The G10 plus [former political detainees] & Nyandeng Chol Atem, deserve respect from the general public and the government of South Sudan
By Biar D’Chol Biar, NY, USA,
Jan 12, 2015(Nyamilepedia)–Having read and seen hundred of thousands of the facebook posts, website’s writing articles from unpatriotic journalists, & the self-proclaimed “ internet political” analysts since the war broke out in South Sudan, had me realized that, Jealousy and bitterness are playing an enormous role in the destruction of this nation among South Sudanese in the media outlet. I’ve noticed that there has been hissing and shouting of slanderous terms; calling of the defamatory allegations directed toward G10 plus-the former political detainees. There has been continuously menacing and malicious writings directed toward Dr. John Garang’s widow: Nyandeng Chol Atem, as a submissive & subordinate promiscuous, a prostitute, licentious & inherited wife to Dr. Riek Machar…so on and so forth; for speaking the truths on December 16, 2013. And this got me to ask a personal questions to South Sudanese: Are we really that low and narrow-minded to even had forgotten what Dr. Garang, Gen. Kiir Mayardit and the G10 plus had done to this nation; to level them and Dr. Garang’s wife with such uncouth terms? Had we forgotten the roles the G10 plus & her played in the liberation struggles? Dr. Garang and Kiir would’ve not been successful chairperson & Deputy of the SPLM/A party without Nyandeng standing by Dr. Garang side; for him to steer the ship since 1983-2005. The 22 years of civil war would’ve been nothing, without her remarkable and phenomenal supports to the men we all called as “fathers” of the nation.
And quite frankly, the media outlet folks had gone afar; they considerably tore each other apart for no reason other than bitterness and jealousy toward G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol Atem ,for unproven records of the crimes; alleged by the government since the starts of the crisis. Yes, I understand there’ve been many maelstrom and willy-willy talks, that Nyandeng Chol’s interview with the BBC news of the Nuer carnaged in Juba, on December 16, 2013, fomented the war; that the reprisals by By White Army to go on a rampage killings in Bor Town, Akobo, Malakal, Bentiu…was because of the interview she had with the BBC news. Well, does that mean the white army had radios, TV and other media outlets at their villages when we all know that they were herders? What about when the very same white army almost wiped out Murle in January 2013? Did Nyandeng talks with any media by then? Those are the questions we should’ve been asking, and thought of, instead of “crucifying” this poor widow, for speaking with BBC News at her house in Juba, on December 16, 2013 of the killings that happened.
Based on her knowledge and understanding, she was talking as a “mother” of the nation, like any other mother would’ve cared of her kids if there’s an imminent danger. She felt like all South Sudanese peoples are all her kids, regardless of the tribe each one hails from, and can’t be quiet if anything went terrible wrong. And frankly speaking, the white army had had relatives, in Juba as civilians and government officials; who had called them; disseminated the news on their own cell phones while hiding at the UNMISS camp in Juba about the killings. Therefore, Nyandeng Chol had nothing to do with the rampage killings by white army. The white army was acting on what they heard from their relatives and their commander: Dr. Riek Machar. So, the shenanigans of white army getting news from Nyandeng Chol were completely bias and untrue. So, there’s no point of dwelling on such a diminutive issue, when we’ve a nation that needs our collective thoughts in propelling it forward to develop.
Furthermore, the self-proclaimed “internet political” analysts, including the author of this writing; with whom their uncles, brothers, fathers, aunts & cousins stood with the government are ardently furious toward the G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol; for not standing with the government of South Sudan, which is squarely in lockdown with the rebels of Dr. Riek Machar. Well, it was G10 plus choice not to be a part of any conflicts. The know war’s destruction, to humans lives and properties. Therefore, they would rather stay neutral than having bloods in their hands. Besides, I’ve also learned that the ‘internet politicians’ are even wishing the G10 plus to be dead regardless of whom they’re. Many don’t even want to see their faces again, either now, or later within the South Sudan government offices. These G10 plus, with Dr. Garang’s widow are seen as a minatory and malediction to South Sudan’s government. Of course, I comprehend the personal grievances & the political standpoints of these “internet politicians,” because losing the loved ones in this reckless war wasn’t easy thing. But the perishing of our loved ones had nothing to do with them- G10 plus, But Dr. Riek & the white army. So, is it worth to entomb our heads in the sand with no proven evidence of the wrongdoings by the G10 plus and Nyandeng Chol Atem? I honestly don’t think so! The ones we should be condemning are the warring parties- the rebels of Dr. Riek and government; for not listening to the general public calls and the international community; who’re calling for peace, but continuing with this ruthless war. The government and rebels have to know that, war isn’t friend to anyone. It’s destruction of the nation; lost of lives, and properties on both sides, and there’s no need of continuing with a military means when we’re one people.
