By Dak Buoth
Mr. President, in the unlikely event that the ailing former Chief of staff Paul Malong succumbed to death you will be held liable because you’re now preventing him from seeking medical treatment where he prefers; should he pass away, god forbid, his family and South Sudanese a cross political divides will attributes blames on you, and that will haunt you sooner than later. This notion that you don’t care will not help you and the country of South Sudan. You must learn to care for the good of an individual and the country at large.
Mr. President this is too much; you can’t keep urinating on the heads of senior citizens without an iota of sympathy. You MUST as well learn some merciful and sympathetic characters. With all due respect, what you’re doing now is not politic at all. In my view, you’re just becoming inhumane to say the least. You would not find real politician who kills his Friends and opponents alike. Normally, a real politician keeps his friends close to his chest and entices his opponents by means of resource permitting and forgiveness et cetera. This ‘divide and rule’ strategy that you’re now applying against our communities will not take you far. Divide and rule is an old tactic and strategy used only by the colonialists. It is not supposed to be applied again in modern Africa by someone like you who once participated in liberation struggle for our country owing to its numerous demerits that we are all aware of.
Over the years, you have been killing your distance cousins of Nuer Nationality en mass; your regime had destroyed their homes and maimed their young ones. Anyway, that is understandable because you and your cohorts have coined a notion that Nuers are the threat to your ‘leadership’. Good enough, the Nuers are no longer complaining of being killed by you. Nuer is combatant society that has inherent formula to sort that out head on. This absurd notion to depopulate them is water under the bridge. In fact, the Nuers seem to have accepted to live by this war and, only time will tell, and the balance is history.
However, to subject your closes buddy, Gen. Paul Malong who had put his life in defense of the same regime is not normal by any stretches of imagination. You’re fondly aware and we all know that he has been unwell for sometimes now. He has been in and out of Nairobi hospital way back before his brutal purge. The guy is very sick and his situation is deteriorating from bad to worse.
Factually, fortnight ago Paul Malong’s wife Mrs. Lucy Ayak wrote open letter like this asking you to allow her spouse to seek medical treatment abroad as advised by his doctor. So far we have not heard your personal comment on the same. We have only heard some rhetorical and irritating reactions from your aides and members of your kitchen cabinet, that is your spokesman Mr. Ateny Wek and Gen. Awet Akot. If I can paraphrase Awet Akot and Ateny wek’s replies to Mrs. Lucy Ayak via social media that Paul Malong was not barred from traveling outside Juba, that he is not under house arrest, and that Paul Malong has not come to complain that he want to go out of the country for treatment. If i may ask: do they mean to say Malong himself should come and complain to you personally and not his wife Ayak? In addition, Ateny went on to refute ‘‘he doesn’t think Gen. Malong is sick’’. Gen. Awet in his response published on Sudantribune.com said that ‘‘people are calling me to inquire whether Malong has been arrested, and the answer is no. I am not aware’’. Mr. President, this is laughable. How come Gen.Awet denied his arrest and at the same time said he was not aware? However, whether or not he is under house arrest isn’t an issue, but the very disturbing and shocking sentiment is to hear Ateny Wek saying that Paul Malong is not sick at all. It is now crystal clear that you, Awet and Ateny have ran short of sight of ideals that accompanied our independent on July 2011.
Mr. President, are your aides in better position than Malong’s wife to know his health condition? The answer is not. In her article dated 10th august entitled ‘‘does Ateny Wek speak for Presidency or Gen. Paul Malong’s family’’ his wife Lucy stated ‘‘like any responsible and caring wife, it is my responsibility to know and ensure that my husband is in good health, and indeed everyone would expect that I would be the first to know if he is good health, and not anyone else for that matter’’ In view of the above, i have reasons to believe or presumed that the duo are mocking the sick with your permission. But the question is, why would you mistreat your former comrade like that? You fought us, the downtrodden together for five good years since December 15th 2013. This is unacceptable.
Mr President, remember there is an old adage which says ‘‘A king who betray his comrade does not deserve a crown’’ On the other hand, the duo’s responses showcase anti-African behavior. You will concur that it is not normal to mock ailing person. i would not be wrong to say Awet and wek are longing for Malong’s demise. let me remind you again, the reason I say their reactions and response contradict our African behavior is because in our African war tradition and custom, when you’re fighting someone and he has fall down or surrendered. You STOP, you don’t KILL him. If one kill a person who has surrendered he risk a tug of being call a coward. Instead you leave him alive.
In the same vein, when your enemy has voluntarily come to your home, you can’t attack him in your house; instead you welcome and offer him water because his coming to your doorstep portrays sign of peace and reconciliation in his or her part.
On 10th May, 2017 when you relieved Malong via presidential decree and via TV without prior notice, he tried to go to his home town of Awiel with a view to curb his anger and avoid potential confrontation, because what you did to him is a provocation of highest degree. The following day you barricaded his way home with mercenaries and ordered his return to Juba whether dead or alive, and he did came back alive. Now why do you bar him from seeking medical treatment? And if you wish him dead you would have ordered that he be shot the time he was in Yirol.
You allay fear that Malong will launch armed rebellion against your regime if he leaves Juba? I think that is not true. I guessed Malong would not do that though he has substantial reasons to do so. The Guy is sick and old. I think he can’t attempt to try and undergo what Gen. Peter Gatdet and Gen. Gatwech Dual have done via trekking in thick bushes to Congo. In my last article dated12th May, I said Dinka do not back an Underdog. Were it not for that believe, you would have been in for a rude shock.
