Opinion South Sudan

Opinion: Gen. James Hoth Mai Rise like a Morning Star,

By Chang Bithow,

December 24, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you all in advance, I hope the year 2020 shall be a year of peace and stability in South Sudan, where the end of the current conflict and cease of loss of lives shall be celebrating throughout the land. Literally, people like to focus heavy on negative side or on small portion of a person achievement, while intended to impairment the whole contributions and accomplishment of what the person has achieved. But personally, I believe that a tiny appreciation could be enough to acknowledge the person input and participation, because this can lead to unlock many talents and enormous rewards. Also in addition to that, an appreciation can give sufficient energy to a person to move forward for an extra miles to do the good things. For that regard, I decided to register my thanks and salute Gen. James Hoth Mai for his bravery and heroically fought to the enemy in various fronts, both in former Sudan as well as South Sudan.  

Gen. James Hoth Mai, the former chief of staff of the SPLA and the current Minister of Labour(Photo credit: Nyamilepedia)
Gen. James Hoth Mai, the former chief of staff of the SPLA and the current Minister of Labour(Photo credit: Nyamilepedia)

Gen. James Hoth Mai was a former Chief of General Staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, and current Minister of Labour and Public Service. He is a humble person and man of principle among his colleagues as well as in public.  Sometimes, his colleagues describe him as selfsame, trustworthy, proudness and fearless person who understood the political life and all its characters. As we celebrating the Christmas and New Year, I’m also posture in celebrating of his achievement during the long struggle and current. His self-denial sacrifice to the nation shall remain visible like scare in South Sudan for protecting his people and liberated them from oppressed. Besides being a brother, friend, relative and colleagues, I would like to acknowledge his multifaceted characters and advance military and management skills. His meticulous works and meekness would not only echo his true likeness and military capability, but also had shown his ability to lead

Since Gen. James Mai joined an armed struggle latter renamed as Sudan People’s Liberation Army in 1983, he had undergone various arduous military courses, trainings and received most of his promotions in battle field. As military cadet, he had applied what he learned into action and never lacks promotion of being incompetent to accomplish the task. Based on his commitment, performance and military strategic planning and tactic, he was trusted by late Chairman Dr. John Garang who assigned him in various missions both inside and outside the country. 

The strong chained between the two had trouble some senior’s commanders within the SPLA who were around Dr Garang at a time, and moaned against James closeness to the Chairman. 

When James was transferred to Eastern Equatoria toward the end of 1980s and early 1990s to command the SPLA forces, the above mentioned senior commanders developed unwarranted hatred toward Gen. Mai. They ordered or sent him multiple times to the dangerous or impossible operations under duress against the Sudanese Armed Forces. And whenever he managed to capture a town or defeated the enemy, a non-combatant commander will be assign to take over the place from him and order him to move forward. With this unfair and unusual comradeship behavior within the hierarchy of the SPLA, he was kept in operation for the length of time more than any senior’s officers. The hidden plot to keep Gen. Mai on the frontline was  intended to exhausted him in battle in order to quit the SPLA, find reasonable excuse to accuse him if complain or they want him to be kill in battle filed.

But despite their undisclosed conspiracy; Gen. James Mai continue to displayed positive attitude and obeyed every single order as instructed without groan. He commenced the operations with limped moves as battling with desperate outnumbers of enemy forces.  Gen. Mai and his forces fought vigorously and managed to conquest the enemy by destroyed unspecific enemy conveys, compassed and captured numbers of towns. God was on his side and granted him victory in every battle he fought.  But, he was not alone; he was deputized by scorpion person name, CDR James Koang Chol Ranley. The both fearless true sons of South Sudan scattered the government forces like wheat and crossed the Equatorian Mountains like shallow river until they reached to Juba. While his coward and untrusted former logistics officer, Mr Michael Makuei Lueth, the current South Sudan Minister of Information and Broadcasting who never command a single battalion was far away from battle field. But he used to delivered incomplete food or non-food items to SPLA soldiers on front line after due date.

Gen. James Mai is not only a brave person to fight, but he is brave in decision making too. For examples, in October 2013, he refused to attend the graduation ceremony of Salva Kiir private armies in Luri around Juba. His refusal was not correlated with fact that the private army’s recruitment was conducted from Warrap and Northern Bhar el Ghazal states, but the context of the recruitment and its purpose was obfuscated. For that reason, he refused to recognise them to be integrated into national armed since the authentic channel of recruitment was not follow. Secondly, during African Union Commission inquiry about South Sudan conflict. Gen, James Mai presented his version clearly like any other seniors military leaders. He clearly stated that the SPLA armies who were under his command didn’t kill the civilians; but the atrocious that committed were done by other forces that operated outside his command such as president private armies. Also, President Salva KIir is not an easy person that can be trust, because he is valuable to be influence by other people outside his cabinet or frequently change his mind like a wind that changes the direction without notice.

Thirdly, Gen. James Mai plainly rejected the formation of 32 states, because he believed that the idea will create chaotic situation within the neighbour’s communities which can hatch into feud, fragmentation, insecurity and instability between states. Despite, Gen. James Mai political correctness to above mentions examples, some inexperience politicians, money lovers and positions seeker attempted to take advantage to create feud between him and President. While the decisions that Gen. James Mai had made of not participated on above examples was perceived by overwhelming support by public. In fact, those three decisions has truly manifested that Gen. Mai is not a man of position seeker, but he is a person who has big heart and a long term vision toward the country equality, stability and prosperity.

Finally, on his current position as Minister of Labour and Public Service, Gen. Mai demonstrated leadership capacity that inspired employees and unemployed people in South Sudan. By introducing the new policy that will improve and strengthen both public and private sectors such as retirement or pension’s scheme, promote job creation, reform or screen the civil servants, wages increase and encourage constructive dialogue among the employees within ministry. Gen. James Mai Gen. rise like a morning star he is one of the few precious seed that still exist in South Sudan. May God bless him and I wish him a tremendous future and his family as he continues serving his country with dignity and respect.

For more information on this article, you can reach the author, Chang Bithow, at changbithow@gmail.com

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