Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 11 January 2013

Is Zechariah Manyok Biar sowing seeds of discord between two Jieng communities?

In response to Is "Dinka Bor against Dinka Bahr el Ghazal?" by Zechariah Manyok Biar.

By Mabior W. Makuek, Rumbek

On 9th January 2013, Sudan Tribune published an article authored by brother Zechariah Manyok Biar. Mr. Biar hails from Bor Jieng community. He has all rights to express or put across general feeling of late Isaiah Abraham’s family, relatives and Bor community members, but not in the format he used beginning with this article titled: Is Dinka Bor against Dinka Bahr el Ghazal? This is like telling all readers that Isaiah Abraham’s murder was an organized in form of mob justice to sentence Bahr El Ghazal Jieng as enemies against Bor Jieng!

In his communiqué, he had this to say; “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.” Looking at this phrase critically, one would suggest that Zechariah Manyok is out sowing seeds of discord between two Jieng communities of Bor and Bahr el Ghazal as he chose, rather than putting it plain against the system if there are signs as could be viewed given events earlier on with threats received by late Isaiah.

This system for that matter is in which Bor community has equal stake and with equal number of officials. Manyok seems to be thoroughly convinced that Jieng community of Bahr el Ghazal is aware and has had consented to Isaiah’s assassination when he put it in this particular sentence: whoever did the killing has succeeded in causing suspicions among our people.

To make my point clear and as to why it is not appropriate for Zechariah Manyok to have been repeatedly writing in such terms and manner about Isaiah’s murder from his article of December 5th 2012 and this other article of 8th January 2013.

I would like explain as this with an old adage that goes; one man error takes an enormous resources and energy to correct. This is true with Zechariah’s relentless articles stressing in the same form and manner about Isaiah’s murder of which he is trying to put it squarely on communities living a vast region with different ethnicities. Mr. Biar wrongly chose a region being inhabited by different groups and people, but not his fellow Dinka as he would have thought to highlight.

I am afraid to insinuate that Ateny Wek Ateny of Northern Bahr El Ghazal said on behalf of his fellow writers of what he might have read from faces, listened to from groups or gathering chats, in offices and from intellectual personalities like Zechariah Manyok Biar, who has written his first article suggesting suspicion that his fellow Bor Jieng community members is harboring against greater Bahr El Ghazal as region to conclude that; “The killing of Isaiah has driven wedges amongst communities; the government was made to shy and bite its tongue in disgrace, for the fact that it has failed to protect writers; the forces of darkness might have clearly celebrated that the Dinka Communities would be dividing along clans Bor vs Dinka Bahr El Ghazal. The detractors treat government to be synonymous with Bahr El Ghazal as a region. However, for us as opinion writers in South Sudan, this equation is wrong. Our communities command a very brilliant understanding of what is meant of a government.”

However, we shouldn’t be swayed by emotions, hence turn quickly to our communities
Brother Zechariah Manyok Biar another paragraph of concern is this: he says. If the above is what we believe, then it means that the loss of trust in the Government means the loss of trust in the community the President comes from. This is not a good way of looking at things but it is a reality we have in South Sudan. We will, however, work hard to change it so that individuals are held responsible for their crimes, not the community they come from. Even failing leaders must be held accountable as individuals, not as part of a community.

If brother Zechariah Manyok’s convictions are to work hard to change our society mindset of judging individuals’ actions as their sole responsibilities and indeed, and not of their communities? Then why did he do the opposite in his articles, holding unknown assassins as Bahr el Ghazal people?

This brings me to another important aspect of Mr. Biar’s writing: He wrote: People from Bor are often seen as unforgiving, but that is not true. We treat different situations differently. What we hate mostly are the politically-motivated killings and the terrorist-like killings. The killing of Isaiah fits both.

Does Mr. Biar believe that people from Bor Jieng are unforgiving, thus our Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and other perceived individuals of SPLM/A 1991 spilt as wrongdoers who can’t be forgiven, despite Dr. Riek acceptance of crimes he did not participate in as a person not as his community?

Mr. Biar ended his article as this: “I should conclude here that Dinka Bor will never see brothers and sisters from Dinka Bahr el Ghazal as enemies even though the level of trust now damaged will take a very long time to rebuild”.

I would like to say that the damage caused isn’t Bor Jieng alone affected by loss of late Abraham, it is South Sudanese people across the board to whom late Isaiah advocated tirelessly. And which was his interest, not of his own self. If late Isaiah were to return from his grave, may his soul rest in RIP, he would surely disagree with brother Zechariah. I remember reading from one of his articles in 2009, when he concluded, “that Mijirimeen men Bor wa Aramieen men Bahr el Ghazal!” He was referring to dura scandal, which is still holding today as one bad corruption case in South Sudan management history!

Brother Zechariah Manyok Biar articles are full of a lot to be desired, thus, I am contented to write against these few lines I have selected as my areas of this counter. To inform Mr. Biar, late is my pen friend, to whom we have shared in a lot for the benefit of South Sudanese people against betrayal by our so-called liberators turned oppressor. From hearing news of his death, I have written two articles under pen-name of Akolde N. Jinub. Today in this article, I declare to my readers that I will cease using Akolde N. Jinub name, and move on to my family given names as: Mabior Wende Makuek. Thanks!

As South Sudanese from Jieng community, I would like to encourage brother Zechariah Manyok Biar to turn his intellectual abilities and energy to disengage our communities across South Sudan from their blanket philosophy of judging personalities based on their backgrounds and communities they hail from while in leadership.

Another self purported Press Release authored by Mr. Peter Chuol Tut and Mr. Gordon Buay using the respected Nuer Community name in all contents calling for unknown change, and which to my understanding, these two gentlemen are out to instigate, goad and mobilize Nuer people worldwide as they claimed against a system to which they, said community of Naath holds the second most senior and powerful position. Is this change in such tone not inciting people against themselves? Be the judge!

Who doesn’t know Mr. Gordon Buay? For several years, he has been writing relentlessly against all events whether good or bad. In all his articles, there is no single piece he praised for a good indeed or suggest a way forward! I would call him a young cynical politician of South Sudan parroting oversees! I know nothing about Mr. Peter Chuol Tut, thus, wouldn’t say anything for nothing sake!

Mabior W. Makuek lives in Rumbek. He can be reached at mabiorwendemakuek@gmail.com

In response to Is "Dinka Bor against Dinka Bahr el Ghazal?" by Zechariah Manyok Biar.