President Kiir and VP Machar campaign rally in Bor, Jonglei is historic
BY: Mawut Guarak , NEW YORK , USA
The recent political rally by SPLM candidates for the presidency of
South Sudan is historic and must be appreciated. This is in response to some of my dearest friends, brothers, and sisters who have shown bitterness to see VP Riek in Bor. Of course we all know, including VP Riek, that the deed of August 1991 was satanic, wrong, and unacceptable. It is not something that anyone can condone but we must move forward.
For those who were in the SPLA during the 1990s, it is no secret that it was a deadly decade in which a brother killed a brother, sister against sister, and so forth. That was misunderstanding of political differences within the SPLM PMHC. The White Army under Riek Machar was misled and had its own reason to invade and destroy Bor. It is not something to be denied. The Vice President is personally accountable for it. But that is not a reason to be defeated. Like one of my brothers from Rumbek said, the Bor Massacre affected every Jieng, whether in Bahr el Ghazal or
Upper Nile , but that can not be allowed to interfere without the future.
In our communities, we fight and reconcile. The same applies to what happened in 1991. Riek is a brother, a cousin, and a fellow citizen who, by mistake killed his own people. Although I donít what he thinks of it, he is ashamed for this action. But given that he is one of our own, we looked beyond what happened in 1991. In 2002, we all forgave him and welcomed him back to his people.
So what is wrong at this time? This is not the first time Dr. Riek went to Bor since returning to the SPLM/A in 2002. He first went to Bor, Panyagor to be specific, in 2004 for the House of Nationalities Conference and he was very well welcomed and appreciated. He talked to the inhabitants of Panyagor and explained his past action.
In 2007, he went to the city of
Bor and he was personally welcomed by Kuol Manyang Juuk, the same man who chased him out of Panyagor in 1993. For those who may not be aware, Kuol was the commanding officer deputized by Bior Ajang Duot when Riek forces were attacked and uprooted from Panyagor in the same battle Uncle (Joseph) Oduho was killed.
Everyone is aware of these and are all forgiven. Everybody makes a mistake. If mistakes are not forgiven, God should have not kept the world operational after the killing of his own son more than 2000 years ago. Forgiveness is the only way to unity and victory.
Dr. Riek must have not publicly apologized to the Bor people and the Jieng as a whole but his commitment to South Sudanese people since his return to the Movement is a testimony that he has repented and is working for the African people of
South Sudan . Unlike Dr. Lam, VP Riek is an able-minded person who has decided to payback his wrong doing by staying up at night putting together plans to defeat the enemy.
I lost several people from my own family to Dr. Riek in 1991; it is painful, hard to forget, but I have forgiven him in favor of the South Sudanese people. He is our brother; he is our vice president; he is our leader; and he is one of us. He has the right to go any place in
South Sudan without restriction. Letís forget things of the past.