By Manyang Duany Jok, Bor, South Sudan
Reviewing both atrocious acts: 91’s and 2013 by Riek Machar, something comes into my mind of who is fool Riek as one of the Nuer educated icon, whose his great reputation among Nuer community is only to waging war against Dinka led government or Nuers as people, who most of them seems to be leaning back by not questioning Riek’s vision which its purpose is to link Nuer heroism with destruction of South Sudan political destiny.
In flashback to his 91’s rebellion against Dr. Garang SPLM/A’s, Riek understood that the freedom, and the leadership the South Sudanese were longing for was in the hand of Khartoum headship, yet he mobilized most Nuers against the SPLM/A to divert it from focusing on liberating Southerners for the betterment, in the hand of Islamic regime. As the result, the SPLM/A later ended up defending itself from both Riek’s and Islamic group in Khartoum instead to advance to the North of the Country (Sudan).
Not only had the Riek’s rebellion almost brought the SPLM/A into its knee, but also planted a seed of division and plunged South Sudanese into counter-insurgency against themselves which resulted later: Riek’s, Paul Matip’s, Peter Gatdet’s, William Nyuon’s, Karbino Kuanyin’s group against one another and also not all in favor of the SPLM/A.
As such, the SPLM/A’s effort by then to confront Sudan Government, and to liberate the whole marginalized Sudanese had now been swayed and it stuck defending its own neck from being cut off by both Southern militia and Islamists in the former Equatoria Region of the South Sudan from 1990s through CPA time.
The Riek Machar aim with his influence among the majority of Nuer was to dismantle the SPLM/A and to elevate himself to be a chairman of the movement with his own formation(SSIM/SSDF) without calculating the damages his political upheaval will cause against the people he claimed to be leading.
Coming to recent December 15th, 2013 coup attempt, Riek mobilized majority of the same Nuer who he also deceived in 91 to carry out his failed political objective this time against Salva Kiir two years old Government prior to independent without calculating its risks.
Exploring generally Nuer People’s culture and connecting it with series of disadvantage events instigated by Riek in the South Sudan with Nuer majority support, beginning from 1983, the birth of the SPLM/A through independent two years time of the birth of the New Nation, Republic of South Sudan, Nuer culture remains strong, reflective and dynamic.
Nuer culture is reflected in the way they do thing like the rest of people in the world, let leave alone impatience and retaliatory conflict among Nuer community. Nuers are socially accommodative; they accept other tribe men to be one of their own without discrimination, but not by abduction like some of tribe in South Sudan do, but only through migration. They are very protective; they choose to die first before anyone they foster in their community is stranded in a danger; they are great believers and followers of a leadership which they trust at the same time either magically or diplomatically.
Why Most Nuers don’t reject Riek Decisions (1991 &2013)?
This question can be answered through observation of domesticated duck and its ducklings. When duck takes a lead, the ducklings follow even still when duck leads them into deadly latrine/pit without analytical reasoning of how harmful is the latrine/pit.
Here, which is the fool between the adult mother that failed to lead its offspring into a secure and a safe direction or offspring which keep following their mother’s lead even to the risky way? The answers is, the mother is the fool because is an adult, has worldly experiences, and reasoning capacity, which is equivalent to Riek Machar’s PHD compared to its duckling. For Riek supposed to use his academic sense to lead whole Nuer people toward education and development, with majority of them support to his vision, he led them into violence war; however, he is the duck and a numerous of his Nuer supporters are ducklings.
When inquiry asks why most members of Nuer community don’t question Riek is direction but still following Riek like ducklings and their mother, it is because they are overconfidence of his PHD, his political propaganda, and have un-swaying belief over his leadership in collaboration with cooked prophesies by witchdoctors/spear masters (Wurnyang, Dak Kueth, Nguen Deng), which easily help him to shape their heart toward his harmful way.
Coming back to the two recorded horrific events (1990’s &’2013-14’) he triggered through the desire of a leadership with majority support of Nuer tribesmen both during liberation struggle and the recent days of Coup attempt; it was their spiritual belief of him to be leader which compel most of them to fall apart like dominos from both SPLM/A in the past and the Republic of South Sudan in present by joining him with conviction that he would create another route to score assumed expectation/privileges claimed to have been blocked by Dinka led government as his propaganda goes.
Riek was born the unappreciative man. This was exhibited when Dr. John Garang honored him and granted him to be a Sector commander in upper Nile among other seniors, yet he devalued it and rebelled against the government (SPLM/A) which promoted him, and in the process he planted the seed of a division and hatred in the South Sudanese territory-Dinka versus Nuer.
After his expectations were not met in Khartoum, he returned to the SPLM/A (2002) in shame, yet he was accommodated as a number three (3), third to late Dr. John Garang in the Movement he almost utterly destroyed in the course of his split and a fight against it.
Accompanied by very poor historical records of nationalism documented in 91’s, in the aftermath of Dr. John Garang’s abrupt death, with worries of his criminal creditability not to spoil his Nuer fans and followers again for more rebellion and disunity among South Sudanese with CPA at hand , Riek was anyway rewarded with vice president position, in the Government of South Sudan and still maintained it to the Republic of South Sudan, which he didn’t deserve; it was under the offer to buy peace, yet he still acts disorderly against the leadership which escalated him by under estimating the position he was holding, but aimed high; consequently, this resulted into his late year 2013 termination.
In his disregard of the vice president position, he acted like a hen honored by the owner and served a grain in a clean plate to eat, yet it scuffs it into dirt, and picks it up there on the floor. This is exactly Riek Machar. He wanted to scuff down the SPLM party into dirt and to ask the rest of his faithful members to snatch the appropriate positions on the floor, in which each of them prefers and to declare themselves the leaders of the Republic of South Sudan. He preferred disorganized thing than the organized ones like a chicken does.
In relation to his chicken alike personality with less conscience and short recollection disorder, Riek broke down in tears and gave a whisky generated apology at fallen heroes/heroin celebration (2012) to Bor People in the compound of Late Dr. John Garang’s wife, Nyandeng Chol, who recently divorced Garang family for him ( Riek Machar).
Regardless of his crocodile tears down his cheek, which encouraged Nyandeng to be one of his great enthusiasts, Riek lost his 91’s massacre memories he created in Bor and he reiterated it in late 2013 through current year 2014 in the same area with its expansion to Malakal and his home State, Unity. Through common sense knowledge of war, of course all parties: innocent/guilty (Dinka, Nuer, Mandari, Anyuak, Murle, shilluk & etc ) paid the price.
In support of his pursuit of unfavorable leadership, many Nuer civilians like other die every time in the course of his desires (as recorded in two events, 91& 2013) without anyone of them questioning his egos/dishonesty, but only caring most about him and his wrong direction, no matter whatever price they will pay for, they are there for him at all cost at the time of his needs either devilishly or righteously. Yet Riek does not think about their rights and privileges (beyond the settlement in western world granted to all refugees through interview) including: right to life, to be educated, and to be developed for a better like he does not care for the rest of South Sudanese, who he deceive to violently follow his lead; however, Riek is not a Nuer, but majority of Nuers are Riek Machar.