An open letter to Honorable James Kok Ruea

By Kuach Y. Tut kuay, Kenya

Dear Honorable, Gen. James Kok

June 8, 2014 (SSNA) — With due respect and honor, I availed myself to seize this opportunity to send my kind greeting to you in your honorable capacity as my constituency MP. The purpose of this letter is to remind you of the courage you have always been known for in support of your people, the citizens of Fangak County. Allow me, honorable, to recall the time when our mighty town of Phom was attacked by the rebels of George Athor, and you risked your life in that rather volatile situation to come and mourn with us, to wipe our tears and to comfort us. That is a typical leadership quality every community would want to enjoy from their leaders. You have always been standing with us in both good and bad circumstances and on that, I am privileged to register to you my utmost thank-you.

As you know me very well, I always try as best as I can to be frank. Telling people what they did right and what they did wrong in their present. I recall our closed-door meeting in your house in Amarat in April 2013 with your good friend, Tuong Majock aka Rial maan, where you told us frankly in the meeting that we should not support Dr. Machar because we would all be killed since we don’t have any source of ammunition. To quote your words, "don’t be conned into supporting Riak Machar, take a look at the Juba situation do you have any source of ammunition? You will be burned to ashes. This guy is dangerous, he killed people in 91 and he wants to kill people again in 2013. This will never happen. Why starting a campaign now for 2015 which is yet to come" This were your words. And to also quote my precious advice to you back then which I wished you had the capacity to take notice of, but unfortunately, you were too big for a ‘honorable’ and could not dare to listen to a poor young man who knew nothing about politics. I am also quoting my words during that meeting, "Honorable, I cannot lie to you that there is anything good about the current administration. It would have been better if you are providing another alternative apart from Kiir who is known for his failure. My advice is that the current politics we are in, if one is not going to apply logical reasoning in his decision making of where to pay allegiance, it will ruins someone’s political career completely. I suggested, honorable, that you can re-think the decision as it is not in favor of our constituency" These were my words to you, Honorable James.

All of us who were there in that meeting took your words for granted that "we will all be killed", we thought it was a mere intimidation or a method of trying to secure our support. I never knew it is something you planned with your best friend Salva Kiir. We were killed for sure. I know you will be surprised to receive a letter from me because I believe you thought I am dead, poor me! I am not dead, honorable, but the people who died from Fangak are more valuable than me and yourself in term of what they could do to the community in the future. Your own close relatives and body guards ran to UNMISS and you went to the media and spoke yourself blank, " cock-a-doodle-doo, the nuer were not killed! Those who were cheated to run to the military HQ to get weapons were the ones who were killed in the cross-fire" to your conscience does that statement makes sense?

Honorable, can I ask you where is Bamom Dual? Where is Kueth Peat? Where is Magisto Deng? Where is Kuacleak Chan? Only to mention but a few. Were they killed in cross-fire as you blankly aired? They were killed not because they support Riak Machar, in fact Bamom and Magisto supports Kiir like you, they were killed not because of any other crime they committed but simply because they are Nuer, that they possesses this indelible natural mark you and your master believe is a curse to have. I am not telling you to alter your political course as you are already comfortable with the status quo, but I am saying whatever politics of appeasement you are practicing, do not betray us by denying our death. Your voice seem to be bigger than your actual body and that is not a healthy politics even to your own self. Naming for sure influences what a person does, your name–Kok, literally meaning sell–made you to sell your own people with a blank check not even a promise to pay written upon it. At least for people like John Kong, we can rationalize their decision as protecting their position, but you, eh! you are actually stepping on your position of honorability which we, the people you are killing today, gave you in the voting booth.

When the incident happened, I turned down an evacuation planned for Nairobi and, instead, decided to first go to Fangak on 19th of December. To be honest with you, honorable, you are the most wanted person in Fangak that seeing you in Fangak will make no difference from seeing Kiir. A television screen was almost smashed in Phom just because you appeared on it with your blood-curdling message of betrayal. For sure this crisis came with a yard stick to measure the true leaders and the queasy ones who cares only about their personal goods. To our community, it is very unimaginable that a great leader, trusted by all the people of Fangak could slip into becoming a traitor in that simple manner, but they have known now.

