By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan
January 10, 2017 (SSB) — The power of tongue and Khuoth Amagak rotation among the Upper Nile communities. The popular curses of Khuoth Amagak also known as Khuoth de Kurruom is still rotating in the communities of the Greater Upper Nile especially among Nuer subclasses, as well as the whole of South Sudan. Catastrophe comes from the Greek word meaning “overturn”, a sudden and widespread disaster against people, land, birds, and animals. It is more mishap, and causes a lot of people to suffer.
In other words, this calamity or misfortune can come as a result of curses uttered by tongue, or by an angry person in form of revenge. The curses in action or the essences of regularly bad wishes recurring orderly in Upper Nile and how the story of Khuoth Amagak came about during SPLA/M formation when the veterans of Anya-nya II and the SPLA/M members differed on the border of Ethiopia on the issues of movement leadership in July 1983.
In and from the nature of that history, and during the Anya-nya I periods, Southern Sudanese separatists’ rebel group formed as the first Sudanese civil war in (1955-1972). The word Anya-nya means, “Snake harm, poisonous, or venom “in Maddi language. After peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa in 1972 with Khartoum government, a separate movement rose again in the second Sudanese civil war known as Any-nya II from 1972-1983. They remained in the bush as Southerners who were not convinced with total arrangements and frameworks of Addis Ababa peace agreement.
In fact Southerners don’t agree always on one thing since the beginning of Anya-nya I and if things involves are issues related to leadership, everybody wants to become a leader at the same time. So when Aggrey Jaden left the movement due to frustration, Southern Sudanese elected Gordon Muortat Mayen as their president, and later on, Gordon Muortat’s Chief of General staff Joseph Lagu made a coup against Gordon Muortat Mayen, and a transition of power was made peacefully in order to avoid division. Lagu led the movement against Khartoum for a while and he signed peace accord in 1972.
When Addis Ababa peace accord fell apart, the second South Sudanese civil war led by formation of new organization known as SPLA/M broke out in 1983, but I always called it the third Sudanese civil war, because there was Anya-nya II in the bush for ten years which was also recognized by SPLA/M. At the Ethiopian border of Itang, Bilpham, and Bongo, the competition and disputes raised among the members of Anya-nya II, and members of SPLA/M, and eventually members of Anya-nya II were military and politically defeated. So some members of Anya-nya II agreed to be consolidated, and others refused. Among those who refused to be consolidated were Akuot Atem de Mayen, and Samuel Gai Tut, and their flowers.
They ran back to Southern Sudan of Nuer land and formed rebels group against SPLA/M. Samuel Gai Tut and Akuot Atem de Mayen formed a separate movement but instead to fight separately against Khartoum as they were in bush for ten years, they became new militia supported by Khartoum government against SPLA/M. So it was a simple brotherly killing rotation: Southerners went out against Arabs and other Southerners came in supporting Arabs with confused objectives, and vision.
Because SPLA/M was their enemy, Akuot Atem as a leader, and Samuel Gai Tut as a deputy mobilized Nuer youths against Southerners and when Southern Sudanese youths joined the revolution, people used to go to Ethiopia through Nuer area, the groups of Akuot Atem and Gai Tut were called Nyagat in Nuer language killed many people when they were going to Ethiopia and when they came back to Sudan. People who lost sons cried bitterly in their names.
After military training in Ethiopia of battalion 105, 106, Jamus, Tigger, Timtha, and Koryom, the SPLA began fighting Akuot Atem and Samuel Gai groups, and consequently they were defeated again and Samuel Gai Tut was killed in the battle, but before Gai Tut was killed, some Nuer politicians within the rebel groups tried to persuaded Akuot Atem de Mayen and Samuel Gai Tut to joined SPLA but they refused. After Akuot saw it hard and there was no somebody like Gai Tut to mobilized Nuer youths for war, he accepted to join SPLA/M, and Nuer people who were supporters of Samuel Gai Tut got annoyed and said after what?
After Samuel Gai Tut had died, “Jaang or Jieng Lieldu be nguom, lieldu be ngieny, lieldu be dhaikemac tem emma”, and they killed Akuot Atem de Mayen, and lastly when Akuot breathed out last breath of life, he said this in Dinka, “Nuer, we ca ke Khooth ne Khuoth de Amagak”, and he died, which mean he uttered curses of a dying person because he was not dying in a peaceful mood, he died in brutal killing and torturing.
In a literally sense, Akuot said, rebellions, killings, and confusions will not soon departed from the Nuer land, or from the Nuer people or Upper Nile in general. In the next topic will be discussion about the meaning of Khuoth de Amagak, and the power of the tongue.
The author is a co-founder of South Sudan Mental Health care Organization, (SSMHCO). He holds Bachelor degree in Social Work and Social Administration from SSCUST, Bachelor of Theology from CLT, Bungoma, Kenya/Kalispell, USA, and a fellow researcher. He can be reach at email@example.com
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