Political Assassination in Yambio: Who killed Mariam Biringi?
By : Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
Yambio woke up on Saturday 15/08/2009 to the shocking news of the brutal death of Mrs. Mariam Biringi the Chairperson of the Women‚Äôs Desk in the National Congress Party (NCP), that occurred at around 11:00 pm. Mrs Biringi who was a teacher by profession comes from the Moru tribe, was attacked and held at gun point for over three hours by armed people who number around 5 to 7 men and according to family members who witnessed the assassination said that the murderers were dressed in military uniforms.
During the three hours ordeal before Mariam was killed, her attackers threatened her and took away unknown sum of money. Unfortunately though some people managed to report the incident to the local police at a time when this respectable teacher, politician, community leader and a lovely mother was begging for her life, the police never turned up for her rescue. She was walked out of her compound and gunned down in the street where her body was left lying up till on Saturday. The thugs set the whole compound on fire before walking away with their loot without being intercepted by the police knew exactly what was taking place as they were informed right away from the start of the attack.
Nevertheless the general consensus is that Mariam‚Äôs death is politically motivated as the political parties are busy campaigning for the forth coming elections. As the general atmosphere remains tense, the other non SPLM politicians are now made to rethink their positions in as far as their own safety is concerned.
WesternEquatoriaState once the most peaceful and the most beautiful in the whole Sudan has been reduced under the SPLM rule to a no man‚Äôs land. Yambio the capital of the state is now both the head quarters for the state government and the main garrison for the Ugandan rebels of the Lord‚Äôs resistant Army, making it a place of mafia type crimes, abductions and harassments by anybody carrying a gun.
The assassination of Mariam Biringi should be understood in the context of the general insecurity engulfing the semi ‚Äď autonomous south Sudan . With a very weak government in juba, and underpaid security staff, and unclear political vision by the dominant SPLM, the survival of the citizens even within the main town is entirely a matter of luck. Once out in the remote states like Western Equatoria , Jonglei or Warrap, survival becomes only for the fittest as jungle law and impunity are quite rampant.
Mariam Biringi was not a criminal, nor was she an enemy to any body. And being a member of the NCP should not allow of her brutal and inhumane assassination. The government has already said that they are investigating in the case, which is nothing by hypocrisy. How can the same police and the same security authorities who turned deaf ears and never turned up for her rescue do any thing tangible after her death when they were notified of her being held at gun point before her being killed.
This case which is more of a political assassination given the circumstances will in fact mark the beginning of Somalisation of south Sudan even before holding the much anticipated elections. Political leaders from now onwards will have to have private security personnel if they have to survive the campaign period and worse still would be how to remain alive till April 2010.
However people should never be put off by what has happened and the bottom line remains that the elections must be held and this weak government must be changed. Is it not rather strange that Salva Kiir awarded governors, Kuol Manyang and Jemma Kumba as his best governors while the people of Jonglei and western Equatoria states are being killed and abducted in their thousands? And now how does Mrs. Jemma Kumba feel while heading a state that make stands out for the first political assassination of a female politician?
It is sad that though we look forwards to see the assassins of Miriam Biringi being brought to the book, still our deeply seated distrust in a the current incompetence in the security services in south Sudan ends demoralizing any person who still maintains any little hope for a peaceful democratic south Sudan, that is run by people who have value for human life. May those who orphaned Mariam Biringi‚Äôs children never ever live to see the light of the next day.
Oh God Almighty, may her soul rest in eternal peace.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba (MB, BCh, DRH, MD) Secretary General , United South Sudan Party (USSP).The party that stands for the Independence of South Sudan . Can be reached at: [email protected]