Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 6 December 2012

Who killed Isaiah Abraham?


By Zechariah Manyok Biar

December 5, 2012 — On December 4th or 5th, 2012, Isaiah Abraham was dragged out of his house and shot dead in front of the same house by unknown gunmen. It is not yet clear why he was killed. But most of us know that Isaiah Abraham was a well known critic of the Government. In most cases, I was his opposite but we were still great friends. Recently when I told Isaiah that I wanted to get married, he became the first person to voluntarily tell me that he was going to assist me.

Isaiah and I were great friends even though we disagreed because we both knew that in democracy, differences are as important as sameness. We judge ourselves better when we have somebody who disagrees with us. I am the loser now because I will miss the writing of Isaiah.

I knew Isaiah Abraham since 1995. He was working with the United Nations when we were defending Kapoeta from the enemy. Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, if one did not know his full name, was not afraid to assist soldiers who were starving in Buno in 1997 even though his mandate was to give the ration to civilians only. I witnessed that. Was that not a risk to his job?

Not only that, Isaiah was one of the first soldiers to rebel against the Government. He was one of SPLA officials. He was loyal to the freedom he fought for. That was why he was committed to criticizing vices in the Government. He had nothing to do with the defending of his community of Kongor or Twic East. For example, he once asked me to apologize to Uror County when I criticized the MPs from there after the repeated killing of innocent people from my home areas.

Isaiah’s writing was always balanced even though many people could not easily get what he was saying. He would give credit where it due. He respected my writing and I respected his, even though our views were always opposite. The misunderstanding of his views by our officials was great.

But he also spoke his mind when he believed that doing so was good for South Sudan. The following paragraph is from the article he wrote few days before his death from the hands of unknown gunmen. The article is entitled, “Khartoum though has a case must give peace a chance.”

“The argument by South Sudan leaders that the matter of SPLM/A-North is an internal matter doesn’t hold water. It is not enough in itself. How about our charge that Dr. Lam Akol of the Democratic Change and Major David Yau Yau are supported by Khartoum, isn’t that not an internal affair of our country? Why do we call their differences with their rebels ‘internal affair’ and never call ours the same? We must choose between peace and war and not both. Peace is what our people want, not war.”

Despite Isaiah’s criticism of the system, his family is really committed to anything about the SPLM and South Sudan. A day before Isaiah was killed, his mother Rev. Rebecca Lueth Wel was traveling to Rumbek to pray for peace among communities there because of her love for this country. Isaiah’s brothers are working in the police and the army at senior positions. One would wonder if his killing would be because of his being critical of the system since everything around his family is for the system.

It is sad that nobody will bring Isaiah back from death even if we now learned that everything he was writing was because of his sincere love for this country. Who wants to endanger his/her life if it is not from the deep-rooted love for the cause?

But we must be careful not to jump into conclusion on why he was killed and who did it. It is not yet clear why Isaiah was killed in cold blood, but it will be known no matter what.

When I visited Isaiah father’s house today, I saw the anger I have never seen from our people. This means that damage has been done to our loyalty to the system. Whoever did the killing has succeeded in causing suspicions among our people.

It would be very important for our Government to find the killers to know exactly why they killed Isaiah so that we are convinced that the killing was not politically motivated. Otherwise, the anger I am now seeing will remain in us for a long time.

Zechariah Manyok Biar lives in Juba, Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at manyok34@gmail.com

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  • 6 December 2012 08:46, by Wiyual

    Isaiah death is very unfortunate indeed. Let his soul R.I.P!
    As you clearily put it, the truth will reveal itself no matter what.

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    • 10 December 2012 13:32, by Ross

      I’m very happy to heard the death of Mr. Diing, because his death is the changing of system and this is what DR. Okuk always advise to government of South Sudan that " the ruling party of South Sudan will turn to its Nation and slaughter them like animals" All greatest criminals in the world are settled in Juba and are friends of Government members. Thanks God for touching the wounded part of them

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    • 8 August 2013 17:25, by MildSweet

      S? fie diferite ?i, mai important, s? fie un om de afaceri în minte. Aten?ie la detalii mici poate fi o cheie mare de succes.

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  • 6 December 2012 09:23, by PANTEM

    May God comfort His family.
    He do not deserve this inhumane death if they are experts in killing,then should kill : James Okuk (PHD hold) cuurently lecturer in Juba university,Dr Lam Akol,Paul Elhag these filthies guys we must kill but comrades,liberators and strugglers.

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    • 7 December 2012 07:32, by OMGG

      Is South Sudan becoming like Somalia? If it’s determined that the government security was responsible for killing of Mr. Abraham, then we have lost what we fought for. Mr Abraham is dead and who will be next. Today, I feel ashamed to call me self South Sudanese living in an independent country.

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  • 6 December 2012 09:26, by PANTEM

    May God curse those who engineered this cadres killing.

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  • 6 December 2012 09:44, by Tutbol

    Isiah was our finest who liberated our country with a gun, leadership to his comrades, spiritual services to our people’s soul & intelectual services to our young nation readership. Whoever killed Isiah Abraham had taken our country back big time. Isiah, you will be dearly missed. May God rest his soul in peace & continues to give his wonderful family & his community courage in these sad times.

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    • 6 December 2012 12:12, by Mach Achiek

      You may be working with the government, but the truth hold itself evidence that Salva Kiir ordered him murdered and execution was done by Akol Paul Koordit.

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    • 6 December 2012 12:18, by Majongdit

      The more I read all this, the more my eyes are filled with water.
      I better leave the office, call back this meeting at three and go straight to bed...oh isaiah!

