My sons died for this country… The eldest one was killed in Nasir, the other one was killed in Itang, and another one was killed in Yei and now you killed this one for me… I have been wondering when the Arabs came to Juba to kill Isaiah… I wrap my head in a white cloth because I wish South Sudan to be in peaceand he who wraps his head in black and kills people at night is responsible for ruining your country; please count me out—–Late Isaiah Abraham’s Mother, Abuna Rebecca Lueth Wel, speaking during Isaiah’s Memorial Service in Juba, December 13, 2012.
By PaanLuel Wël,
Today, December 5, last year at about midnight (of Dec 4-5), we lost our brother and colleague, comrade Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol (aka Isaiah Abraham) to mysterious assailants who have never been caught up to now.
While many did, and still do, consider it to have been the handiwork of the South Sudan’s Secret Security Services–political assassination, there has been no conclusive proof whatsoever notwithstanding the alleged involvement of the American’s CIA in the investigation. The state-appointed Team that was formed to unmask his killers (1) is yet to start it works, one year later, (2) was never convened/formed in the first place, or (3) was quickly disbanded once the “fire” was thought to have fizzled out.
Marial Benjamin, then the Minister for Information, had once sensationally claimed that the government had arrested some suspects in connection with Isaiah Abraham’s killing. Once again, just like the Investigative Team, the suspects (1) are yet to be named and brought for public prosecution, one year later, (2) were not apprehended in the first place and Marial was shamelessly lying on behalf of the government, or (3) were simply released after the “fire” was perceived to have subsided.
Of course, then and even now, the government of the Republic of South Sudan, particularly those around the President, is/are suspected to have carried out the cowardice political assassination. What is not certain though is whether or not the president himself was in the know. Did he personally authorize the killing? I personally doubt, for it was more likely a case of some within his security guards—those who want to appear more royal than the king himself–who might had unilaterally taken the decision and executed their heinous crime, all in the name of “protecting the presidency.”
The brutal killing of Abuna Diing Chan Awuol occurred just three months after my arrival in Juba from Washington DC, USA. I was baffled, outraged and disgusted! In a country where armed rebels were, and still are, sprawling the countryside, who knew that the government of the liberators would ponder killing someone for merely expressing his/her ideas and opinions peacefully! “Didn’t they have enough enemies (real threat) at their disposal” I wondered bitterly!
I remembered when Jon Pende Ngong organized a memorial dinner, at Kush Resort, for our fallen comrade–Isaiah Abraham–in Juba. We all showed up—though we knew that the security guys would be there, listening in on us, possibly recording. I went with Atok Baguoot and Tearz Ayuen, and in attendance, in addition to Jon Pen and the three of us, were Beny Gideon, Garang John, Deng Dekuek, Manyang Mayar, Deng Awai, Ting Mayai, Abuna Yak Deng, Thon Mangok, Maal Maker Thiong, Zechariah Manyok Biar etc., among many others.
The spirit of defiant and boundless outrage was on full display that late evening. We expressed our frustrations at the government and reaffirmed both our individual and collective determination to stay the course for which our comrade and colleague had paid the ultimate price. Later on when Isaiah Abraham’s official memorial was held at Pande Bior-athuot in Juba, leaders of the Greater Bor Community were in unison both in their criticisms and perception of the government as the prime suspect for the killing.
But it was online, on the World Wide Web, that most of us expressed their shocks at the government’s stupidity and self-defeatism mentality. Many wrote about the tragedy, but I will only provide a link to a series of articles I wrote after the horrendous murder: “Tribute to Isaiah Abraham, part 1-4“. Then below the links is a collection of Isaiah Abraham’s articles/writings that I later-ward collated and edited for the public, in his memory and honor.
Articles/Writings by Isaiah Abraham