By Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak,
May 30, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — This little known fella called Akot Lual think he is smarter than other South Sudanese; that is why he went to an extent of going public to repeat his irresponsible statement in writing. With all due respect, I would say his reckless words emanated from his lack of integrity and patriotism as a senior citizen. It’s very unfortunate that many people had made themselves known in our country through conman-ship, conspiracy, corruption and commission of various crimes against humanity.
You can’t imagine that as the world is crying over the death of one man, George Floyd in the United States of America, South Sudan’s leadership has been maintaining a pin drop silence on the death of 242 innocent Lou Nuer. Unlike in South Sudan, thousands people from all walks- of- life came on streets in the US, to protest the killing of this one black man, George Floyd. Despite the painful death of George Floyd, America is still one of the best countries where black people can live and have a say like their white counterparts. It was very inspiring to see all Americans coming out to denounced the death of their fellow citizen late George Floyd.
The vast South Sudanese majority except the inept clique at state house locally known as J-1 do not know Akot Lual before. But now he is well-known for his infamous sentiments which he reiterated in an article entitled ‘‘South Sudan’s Akot Lual: why I am a solution in Greater Pibor’’.
Fortnight ago, the Murle of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) attacked Lou Nuer town of Akobo and its environs leading to the massive death of 242 innocent children, women and the elderly. Over three hundred are wounded and they are now in critical conditions.
The entire Nuer community and the Lou Nuer in particular are in the mourning mood. When you peruse all the condemnation letters written by the Nuer communities worldwide, you will find that they are really weeping as a result of this premeditated killing.
It is not the Nuer alone that are weeping or mourning but also their friendly Neighbors such as Dinka Bor of Duk who came out openly to condemn this Massacre.
After the attack, it was rumored that the Murle were supplied and armed by the elements from army headquarters Pilpham, but Akot denied this without further elaboration. I know he would not accept this claim, but even an infant or novice South Sudanese would know considering the fact that, there has never been such massive attack on the Nuer which the SPLA had not participated in. Since early 1980s, nearly all the attacks on Nuer communities were carried out by the SPLM/SPLA or its allied forces and militia. Justifiably, the perceived enmity between Dinka and Nuer was the making of the SPLM/SPLA leadership. Believe it or not, if the SPLA forces led by General Kerubino Kuanyin Bol did not commit massacre in the Gajaak village of Thiajak in 1984 in the pretext of looking for Samuel Gai Tut, this persistent antagonism between our tribes would not have happen.
Historically, the wedge between Dinka and Nuer was sibling rivalry over cattle and land grazing. In Kenya, the Kikuyus and Luos are said to be enemies, and this enmity started when President Jomo Kenyatta used National security forces to killed Luos in Kisumu in 1969. Usually, when the President uses National security forces to killed members of a particular ethnic group due to their allegiance to rival politicians, the case will shift and become tribal between that tribe whose members were killed and the tribe of the head of state.
I don’t know whether prior or after, Akot Lual in his capacity as president’s envoy to GPAA said in an interview on National Tv, that his interest and mission is ‘’protecting the small tribes’. His explanation via his article did not convince me. The rumors going around that they supplied and armed the Murle before Akobo attack are justified by these remarks.
In the book entitled ‘‘SPLM/SPLA: The NASIR DECLARATION’’ by Dr. Lam Akol, he produced a letter by Dr. Riek Machar in 1991. The latter wrote and I quote ‘‘the facts on the ground show that should John Garang choose to resist, he will be condemning his clan to total annihilation’’.
I believed it was this statement that made Riek Machar to take responsibility and apologized for the 1991 Bor Massacre in 2012.
Riek talked of clan annihilation, and eventually the massacre did happen in February 1991. Equally, Akot Lual spoke with authority saying his interest is to protect the smaller tribe of Murle who then went and killed Lou Nuer people.
To add insult to injury, on 27th May, 2020, Akot authored an article in Sudan tribune to justify his previous remark about the tribes. The article was full of emotive issues that he did not substantiate. I like the way he narrated how he went and met David Yau Yau in the forest of Nkongole, though I am not sure whether it’s true or false. He said his efforts to meet with Yau Yau bring to fruition the signing of the Peace agreement between the government of South Sudan and the South Sudan democratic movement/ South Sudan Defense Army/SSDA- cobra faction.
Akot was said to be the Presidential Envoy to Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA). This title cannot go unchallenged because it’s fake. Why was he referred to as an envoy as if Pibor is another country within South Sudan? GPAA is territory of South Sudan, and hence David Yau Yau who is the head of GPAA is the representative of the President there.