Moreover, what these individuated persons need to understand is that, these political reformers with Dr. Garang’s widow don’t belong to one tribe or region. They come from Dinka, Nuer, Bari, shilluk…etc; who’ve political differences with president Kiir Mayardit; of where the country is heading to. I, personally, do know that they were once time friends and colleagues in arms to Gen. Kiir Mayardit Kuethping Lual in retrospect. And they had one thing in common, that: they remarkably and courageously fought together against the Arab in Khartoum to free South Sudanese from their servitudes. They had lived in the bushes & front-lines together with the core values of liberating South Sudanese; they had slept under the stars and blue sky together; they slept under one roof; they had shared wine and tea at the same table; they had wronged each other, but had amnestied one another, and moved on with life as if nothing had happened that we weren’t aware of. And who knows, it might happen again to amnesty one another!
As you and I know that, their differences arose at the national level, when the hellish got broken loose on July 2013. President Kiir’s fraternized & coteries demonstrated their legerdemain; fooled Gen. Kiir Mayardit to chase his long time comrades in arms away; leading them astray; careening and reeling into jail cells unconsciously. And from my understanding, these G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol, with others who’re still with the government; candidly and scrupulously called for the reforms within the SPLM party, before and after they were discharged within the cabinet. But some had even questioned of why the spoke when they were fired from their ministerial posts? That they’re fighting for their positions they’ve been stripped off. There’s been widely claimed that they’re the internecine to the nation. Well, to point out what you and I know, the G10 plus didn’t pick up guns and went to bush unlike Dr. Riek Machar as it’s been portrayed. So, the wild accusations by the government, that they had attempted the coup d’état, which was later, unproven at the court of law when G4 was trialed, have to be discarded. The government insistency with no proven or whatsoever records as the “coup” plotters have to end. They G10 plus consistently maintained and held their grounds to what they stated at the beginning of their conference on December 6, 20013: reform within the party. And precisely, they’ve not joined Dr. Riek’s insurgency or government, because they believe that war is not an option in building the nation. They consciously believe that, Kiir Mayardit is still constitutionally the legitimate president of South Sudan, and can’t be removed with violence means. They had called for peaceful dialogue to the warring parties- the government and the Rebels of Dr. Riek Machar to abandon insurrection; accepts peace as the only means to solve country problems. So, why still continuous to hate them? Is it not time to see other alternatives that’ll bring lasting peace for the suffering civilians?
At the onset of the war, however, these G10 plus were put in jail; assumed that they would never come out again when they were being charged of treasons. The rumors were that the gossipers and their gainsayers went back and forth; speculating that these G10 were completely dead: economically and politically! Their political rivals were clandestinely tossing and cheering: “That we’ve got them!” And if this is true, then, it shows that, G10 plus imprisonment had nothing to do with what they did within the government or the conference they held. It was purely personal incurred grudges and sentiments by their opponents; painting them to the publics as the evildoers, when all of them-the now government officials & G10 plus were in the same boat; robbing the nation with resources. So, why the public continued to single G10 plus out? Why wish these individuals, who fought bravely and tirelessly for the freedom of their own people to be gone, and not to enjoy the fruitfulness we all fought together as one peoples? To me, this sounds immoral, incredulous, and immature! It ought to be ended!
I know that it feels a kind of hissing and tickling to see them getting up; rising and speaking the truths again by their rivals and haters. And their rallying had sparked outcries from many, within and outside the country. And anytime the pro-government peoples and their rivals hear and see a good thing being said about G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol, they would condemn those individuals in the strongest terms possible; in the media for the espouse of G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol. Their haters and rivals considered them as malefactors and villains- who brought the nation on her knees. Really? Can anyone tell me how? Didn’t the court, selected by the government found that they were not culpable? What else is needed from them? The G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol Atem are, therefore, still condemned to conduct rallies within and outside South Sudan by pro-government and the government officials. When anyone organized & attended their rallies, he/she is despicable contempt and disdain for the solidarity support to G10 plus. But where’s their freedom of expression, liberty and pursuit of happiness since they’re not culprits anymore? Why continue to censor them when they’re no longer in jail? Why’re they still offenders? Is it because of their expressed political differences with Gen. Kiir Mayardit and his fraternized? Please, let us think again, and do our math!
On the other hand, one thing people have to realize is that, these G10 plus were once times heroes/heroines of the war. They’ve war prowess during the liberation struggles, and no would doubt that. But that doesn’t mean being a war veteran is a ticket to destroy what one planted if there was one, but nothing that I believe they’ve done wrong. The conference and campaign they had, was not to destroy, but for the reform of the laws and constitutions for sake of the nation, and they’ve right to hold conferences if anything wasn’t right to inform the publics. The only person who would doubt these lionhearted individuals, would be someone borne after peace agreement; who haven’t heard of who they were during the liberation struggles. And to give a few examples, Oyai Deng Ajak was praised every now and then, in the villages, towns, and cattle camps and even at the national capital, Khartoum of the great battle he fought with his juggernaut force. And I heard it one time that the president of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir had asked: “who’s Oyai Deng Ajak that I wasn’t aware of while in the army?” Whether it was true or not, I don’t know. But the fact was, he was highly decorated general; who fought tirelessly for the independence of South Sudan.
Dr. Majak Agoot also, was praised as national hero when he was in Bahr el Ghazal, and other region he was deployed; for standing toe to toe with the Arabs in the region, like Paul Malong Awan in Northern Bahr El Ghazal in the early 1990s. Also, a Former Secretary, Pagan Amum Okiech, was acclaimed for being outspoken person of the party during the negotiation process with the Khartoum regime. And all the other names such As Madut Biar Yel, Deng Alor Kuol, John Luk Jok, Chol Tong Mayay, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, Kosti Manibe, Cirino Hiteng & Gier Chuang Aluong. They were stupendous comrades in the SPLA army. So, the birth of South Sudan came through their valorous and the entire South Sudanese army. So why painting them now as criminals when they went through court process, and found not guilty? Shouldn’t we be appreciating their collective works to deliver a “gold plate” to us?
Since the hell broke loose on December 15, 2013 they were thrown in jail; sentinels stood at the front gates with the loaded pistols, AK-47s, ammunitions & hands grenades when treasons charges were pending, awaiting their trials. And in that circumstances, not all of us thoughts of the time they were in the bush; courageously and bravely fighting with the Arabs. They were trashed & thrown down low; talked to the subservience levels by their peers and comrades; who stood with the government. But are those who stand with government really clean? It’s enigma that I’ll leave to the public to solve. I know that some of their comrades even went wild; calling for them to be “hanged’ or sentence by a “firing squad,” when they were not proven guilty in the court of law yet. So, no one thought they would walk again under the bright sunlight and blue sky.
But luckily, here they are; alive and kicking after they won their cases in the court of law, though their supporters called the court as “Kangaroo court” at the beginning of their trials. They were proven not guilty of any treasons charges, and released by the very the same government that charged them with treasons. So, where’s criminality people are still holding against them? Is not time to embark on future rather than the past? Again, let’s think about it!
Now, they’re holding lively press conferences; packed with the sea of humans, wherever they go in the foreign countries since they’ve been expelled out of the country without government explanations. They’ve done town hall meetings; took questions many people had asked of why they didn’t stand with the government and why they’re in the exile. And they’re not shy away to answer any question being asked by South Sudanese or foreign journalists. They’ve proven time and time again, that they’ve no bitterness against president Kiir; that Kiir Mayardit stills a constitutional legitimate leader of the nation though they were jailed. But their differences with him was/is the way he’s rowing boat as the chieftain.
