It is 2014 Folks, not 1991

By Job Kiir Garang


August 7, 2014 (SSNA) — It would take a lifetime to heal someone who is blind in the brain than someone that is optically dead. History has not been on the better side of ours, as far as South Sudan is concerned. It is what a layman would say “the past is the only way forward”. “Our Heroes did it and we just have to finish some pieces of the remaining puzzle”. Sadly enough for me and for most of us, the world is growing smaller and smaller into an archetypalvillage and that kind of mindset does not apply anymore. It is time to be honest. Some paths might be considered uncharitable and I agree with the many few out there. But it is always sensible to look around and analyze whatever paths you have been through. Did you try them? Where they worthy of trying? If yes, what were the outcomes?  Many would agree with me that Dr. Garang’s times were probably the better years for most of us that were lucky to be alive till today. However, those sweet years gone by have led to a breed of South Sudanese with fixated mentality. The mentality, that shamelessly echoes in silence that the leadership of that immature nation is “ours”. By ours, I mean the “dinka’s”. It is this same mentality that has dwarfed us eternally or so it seems.

And if we do not wake up as a separate generation from the one that passed, we will be the stereotypical Somalis, the Rwandese, the Iraqis, the Bosonians, the Kosovans, the Serbs, the Afghans and the list goes on. The world is watching.

In the early 2000s, a group of Bar-el-Ghazal political hustlers led by Majut Yak coined the, today, famous phrase (at least among them):  “Garang down”. Sadly for most of us and luckily enough for them, they won the lottery. Dr. John Garang died unceremoniously. The ululations were and still are ingrained on their lips. The results are there for most to see: fat bellies, private homes/land everywhere, wastage of national treasures or resources, tribal governance etc.  Enough for our taking! Another shadowy group came out from the abyss of what we all thought was the very enemy of ours: Khartoum. Led by Chan Reech Madut, they held a belief that Dr. Garang was the biggest tyrant to have led the people of South Sudan during the arms struggle. When they set foot in the region, their transition into Kiir’s government was bread and water. They naturally clicked with some of the most misleading presidential advisors in the shape of the likes of Telaar Deng and their concerted hustling efforts have led to the worse post-liberation bloodshed in the history of that country. Very sad!

Right now, these shady old guards, most of whom left Canada after Kiir became the president are now filthy rich: self made millionaires who got their wealth at the expense of lives of the innocent majority. Their wealth is now their shield. They shed no blood while every civilian who had nothing to do with this nonsensical power struggle dies by the numbers. You could sense some celebratory tone in their silent voices when the president first declared that the group of 11 accused of orchestrating the, later dismissed, coup were to be killed by firing squad. Riek and his cohorts fortunately escaped unscathed and it was a breath of fresh air when the president had to swallow his own vomits and declare them innocent.  The bottom line is Kiir is a failed leader. A lot of it can be blamed solely on his own utter failure. He surrounded himself with people that are not only selfish and greedy but very thoughtless.

For the president, he decided to dump all the people that he had been through thick and thin during the war against the Khartoum regime and replaces them with nothing but greedy, thoughtless, uneducated bunch of groups that did nothing but threw the country under the bus for their own selfish gains. If we consider people of the South as brethrens, why were the votes by the people of Abyei ignored when they overwhelmingly chose separation? Not a voice was raised in their recognition. As a matter of fact, the president precisely depicts himself as contradictory and to say the least; a dishonest hypocrite. When the Machakos agreement was signed in 2002, Kiir vehemently argued that If Abyei was to remain in the Northern side, he would rather have preferred to go back to war and when they chose to be autonomous by an overwhelming majority, he (the president) decided to remain silent. Either he did not have the balls to do so or he probably was stuck in the mindset that we have come to get accustomed to over the last 9 or so years i.e. maybe some dinkas are more  important that other dinkas or tribes. Archaic mentality!

Anyway, without being too wordy, my view point is that we are caught up in a web of political cul de sac. A view that a certain section of the political demographic seems to think that the leadership of that country is somehow inheritable and that if anyone out of their tribal league flexes their muscles in their attempts to run for that higher seats, they are branded as traitors and rebels. You are only safe if you exude the SPLA/M PPROCLAMATIONS backed up by some tribal favours or affiliations.  That is what we have turned into: a sad reality of our time. Dinkaism. This is the true fingerprint of our utter failures and unless we change this sort of mentality, we can only see not beyond our toe fingers. I am sure most of my dinka brothers who are complaining right now would still be doing so if the person in opposition to authority or, to put it right, those that were thrown overboard by the current dictatorial self-made oligarchs were some of the fringe or smaller tribes. Someone once said that people are inherently resistible to change. It is even worse to them if the person in question is one that does not have his hands utterly clean. This is true in the case of Riek Machar and sadly for most of us, the story is told over and over again with the emphasis that he should not rule without looking at the situation from a multilateral viewpoints in relation to the kind of political doses we have been offered over the few years we have been independent as a country. The complaints are now ringing the loudest because the person in the limelight happens to be Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

It is true that for the leadership we have in South Sudan, we can dig into the woodwork and unearth a better leader than the two we have right now. However, the sad reality is that that option does not exist. It is like looking for a dislike button on a facebook. It does not exist. Unless someone comes up with that option, that is what we have got. In my last article, I happened to have described Dr. Riek Machar as the “ultimate Messiah”. It vexed a certain section of the blogosphere: mainly my brothers from my side of the tribal divide: DINKA who still hold, and god knows when they will drop them, the grudges of the 1991 political upheavals in which some thousands were killed by “Riek” forces. Was he entirely responsible for every person that died that year? Maybe! The forces were on his side and anyone would say he was and still is guilty by association. However, all I am saying is it is about time we turn the pages. My view is not bashing Dinka because I happen to be one. It might sound like an oxymoron but the reality is getting even clearer. The way the current government is operating is for everyone out there to see. Many extinguished people within the Kiir administration were targeted and dismissed. However all my harsh critics and especially from Twi East failed to make a comment or a recognition that those that were sacked were Twi going by the numbers although we have people from other tribes. I have never heard a complaint from anyone although am sure some might have done so silently.  

Dr. Lual Achuek Deng, Rabecca Nyandeng, Malok Aleng, Atem Yaak Atem, Atem Garang Kuek, a close friend of his (the president): Dr. Majak Agoot and even including our MP who pretended that the ”government is our government”. Some of the hardworking people like Philip Thon Leek and the likes of Makuei Deng Majuch were also at the end of the whooping by this current administration. Makuei by the way is a hard worker than Achuil Tito who claimed he would hold the chief of police post better although he has absolutely no credibility.  Once he was given the post, he became richer and powerful for absolutely no reason.

I am a proud dinka but at the same time I am a concerned one. The few aforementioned people represented especially by Mr. Kiir Mayardit have brought shame to the WORD DINKA. And the disappointing part is that there are people within my own circles who think that I am just against them. That is not true and I surely will never be against anyone except when what you are doing is contrary to the visions laid forth by our forefathers: Garang being the exemplary one. Riek is the best alternative for me and in my opinion; many kids in South Sudan will be left behind in all aspects of life if Kiir remains our president for as long as he wants. Wake up and let’s change that country into a better one!

The author is a former master of sergeant, former SPLA/M Medical assistant (MA), and currently an Industrial Safety Inspector in Edmonton, Canada. He can be reached at [email protected]

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