LOOKING AT OURSELVES
THE WAY WE KNOW NOT!
Let us be sober
March 26, 2014
FM: Edward Abyei Lino
To: The People Of South Sudan
To: Leaders Whom We Expect to Meet SoonEdward Lino, former Abyei chief administrator and a leading elite of SPLM, speaking in an electoral meeting held in Khartoum before Sudan’s presidential elections in April 2010.(Nyamilepedia)
Nationalism, that crown of the land, which we forfeited to grabbers, the time they diverted the reign from under the seat of a Comrade, raising his head with closed eyes supplicating to Heaven to extend his rule beyond 2015. We witnessed smoke, dust and debris smearing our faces, covering our homes when problems became much clearer than ever and knew that crooks had us betrayed!
Never shall people forget those dolorous moments, because it taught them what it means to love one another and live together in peace. Yes, we witnessed revulsions moving, diverted by indecisiveness, recklessness and ruthlessness, because of shortsightedness. So sad did we learn even nations could be lost when we encountered the wise closing their eyes not to witness endowments swishing to a direction through which they fear things might disappear! Indeed, national issues are intricate and that need us to be together and march hand in hand to the end of our time.
Looking at ourselves through the smokes of Malakal, the charcoal of Bentiu or the ashes of Bor, we need to stand together and raise our voices together and say “no” to destruction! Let us rise to restate what we destroyed at that sad moment of our madness. Sorry for killing ourselves, sorry for destroying our properties, sorry for loosing our senses and sorry for missing the direction!
It seems there is a moment when a human brain would turn wild and fails to sense the way it senses normally. Since we know what happened, let us rise and do what shall keep us together. The process of healing is demanding, indeed. It requires us to be knowledgeable about what is needed to let us move together on the road of reconstruction. And if we do not know how to construct, then let us ask and we shall be assisted. That passage is too rough and demanding. But we must unite to face it. There are many lessons we learn form our recent past, which should not be forgotten. We have to be frank to enable us collectively share the responsibility of building our nation. We should not let things disintegrate for nothing.
Three moons disappeared in the bosom of time and we are still lynching ourselves without a convincing reason. Three months gone and we are still refusing to listen to the voice of wisdom from across the world. Three unthinkable months are over and the war still continues to perpetuate the suffering of our people to the coming rainy season! After butchering each other on specified tribal lines amid confusion, which included some innocent people from other ethnicities and tribes, what gain have killers reaped now that the euphoria is over!
What people are fighting over today are two points basically: Power in Juba and Vengeance in the dreadful after math of the initial attacks and counter attacks! How do people feel, in spite of the fact that there are people who believe they have things to settle with either this or that tribe? How do they feel today sitting lonely under the trees! Those who aimed their guns against others or randomly shelled and killed people whom they never knew or saw, must be suffering gravely from remorse and sorrow for having done something woeful, which they should not have done.O’ Comrades, what a paradox, beasts kill not or attack each other for nothing, but we, humans, do!
There are a few prophets-of-doom who showed people their hidden tails the time things went astray, because they thought that was the best way for our people to follow them to hell. Kill this fellow, because he is a Nuer! Shoot that one since he is a Dinka! I missed a Shuluk for a Nuer! I killed a Mundari for an Aliap. They look the same! Why should one kill a Nuer on behalf of Dinka! Why should I slaughter a Dinka on behalf of Nuer! When was I ordered by my tribe to murder a fellow from another tribes on their behalf! Who incited me to commit that crime in the name of a people in their cattle camp!
As a Dinka, I would fall ashamed when abandoned alone under a tree for my being a Dinka, symbol of inhumanity! As a Nuer, I would squeeze myself not to visit a non-Nuer neighbour who might handle me as a killer, symbolizing brutality! No, no, we are one people. Let what happened be the end of brutality among our people. Let us express our sorrow and pardon one another to build our future together. We are at the beginning of a long journey.
Following the last incidences, many people escaped to neighbouring countries for safety. People moved internally to nearby States, creating problems to themselves and to hosting communities. Unascertained numbers of people crossed borders to neighbouring countries as refugees. About fifty Legislative Assembly members are now knocking doors to survive in Kenya and a number of government employees, business people and normal citizens are in Uganda, Ethiopia and in Sudan.
People there are greatly suffering. Imagine a situation in which members of the Assembly got reverted into baggers! Not every person who escaped from Juba was pro Riek Machar or pro Salva Kiir. These two big groups have guns and nothing to fear and they are the ones frightening the people. People ran at random to peaceful places to save their lives when lawlessness exploded, while Juba looking for what to fight the war, decided unilaterally to retain the salaries of all those who fled, scared by skirmishes. People were called to report to work, but some of them were lynched when they returned. How can people return to hell! People need peace to wipe out all the pains and sufferings of a refugee life.
