By Peter Gai Manyuon
Dr. James Okuk
March 27, 2015 (SSB) —- Dr James Okuk received his PhD from the University of Nairobi in December 2009, where his thesis was “Justice and Poverty Reduction in South Sudan”, a research that was criticized by many South Sudanese intellectuals globally due to the fact that his work lacks scholarly substance for public consumption as a PhD thesis, globally and particularly for people of South Sudan.
Dr James Okuk has been a bodyguard of Dr Lam Akol since then until the time he became a PhD holder. Most of work was facilitated, and perhaps written by Dr. Lam Akol himself, an evidence that has contributed so much to his worshiping of Dr. Lam.
Okuk has been a small boy of Dr Lam Akol since Lam broke away from the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and formed his own party, the SPLM for Democratic Change that has now turned into SPLM for Dictatorship Celebration . When Dr Lam Akol went to exile, Okuk became so critical to the government of South Sudan that he tossed up his dear life for political gamble leading to his arrest and torture as he shown love for his master.
Okuk was arrested and faced charges for criticizing the monster Salva Kiir on Media, a man he latter turned to adore for committing genocides against the Nuer ethnic group. What a shame to these political opportunists? Was it really necessary for Okuk to fight for Dr. Lam Akol but not for his Chollo, whose land has been alienated by the corrupt Bandits of Salva Kiir? Today, Okuk is living under the tents of dictatorship, celebrating the massacres of the Naath Nation, but how sure is our fake doctor of philosophy that the next genocides will not be committed against the Chollo (may Naath forbids)?
After Salva Kiir forgave Dr. Lam for committing the crime of demanding Democratic Change, a crime that Dr. Riek Machar and his colleagues are now committing, he saved himself of one sleepless critic, James Okuk. Okuk is now born again in dictatorship and ready to mingle with dictators since his master is serving his house arrest in Juba. It begs a question if any South Sudanese intellectual would still regards Okuk as an independent thinker at this point. What category of people can we classify Okuk in South Sudan?
Well, after reading his article on Sudan Tribune website, I struggled to contextualize the content of his article. I took my time to read his narrations up to the last dot, however, I never gotten a gist of his intellectual analysis, if I may call it so, but rather entertained lies and rollicking phrases that lack intellectual dynamism with hopes to prove a point, which he never did. In conclusion, the only motivation of writing such article was not to justify in response to Amb. Stephen Par Kuol, but to appease the monster for a possible job opening and recognition in the future. What a disgrace? When will the error of Salva Kiir rewarding jobs to betrayers and incompetents end in South Sudan? We can and will never build a viable state on lies, Okuk must learn!
Why responding to James Okuk this way?
Hon. Stephen Par Kuol presented an educative piece on 23th of March 2015 entitled “The fallacies of bashing both sides in South Sudan Conflict”, and in summary, Amb. Kuol discussed what he refers as “both sides narrative”, in which the regional bloc, IGAD, AU and the international community tends to blame the two sides equally and fail to give credits when it is needed. Amb. Par also put records straights on many important elements of Peace Talks that are being misrepresented in Juba to corrupt the reasoning faculty of intellectuals like James Okuk.
Stephen Par correctly elaborate on the opposition’s key demands such as the proposal of amalgamating and recruiting forces from least represented minor tribes to form a viable national army that represent the faces of 64 tribes in South Sudan and formula of wealth sharing between states and the national government, etcetera. All these proposal would benefit the likes of Dr. Okuk than Amb. Stephen Par, himself, who once served in prominent positions, if James Okuk is not reducing himself for the sake of benefits to his own stomach only.
The immediate response from James Okuk, who claimed to have been a political analyst and a lecturer at the University of Juba- South Sudan, on 24th of March 2015, which he entitled “Justifying the Fallacy of bashing both sides in South Sudan Conflicts: A response to Stephen Par Kuol’s article” , did not clearly address the critical points that were raised by Amb. Stephen Par but instead Okuk was more interest to air his personal problems such as how he escaped Mia Saba, how his house was looted and destroyed by the same thugs he is now praising. Okuk went ahead to oppose the two warring parties claiming that army amalgamation or integration will not resolve South Sudan crisis.
Okuk believes that the 1972 Ababa Agreement is the only solution and therefore Joseph Langu should be consulted. Good enough Okuk did not explain the 1972 army proposal, perhaps due to lack of details. Well, what the PhD fail to understand is that the 1972 army arrangment is exactly what was adopted in CPA and now aimed to readopted but in different error. In 1972 the anyanya retained its armies and only agreed to 1:1 ratio deployment in contested zones with hope to separate the armies if the South succeed, as Anyanya fought for Separation.
In other confused narratives, Okuk acknowledged that indeed targeted killings took place but he denied the catastrophe being refer as “genocide” and as well denied that those who got killed were from different tribes of South Sudan, not Nuer civilians alone. What a great lie? Critically, Okuk was more interested in “equality narratives” that all tribes were equally massacred and therefore all should be equally considered.
The Nuer would wish this really happened, in fact this is the question that the Nuer are asking, why was it only the Nuer that were targeted? And Bona Malwal Madut would response “because the Nuer are the problem to Dinka’s supremacy and domination”.
Does Okuk know the definition of the word “Genocide” or is PhD is yet to cover a lecture on that? To remain James Okuk once again, genocide refers to the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group or it can be defined as the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. In fact, if we don’t refer what happened in Juba as genocide, what other word would be suitable to define the recent killings of thousands of Nuer civil population in houses due to their ethnicity?
Dr James Okuk might have been under pressure of job search when writing the article. He might have been forced to write in order for him to be look as Juba Intellectual by Kiir’s political sycophants, political orphans and thieves that may recruit him.
If not desperation, Dr James Okuk must see a Neurologist to examine this adverse mental disorder that has distort our good critics in a forth night. Where on earth will you find a PhD graduate talking like a mad person or a child of three years, if not in South Sudan where some people claim to have read books while their psychological blackboards are empty upstairs.
Absolutely, after reading the article I decided to doubt the intellectuality and thinking capacity of Dr James Okuk in Juba. Obviously, I came to know James Okuk recently in the Republic of South Sudan. James Okuk has been writing objectively before the crisis of South Sudan emerged on the 15th of December 2013 whereby Nuer were massacred in thousands in Juba.
Surely most of the people globally are aware of the number of civilians who were mercilessly murdered for their ethnicity. As individual, I have no claim on this and may not be worried of what Okuk thinks because it has been proven by AU, UN, UNMISS and the international community.
Who is Okuk to deny? If world admitted and government of South Sudan accepted, then who is Dr Okuk to talk nonsense? More so, all South Sudanese people have admitted that people were killed in Juba by some group of “village boys” that were instructed by the top leadership of the government of South Sudan. Who is James Okuk to deny the massacre of the Nuer Civilians? Is Dr James Okuk mind safe from disorder or something is disturbing Okuk?
In conclusion, primitiveness is about eighty percent (80%) in the Republic of South Sudan, people sometimes think negatively about other or went someone lack something to eat, once begin to think for new avenues for survival. Very disappointing and disgraceful scenario! God of heaven should help South Sudanese this time!
The author is an Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on issues of Democratization Processes and Human Rights in South Sudan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.