The Empty Cry of a Baby: Nuer/Anyuak Co-existence
By Peter Lam
Grieving in grave yard over the death of his mother and obsessed with the naked Dinka politics, Mr. James Ochang Ojoch is eager to jump and attack the Lou Nuers and Nuers in general. Being powerless to avenge the lost of his mother and relatives who lost their life during the 1980s incident of Akobo between Anyuak and Nuers, which was the making and miscalculation of the then Major Ogud, now general; Mr. Ojoch find himself busy with opportunity to daily attack the Nuers. He has created the so called Anyuak media website to mainly teach hate to the few Anyuaks who followed him.
This article is a brief response to Mr. Ojoch baseless and hate article against the Nuers society. Mr. Ojoch who come from minority tribe in Sudan, recently become a self-appointed spoke man for the Dinka-SPLA [Sudan People’s Liberation Army] particularly when it come to issue of disarmament of the Nuers community and political marginalization of the Nuer society. To outsiders, Mr. Ojoch is a concern Southern Sudanese or an SPLA cadre from minority Anyuak in Sudan. Though, I respect the rights of Mr. Ojoch to express his opinion and defend the policy of SPLA government, I think it is important for the audience to know what is the motives behind the bitter writings and attacks of our brother Mr. Ojoch particularly on Nuers. Mr. Ojoch like any other Sudanese who differ on policy issues, political programs, and ideological orientation with regard to political organizations operating in Sudan, be it NCP [ruling National Congress Party] or that of the SPLA, is fully entitled to voice his concern. However, and to the contrary, Mr. Ojoch is driven by his own motives that have nothing to do with real politics and policy issues that most of us; the Sudanese concern of, nor the plight of the Anyuaks society.
The real motive for Mr. Ojoch is that he wished the Dinka organization will succeed in taking away guns from the Nuers and other marginalized tribes in South Sudan and eventually he (Mr. Ojoch) will be assisted and armed by the Dinka to revenge his mother death. This is a good dream and worth to pray for daily. But because, Mr. Ojoch has been away from home (Sudan) sine 1970s, he does not know how the Nuers he knew when he was a child have become. In addition, what he (Mr. Ojoch) failed to understand is that no power in Sudan will disarm the Nuers leave alone the poorly Dinka led SPLA. As we speak if the Nuers can unite, which now at working, thanks to SSUDA/SSDF, the Nuers will control all South Sudan within short time.
The bad news for Ochang is that as we speak, the Dinka-SPLA army are now on the run; and in every military confrontation the SPLA is badly losing and abandoning tanks and modern military equipments to the Nuers as well as other SPLA army defecting to joint their own people. No body including myself have wish for this to happen (our people killing each other). But this what the bad leadership and wrong policy of the SPLA created and if there is to be blame it is only the SPLA to be blame not the Nuers. To be frank, I for one believe that the log term benefit for such hostility and rigidity by the leadership of the SPLA toward innocent civilians will bring only to the SPLA. But the reality which currently tking place is that all wars in Upper Nile areas are taking place in previously SPLA controlled areas. And, this war between Civilian Defense Force (CDF) is being fought only by one Lou Nuer section, and if the all Lou Nuers and other Nuers join this war, we will be talking about days not weeks to finish the business once and for all. But as we speak it is only small section of Guun clan of the Lou Nuer who are chasing the SPLA army like rats. So this is a laughing matter for the Nuers intellectuals when reading the writing of this poor Anyuak called Ojoch who is worshipping the Dinka organization.
In regard to the issue of disarmament and from the point of view of many Nuers who are resisting this illegal disarmament including me, this disarmament come premature and being conducted in the wrong time. I believe that once we have a functioning government in South Sudan that is elected by the people with public mandate, the guns have to be taken away from the civilians. And, the process has to be easy and voluntarily. We do not need these guns, once we have stable government in the South. But prior to that, government institutions such as people police, effective judiciary system with accountable judges, and effective security have to be in place, before rushing to the issue of disarmament. But the motive for this disarmament is different. The Dinka are looking for more than just taking guns away. The motive is a systematic design to revenge the Boor incident, which I believe even if the guns are taken away from the Lou Nuer it can not be imagine to materialize since we do have many Nuers in the SPLA led army. If the Dinka real want to avenge the Boor case, then by now the have Dr. Riek Macher with them, they can start there.
In his article Mr. Ojoch used wards such as “can the Nuers salvage their names?, the Nuers must adjust to new situation, Nuers need to clean their house, they must unite” and finally “accept the GOSS as legitimate and participate to make it strong”. This is where we can no longer take Mr. Ojoch as serious politicians, if he is to be one in the future. Though some words appear to be of kinds, it is not only refreshing but they are too late for any room of acceptance. Giving the fact that we know who is talking and what to do with.
In response, the Nuers do not care about who labeled them or give a good name to them, as such, nor they look for outsiders to give them good name. We earn our respect in different way and we sought for permanent respect that can not be questioned for ever. That is if one likes it or not, but it has been the way things been done in this world, thus it is not a new thing, nor it is exceptional to Nuers. As Mr. Ojoch acknowledged, the Nuers have many Ph.Ds holders and thousand more enrolled at graduate level world wide. We do not need a person like Ojoch to advice us when he himself need to be advised. If we ever need outsiders including our neighbors such as Anyuak or Shuluk, there are some who are not only educated but are men of reasons and logic and could provide productive and effective strategic thinking, which do not called for destruction of their own people.