We don’t know when he was appointed as an envoy to GPAA. I think Akot Lual is just normal South Sudanese whose interest in GPAA is an alleged gold and diamond extraction in GPAA. Even though he denied this claim but they say no smoke without fire. We shall wait for the next ‘sentry report’ if his name will miss out again.
In his article, Akot talked in length about 2013 war. He said and I quote ‘‘in my obligation and compassion, I never came short from helping the Nuer people either. Just in December 2013 war in juba, I remember helping and saving the lives of over 500 Nuers’’. He claimed that he helped 500 Nuers, but he did not specify exactly which period he helped them.
At another point, he said he used his money to help in transporting these 500 Nuers to Ethiopia. He then fell short of mentioning the means of transport that he used to ferry them there. My other question is: if he did this, why was he not branded like as rebel like others, because in 2013 when you are seen with Nuer you qualified to be called a rebel who deserves nothing but death? Did he also transported them together as one or he moved separately?
In addition, he said soon after the fighting in 2013, he was called and informed by wife of Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, madam Nyandeng, Chol Dut Akok that the former minister changson Chang’s house was being attacked by armed thugs, and that without hesitation, he risked his life and rushed to take him to president’s residence for safety. However, just three days ago, i was with another gentleman who told me he went with Changson chang to UN compound in Juba, a day after the fighting erupted in 2013, but he did mentioned that Akot Lual took them to president kiir’s residence for safety.
Moreover, in the war of July 2016, Akot mentioned that he put 150 Nuer in the ‘New Sudan Hotel’; that he asked one Amin Akasha to feed them and the government would pay him later. While saying this, he did not even tell us whether he took all these Nuer people to the said hotel at the same time.
Akot went on to say he put many vulnerable NUERS in different hotels in Juba using his own money during that time. A critical citizen would ask: what job is Akot doing to manage this humanitarian crisis alone if he is denying the gold and diamond extracting business in Pibor?
If at all Akot helped some Nuer during these times, but the number could not reached hundred People. Again, one would ask: in 2016, why would these hundred Nuers be interested to seek shelter in Juba Hotels when they knew those were the places where killings were rampant?
It was in Juba hotel where journalist, Gatluak Manguet was searched and killed. And if United Nations employee can be killed in front of everyone, do you think an ordinary can Nuer can be spared in those hotels. I would partly agree if he said he helped to transport them to Protection of civilian centers (PoC) In Juba
In 2016, most Nuer civilians stay in PoC. And the fighting broke out in J1 when everyone except soldiers were in their residential areas. I really wondered which hotel in Juba would accept to accommodate 150 Nuers whom the government was looking to weed out in broad day light.
Akot need to be asked many questions regarding these clumsy claims. Where did he find all these 150 Nuers at once? Akot should just tell us the Nuer that he accommodated in his house in Juba if there is anyone.
More importantly, if he knew that the government was always targeting one ethnic group every now and then, why did he continue to serve such regime that kill its own citizens merely because one of them is opposing the leader in power?
Akot should be reminded that the Nuers are not beggars, and they are not seeking any mercy from anyone in South Sudan. If the Nuers can withstand the hard life in PoCs for seven years, what else can’t they do in South Sudan? Akot should cease peddling lies.
Among the bold nationalists that I know who stood strongly against the Nuer killings and mistreatments was former SSBC director, Khamis Abdelafit chawuol Lom. It was alleged that his sacking after four weeks in office was due to his refusal to implement orders by information minister Michael Makuei not to show any Nuer activities on National television, SSBC. In 2014, immediately after his sacking, Abdelatif rebelled to defend not just the Nuers but all South Sudanese from all kinds of mistreatment.
In his writing, Akot Lual said what he means by protecting small tribe is to see peace, development and prosperity among small tribes. But when Murle breached peace and killed 242 Lou Nuer he did not utter word of condemnation. There is nowhere in his article where he called on the warring jonglie tribes particularly Murle to cease violence attack on each other tribes.
Akot should be advised to respect himself as an elder. Let him not brag for helping or rescuing Nuers from the criminals who often wine and dine with him in Juba. In fact he is an accomplice. He should find something important to say or do. He should respect the Nuer because they deserve a good name like the rest. They did not find themselves in this conflict by default but by design.
As matter of fact. It is not even South Sudanese culture to mention someone whom you gave water and food in public. Having said this, I would say Nuers are not fool to take these insults as credit for him. Akot should be warns that let him continue insulting the war at his own peril.
The writer is the Chairman if Liech community Association in Kenya, the views expressed here are his own, and he can be reached for comment via email@example.com
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