May 7, 2014 (SSNA) — On May 5th, 2014, hundreds if not thousands of South Sudanese Canadian convened a meeting at the Grace Lutheran Church in Calgary .The community welcomes one of their own with flying colours. Prof. Tombe Lako is one of South Sudanese outspoken figures, staunch critic of Kiir’s government, and respected son of Greater Equatoria and renowned senior professor of law at the Ahfad University in Sudan (s)
Mr. Lako addressed South Sudanese-Canadian with passion and electrifying energy. Mr. Lako was calm, collected, affable, orator and idealistic to say the least. But above all else, he was philosophically critical and principally professional approaching he called “Dinka hegemony and genocidal regime in Juba, led by President Kiir Mayardit and his semi-educated tribal elites.”
Professor Lako is on the North America tour enlightening South Sudanese Diaspora about one chief factor which engulfed South Sudan into bloody war for almost five months. Professor Lako has educated the public of what really happened on 15th of December 2013, which led to Juba Nuer massacre, who should be held accountable and way forward resolving the crisis which claimed more than 10, 000 lives and displaced 1.2 million civilians.
Besides, Mr. Lako is also on a mission destined to success at all cost, according to him. A mission focused on enlightening the Greater Equatorians both at home and Diaspora and the rest of South Sudanese who are still standing by while Kiir’s regime butchers South Sudanese Nuer in cold blood.
The meeting was organized by the South Sudanese community in Calgary but the attendees were all across Alberta. Calgary is one of the South Sudanese Diaspora hub and political hot spot in North America. For the past 10 years, Calgary has witnessed different protest of political strife from South Sudanese and the last demonstration staged last month was in support of Ms. Hilde Johnson, the head of the UNMISS in South Sudan.
Dr. Lako lecture was politically charged and well attended. People drove for more than 3 hours to attend the gathering. In the course lecture, everyone listen silently while the man who wholeheartedly believes that Greater Equatoria people have been “deprived militarily by Dinka led genocidal government in Juba since 2005” played nicely with the microphone and addressed the community in length.
For many, Professor Lako’s visit to Canada was a blessing and a final demise to President Kiir’s Support internationally. Professor Lako left no single stone unturned. As he proudly stated, “Juba government is doomed to fail militarily, politically and diplomatically.”
Kiir’s regime is crippled militarily by only one tribe’s men despite ganging up with mercenaries from Uganda, JEM, SPLM –North and Egypt and the man is dead politically, as writer paraphrase. More importantly, Mr. Lako stated that the “marginalization of Greater Equatoria people and the rest of South Sudan 62 tribes by one ethnic group in the government of South Sudan is another receipt to Dinka led genocidal regime failure and dwindling support in the country and internationally.” He continued to say that “all South Sudan embassies aboard are packaged with one single tribe men and women and used Dinka dialect as a medium of communication. The rest of South Sudanese feel out place when visited these embassies.”
On a similar note, Professor Lako is not comfortable with few Equatorians working for Kiir’s government. As he stated, some may say Vice President is from Greater Equatoria. “Yes, but numbers are not what the Greater Equatoria wanted, quality is what we want.”
The Greater Equatoria don’t want a man who always sing songs “baba jah” (father has come) to represent them. We need men and women with “quality, independent mindset and nationalists at heart, not puppet.”
Mr. Lako was referring to current South Sudan vice President, James Wani Igga. Mr. vice president is known for his miraculous appeasement rhetoric and chatting glorifying songs praising the president. “Those of Wani Igga often refer to President Kiir as baba without shame, self-respect and reservation.”
Yet, “people of Greater Equatorians from east to west have been disenfranchised, bullied, had their lands grabbed at guns point and murdered by Kiir’s Dinka led government security apparatus” while those of Wani Igga remained undisturbed.
However, “one thing is clear, the Greater Equatoria people will soon be up in armed to defense their right to life and freedom and to assist fellow Nuer brothers to change the status quo in South Sudan.”
As Dr. Lako pre-empted, “If you the Greater Equatorians would allow history in South Sudan to be rewritten in your absolute absence, it is a disservice to your own selves,” he warned.
Similarly, “If Kiir government is using fire arms to terrorize Equatorians civil populations, raping our women and girls at gun points, grab our lands, and deny us access to government’s key positions, what are you waiting for”?
The question was met and solidified with standing ovulation and women ululation showing admission. Dr. Lako continued, “If the Greater Equatoria failed to do anything at all, I can assure you that you are committing a historical fatal mistake” he bewailed. “Take charge of your own life.”
“Our Nuer brothers are victims of rogue tribal regime and there are fighting back in self-defence and just cause. We, in the Greater Equatoria cannot afford to stand by and watch Salva Kiir commit atrocities, against our own or fellow citizens in South Sudan.”
During questions and answers, one woman asked a contra ceding charged question. As writer translates, he attempted to be politically correct and not to sound self-defeated but reserved soldiers’ tact. Thus has unfortunately created commotion and uneasy feelings among some audience. Despite the fact, the writer remained calm and maintains coolness while allowing another fellow to translate her by word by word without reservation of political parameters.
The question asked in part goes like this: if the Nuer society is defeated by the enemy, do you think you the Equatorians will be spare by the enemy? For one, Equatorians are already victims of Kiir led government and therefore, it was counterproductive to ask them what they do know and Professor Tombe pledged to fight against. Second, I am not a fond of word defeat, bullying mentality and blaming game tactics.
I would have wanted my mother or sister to heed the shifting dynamic in the frontlines. It’s also unconventional militarily to pre-empt defeat if even defeat is eminent. This is a military philosophy and how I was taught. For those who may not know, this is why I was subtle and vague.
Nonetheless, I understood the fact that some people in the audiences were emotionally charged because Nasir, the SPLM –In-Opposition stronghold and Bentiu, capital of Unity were reported retaken by Kiir regime simultaneously that morning.
I supposed this has created bitterness and amplified unwelcomed negative reaction among the crowd. It appeared majority of those who attended Professor Lako’s lecture, were pro-Freedom Fighter supporters or emphasizers for that matter. Hence, I guess they were comfortable chit-chatting about unfounded defeat which I don’t.
However, I was pleased with Professor Lako’s answers to the questions posted, including the question of defeat. The assertion was, “victory is certain and Nuer as society will not be defeated.” Thus, my gut and conviction tells me that Professor Tombe is up something bigger and well-defined mission.
In closing, I must stress that the welcoming of Professor Lako to Calgary by South Sudan Community was a major success for the SPLM-In-Opposition. The Calgarian-South Sudanese have learned ugliest side of the Dinka led government in Juba.
So much so, May 5th gathering has also taken an interesting dimension. It was South Sudanese against Kiir and his Dinka led government.
In a nutshell, the Greater Equatorians were finally speaking out and calling for all-out war against Kiir led government. However, their call to take action at the grassroots is yet to be seen given the fact that they have alleged military deprivation in South Sudan army since 2005.
J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at [email protected].