Honestly, let us ask Comrade President whether that was what the people elected him to do! When one fails to address a situation like what we are in, that person is expected to review the whole situation addressing one fundamental fact. Whether one can be able to correct what went wrong! There are many daunting questions, which need to be addressed directly by President Salva Kiir himself and not any of the people around him, whom he use to dispatch worldwide on his behalf.
This is the time when a Leader should be honest and brave and ask himself whether his insistence to cling on power can quicken the resolution of the conflict or intensify it further? Is the President satisfied with what is going on today in South Sudan? Why did you agree recently before Heads of States in Addis Ababa IGAD Heads of States Summit to include former “seven detainees” in the peace talks and latter on your delegation came to object their inclusion in the peace talks; would that not disrespect and disregard your Colleagues, the Heads of States and how would they trust and respect you?
Given the fact that the international community has started to be disturbed by what is happening now in South Sudan, especially with your leadership when you have no country worldwide supporting you, don’t you feel it would be better for you to give-up to save the nation from a possible international intervention when you are now penny-less, lawless, failing state?
These questions might sound unbecoming, but given the fact that President Salva Kiir has no sober assistants to whom he listen and talk, one thought it would serve us better to let him take these questions through the media. People are anxiously waiting! Comrade President, how would you rebut people who suggest the removal of your government from UN and AU, for its bad performance? Which other options would you resort to, since you did not succeed to find a solution to the problem at hand? Whom shall people hold responsible for the present war, which swallowed tens of thousands of innocent lives? Shall the next elections be held in 2015, given the fact Malakal, Bentiu and Bor are in shambles and there is need to have them rebuild?
Frankly, we must be brave to address these questions to the President, because he is the person responsible for our stability and progress. After what happened, the President must be told that he has gone far beyond his mandate, since he was not elected or mandated to lead the nation into his own home-grown-war. Let us note that: Comrade Salva Kiir was elected to lead Southern Sudan to the referendum of 2010, then subsequently mandated to lead the new nation after our independent in 2011, and was not elected.
Our people of the Republic of South Sudan have not elected Comrade Salva Kiir, but mandated him to be President. Let Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit himself answer this claim and frankly tell the people of South Sudan on which day did they elect him and who elected him? These are some of the facts we should remind ourselves, as well as, the President!
In this world today, there are things a nation can do and others not! No nation can ignite fire of destruction and killing of citizens in its territory and claim that to be a plot! No people can jump on the neck of others and claim that to be an attempted tribal onslaught on the attacker! No one can raise tribal flags on top of other tribes and claim that act to be justice! No nation can exterminate its people and threaten the life of its citizens by pushing them to neighbouring countries as refugees in the name of establishing law and order!
Human family has greatly developed beyond mere tribal boundaries. Almost all our human needs are similar and that could be the measurement people should adopt to measure any claim people assert in their communities. The important point in any multi-tribal community is to improvise an acceptable scale by which to measure injustices, have them resolved and award rights accordingly. Such a scale should incorporate every important aspect of how people arrive at a consensus. All those aspects have to be incorporated in the scale before examining any given situation.
Looking at our traditions we could learn how to resolve conflicts. In all cases, the first requirement would be honesty. Honesty is fundamental in resolving conflicts peacefully. How big a problem may be, people have always settled them amicably in their traditions. Normally, one starts by respecting oneself, before addressing the opposing party. In most of traditions, after opening talks and respectful words are exchanged the opposite party then proceeds to count the points of differences.
The important thing in resolving a problem is respect to the opposite side, if both sides are determined to arrive amicably at peace. That is what it takes to let both sides succeed to bring genuine peace. For one side in a conflict to assert that some stakeholders are not to be allowed to take part in peace talks, would be disruptive to peace process, because peace issues cannot be resolved through covering other sides of the problem or deception.
Both sides must be equally committed to bring peace. Starting our peace talks observers noticed undesired impediments and un-necessary delays being placed intentionally to delay the advancement of the talks. Those impediments are a clear reflection of the backwardness of some elements in the government delegation, of which Nhial Deng Nhial should take note!
To rebuild our country there are issues we should priorities and look at seriously, the first of which is that: we must follow the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict, which incited people to demolish what was built. That process of peaceful resolution must be made clear to people throughout the Republic. Looking at our last fifty years we can see how we neglected our history, because of ignorance. We might be among the worse people known who do not keep history, in spite of the fact that we are the descendants of that Kush Kingdom! Look, how we started to forget about our leaders: Henry Lul, Gelario Modi Tombe and Joesph Kuol Amom, as an example! That process of reconciliation right from the genesis of the conflict, how it exploded and how resolved, must be explained to our people.
