Media Opinion

The Era of Heroic Errors in South Sudan

By Deng Mangok Ayuel,

Two of South Sudan's media houses have been shutdown and editors report strict warnings from the government officials this week to suppress federalism debate(Photo: cropped by Nyamile)
Two of South Sudan’s media houses have been shutdown and editors report strict warnings from the government officials this week to suppress federalism debate(Photo: cropped by Nyamile)

August 7, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — In South Sudan, a writer or columnist faces two choices: turn away from reality to avoid intimidation and insecurity or conquer the reality and face its complexity on his/her own risk. However, writer is supposed to take side with powerless. And it’s rational to balance an opinion piece or story because there is no moral obligation to take side with oppressor or suppressor in a situation where things are not going well in our country. Before accused of being a Dinka, I urge my readers to face the reality as they go through this piece. This is a time to go against all political odds, time to call spade a spade.

If we could judge the current war in South Sudan by the standards of political enmity within the SPLM, one would say individuals in the ruling party against their own party principles waged the war. The rumor of ethnical rivalries and power struggles between Dinka and Nuer as ‘believed’ by the westerners is merely an imposture. There is no Dinka against Nuer as there is no Nuer against Dinka on ethnical lines. We must set apart national issues or politics from ethnical dimensions. It’s also a big zero to believe that the current war in the country has a just tone. A rebellion led by looters is like morning dew.

Is Dr Machar a right man to lead the rebellion if people are tired of President Kiir and the SPLM? Dr Machar was part of corrupt government in Juba when he was Vice President. He was in the list of alleged corrupt leaders in South Sudan. So he shouldn’t deceive grown up men and women with lifeless propaganda that he is an alternative for presidency.

We made our country a bastion of plights. Everything is fading into mist in our country. Legacy is almost erased by power hungry leaders who mutinied against legitimate government, corruption has rooted itself in our public institutions and constructed lies become truth on social media for individuals who don’t want to believe in the history of rebellion with Dr Riek but interested to get a new story of the same coin in the new nation. Poverty has already reduced many of us to potential beggars. Many people fled the country. Masses were forced to live in the UMMISS camps. Others kept starving in their own huts in the villages due to lack of food. Call it Riekiiracy’s political era of errors. Are we on the axe of evil?

Besides, Lakes State is another unique place with its component of insecurity. I call it a ‘component of insecurity’ because there is no smoke without fire. Something must be wrong somewhere or there is a troubler somewhere. On the other hand, coopted loyalists, MPs and toothed-public servants are the internal political enigma to our people. These people built political hives on social media and began waxing the public with unhealthy political rumors in order to instigate chaos for political gains. People are complicated. There is no devil than a man. The real devil isn’t far from educated person. Politicians are also different people – they devised ideas to become law they don’t follow and pleasingly enshrined their doings for the sake of society. Some of the laws enforcing agencies are trouble igniters. So where is the real devil?

In football game, a team is expected to defeat the rivals. Those who kept killing their own people are the losers. The societal complexities and the nature of killing in Lakes state are frustrating. Oh no, Rumbek is not the only place where there is insecurity. Go to Yambio and the villagers in Nzara will tell you their own stories of insecurity. Or go to Warrap state and Aguok or Apuk section of Dinka becomes the warriors of their own styles. Are we the mixtures of wrong generation at the right time in the new nation?

Do you know the kind of South Sudan we are creating through mutiny? Our political branded brains are allergic to democracy – that is why there is rebellion. Some of our politicians who aspired to fulfill their political interests and dreams through power struggle, war and corruption have made democracy to be the wickedly weakest system of government for South Sudanese ever tried.

Democracy becomes a system of government where some of our people wake up in the morning and decide to loot public resources without accountability. It’s the government where people form consortiums within the ruling party for trouble-makings. It’s the government where its security agencies unlawfully humiliate and arrest activists and journalists to please their bosses. Now that people are afraid when they aren’t supposed to be afraid of their government, however, things may remain unchanged for a long time. It’s a democratic government that should be afraid of its people because democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In heaven, all the interesting people are missing. Greatest poet, Aristotle didn’t find them there. And in South Sudan, Aristotle found everything – corruption, tribalism, nepotism and rebellion, all in one mind. As the saying goes, “the greatest patriotism is to tell a truth when your country is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously. Alas, we are mouth-folded. You can’t tell some people that their algebra or political arithmetic is wrong or say that all SPLM factions shall one day unite and the losers will be innocent people.

We are in the era of Achebe’s Nigeria, ‘this house has fallen. Maybe, but some people are living fabulously wealthy lives amid the ruin. And others survive and get by. How? It’s a mystery. The secret lies in the layers of millions up millions of networks, personal ties, family links and ethnic loyalties’. Or call me a liar.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a South Sudanese blogger and columnist. He lives in Aweil and can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com

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