SPLM-IO and FDs incitement of Collo and Nuer against Padang,
By Panom Deng Ayuel,
Juba – South Sudan
March 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The Padang Community is morbidly alarmed by the kind of negative rhetoric that is slowly beginning to heat up throughout South Sudan with respect to Malakal. At the time when the country as a whole is writhing under the crashing weight of the ongoing fratricidal war, it is disheartening to see people who are supposed to be the paragons and safeguards of our unity and coexistence dabbling in sadistic and divisive politics. Many misleading commentaries appear almost on daily basis in both social and print media over the ownership of Malakal, but the Padang Community has chosen to respond measuredly, with a hope that when the current euphoria has wound down, a time will surely come when the expansionists will be confronted with their own lies in a reputable court of law.
Although the Padang Community neither has the energy nor the inclination to debate any misinformed and self-deceived opinion slingers, exceptions ought to be made especially when the agitators are individuals with political weight. Therefore, Democratic Change (DC), the Former Detainees (FD’s) and SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO’s) recent threats-laced utterance against Padang Community should be given the attention it deserves given the fact that DCs, FDs and SPLM-IO are currently engaged in a concerted effort to lynch Padang Community both physically and politically. The Padang Community has no axe to grind with anyone within the DCs, FDs and SPLM-IOs consortium other than the fact that Padang Community has to be respected, protected and left alone like any other tribal group in South Sudan.
Of late, political threats have been directed against Padang’s security by DC Opposition MPs, FDs and SPLM-IOs unnecessarily and it is a dangerous experiment in sadistic tribal politics. In his remarks during the JCE/FDs meeting, Dr.Majak d’Agoot had this to say of the Padang people, “The Padang Community has only three viable options: Either that (1) they migrate out of former Greater Upper Nile altogether, or (2) Submit to Nuer and Collo so as to survive, or (3) The Nuer and Collo will converge on them, and probably annihilate them.” As if that wasn’t enough, he erroneously concluded that Malakal belongs to Collo. Facts ought to be submitted to the candid world that Dr. Majak’s current position over this sensitive issue suffers irreparably from the same anomaly: They aren’t borne out by documented historical facts and should simply be shrugged off as nonsense.
Similar reckless statements were uttered by the Collo DC Opposition leader during a press conference at the Parliament in which he said, “… if this illegal occupation of Malakal and other Collo areas is not revoked, it would be a recipe for non-stop deadly war,” Adigo said.
But whatever the excuse, the current outrageous instigation of violence against the Padang Community is an affront to every peace-loving South Sudanese, and should be condemned in terms that are unequivocal in clarity and as strong as the despicability of the behavior warrants. Dr. Majak and Onyoti’s utterances speak volumes insofar as the whole intention of opportunists is concerned and wholesomely betrays the FDs/ DC’s /SPLM-IO armed elements’ sinister motives against the Padang people. As evidenced by the atrocious exploits of these groups against women and children of Padang in Baliet, Melut, Renk, Akoka, Bentiu, Panrieng, Pigi and Malakal etc, the FDs/SPLM-IO camp is burning with genocidal furry against Padang people, but they will never succeed in their endeavors remains.
Apparently, this kind of rhetoric is not without precedence. Prior to the infamous Rwandan Genocide, members of the Hutu political elites were engaged in inflammatory threats against the Tutsi minority, and those threats later culminated in what has become an irremovable stain on the fabric of the world’s conscience. As long as such rhetoric’s are tolerated from those who are trying to impose themselves on the people of South Sudan through some murky international political machinations, this country may eventually slide towards similar dreadful abyss.
As a matter of fact, this is not the first time that the FDs and SPLM-IOs engage in such a dangerous tribal-inciting rhetoric. The people of South Sudan in general and the people of Padang in particular remember vividly how both factions of 2013 rebellion conducted themselves at the early days of the rebellion. Their BBC unsubstantiated rhetoric that the Nuer were being massacred in Juba served as a recruitment tool for the Nuer’s White Army. The entrance of the White Army into the conflict shifted the conflict from its political nature and made it a Jieng-Nuer affair. As a result, the White Army targeted Jieng women and children in Bor, Bentiu, Akobo, Malakal, Panrieng, Baliet, Pigi and other places.
This shows that when politicians are not careful with their words, thoughts, and phrases, they push the people to the edge in a dangerous way. Therefore, the Padang Community is rightly alarmed by such irresponsible utterance from Collo DC Opposition leaders, FDs- SPLM-IOs co-conspirators, for they are priming the country for a catastrophe that might be larger in scale than what recently happened in the UNMISS POC in Malakal. As such, the Padang Community hereby urges the parties to the recently signed peace agreement and the Opposition DC MP’s to tame their loose cannons otherwise the country will inadvertently blow itself asunder, a scenario that isn’t in anybody’s best interest.
If Padang Community is being targeted for extermination due to the ownership of Malakal and the oilfields around it, then let any verifiable historical facts be submitted to an impartial arbitration and the people of South Sudan. As far as Padang is concerned the following historical facts may be verified: Malakal is found at the east bank of the Nile – outside the territory of the Collo kingdom and jurisdiction of the Collo King, and also predominantly inhabited by the Padang people, while the Collo inhabit the west bank of the Nile – where the Reth (King) rules the Collo Kingdom. Evidently, Malakal is not part of the Collo kingdom and the Reth’s authority does not apply to subjects residing east of the Nile, as such Malakal will always remain the land of Padang, come what may!!
If anybody has any credible legal claims contrary to the current verifiable evidences, then they are challenged to present it before a reputable court of law. Ownership of Malakal doesn’t warrant threats of war, extermination and expulsion as this will never resolve the dispute amicably.
In conclusion, the people of Padang call upon SPLM-IO, FDs and the DC’s to retract their unfounded threats, assumptions and comments before their already shredded reputation suffers another debilitating political blow. The Padang people call upon the people of South Sudan to categorically condemn such inflammatory and inter-tribal incitement of violence and fratricide among our people.
In conclusion, the people of Padang want the people of South Sudan and the whole world, to know that they are a peace-loving community, but if they are unwarrantedly provoked and attacked, would be in a position to defend themselves as this is an inalienable right for any person anywhere. The people of Padang are appealing to peace loving people of South Sudan and Africa to hold the FDs, DC’s and SPLM-IO responsible for their incitements of Collo and Nuer against Padang Jieng.
The author, Panom Deng Ayuel, can be reached at email@example.com