When people succeed to resolve a conflict, they should know the processes followed, since they are the legitimate owners of whatever shall be achieved. No way can a sustainable peace be achieved and maintained, unless we combat ignorant. We must take our people to be our most solid cornerstone of peace building.
As noted above, there is great need to structure our education to incorporate our history and culture. We have to record our steps in history so that our youngsters should not miss the road, as we missed it in less then a decade. Let us get liberated from inferiority complex and shamefulness when reaching peace. Not every great achievement made during the war or conflict has to be reworded, though it should not be forgotten.
There are no convincing reasons why some people feel ashamed and interior, because of the position in to which peace process might place them. The price of peace is dear indeed and it is paid by a few who sacrifice. Since those who sacrifice are the great who offer, then let them feel super-proud when paying peace price. Heroes are rewarded according what people see and live. We have great historic stands to convey to our youngsters about how elders exerted efforts and sacrificed for our freedom.
Today we totally forget our greatest daughters and sons in our struggle, because of our being terribly misled by traitors and grabbers to the point of mistreating and abusing one of our heroes of the land in the caliber of Comrade Oyai Deng Ajak, whose kangaroo-trial shall remain a curse on us all!
To rebuild what we destroyed, we must wake up! Wake up consciously and extend forgiving hands to one another. Our people need to reconcile in the open. It is only then can we march to build our country. At the verge of our independence, as said earlier, the world was looking at us as a hopeful destination where investment can thrive. Our potentials are great, toped by virgin land, enormous amount of sweet water, good quantity of oil and valuable resources. But we lack human potentials to exploit our resources. Right from 2005, we were misled to take every glittering thing for gold and that was when and how we missed the road! We were pulled in the dark till we banged our heads on the rock of ignorance and carelessness.
From where we began that far in the bush, we never advanced for an inch, but rather we kept retreating to the tail of knowledge. That is the tomb in which our educational policies are buried! Now we lament for having entered into nationhood through that long hectic way, while those who misled our new nation are desperate, trying to tell us: ‘all shall be good’. And we wish they know what ‘good’ means! Any ‘good’ from a bad person means ‘bad’ and that is what we should know!
Billions of Dollars recklessly disappeared. Pockets filled from public funds? In this world today, one believes there is justice that can restore misappropriated funds and there are good people who can help us in this respect. That is why thieves and grabbers are desperate to confront the world, in order to protect their interests! They believe, if they have power, no person can apprehend them or look for what was lost. So would they prosper in peace! Come let us unite and start development to realize sustainable progress and fight corruption, which has become a rampant epidemic within our communities.
Such a patriotic move has to start from within us. We need to change our attitude with regards to what belongs to public domain. There is need to endear what belongs to the public from personal prospective and take it like something, which belongings to me, as an individual. In us, we must do our best to inculcate the spirit of respecting what belongs to the public to enable us endear what belongs to us. How much have we lost “individually”, when we lost what belonged to the “public”? How many chances did we loose as a people, when we lost public facilities like hospitals, schools and roads, in terms of constructing them, maintaining and sustaining them? Unless we change from inside, to do what is beneficial to us, nothing outside us can change us!
During the last weeks we began to mix international politics with local ignorance. We did that, shouting while pointing at UN, accusing it of supplying lethal support to Dr Riek Machar. What a shame to chase a person whom one knows he shall not reach while crying! That cry was a cry of someone who shall not achieve what was desired to be achieved like that fellow who does not know how to milk a disturbed cow! It was a screaming of a desperado who failed to catch an international body. That was no discourse between politics and intelligence. It was reckless-ness and despair blended in a solid mind that moves and acts according to what is seen far from a distance where colours mix.
Like a beginner confronting a mighty gladiator and the UN is a grown multi-national body well experienced in that game of hide-and-seek! The UN could have been stealthily followed till apprehended if possible. There was no need to loud your intentions, when we need the UN, our partner, to assist our people in many fields, especially when famine and other epidemics are coming. We seem to be adopting blind some examples of Middle-Eastern-Islamic-fundamentalist ways of confronting Western countries like shouting and insulting in the streets of Khartoum in a demagogic manner, which shall not help! Imagine yourselves meeting UN envoys as partners, asking for educational materials, food and medicine; how would you show-up to yourselves!
Let me say, nations are not ruled by allowing untrustworthy rubble-rousing elements to play with the destiny of our innocent people, especially when the ones you collect are mentally birds of same feather like now mismanaging and misdirecting the country.
Wherever one goes around the globe one fact remains and that is: business never thrives in any atmosphere of war. Business people are always first to withdraw or run away from war zones. That is what happened to us in South Sudan. People left and business fell ascender. But there are people who think, because their incomes have even tripled then, all must thrive equally!