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      • 7 December 2012 04:46, by Awesome Bill
        • 7 December 2012 04:52, by Awesome Bill

          Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end

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  • 6 December 2012 14:43, by nyantung

    May he rest in God’s eternal peace. Once the minds of people are shot down, their souls become dead. In many ways, South Sudan has become one big disappointment to many who had hoped to see the birth of a new society, a new way of thinking & doing things. In the government & out of the government, there’s a deep "soul-less-ness", people have become greedy, callous & unjust.
    Prof. Nyantung Ahang

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    • 6 December 2012 14:50, by nyantung

      If his ideas had bothered people in the government or out of the government, they should have sat down and had a dialogue about the issues rather than gunning the man down. (I’m assuming he was killed for his outspokenness). What is so difficult about dialogue if you (government folks) are interested in the well-being of SOUTH SUDAN?
      Prof. Nyantung Ahang

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    • 6 December 2012 14:58, by nyantung

      May he rest in God’s eternal peace. Once the minds of people are shot down, their souls become dead. In many ways, South Sudan has become one big disappointment to many who had hoped to see the birth of a new society, a new way of thinking & doing things. In the government & out of the government, there’s a deep "soul-less-ness", people have become greedy, callous & unjust.
      Prof. Nyantung Ahang

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  • 6 December 2012 15:27, by Mapuor

    Zacharia Manyok Biar
    Do you know who killed Francis Bol Akok,Khorou the pilot,Makur Aleyu,Majier Gai,Dr Juec from Baliet etc?Do you know that he got away with it?.May the almighty God rest Isiahia Abraham soul in peace.I was always reading his articles and I really missed him though I differed with him in some things.Elimination is extremely barbaric and satanic.

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  • 6 December 2012 16:57, by sudani ana

    Rest in Peace Isaiah Abraham
    The killing of journalists and intellectuals is clearly intended to scare free thinkers into submission. I hope this does not happen.

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  • 6 December 2012 17:10, by Thyinka

    If Isaiah Abraham was killed by government of South Sudan agent for his outspoken view, then all I can say is that it has become a government of the stupid, by the stupid and for the stupid. This government does not represent the people of South Sudan any more. It has become the government of the untouchable few. Who else would have a motive and the means to kill him if it is not the government.

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    • 6 December 2012 21:45, by Takpiny

      Very shocked news ,killing the country intellect and thinker person like this man, is really has shown how backwardness our country is!
      May God, punish those who have no respected of human life altogether with their masterminded who were engineering this murdered.
      Isaiah has gone but the war against dictatorship through the media will continue till this nation will be freed from evils..

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  • 7 December 2012 00:00, by 4Justice


    Stupid people must be kept on a very short leash, if they slip into power, the consequences can be catastrophic. It is not difficult to understand how social, political and institutional power enhances the damaging potential of a stupid person. But one still has to explain and understand what essentially it is that makes a stupid person dangerous to other people - in other words what constitutes the power of stupidity.

    The Fundamental Laws of Human Stupidity is a famous essay by the economic historian Carlo Maria Cipolla that explores the controversial subject of stupidity in some depth.

    These are some of Cipolla’s the laws of stupidity:

    a) people whom one had once judged rational and intelligent turn out to be unashamedly stupid.
    b) A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons
    while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
    c) Under certain circumstances a given person acts intelligently and under different circumstances the same person will act helplessly.
    d) Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.

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    • 7 December 2012 00:18, by 4Justice

      There are two distinct, unhelpful groups: "bandits" who take positions of power which they use for their own gain; and people out of power who sigh through life as if they are helpless.

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      • 7 December 2012 08:28, by Mangoor

        The murder of Isaiah Abraham is a big blow to Riek future presidency. Dr. Riek will hardly make it to the top due to homicide of this hero. He (Riek) will blame himself for his negligence and having no well planned future. This was the only man who was campaigning for Dr Riek to be a future president of South Sudan. Dr.Riek could not even give him assistance, guard & gun to protect himself.

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        • 7 December 2012 08:31, by Mangoor

          How can you neglect such a motivational campaign manager to be murdered like an insect and you have the power to protect him? Is it not a lack of wise thinking?
          I cannot believe Isaiah Abraham has gone forever with his superb informative writings.

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  • 7 December 2012 08:53, by Mach

    Thanks Zecharia for such a heart touching reflection article.
    Killing our finest brothers among us is not just a prove of poor leadership. It is a significant attention on us as a people who had lived without a previllage of sharing freedom
    Our President is extremely confused and for sure his eyes will see when he taste the bitterness of his blind and deaf lead.

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  • 7 December 2012 13:55, by Ajang De Makuech

    The killing of Isaiah will proved that there no enjoyment of human rights and freedoms in south Sudan.
    south Sudan is unbalance in the scale Justice and human rights.

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    • 7 December 2012 14:43, by Robot

      All i can say is RIP bro Isaiah, we may not revenge who did this but we are ever "deciding people", our struggle for the fruits we ripe is ruined as we mourn your demise. i grew up with the bitter war, i voted for my freedom and i am going to vote again to untwist the very freedom that cost lives of my 12 uncles. SO SAD.

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  • 14 June 2013 13:53, by smithcurt

    I believe you have made some really fascinating points. Not too many others would actually think about this the direction you just did. I am really impressed that there is so much about this subject that has been revealed and you made it so nicely, with so considerably class. Outstanding one, man! Very wonderful things right here.
    nursing schools

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  • 3 August 2013 17:13, by edisonleon

    Killings and unresolved cases will be a big question mark in a country. There are many people who should know that the murderer could be roam where alone.

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  • 19 January 2015 08:29, by Mohamed

    Isaiah was one of the writers whom I followed very closely.
    His articles hit the nail on the head every time. He really understood politics and the dirty games politicians played.
    that is why he was assassinated.
    May his soul rest in peace.

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