But again i do not think his illegal confinement or death will prevent or stop rebellion in South Sudan? Rebellion is not new phenomenon, and with the look of things around, I don’t think it’s gonna ends soon. We just need to admit to live in the era of war because the level of despondency and the amount of anger in peoples’ hearts is an immeasurable.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, sir Mcllroy argued that ‘‘injustice creates insecurity, and ultimately it creates insecurity not for the oppressed but also for their oppressors’’ Mr. President I can tell you for free, that it is always the injustices and impunity that breed conflict and armed rebellion all over the world. And as long as we, the South Sudanese continue to witness and experiences injustices under your reign, we are yet to see an end of military showdown.
Last weekend on 19th when i expressed my ire over Malong’s mistreatment by you, one of my Dinka colleagues told me to shut up Dak. He argued that I should not advocate for Malong’s release; that his confinement serves justice to the victims who perished during his time when Malong was still chief of staff. In my reply, I repeated what I said last year to my Nuer colleague after Riek Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, my namesake was deported from Nairobi. At that time Gatdet was about to be forcefully repatriated to Juba to face torture by vermin, and I wrote some statements asking President Uhuru Kenyatta not to deport him to Juba because the move was irregular and archaic.
That Nuer guy whom I was talking to happened to be Taban deng’s loyalist. He came to me after reading my appeal papers on media and asked me as follows: Dak why are you demanding James Gatdet’s release or you’re member of SPLM-IO? I told him that before I said yes or no, let me tell you one thing: I told him, first be informed that Gatdet Dak is human being who enjoys fundamental rights before he become SPLM-IO member, and therefore his rights as human being prevails. I also told him that I did not demand his release as member of SPLM-IO, but rather as individual who must live and enjoy life. Hence the question that James Gatdet is a member of SPLM –IO was a secondary and it cannot prevent me or any one who is not SPLM-IO member to point out where his rights are violated. Karl Marx once said and I quote ‘‘Citizen or workers had a common interest more important than the national loyalties that might otherwise have divided them’’.
One known legal Pundit Miguna Miguna, an author of the book ”Peeling back the mask” said ”that people do not understand that liberal ideology is based on individual rights, and they do not understand that the cornerstone of all these progressive concepts flows from fact that human beings have fundamental rights that must be respected. Most of us are ready to sacrifice the individual for societal right not realizing that there cannot be societal rights without individual rights. The society is the conglomeration of individuals” Thus, we cannot humiliate an individual person in the pretext of protecting community interest, never. Based on the foregoing theories, you will also understand and appreciate the reason why we must respect and defend each other’s right notwithstanding our differences with them in term of political affiliations, tribe and gender. We must all learn to be our brothers’ keeper.
Over the times, my clamor for change, justice and peace is guided by the principle of common good and impartiality. Hence, even those that I disagreed with including you Mr. President should not die. In other words, I don’t wish you brutal death or pain that you have inflicted on us. We are just striving to make change and urge you to embrace attitude change.
As an aspiring legal practitioner, I advocate for the abolition of death penalty. And for your information those are some of the deals that we would like to install in the post SPLM era.
Mr. President I believe you and Paul Malong are party or privy to the murder of Gen. Tito Biel Chuor, and I can tell you for fact that it is very hard to live without that person in our midst. Nonetheless, I still can’t wish you bad luck or dead for doing so would be repugnant to the decease’s will. In his lifetime Gen. Tito Biel does not hold grudges, a principle i learned from him and uphold at pedestal.
Moreover, I am aware that you and Malong are the perpetrators of Juba massacre and other massacres across the country. Numerous documentary evidences shows that Malong did trained the infamous ‘Dut-kubeny’ in Luri at the outskirt of Juba, and it was that paramilitary forces that orchestrated the Nuer killing in Juba in 16th December 2013. But still I do not wish you to suffer the same up to now. In my view your death and that of Malong would not help the downtrodden in any way nor will it amount to justice for dead ones who perished in your hands. I holds that if you can live longer and see the forthcoming transformation and unity in our society the better, and that is my prayer.
More importantly, Paul Malong’s son Mr. Garang Malong is my colleague, and I don’t wish him to be an orphan now. I lost my Mother when I was still a toddler. I can tell you that it is very hard to live a life without one of your parent. In February 2017, senior Pastor Rev. George Riek who is roughly 50 years old told us at prayer service in Nairobi south C suburb that he lost his mother recently, and from that day he became an orphan.
Mr. President when i hear that an action is done by the government, it all started with you and others follow. Therefore if Paul Malong pass away in his current confinement, we would not say later that it was the sickness or the government that cause his untimely death, no. You will be held liable. Some people say Malong is suffering from high blood pressure. If that be the case, such illness is very serious; and it became more severe when one is confine in stressful environment like that. Normally, Blood pressure requires regular attention from the doctor. Remember the case of Malong is a little bit different from other prisoners; the guy is your neighbor. He is confine indoor at your next door at Hamarat. The last time I was in Juba, I can recall how close are your house in Hamarat estate. I guessed you can even hear him coughing at night. But even if you arrested him, he should continue to enjoy his rights.
Mr. President, one thing i realize you are unaware of is that prisoners have rights too. To be honest with you i condemn your uncouth behavior that seems to pay deaf hears to the human anguish. You seem to rejoice when we are languishing in pain and that is repugnant to humanity.
As i conclude Mr. President, to avoid a fierce generational enmity with Paul Malong Family members, i hereby ask you to allows him to go abroad to seek medication as requested by his wife and children. However, should Malong later choose to react and express his anger by joining or forming armed rebellion as you think well and good, You can start fighting each other in equal measure using all weapons at your disposal. But I WARN YOU that don’t fight a man who is lying on sickbed.