In Juba today money circulation is shrinking, goods are drying up and prices are skyrocketing. As a result of all these factors, in addition to fear, citizens are systematically disappearing from the city. Instances of incidents of looting and robberies are dramatically increasing. These things are happening and no person is concerned about what is happening to the people. Prices are strictly decided by the principles of supply and demand like any market. But strictly, who supplies and who demands? The way in which things are happening now in South Sudan market, is like having a hyena becoming a supplier and prices keep on skyrocketing, each drop of blood doubling pricewise, instantly slurped before touching the ground!
All over South Sudan markets are growing beyond exorbitant, affordable only to a few lucky ones, as the circle of consumers keep narrowing dictated by money flow and goods, coupled with fear and other economic realities like the disappearance of Malakal, Bor, Bentiu, Paloch, Panrieng, Mayom and Rubkona markets. Tell me who can believe that Bor, Bentiu and Malakal are no more towns like people die! Whom shall people hold responsible for that most untimely death of those towns beside Kiir and Riek, our two rivaling Leaders of today? These towns are down to earth and no Minister can opened his mouth, when shall we begin to rebuild them. Our economic situation has shamefully fallen and no person is accountable or can be asked about what is happening in this vital field! None supervising the market and no one recording the in flow and out flow of goods in the country. Goods reach their destinations like decided by suppliers, security organs and the Almighty!
Today one would honestly call upon al-Sahaaf to repeat his shameful naked claims for which he was paid that, there was a coup in Juba on 15/12/2013. He forgot lies have short legs and truth would always strides atop the mountains! Yes, there was a coup in Juba. But who against who! Frankly, it was a super-plot led by President Salva himself against himself.
It was the President against the President! All the expectaters felt it rightly, the moment the President refused to hold that extended hand of Dr Riek Machar that evening at Nyakoron Cultural Centre! Our voice was among the voices, which were calling from far to stop the bloodshed, which was ruthlessly gushing. We saw it drowning our consciousness, sticking in us a sort of animalism that butchers randomly.
Now there are powerful international voices rising demanding the setting of a tribunal like the one of Sierra Leon to look into similar cases in South Sudan! Please, tell us, do people accept that way of solving our internal problems? Mr. Minister, why fail to know the possibility of the coming of such an international tribunal to our land before hand? Please, come al-Sahaaf, were we wrong when we told you that there was no coup in South Sudan? My dear, sneak into a nearby Church since you are still a Michael. Go uncloak your sins. God always forgives sinners, toped by blood-reaping-liars!
Today all over South Sudan people are waiting anxiously for talks in Addis Ababa to start hopefully to yield peace. But the unacceptable news, which keeps bringing doubt to people centers on what one man is doing, commuting between Juba and Addis Ababa. Bringing “no” to Addis Ababa and taking “yes” to Juba! That situation depends on the stand of only one man, Nhial Deng Nhial! Comrade Nhial, I believe is the one who can bring a break-through in the peace talks. He must be assertive with the process and stop all those who care not the live of the people, who would want to play with the destiny of our people.
These talks are not tougher then the previous one with NCP, in which Comrade Nhial held a much more leading role in the talks and came out triumphant. This needs straight-forward-ness and bravery, because issues are the same in essence. In his present delegation, there seem to be some flamboyant members who tend to be assertive to points they do not know to show themselves as knowledgeable with what could be put on the table.
Comrade Nhial is required to show people his integrity. The issue now at hand is how would all sides reach a consensus and agree how to rule a multi-ethnic peoples’ country! Comrade Nhial Deng Nhial needs to be brave to the point of quitting his position in case the President disapproves his valued stand!
Compatriots, it won’t take that long to see ourselves the way we want, the moment we come to our senses and witness things from the right prospective. Here around us, there are many living examples. But we thought to create our own experiences, which eventually brought us to where we are now; the same experiences through, which human societies had been sailing since the dawn of time. Since we began to look at ourselves the way we want, let us follow the way human life developed in accordance to reality.
Some of us believe that, igniting havoc would take a short time after which things return to normal. A few people saw what happened would take much longer time and wider space. Some believe lawless-ness could change things for good and life should not be the same, given the manner in which things turned to be. How can one man decide to usurp what belongs to people in terms of taking money and properties and use them for his own good! Now how can people address such a situation! President Salva Kiir Mayardit is required to admit all his crimes and apologize publicly to the people of South Sudan! As President he is not allowed to stride on the Constitution, commit horrendous crimes and mismanage what belongs to people, while taking himself to be virtuous and respectable. Lord, may You please, bless the people of South Sudan…
Thank you my dear for your perseverance…
Thank you for your commitment to remain truthful…
May God bless us all and give us courage and strength…
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