By Kuir ë Garang
November 19, 2013 (SSNA) -- In August this year, Elhag Paul did something many of us, I believe, applauded. With a number of his colleagues, he wrote a letter to The Hague regarding the repressive and grotesque existential nature of the current SPLM; and the government of Salvatore Kiir Kuethpiny Mayaardit. Without prejudice, the letter chronicled a number of deaths (killings) arguably committed under the watchful eyes of the President of South Sudan.
I couldn’t help but write to Mr. Paul a congratulatory email:
“While I don't like your other tribally tailored articles because they give South Sudanese an impression it's every Jieng who's destroying the country; this PRESS RELEASE is by far your best contribution to South Sudan. This PR should be supported by any right-minded human being because the country is going (or has already gone) down the drain.”
And in the same stately spirit, he responded in a gentlemanly manner…like I expected.
“Even with all that I will not support any abuse of the Jieng by anybody and I will speak and condemn whoever wants to do it. We are all human beings and we deserve to respect each and live in peace. Some of my best friends are Jieng and in the early 90's we campaigned together against the ills that befell our people,” Mr. Paul wrote to me in an email.
One would have assumed from that moment on that Mr. Paul would be a man with a glaring, undeniable moral bearing cemented by unsurpassed interest in the well-being of his people (South Sudanese).
Amazingly enough, the august August list of the victims listed by Mr. Paul and his colleagues contains people from different tribes. What was not to admire in a man with such national inclusiveness?
However, on November 11, Mr. Paul wrote an article that leaves many of us wondering what has become of the litigious ‘moralist.’ While the article tried to rationalize the rationale behind the thought, the letter came out as tactless, emotionless, and unsympathetic to the suffering and the deaths, in October, of civilians among Ajuong and Pakeer of Twi County (two clans of Jieng of Twi of Jonglei state). Such weighty and awful level of insensitivity is actually a great mockery to intelligentsia all over South Sudan. Sadly enough, it also gives a devilish precedent to the young generation on how to deal with inter-tribal misfortunes.
Mr. Paul wrote: “By doing so, equally the Jieng need to be reminded of their predatory behaviours and its consequences on others which generate similar feelings to what they are experiencing presently.”
I think our litigious ‘moralist’, who seems well acquainted with the affairs of South Sudan’s inter-tribal skirmishes, is all of a sudden confused and factually disoriented. Mr. Paul seems to see no difference between those killed in their own villages and the corrupt Jieng politicians in Juba. The only thing the villagers and Jieng politicians share is simply the name not the substance of who they are. Any right-minded South Sudanese knows these villagers are suffering like any other destitute and abjectly poor South Sudanese…of any tribes.
As all of us know, these villagers had no protection from the government whatsoever. Shouldn’t a Jieng government protect Jieng villages if that’s what Jieng politicians in Juba are doing? Why did the ‘Jieng government’ allow villagers to be slaughtered for over 6 hours without any ‘Jieng government’ help?
Instead of joining South Sudanese in mourning the victims, Mr. Paul, the ‘august (perfect) August Moralist’, stylishly celebrated the death of 79 innocent civilians. Why’s an educated man confusing the lives of innocent villagers and the indecency of the corrupt politicians most of whom none of us supports?
Mr. Paul, how can you advocate on behalf of South Sudanese to the The Hague while tastelessly rejoicing in a section of South Sudanese being killed in their own villages? Do you equate senseless slaughter of innocent civilians to accountability of Jieng politicians in Juba? Do you believe the slaughter of Jieng woman, children and elderly can affect Jieng politicians in Juba?
You not only come out as purposefully hateful but, also, inadvertently naïve!
As much as you think you’re reminding the Jieng people of the atrocities being committed by Juba and the mismanagement of the national affairs by some Jieng politicians in Juba, you have to remember that your writings have to have a positive overtone…or a constructive intent.
“Chicken Coming Home to Roost” insinuation rules away any positive intention in your heart regarding the slaughter of innocent civilians. You come out as an old, bitter, anti-Jieng man out to denigrate rather than write for the benefit of the nation. I assume you’re an old man because no young South Sudanese has the attitude you have! None!
- Remember, some of us have been criticizing SPLM even when Dr. John Garang was alive.
- Try to tone down your anti-Jieng tirades because they overshadow any message you’re trying to convey if you have any positive message at all.
- Try to differentiate between innocent villagers and the corrupt Jieng politicians.
- None of us will ever tell you not to criticize SPLM or the Jieng, however, you have to do it in a tasteful, professional and constructive manner
- Try to differentiate between Jieng as a tribe and the few corrupt Jieng politicians, otherwise you’re just out to vilify the whole tribe; something you think you are, confusedly, not doing
As I told you in the past, you tend to cover all of us with that generic dirty blanket to a point the allies you might have among the Jieng are put off.
We all want South Sudan to develop into a prosperous, cohesive and peaceful society, however, hypocrisy can’t help. You are as hypocritical as the politicians in Juba. All old and frozen in the past with tribal hatred! If you’re not old then your mind is! Most of your articles are either innocently confused or intentionally meant to stir up inter-tribal hatred. You are doing a disservice to South Sudan and the younger generation. Given the length of tastelessness you go to denigrate ALL Jieng people (including people like me and innocent villagers), I believe you’re a frustrated old man with inter-tribal hatred of the 70s and 80s stuck in your head; the Laguesque and Alieresque view of South Sudan politics.
What you write is as divisive as what the Juba politicians do. You and the Juba politicians are two sides of the same coin: DIVISION AND HYPOCRISY! You all pretend to care about South Sudanese while your aim is to plant seeds of hatred among the people for the destruction of the nation and nurture your selfish interest!