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Isaiah Abraham’s Murder: the wider implications to South Sudanese society

By Steve Paterno

December 9, 2012 — The cold blooded murder of Isaiah Abraham is a shock, but it never came as a surprise to observers of South Sudan events, including this writer. South Sudan, a newly independent country is experiencing a cruel evolution, characterized with weak institutions, lack of capacity, incompetence, and gross corruption. Isaiah Abraham, better known to his family as Ding, or in full name as Isaiah Ding Abraham Chan Awuol, was lured out of his house in Juba at early morning hours of December 5th, 2012, by unknown assailants and then shot to death. Born in mid 1960s, to a politically active family, from Jonglei State of South Sudan, Isaiah Abraham grew up with a taste for knowledge and a sense for political activism. When he finished his high school, he immediately joined in the cause to liberate South Sudan—the SPLM/A. Isaiah Abraham fought the war of liberation courageously, even sustaining injuries, and having his biological brothers falling victims to the enemy. After the war end, Isaiah Abraham pursued education in the country of Kenya, and established himself as one of the most prominent South Sudanese writers, who comment on important issues affecting South Sudan. Isaiah Abraham, who in his best conviction, expect the best for South Sudan was lucky to escape the enemies bullets, bombs, and land mines, but unfortunately, was gunned down, by his own in the comfort of his house. The murder of Isaiah Abraham, regardless of who murdered him and whatever the motives, presents the following against South Sudan as a country, the society and government:

First, there is no one in charge in South Sudan. Anyone can order a hit against some one or anyone, without being held accountable. Perhaps, some one already have a head of the president for certain amount, while the president is event oblivious about his own role of being in charge.

Second, South Sudan government is killing its own citizens, just like the Old Sudan, which managed to kill millions of South Sudanese citizens, until South Sudan separated. People are asking for how long will the killing continue in South Sudan, while the killing is going on....

Third, South Sudanese can never govern themselves. The government of South Sudan is proving to be the most chaotic government in the world, which is turning against its own citizens, and is killing them in great numbers...

Fourth, tribalism, took over as oppose to nationalism. Different tribes of South Sudan are fighting each other, forgetting about the nation—South Sudan...

Fifth, South Sudan fell into the same Old Sudan system of employing loyalists into the security services. The security personnel ended up serving the interest of certain individuals as oppose to the national interest, which is supposedly their mandate.

Sixth, the people of South Sudan are becoming more fearful of their government, while the government is turning the people to be the enemy.

Seventh, South Sudanese security agents, turns out to be the killers of South Sudanese. This is contrary to the other system in advance world, where security means protecting the citizens, not killing them.

Eighth, freedom of press is being suppressed in South Sudan. The new country is becoming a fertile ground of silencing voices of freedom, democracy and freedom of expression. Journalists are harassed, intimidated and even killed.

Ninth, people of South Sudan are yarning for change—a change for better.

Tenth, it is now up to the government to prove otherwise, by bringing into justice the killers of Isaiah Abraham and take back the charge of the country. The sentiment of South Sudanese is the very sentiment Isaiah Abraham is able to express in writing, for the late is the spokesperson for many silent voices. Silencing Isaiah Abraham through a cruel means is a wrong attempt in trying to silence the South Sudanese people. Killing Isaiah Abraham actually multiply the voices for freedom as Isaiah Abraham embodied South Sudanism. And freedom will prevail over the cruel hands that murder Isaiah Abraham. The long arm of justice will eventually reach to snatch the killers of Isaiah Abraham.

Steve Paterno is the author of The Rev. Fr. Saturnino Lohure, A Romain Catholic Priest Turned Rebel. He can be reached at stevepaterno@yahoo.com