Ruling South Sudan, Expansionism imbedded in their crafted Transitional constitutions, an absolute power imbedded in the criminal constitution. The roadblock to these goals is the Nuer. Must we forget the declarations of Kiir to his tribesmen, “This power I have is yours, they want to take it away, will you allow them” NEVER IN UNISON WAS THE ASNWER!
The only None Jieng group that are a challenge to this declaration are the Nuer and it’s most senior, experienced and highly educated politician, in the hardest of fields, Dr Riek Machar. Nuer and Riek are obstacles to Jiengs declared goals for South Sudan thus the reason Kiir went after Riek while Madam Rebecca was not even touched. They went after Nuer women and children in Juba while the kinsmen of Riek fellow political defectors where not even touched.
In the views of Jiengs, if these dreams of the Dinkas are to be achieved, they need to knock the Nuer off the equations, more so Dr Machar, once done then there is no single tribe in South Sudan able to stand against them. In this regards what Kiir had done and is doing against the Nuer is an ethnic cleansing clothed in accusation of a none existence coup and in the name of fighting rebellions with the help international mercenaries! The well-crafted deception is an amazing achievement; the world will wake up after Kiir is knee deep in Nuer blood!
Just as Dr Machar needed to save himself from Garang at the same time to frustrate Garangs goal of United Sudan and thus thanks to Riek, today we have an independent South Sudan not Garangs declared, New Sudan but also Garang becoming more democratic. Today therefore I declare we South Sudanese yet again will thank Dr Machar for frustrating the Dinkas goal for South Sudan, which is nothing other than the born to rule, enslavement of fellow Southerners, expansionism and dinkanizations replacing Arabization of South Sudan.
For those who think this is an exaggerated statement should be reminded that Granag’s Tyranny was also what cause Kiir to have a major difference with him that almost lead to a total fallout with Garang and reason for him today sidelining, humiliating and attempting to eliminate the so called Garang’s boys.
Looking at the recent Security apparatus realignment, it should leave no one with any doubt that the Dinka agenda of ethnic dominations is alive and marching on, their so called born to rule declarations is what drive them to this war against Marchar. They are Rabid because they fear him taking the power that belongs to them away as declared by Kiir.
The only tribe that stands on the way is the Nuer because of their sheer numbers and fierceness in battles, the reason for targeting them and the ethnic cleansing with the help of Uganda and SPLM north.
They demonized, accusing him of Siding with Jalabas, the same Garang was fighting to co-inhabit with Jalaba not to separate which is simply a ploy and selective morals and hypocrisy. They also decide to pin the Bor killing on Riek who after CPA took responsibility as a leader of the movement under him not necessarily gave a direct order for the killings. This is what a true leader should do as we expect the same for Kiir to take responsibility for the Juba massacre given his personal militia murdered Nuer women and children in the thousands in Juba. If Dinka think Kiir cannot be held responsible for Juba Massacre, why then Riek for 1991 Bor killings?
After CPA, the Dinka government has loaded the world diplomatic missions with their kith and kin, the message the world bodies received and the views they came to know about South Sudan are that of the Dinkas, to the Extend many times many of us who are none Dinkas are approached by “Muzungus” (Whites) and asked “are you a Dinka”?
Therefore the world was spoon-fed with Dinka version of Riek thus the Dinka sentiment against Riek.
Riek has not injured South Sudan, where as he fought the Dinkas under Garang, Riek did not fight against South Sudan, he fought Garang and he fought Dinkas.
Garang, Kuol Manyag and Kiir have killed more prominent Southerner than Riek ever did. Indeed which separatist has died in the hand of Riek? And how many separatist died in the hands of Garang?
If we can forgive and overlook Garang’s decimations of our separatist leaders and accept him as our leader, why will we not accept Riek as our leader? The Dinkas need to realize that if we are to forgive them the atrocities they have committed against every single tribes in South Sudan, why are we not to forgive Riek for whatever crime he committed against some Dinkas, after all Dinkas have also now under Kiir and again Kuol Manyang,Committed the worst genocide in our nations history and it is against the Nuer women and children?
If the standard is Genocide and the Nuer should not be accepted because of 1991 then the Dinka more so should not be accepted for 1991 massacre they themselves committed against the Nuer but worst for the 2013 massacre of Nuer Women and children in juba and counting.
In conclusions, Riek was pushed to fight alongside Jalaba by Garang’s Tyranny and his unrelenting vision of New Sudan and today Kiir who too has become Tyrannical, pushed Riek in the bush to resist the ominous Jiengs practices of ethnic dominance and ethnic cleansings to truly arrive at an independent South Sudan where all have equal stakes not on the Merits of superior tribes and claims of liberation struggles.
If fighting is what gives us rights to citizenship, leaderships, freedoms and wealth sharing (Dinka school of thoughts) then let us continue this fight until we all have these rights because at the current state of affairs freedom has arrived for the Jiengs but not the rest of South Sudan’s 63 tribes!
It should be noted in each case had Riek not escaped, he would have been dead. Dr Machar’s sin is not bigger than that of Dr Garang. His sin compared to Kiir and Kuol Manyongs, as we now witness, in grand scheme of South Sudan does not compare, if they are now ruling South Sudan, I say Dr Machar is welcome at anytime to Rule South Sudan and bring his vision of independent and democratic South Sudan truly and finally home, he has been consistent in his view for South Sudan and it is what put him at odd with Garang and now Kirr. The Journey to our nationhood begins when men and women like him take the lead not the current macho men who gave us only national treasury looting, imprisonment of political opponents and leading our nations into frenzies of atrocities and ethnic cleansing started in Juba.
Dr Machar has not hurt South Sudan, as did the Dinkas Elite, he hurt the Dinkas dreams for New Sudan and now, the Dinka tribal vision for South Sudan and Dinka is not South Sudan. The Dinka Elite can continue to hold grudges against him for frustrating their plans but not the rest of us South Sudanese who will receive him with open hands and if this statement is not true and the Dinka Elites know it is otherwise Kiir could have allowed his party election to proceed and prepare for and lead us unto the planned elections rather than triggering an assassination attempt and a genocide.
He who maintains silence in the face of massacre is a murderer himself.
Dr Peter Kopling Josep, MD, lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected].