In the memory of slain colleague, Journalist Peter Julius Moi
By Deng Vanang
August 23, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Of recent time there arise steadily monkey business cartels making a quick kill under the blaring sounds of sustained gunfire as exchanged between government troops and rebel soldiers. These cut deals have something to do with financially broke rebel commanders being airlifted as mercantile goods to Juba through contracted services companies of conduits purportedly working to give a shaky government a leg up. These creative enterprising middle men in coalition with state foreign security networks run tabs day in and out on city dwelling rebel commanders and their families.
They inquire on which distressed family makes do on an empty stomach, which one is being smocked out of rented apartment by uncompromising land lords and ladies or that which insistently complains about being edged out of multi-million Dollar cash bribes as allegedly offered to top rebel leadership by oil companies desperate to stop in their trek the advancing rebel foot soldiers on oil rigs and threatening to turn off taps.
After identifying the business opportunity, they then alert Juba already on standby to hurriedly bring in the sheaves so as to strenuously deliver the goods in exchange. But what Juba is not bothered about enquiring is why these rebels turn themselves in without a single soldier except cash laden briefcases.
If there is any at all accompanying them are rather platoons of wives and battalions of children. Their usually rehearsed alibi is that they have soldiers hiding somewhere in an enemy territory, read rebels – held areas.
To link up with them, government owes them some armed scots to get there and pick them up, they say. On their lonely arrivals, government more often than not accords them the grand standing receptions befitting a tumultuous return of the beloved prodigal sons and daughters from what it always riles as much detested rebellion by deploying its most respected, senior and towering type of Nilotic Ministers to get them on hand at Juba International Airport.
Should it not win back rebels enmas by crude force of arms, it has to get them with sugar coated cash baits back onto the folds by one turning up after another in drops, seems to be the government’s newly found foolproof strategy of killing rebellion slowly but surely as it hopes.
First cast to return home late last year was Eastern Jikany group of former officials of Upper Nile State, warmly received by government as defectors but vehemently disowned by rebel movement as impersonators.
On arrival, they cited being discriminated against by their very own tribesmen in the sharing out of what are normally known as scarce assignments in the comfort zones of foreign capitals away from dangerous killing fields of South Sudan in favor of thinly veiled intruding Dinka elements into an otherwise exclusive Nuer’s rebel establishment, the SPLM/A-IO.
Continuously tore into personality of rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar for a doublespeak. On the ground, they said, away from zooming international media cameras, rebel chief duped unsuspecting Nuer civilians into buying the likable line that he is fighting General Salva Kiir’s Dinka regime while he ditches juiciest posts to rebel Dinka officials in home and away Addis.
Before their aching heels got cooled came Colo group that accused rebel movement of Nuer’s tribalism and corruption, a Dinka’s version they once ran away from in Juba helter-skelter. That was long before General Johnson Olony filled in the void they left behind by joining forces with rebels.
Not long did the stirred up dust by their feet settle than Brigadier General Lul Ruai Kong sneaked back in the company of his wives with similar cock and bull story but not without the usual contradiction.
So as he claimed, he was leading South Sudan Resistance Movement and Army/SSRM/A whose harden supporters were hiking in hide and seek game in tightly rebel controlled Lou Nuer’s Greater Akobo and sooner than latter he would link up with them. SSRM/A many believe is Machar‘s hidden last resort to wield against SPLM in government if push comes to shove with SPLM/A-IO as rebellion indefinitely grinds on.
Shortly afterwards in his social interaction with local media he justified his return in exchange for a state modeled on Greater Pibor of General David YauYau. Unfortunately media lost their mouth and couldn’t gather the courage of asking him to clear the contradiction of him leading a whole national movement while he simultaneously requested government to promote his Greater home county of Akobo to a super status of full pledged state he would presumably lead.
As General Lul’s home coming antics waned, came yet another self-styled Major General in the name of Gai Yoach who seemingly got wind of his former colleagues in rebel ranks and files having returned to government and made fortunes of whooping liquid multi-million Dollars and property in real estates with fleets of Hammers strewn well over their flashy home compounds in Juba and beyond.
He probably made similar claims to be escorted to his home county of Rubkona in oil rich Unity State where a group of supporters might be eagerly waiting for him. But he was not lucky. Before heading home, his planned money – making adventure was already messed up by one fast moving sprinter, General Pul Jang in recapturing his home county for the government, effectively rendering him irrelevant for hire.
General Yoach was followed in quick secession by a handful of SPLM former political detainees who duped the government under cloudy smoke screen of SPLM splintered faction’s re-unification agreement reached in Arusha into taking them back after making some unsuccessfully rebellious noises in posh East African Hotels. The callously hidden agenda was getting back to unlock previously frozen bank accounts before they jetted back to Addis and signed peace as still sworn rivals as ever to the government.
In the most recent past, a cast of seasoned politicians and tested war Generals broke off from their Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Machar with unconfirmed secretly guided alliance with Kiir but analytically decoded by their utterances in an empty show of public confidence that they are force to reckon with that marks yet another political conman ship with unsuspecting government.
Among numerous stated reasons causing their allegiance to wane out is the Commander –in – Chief denying them ammos and guns so as to effectively sustain the deadly 20 – month old war.
With settling the root causes that killed innocent civilians first while Kiir and Machar not to be part and parcel of transitional government IGAD’s mediated peace process may usher in as additional grievances causing them to differ with Machar.
Others are mundane issues of Machar giving preferential treatment to some untouchables as well as turning a bloody rebellion into a kind of family’s lucrative business enterprise. Quite hard hitting!
In the face of their flying accusations and Machar’s counter accusations a jurist of too many observers and overwhelming number of insiders weighed in to restrain the locked horns of SPLM-IO’s factions. Both observers and insiders do buy into these rebellious politicians and commanders’ complaints as genuine while oozing ‘’a stream of buts.’’
They advised the renegades wherever they are to return and remain decked in SPLM-IO under Machar leadership as they continue to politically rock the boat from within for reforms until their concerns are fully adhered to and considered than to vote with feet back and dine with the enemy with hands still profusely drip with fresh blood of their kith and kin.
With that patting but equally worth remembering statement, rebellious group lost the plot in isolation they plunged into heads over heels where they will waste their much needed invaluable capabilities unless they come home to roost.
Machar buoyed with this popular verdict in his favor comfortably regained long and lasting political life line as generously extended to him by his ever supportive Naath Community as well as an ever elusive peace glaring on the horizon he recently grabbed into his cause in Addis to the utter dismay of Kiir.
As Machar savors his political victory on the home front against rebellious group, he bagged yet another coveted diplomatic victory against their alleged still holds out god father, Kiir. Who is currently being frog matched back to Addis in order to append signature to Compromise Peace Agreement, CPA with excruciating stokes of the cane hit hard on his back. That is in pledged international package of arms embargo, travel bands and financial freezes.
So to speak in moment of the day, it is a bag full of victories by a double edged sword wielding and laughing Machar all the way back to Juba, isn’t it?
Deng Vanang, author and Journalist.