Controversy of self determination, and the unity of South Sudanese people
By: Daniel A. Daniel, (U S A)
"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away.""
Not surprising, now a days, every forum in South Sudan's rightfully engaged with the Referendum and the subsequent secession, both within just a few months, specifically, on Sunday, January 9th 20011. No indications that the debate will die out anytime soon, between the so-called unionists and separatists, as one of the web-writers' suggested. In my judgment, the debate should be about substance, not rhetoric. All honest Southerners have a critical role to play in educating our people about their rights for self-determination and the importance of our unity, at this difficult juncture in the history of our nation.
It's been said all along that: “If you don't have anything good to say about something or somebody, don't say anything." A few years back while Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, then Minister of Roads and Transportation was on an official visit to India, he was asked ( by then Law's PhD student and brother of Ustaz Ali Osman Mohamed Taha) Abdulmunam Mohammad Taha, as to why when he ( Lam) his voice was heard loudly and clearly, when he was with the SPLM/A then being a cabinet minister with Ingaz?
Dr. Lam gesticulated, and answers him: “The voice of opposition is always louder than that of the government." " Good news is not a news, but bad news is the news that people always want to hear," " I am now talking about peace and tranquility, but before, I was talking about war and the horror of war," he went on to say. Certainly, I hope Dr. Akol remembers those words and learn that in this Internet era, no one gets away, even with a slip of a tongue. The time for Cats-and- mouses games with South's unity is over.
As I wrote in my previous articles, unity- any unity- is a matter of mutual respect and understanding among those who thrive to live in unity. But the current state of the affairs of unity in Sudan, where the Northerners ridiculously and unrealistically believe that (you) must be a Muslim and an Arab to be granted full citizenship rights will never be accepted by any free minded South Sudan.
Therefore, the debate must now shift to the referendum and the seccession thereafter. The remaining seven months are not sufficient to fish around talking about a unity that was not there in the first place.
Coming to my previous article, I came under some unfounded attack by my friend Kwathi Akol Ajawien (step brother of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawien). Quite honestly, I tried not to say anything about his alleged accusations, simply because many commentators said it all. But as I mentioned before, we cannot afford to be silent, because silence in itself, is a sign of acceptance, therefore, I would like to mention just few points in rebuttal to the “Born again Christian, Kwathi Ajawin.
In an angry e-mail I received from him, in the aftermath of my article, Kwathi allegedly wrote that I said in my article that, and I quote: “The Shiluk’re a greedy minority and grabbing their land is justified."
As you can see, I was enraged, and for a good reason. First and foremost, am not the type of a person who would utter such demeaning words against one of the most respected kingdom in our land. Moreover, as a teacher's son, I’d lived in Shiluk's areas and went to school with their children, and I didn't see anything not to be liked about the Shiluk's nation. Besides, anyone who would suggest that Shiluk are a minority in South Sudan, that person doesn't live in the real world in which we live.
Yet, In my opinion, brother Kwathi Ajawien is an innocent man until proven guilty. I think that he really is a victim of a crime he didn’t commit. Do you know why? Because he is not the one that sent that e-mail message. His e-mail address was nowhere to be seen, which is unusual and suspicious. But never mind, I’ve figured out the author and the actual architect. His cowardice act is called it in Criminal Justice system as a forgery of identity, and is punishable by the laws of the land.
Furthermore, we all need to remember that the SPLA is our national army, whose members are our brave sons and daughters. I get angry when some folks within our communities celebrate whenever the SPLA loses some of its men in their battles against the enemies of our unity just as one of them wrote this following statement: “The SPLA was badly defeated by some gun men who killed 9 from them." That's as treacherous as it gets.
As one people, we need to move and pass this dark chapter, and in a hurry!
And yes, I've mentioned in my previous article, giving Ustaz/ Ali Osman the green light by Government of South Sudan (GOSS), to crusade and preach the unattractive unity, is not healthy at all, and the SPLM must recant its position as quickly as possible. The last thing we need is another extremist to tear us apart on tribal line. It's time to tell the North: enough's enough.
My advice to every Southerner out there is: If the Arabs make the mistake in trying to bribe you, please don't feel guilty and don't hesitate to take their money, but you need to keep on walking to ballet box and cast your precious vote for secession. After all that money was stolen property from us over the course of more than half a century long and counting. In the end, I feel so much optimistic that all Southerners from different parties in the South will one day unite and rally behind the logo, "Let my people go." That must become true.
In – Conclusion, I said it again and again, our leaders are not saints or angles, but they are human beings, who are subjected to make mistakes. It's quite alright to criticize them, but our criticism of them should be constructive and not destructive. If we do otherwise, then we'd be throwing away a auspicious gift God has ever given us- our birth-right for freedom. We should judge our leaders for who they are and not what they are, or what tribe they come from. We need to root out tribalism if we stand a chance to become a nation.
And finally, we have to make our solidarity even stronger than ever before, let’s focus on our highest our goal, the united South Sudan, under the leadership of all its sons and daughters. At the end we can sing the old American's negero spiritual song: “Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last."
Junub el Sudan Oyee. Our unity Oyee.
The author can be reached at [email protected]. OR. [email protected].