By Nyanyoun Bany, Melbourn, Australia
August 28, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — I saw very sad pictures of your civilians, sorry, maybe you know them better as rebel wives and children, stuck knee deep in flood waters at the Unity UNIMISS compound, they are gut –wrenching pictures, the kind of stuff that nightmares are made of.
Most of you, including your President are saying that these people are living in UN compounds because there are rebel sympathisers. Kiir was able to say this with a straight face even when the interviewer informed him that he was not talking about a rebel sympathiser but a woman who was too afraid to leave the compound because her husband was shot dead in front of her and her children. Mr President didn’t even blink at such a calamitous reality, he only wish to excuse himself, “I am not to blame’ a mantra now embodied in the hashtag blame Kiir. Its puzzling that you can find moments to laugh and joke in the face of what appears to be a disasters ;it is said that South Sudan could face the worse famine than was witnessed in Ethiopia in the 1980s. In this “joke”, beside the trivialization of a serious problem, it is evident that most are exercising ‘the luxury of opinion without the duty of thought.’
In light of your president comments, it is not surprising that you have a very narrow concept of what being a patriot or a citizen means or that you have misconceived the primary duties of a government. If there is any humanity left, look at these photos and argue that it is merely because of a political agenda that a person would subject himself, his children and his wife to these inhuman conditions: it is said the situation is so bad that some are sleeping standing in knee deep waters with children in their arms, tens of children are buried each day from preventable diseases, yet our “patriot of South Sudan” are dismissing the real fear of these people in order to support their own political stand, in order to save face.
Some of you have argue persistently, and in very condescending way, that theses people should come out because other in Lake State are not being attack, a very naïve argument and one which appears to make a mockery of those caught up in this war. First Lake State has not exchange hands over 4 times. Second, it is not the first time that a people have hosted others, millions of South Sudan were able to stay in the North whilst the war was going on, and why did the Northerner not kill them? Although the Lake State people are to be commended, I am sure they are not doing what they are doing so that you can have another arsenal or insult to deep people faces into, your comments are trivializing their genuine efforts by reducing them to political score cards.
“Patriots” you have gone as far as denying these civilians their rights to citizenship and their humanity. In a dehumanizing manners you have resorted to calling them wives and children of rebels, and by association therefore, you are arguing that these people are not entitled to their rights, or, to be treated as human or citizens. The sad part is that one does not have to sink so low morally to support Kiir, one can support Kiir without demining or diminishing another person suffering, and that does not take much creativity or originality, it is a matter of being able to maintain simple distinctions whist holding or arguing for a view point. More significantly an argument to hold Kiir responsible for his failures does not equate to an endorsement of Riek or that Riek should take his place. In fact, it does not even amount to an argument that Riek is not to be blame or as not committed crime of his own. The reports are clear, both the rebel and the government have committed CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, this means that the nature and conduct of the crimes are so abhorrent that there are not presumed to be only against the South Sudanese people, but against the world at large, against humanity itself. So “patriots” your kettle is as black as those you seek to paint.
A true patriot is not one who cling to his comfort zone of tribe or President, but he would raises above the very people he oppose, because he or she knows that greater than him and the supposed enemy, is the country and those who will inherit it. So to those claiming to be patriotic than others, it is you who should lead by example, you that should be reconciliatory, you that should be the last to condemn, you that should be more restraint, you that should be responsible, not because you do not know right from wrong or who is right or wrong, but because you want to be a place that provide one of the sources for healing and re-emergence. But instead, what have you become? Another mouth piece, cheering on the soaking of the flag by a flood of blood (Nyadeng quote) and drawing imaginary red lines has half of your populations lay waste and 50,000 of your children are at risk of starvation. Instead you have celebrated the use of 1.7 billon in weapons, whilst it would have taken around 700 million of that to save your starving population. Instead you have provided the intellectual support for the massacre of innocent, even lowering the standard of proof here and there, so that some unfavourable truth are conveniently left out of the narrative. Your intellectuals and intellectual organisations have become political alters were collective history is twisted to fit particular narratives and were the practice of exclusive politics is perfected for the consumption of a world beyond our towns.
You have called us the ‘rebels’, and as such you have actually relinquished us of any responsibilities, because a rebel is in effect not legitimate or responsible. You are the responsible one for that is what being elected means. You the patriot and legitimate persons cannot only claims the privileges that the come with citizenship and the office of the President, and relegate the duty and responsibility that cannot be divorced from it to others. So to claim don’t blame Kiir and at the same time say Kiir is the President is thoroughly conflicting “patriots”. Because a lack of blame can only be associated with a lack of control or responsibility. So to argue that Kiir is not to be blame is to argue that Kiir is not responsible or in control of the fundamental issues that are central to governing a state. And if the man you elected to be in control of the country is not in control, then “patriots” we might have a bigger problem because I think, some unelected person hijacked that office of the President or your man is so incompetant as to be dangerous because he doesn’t know what is going on.
But do not let this divergence take away from the central theme of this piece and that is, if you claim to be a patriot, the time has come to show some statesmanship. Raise above and beyond the corridors of powers and try to pursue a government for the interest of all citizens- even those who you don’t like. Mourn for all that died, even those you think are not worthy of your tears. You must be the first to look at your arguments for taint of tribal pride, tribal prejudice and self- serving interests. If your country is at war, it is because there are serious grievousness, listen to both sides. Remember to claim to be a patriot is to also place a duty on yourself, it means that you will not make decision because they favour you, but because they have the possibility of saving the future. To be a patriot means more than anyone else, you must sacrifice and lead by example. So if we are wrong, we that you have judged, then try and be rights and let that manifest in your actions and your thinking, otherwise, you are just a robber of the people you claim to serve, and are using the “patriot shield, as the wolf uses the sheep skin. In other words, you too are a rebel, a well fed rebel stealing from the collective basket.