By Sabrino Majok Majok
Two and half years ago when citizens of South Sudan attained their long awaited independence from former oppressors in Khartoum, it was hoped that the South would prosper and enjoy freedom it rightfully deserves. But hopes and expectations began to dwindle and threaten when Government in Khartoum under current President of Sudan embarked on delaying tactics to implement post-independence issues such as border demarcation, Abyei Referendum, and resolutions over claimed disputed areas which culminated into oil shutdown by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan because the oil was being stolen and looted in a broad daylight by Al-Bashir’s Government.
The oil shutdown continued for over a year before it resumed this early year. Then, there was a heighten hope that South Sudan economic condition would improve comes January 2014.
Unfortunately, SPLM lingering infighting and power struggle resulted into an unjustified coup attempt by Dr. Riek Machar and his faction on Sunday, December 15, 2013 (only ten days before Birth of Christ’s Celebration-the Holy Christmas). As I write this piece, Dr. Riek’s failed coup has caused incalculable destruction in South Sudan in terms of lives and properties lost mostly in Juba, Jonglei and Western Upper Nile State (formerly Unity State).
Below are Dr. Riek’s three most deceptive and contradictory moves in the aftermath of foiled coup:
(1) The fugitive Dr. Riek did not have guts and courage as a leader to lead his men in combat in Juba on Sunday, December 15, 2013, the night of coup attempt. Dr. Riek’s escape from Juba leaving behind his helpless men was a contradiction to his repeated assurance to his collaborators that he would be with them in Juba until "last drop" of his blood
(2) His allied forces are indiscriminately killing families and residents of his co-conspirators such as Dr. Majak Agot, Madam Rebecca, Gier Chuang, and Oyai Deng, just to name but a few. The continuous U-turn action on the part of Dr. Riek is troubling, to say the least. It describes more on his deceptive personality as a leader that should warrants no respect and trust whatsoever.
(3) The self-proclaimed "next president of the Republic of South Sudan," Dr. Riek is overseeing massacres of innocent civilians and country’s organized forces for whom he "staged the coup to protect and lead" and eventually makes South Sudan "an African Tiger," as he deceptively would like others to believe. It beats people’s logical and conscience how a person who aspires for nation’s leadership behaves the way he is conducting himself in the eyes of South Sudanese, not to mention the international community at large. Ironies will never stop happening: the likes of Madam Nyandeng and Majak de Agot who co-conspired with fugitive Dr. Riek are currently witnessing massacre of the worst kind of their own people by non-other than their presumed coup leader, Dr. Riek. Shall we ever forget Riek’s past and present?
Furthermore, Dr. Riek’s deceptions and contradictions explain why he should not be trusted now and in the future by citizens of the Republic of South Sudan and indeed the whole world. This is because Dr. Riek Machar has been tested many times during and after liberation struggle, chief of which are 1991 theoretical coup and December 15, 2013 failed coup, albeit with lots of blood-letting and properties lost or destroyed.
Ongoing Negotiation Initiatives between the Government and coup plotters
Since December 15 to date, South Sudanese, world leaders and well-wishers have been championing peace and reconciliation initiatives to bring together fugitive Riek and leaders of the Republic of South Sudan. Although it’s a good intention, the reconciliation should not be on expenses of the Republic of South Sudan, wounded, and martyrs. Instead, justice must be done. Specifically, Riek and his faction must be held accountable and answerable for disturbing peace, merciless massacre of innocent civilians, and overall destructions done against the Government and people of the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore, the ongoing peace initiatives must take into account all that ensued following Riek’s cowardice action in Juba and which engulfs other States in the country. This is to categorically state that Riek must not be let loose this time, lest the history of 1991 and 2013 coups repeat themselves.
South Sudanese Christmas celebration and future of South Sudan
Historically, people of South Sudan are famous of being resilience in the face of difficulties and temptations. So, in the wake of widespread mourns across South Sudan, I am hopeful that we will eventually overcome this trying time and challenges at hand. As we celebrate the birth of Christ in four days’ time, let’s fill our hearts and souls with words of God, the Master of peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing. In Him and with Him we will surely and ultimately be able to rebuild our country as Rwandese did after 1994 genocide!
May God help Dr. Riek Machar and his group to realise the destruction they have done in South Sudan so that they unconditionally and independently repent and do the right thing—to seek forgiveness from people of South Sudan.
Sabrino Majok Majok is a South Sudanese and mourns lives lost in the Republic of South Sudan, irrespective of region, state, ethnicity, religion or firstname.lastname@example.org