A Review of Hon. Makeer Lual Kuol’s Book, “Personalities with Positive Indelible Finger Prints in the History of South Sudan”

Posted: May 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Books, History, Kur Wël Kur

Appraisal: My appreciation on Hon. Makeer’s authenticity in his 54-page book, “Personalities with Positive Indelible Finger Prints in the History of South Sudan.”

By Kur Wël Kur, Adelaide, Australia

Personalities with Positive Indelible Finger Prints in the History of South Sudan

Personalities with Positive Indelible Finger Prints in the History of South Sudan

May 27, 2017 (SSB) — Are you hungry for the history? Not just for any history like that corrupted history, but the right history of our heroes. If you do, then check out this elder’s writings. I settled to follow Hon. Makeer Lual Kuol, to read what he writes in its entirety when I read his tribute (The Martyrs’ Day: Martin Majier Ghai Ayuel) to Late Martin Majier Gai in 2012.

Why?

Because he’s trustworthy. He never shies away from mentioning the bruises of the civil war, atrocities the South Sudanese had committed among themselves in the course of waging the liberation war. And he does it in the lifetimes of those who facilitated those atrocities or in the faces of the bystanders of such atrocities. Elders like him, those who don’t get shooed away by the consequences of telling or writing the truth, possess every inch of authenticity to write the political chronicles of South Sudan.

Because his writings,  his dictions and his storytelling techniques, his tactics of pulling readers, promising and luring them into reading his writings by giving them (readers) nuggets of curiosity, make him someone worth following.

Some readers would wonder why the author included the stories of his children and those of his granddaughter in the political chronicles of South Sudan. But fortunately, the majority of readers who have learned the writers’ science of persuasion, would appreciate how the writer made them feel and care about what follow after reading the stories of author’s granddaughter. The experts (psychologists) acknowledge how magnetic children (infants to toddlers) and puppies are; they invoke curiosity and parental love.

Uncle Makeer opened his book with humorous and some sad stories (like the story of broken bone that took ages to heal) of his children, but he introduced his children’s stories with entertaining stories of his granddaughter, Adeng Nyijur Makeer Lual.

By his design, the author delayed the reason behind Adeng’s stories, which is a comparison of how Adeng’s ‘notoriety of innocence’ that had forced them (grandparents: the author and his wife) to surrender and pray for some sort of intervention, with UN suggesting an external intervention in the South Sudan’s conflicts. By this time, the author has already done his job to convince you to read the whole book in its entirety in one sitting.

Brevity of the book

Intelligence and wisdom are gauged not in tons of words aired or written, but with words selection, a few words that carry unimaginable and unmatched weights. Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the best writers because of his pithiness. This book is just 54 pages, but Uncle Makeer has jam-packed it with unique acts of nationalists. In the book, the author unveiled the uplifting courage of the 24 nationalists. In this appreciation___ my appreciation (personal interpretations) of this book___ I am not going to mention all of the heroes covered in the book individually.  But I will place some of them in groups under themes that the author has portrayed sometimes directly or indirectly in the book, themes such as the baton of liberation struggle, the power of truthful and fearless journalism, the appointments based on excellence and competence during the liberation struggle, and the sweeping energy of grassroots’ mobilisations.

Baton of liberation struggle

Just as the reader sign off Adeng’s stories, the author surprised the reader with Uncle Abel’s political profiles. What the author gave away in Abel’s political profiles, is how the nationalists of South Sudan picked up the baton of liberation struggle after each one of the previous revolutionaries. And how it demanded them to make tough decisions.

For example:

Mawalana Abel Alier is reported to have made a moving act of nationalism by offering his services to citizens of South Sudan. The author revealed that Honourable Abel Alier Kwai supported the baton of the liberation struggle with all his strength, heart and mind. In his time of emotional despair, he chose public freedom over personal responsibility. It’s personal responsibility to burry your own child; Uncle Abel left his daughter’s mourners and he rushed to Naivasha, Kenya for the CPA where by the people of South Sudan desperately needed his legal mind.

 When the author discussed unimaginable hard work of the leaders like William Deng Nhial, heroes of the upper echelons of leadership, the reader is filled with an epiphany of how Dr. John Garang Mabior pulled off the CPA. Dr. John followed the heroes before him; he ferreted successes in the shadows and traces of the previous revolutions.  To quote the author, “as a former participant in Anyanya one Movement, Garang benefited from the weaknesses he observed during Anyanya one.” The author went on mentioning in details those weaknesses. Sorry, I don’t want to spoil your desire of reading the book so grab yourself a copy to find out, thanks.

The power of truthful and fearless journalism

Journalism informs; it’s a platform for the public awareness. The people’s freedom and self-governing are in the heart of excellent journalism. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of United States of America and the chief writer of Declaration of Independence, once preferred having “newspapers without a government.”

With such importance, citizens (journalists) who devote themselves to truthful journalism, to give insights on social, economic and political issues are always harassed by the governments, even in democratic countries. What about countries whose governments thrive in injustices, countries such as the old Sudan? Sudan was the purest form of oppressive politics. And only Junubeen (South Sudanese people) were the victims.

So, when Uncle Bona Malual Madut chose the South Sudanese public’s awareness over his own life by publishing news that educated South Sudanese people in his newspaper (Vigilante), Uncle Bona was portraying his nationalism.

As the author mentioned, the enemy tested the will-power of Uncle Bona, when Gen. Omar Mohamed al-Talib stuffed 3,000 Sudanese pounds in an envelope and sent it to Uncle Bona. Uncle Bona politely turned down the offer. In those vicious financial difficulties, Uncle preferred a dignified suffering over a sycophantic luxury.