Why did you fall so cheap, honorable, and Fangak is always proud to have someone outspoken like you. What will it benefit you to gain the whole world but lose yourself? What has gone wrong with your principles? I have always known you as a man who love the people of Fangak more than your own self that you were willing to sacrifice your position as a minister of humanitarian affairs for the sake of Fangak people by criticizing the government over their decision to bring George Athor rebel closer to Phom where they made it susceptible for attack. Where is that heart for humanity you were known for as "mankind"? It always confuses me how can a "mankind" support a "man-cruel" in the name of Salva Kiir. It is a puzzle I am yet to figure out and I don’t even have the formulae. Do I need to remind you that you are the only key MP who remained in Kiir’s regime now? I think you know it by intuitiveness and need not be reminded. I am sure you might have mistaken this rebellion for that of George Athor, but you is wrong. This is a just rebellion in that it put to end a tribal government that kills people base on tribal line; the shilluk, the pertit, the murle and now the Nuer. It is not election crisis Oh honorable! it is a fight for freedom after you, the opportunists, grabbed the freedom and used it for your own good sake. It is a fight for federalism to which the people of Fangak are committed to and will never hold back. It is a fight to install into power men of principles and not you, the queasy sycophants who leaks the wounds of our mother nation to feed yourselves, leading us with dick-heads.

I can assure you that you could be a great leader and also that you have a sense of humanity in you but you are, in contrary, lacking confident and courage in yourself. You are typically nervous coward who would feel insecure even with his own shadow, who always feels afraid of what his decision may inflict on him. The lack of confident made you feel insecure in any political environment and this made you immune to status quo as you fear change. It is obvious that your attachment to the SPLM is only through that young boy of nearly my age in the name of Akol Paul. I can’t imagine that the vast community of Fangak could benefits in that precarious line with a very weak political fabric attached to a sub-peg. Why would you like to be where you are tolerated than where you could be celebrated? To change the status quo is a bold decision, I know, and only men of courage risk it altogether in pursuit for better.

My advice as someone who still believes in you, unlike many people of Fangak who lost trust in you, I want to tell you that it would be wiser to make a U-turn in your decision. Leave whatever gold and silver Kiir might have promised you as they are only temporary benefit. The most permanent benefits for a politician is to obtain his/her community’s approval and it is not to late to acquire that if only you apologize to the people of Fangak, announcing your resignation from the party and join the opposition immediately. Your best friend, Makuach Teny, did that, so should you. Notwithstanding this advice, I want to assure you that the torch has been passed to a younger generation that put people first and not their interest and that, by design or default, you will soon find yourself an unwanted element in south Sudan leave alone Fangak. Your chance of a political rise is one to zero and doesn’t provide any slim winning opportunity. Decision making is tough and not many people are familiar with it, if you would have listen to my advice back then, you could be a great man among our people now and equally politically strong, but wapi! It falls into deaf honorable ears. I am taking this second chance to advise you despite your rough and arrogant reaction to my previous advice that please thinks about your people and not your position. The youth are suffering in UMISS and you never visited them leave alone giving them something for food. All of our University students dropped out of school and you don’t take any initiative to help at least few of them, specially the finalists, to finalize their school in Kenya or Uganda with the CDF funds. You have contributed to your own downfall and now that you have made your bed so must you lie in it.

Not forgetting to congratulate Honorable Tuong Majiok for the "one-in-a-lifetime" position. Sometime crisis is like a coin, it has two sides one good and the other bad. Without this crisis it is as impossible as a camel passing through the eye of a needle for Tuong Majiok to be a minister, politically as well as professionally speaking. I congratulate you Honorable Tuong, I hope this time you will erect your own bungalow for you have been a quest for the last five, or so, years. Surely, God is great! As long as one is alive, there is nothing impossible. I know it will be very difficult for you to resign that position even if they killed your own wife because you got it by privilege and not right, but let me also take the opportunity to ask for the impossible to happen. Resign your position and join where you belong, which is the fight for freedom and justice for all south Sudanese. Your existence to either side doesn’t add value, though, but for number’s sake, we need you.

Wish you all the best in making up your minds.

Long live freedom and democracy for south Sudan!
Long live Fangak community for Freedom and democracy!
Long live the brave youth of Fangak County!

The author is a youth activist who participates in many different south Sudanese youth platforms and he is as well a freelance writer in matters pertinent to politics, justice, peace and equality for all south Sudan. You can follow him on twitter @kuach444 or write him an email on [email protected].

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