Remarkably, they’ve told us their parts of the story about the December 15, 2013 incident that took the lives of our loved ones across the country, from Juba, Bor Town, Malakal, Akobo, and Bentiu…etc. They’ve condemned the sporadic killings of innocent civilians & displacements of civilians; who had nothing to do with the politics of Juba that led to war on both sides- the government and the rebels that took up the armies.
They steadfastly and sagaciously stood with their shibboleth of the reform within the party as the appeared on December 6, 2013 and everywhere the go now. They explained that they want changes within the party, but not through violence means. They had called the government and the rebels to stop the violence, and use dialogue to iron out the differences instead. They want changes from the transition constitutions of the nation to the laws that give president all powers & censorship of freedom of expression, and much more that we all fought for. Also, I understand like many other peoples that, they’re now working toward peaceful resolution, in bringing the warring parties together with the intergovernmental Authority on the development (IGAD); to end the war. So, why holding inequity and bitterness to the very people who’ve nothing to do with the violence?
Hence, to those who’re still jealous and bitter, get the facts straight. They were falsely accused; imprisoned, but walked out free by the very the same government they disagree with. They’ve rights like those who’re in the government; to educate the public of where they stand; what happened on December 15, 2013; where the were when the war starts; and, what they want to see within the nation, cemented with the bloods of our fathers, brothers, sisters and cousins.
Though they’ve been painted as evildoers, they’re not anymore, because there are no proven records by the government of having hands in the atrocities that happened in juba, and elsewhere in the country. They were picked up at their own houses in Juba without any resistance, and put to jail. And to be precise, politics is not stagnating thing like a water pond. It flows like a wind and current wave of the Nile River, oceans & seas. It changes direction & the paths; it changes lanes like a driver of the car. So, who knows what a future might hold for them?
So, to citizens of this nation: countrymen & women be mindful of what you say. The ball is on our court. We may hiss as much as we like; shouting epithet words as we like, at the places where we are at any time, at our convenience, but, note that a nation is not one person’s property. South Sudan doesn’t belong to Kiir mayardit and his cliques. The public rents it to them like a landlord rented a house to tenant- Kiir and his inner circles, but they can be stripped off at any time through ballot boxes. Whether it’ll be now or later, we don’t know.
But these ostracized G10 plus with Dr. Garang’s widow, may one day climb back to the realm of the thrown like the blink of an eye, obliquely and diametrically. As of now, they may not, but five years from now, they may with some of their friends who like their previous works, who’re now with the government. And what will happen to you and me? We’ll be left, fighting to get a fresh air; fighting to get our lives back because of what we wrote or say.
In conclusion, I’m not G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol Atem’s staunch supporter, but I would like them to have another chance, like many others in the government; who had previously wronged, but amnestied. I’m satisfied with the court decision, that they’ve no connection with the coup d’etat as it was widely alleged. I believe that change comes with struggle and progress. It’s very true that we’ve lost innumerable loved ones in this senseless war, and can’t bring them back. So, there’s no need to hold the nation hostage with bitterness and jealousy against the G10 plus & Nyandent Chol. Let open a new page. Maybe what we’ve seen now is a change for our country. I do believe if peace comes today, there’ll be no more war as humans learned through mistakes. I don’t know the infernal and diabolical that happened in Juba palace that day, but I held on to my breath and have heard from G10 plus, Nyandeng Chol & the government officials of their stories, and then, had drawn my conclusion of who’s right and who’s wrong. Let us join hands and call the government & the rebels to put down guns; accept peace and save the nation from continues to sink. We shouldn’t be sitting here; to watch and every once and awhile; Government & the rebels, clubbing and butchering civilians. And later when our civilians are finished, and ask, what happened? Let give much respect to G10 plus & Nyandeng Chol Atem. Please, say no to WAR. We need PEACE NOW! ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION: SOUTH SUDAN!
The author of this article is concerned citizens; resides in US, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org