The power of the opposite faith (personal interpretations)

The author has narrated well how Christianity changed the face of liberation struggle. Under the lordship of (Bishop) Nathaniel Garang Anyieth, spiritual enlightenment of South Sudanese especially those in present Lakes States and Jonglei State spread like a wild fire. This enlightenment traced the South Sudanese biblical anchors. The prophecies of prophet Isaiah in the book of Isaiah, chapter 18, were read and interpreted in a million times. Regardless of different versions of the Bible that interchanged the two countries: Sudan and Ethiopia in this chapter (18), the South Sudanese Christians wholeheartedly received the prophecy as theirs.

This epiphany gave them morale that they were right people of God and of Sudan, a morale that matched the opposite faith (Islam) of the enemy.

In addition to spiritual work, the author mentioned Bishop Paride Taban of the Catholic Church in Equatoria. At times of lows of SPLM/A, when Mengistu’s  government collapsed and the jesh el hamar (red army presently known as Lost Boys of South Sudan) almost perished of hunger, his lordship, (Bishop) Paride Taban appealed to the outside worlds, which responded with food relief.

With these examples, the author showed how the Christian faith helped in the liberation struggle; he attributed this help to the two bishops: Nathaniel Garang Anyieth and Paride Taban.

The appointments based on excellence and competence during the liberation struggle

As a reader progressed through the book, the author threw lights on how associations such as Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) were successful and operating in norms of the likes of UNICEF, the agencies of the first worlds. SRRA flourished with the managerial skills of Mario Muor Muor whom the author described as “a resolute and a pragmatic manager”.

Excellence begets excellence, or competence effects competence; just as mediocrity precipitates its equivalent. The author revealed how Muor Muor mentored capable leaders who presently became outstanding leaders in the various fields in South Sudan.  Mario initiated and supervised workshops for the SRRA’s employees. The likes of Otujok, Joseph Ngere, Isaiah Chol Aruei, Majhok Morwel, Michael Roberto, Dr. Valerie Ahoi, and Philip Agueer Panyaang simmered in the medium of Muor Muor’s rare leadership.

The author implied that, during the liberation struggle, Mario based his appointments on excellence and competence as opposed to appointments of relatives with half-baked qualifications.

And with this assertion, I agree with the author, not because I knew this visionary leader, but because I witnessed his job-selection criteria. In July, 1997, I left Kakuma, Kenya to spend holidays at New Cush, South Sudan. As the author mentioned, SRRA was located in New Cush in 1997. Muor employed my cousin, Daniel Kuot Chol Deng who earned his masonry certificate at Don Bosco technical school in Kakuma, Kenya. Kuot graduated as the best student in Don Bosco; the teachers at Don Bosco sang his names as late as in 2000. “We need students like Daniel”, they would tell the new students of Don Bosco.

Muor gave the powers of a leading-hand to Daniel Kuot Chol because of his intelligence and hard work, a rare combination. Normally, the intelligent people hate manual labour; they always look for ways of making their work easier. With the blueprints, probably drawn by Majhok Morwel (because the author addressed him as architect), Kuot built all those modern, concrete houses of SRRA in New Cush.

The sweeping energy of grassroots’ mobilisations.

At the grassroots of the civil societies, elites inspired the chiefs to help in a mass mobilisations to send children to schools. Because with the education, South Sudanese people were easily taught their civil rights and liberties. The chiefs also helped in resistance, resources pooling and recruitments as the author acknowledged were: Jook Alith Akuei, Jongkuch Nhial and Abel Thon Malek Deng.

The conclusion and my wishes

In the book, I scrolled through the years that marked South Sudanese people’s struggle chronicles for political, economic and social freedom, it was my wish to find 1987 and 1990 mentioned. But the author forgot to place these defining years in the South Sudanese people’s political timelines. If the idea of sending the boys to Ethiopia (1987) and to Palotaka (1990) became one of the outstanding achievements of General Kuol Manyang years later (the author mentioned it among Gen. Kuol’s achievements), then 1987 and 1990 must have spots on Jubbeen political struggle timeline.

My second wish, I know Uncle Makeer has read extensively about Machiavelli because he had quoted Machiavelli’s art of war more than once. So, I suspected Uncle Makeer to know the strength of all guerrillas, the fuel that keeps them blasting. The architects of guerrilla wars know that guerrillas depend heavily on the support of the local populations. So, a guerrilla war philosopher, Mao Zedong once said: “The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.”

With this background, the chief reason for Gen. Kuol Manyang to force the internally displaced people to settle in Omerie (for former Palotaka boys), in Agata-Lobone two (for the former Amee’s residents) and in Lobone one (for Entebbe’s former residents) landed in the circle of the logistics. Remember, the IDPs in Equatoria were the only lifeline of logistics for SPLA as those (lost boys and some families) who came from Ethiopia had crossed borders to Kenya.

A major logistics’ arm disappeared. This made those IDPs important for liberation struggle. So, their settlement in Omerie and in both Lobone(s) wasn’t only to keep the soldiers from following theirs wives and children into Uganda, but to supply the soldiers with food.

Otherwise, thanks for your work you’re doing a priceless job. Your sides of South Sudan’s stories are convincing and accurate.

Kur Wël Kur has a Bachelor Degree in Genetics and Zoology from Australian National University (ANU). He was the former General Secretary of Greater Bor Community in Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached via his email contact: kurwelkur@ yahoo.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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