Welcome to Independent South Sudan Peter Biar Ajak: We Pray for You and Our Country

Posted: August 2, 2018 by mayendengdit in Junub Sudan, Mayen Ayarbior

Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese PhD student of politics and world affairs at Cambridge University in the UK; he was detained by agents of the national security at Juba International Airport on his way to Aweil for the celebration of Red Army Day.

Photo: Peter Biar Ajak- Arrested on July 28, 2018

By. David Mayen Dengdit, Denver-Colorado, USA

Thursday, August 02, 2018 (PW): The recent arrest of Peter Biar Ajak, a highly educated and vocal youth leader, has shed yet another spotlight on the state of media freedom and freedom of speech in the country. Well-meaning people and human rights organizations have called on the Juba regime to release him with immediate effect. But as President Kiir once stated in Parliament that he took no orders from anybody, this new addition of Biar Ajak  into the prisons of Juba and the call for his release may be treated with that unfortunate attitude of “we take no orders from anybody.”

It’s unfortunate that the authoritarian Juba regime does not borrow from dark pages of history that tyranny and oppression has never ruled a country forever – Never. When all is over, hopefully sooner rather than later, what happened in the country will never be forgotten. Arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, assassinations of principled clergy and youth activists, ethnic war crimes, intimidation, pervasive rape, protection camps, refugees, etcetera, define one of the darkest pages in sub-Saharan Africa’s persistent experience with dictatorships.

This experience of tyranny in South Sudan is very disheartening because it follows another protracted struggle against external oppressive forces from Khartoum. The post-independence euphoria we all felt as citizens of an independent country quickly dissipated and made room for the rule of what last month’s edition of the monthly East African newspaper labeled “South Sudan’s Lords of the Killing Fields.”

Instead of development and stability, South Sudan’s Lords of the Killing Fields unleashed a kind of terror on our own citizens which would shock the likes of Idi Amin and Bukasa. No one is safe anywhere in the country. Everyone is at risk irrespective of age and gender. Holding to life itself has become a gamble.

A grieving woman who had just lost her son once lamented to me as a government official to convey her message to higher authorities that: “the price of everything is going up every day, except that of human life which is going down. Why are we independent?” I did take her message exactly the way she put it, including her question.

In the capital city of Juba visibly roaming soldiers start taking positions just after sunset, but not to protect civilians, NO. They do so as a way of marking their operations zones and looting territories of the night. They move into people’s houses to compensate themselves for unpaid salaries, but in the process commit rape and murder innocent citizens just like the woman’s son. Every single night in Juba city the sequence is: armed robbery, rape and murder. Every…Single…Night!

As a side show, those critical of this tyrannical rule are being hunted down one-by-one sometimes in daylight when taken to prison, and sometimes at night when marked for execution. Those arrested by daylight end up in prisons and in many cases never to be heard of again by their relatives. They are tortured to death. They are the disappeared. The “fortunate” ones whose ordeals may receive immediate attention from international human rights groups may burn under warm fire. But they burn to death, all the same.

As an anecdote, before I decided to leave the country in March this year, a person I know was arrested on his way home from work. He narrated his ordeal to me which made me give him a brotherly bear hug with words of consolation. He was arrested with no charge whatsoever and released after seven days without any explanation. The worst part of his ordeal was in his description of the underground facility where he was detained and the “dead men walking,” standing or sitting around him, with leg bones showing through their sore skins. My reply was: “welcome to Independent South Sudan my brother- at least you are alive.”

People like James Gatdet, Dong Samuel, and Agry Idri are few examples of those who burn under warm fire and may already be dead or broken down. Like many before him, Peter Biar Ajak may have his days to count in national security detentions if pressure by international and national human rights organizations wanes, just like it seems to be the case with the rest.

For Peter Biar Ajak, a man who got his higher education from the UK and US and decided to put his knowledge to the service of his country we will say: welcome to Independent South Sudan our brother. We pray that you are not tortured physically and emotionally like those who came and passed before you. We pray with you that: May the almighty One above help the cause of our people and our quest for freedom. Another quest for freedom.

David Mayen Dengdit is a former Vice Presidential Press Secretary and founder of Free Citizens Red Flag League (FCRFL) – a peace, development and human rights advocacy platform. He can be reached at mayen.ayarbior@gmail.com.

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




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