Some of these men are here with us and they are recommended by Nuers to get good jobs. The good news is that we asked them about you (Mr. Ojoch), but they disagreed with the bad things you are engaging yourself in the US, which has resulted in the disaster that took place in Gambella and Pochalla as we speak. With your personal wrong motives you are not helping yourself but creating more disaster to your people. For them, including the one at home (Akobo); Mr. Ochang Ojoch is leaving in the USA in luxury along with his children. Said one Anyuak in Khartoum, “we do not need another trouble maker to create problem for us. We have no where to go now since life in Ethiopia has been messed up by the people like him. Enough is enough”. This statement does not take a rocket scientist to analyze, that it always take one trouble maker for many people to suffer. Mr. Ojoch is typical of such person.
My question now is that, to what extend will it takes for an Anyuak like Mr. Ojoch to understand the meaning of politics? The little I know is that in politics you have to secure your position and future first when one involve, before making unnecessary claims and enemies. To remind the readers, it is not long ago that the only Anyuak professor who was elected in Akobo by the Nuers to defeat one of the Nuer son Dr. Michael Wal Duany, the Honorable professor Anade was used by John Grang the Dinka movement leader and finally killed like a dog by Dr. Grang. Professor Anade was the first person sent to US as SPLA representative, he had worked hard to secure the American Christian Coalition which was the key lobby group to pressure the US government to support the SPLA. I thought any reasonable Anyuak should have learnt about the nature of the Dinka, but they din not. Here we go again another Anyuak, a useless man called Mr. Ojoch worshipping the Dinka.
In the diasporas prior to signing the peace agreement and after, we have seen Sudanese Anyuaks agitating other Anyuaks not to associate with Nuers but with the Dinka, and have done everything to support the SPLA. But when the Dinka movement SPLA formed the government we haven’t seen any Anyuak being appointed to the top position. In pochalla, the Anyuak SPLA was busy giving Anyuaks refugee girls who survived from genocide of 2003 to the Dinkas. Yet, last month was the Dinka movement who invited Ethiopian government troops to enter to a sovereign land of Sudan in search of the Anyuaks rebels. More than 8 Sudanese nationals including the best loyalist to Dinka were listed to be given to the Ethiopian government, because the Dinka movement officials have taken some brave money from Ethiopian government in exchange for Pochalla SPLA Anyuaks leaders. Yet the Ojoch’s Anyuakmedia of hate, deny or was reluctant to release all information and atrocity been committed against Anyuaks in pochalla by the Ethiopian government and the SPLA. We learned that Mr. Ojoch has to protect the image of his Dinka masters movement. What a slave. So my message to reasonable Anyuak intellectuals is this a new Anyuak culture we do not know before? If not then, how long can Anyuaks allow Mr. Ojoch to continue with such business and madness against the Nuers which eventually will lead to serious consequences for the Anyuaks. I am asking these questions because I am not from Lou Nuer and when Lou Nuers keep quite about something as this, they are to do something about it. I suggest this mad man should be advised before it too late
Regarding the government in Juba, this is a Dinka government and the majority of Nuers do not accept it as legitimate government. The core Nuers believed that the current government we have in Juba, do not represent the interest of the people in the south but the Dinka. If Ojoch is looking for a position in this Dinka government, we can assure that you can not get it, even if the Dinka wanted you to. If for some reason it becomes a lottery, then the question is where can you (Mr. Ojoch) work; a place where there is no Nuers which you despise. The Nuers are in Khartoum, Juba, Upper Nile, Unity State, your state and everywhere you go in Sudan.
Remember that the Nuers hold not only senior positions in the current government you call GOSS and the National Government, but they are also in Ethiopian government and the Nuers will be every where you go. Look around you again and again. The Nuers always will be there for something that a local person like you can not understand. Since the formation of so call GOSS, in every appointments, you will see the very Lou Nuer that you hate. But, I never seen an Anyuak being appointed, not in juba not in Khartoum. Why do you think that is so Mr. Ojoch?
On the other hand, what Mr. Ojoch do not understand is that the international community including the US interest in South Sudan is OIL, and only OIL. But that OIL belongs to Nuers and the international community including the US government and those foreign NGO in the ground here know who own the OIL. As we speak some oil companies are now shifting their business to that of the owner. But poor Ojoch do not understand what going on in Sudan politics, and I do not blame him since he does not have any body (Anyauk) in decision making position in the political arena in both Khartoum and Juba. However, the world revolves around with Mr. Ojoch only with NUER! NUER and NUER!
Also Mr. Ojoch should be advised that what taking place between the Dinka led SPLA and the Nuer led organizations is politics; and that the Nuer and the Dinka have a kin relations (they come from one family) as the same goes for the Anyuaks and the Shuluk. But, siding with Dinka not on political issues but base on personal interest and full of hate, can not help you in the long run. Since we know that your only motive in this ugly business is to revenge your mother death, which again it is a bad calculation, we believe that, once again this is a bad calculation like Gen. Ogud did last time; and when it comes to the duty of man to man he (General Oguid) could not even save his own relatives and friends, despite being the head of the military in Akobo.
Now, as (Mr. Ojoch) go around poisoning others innocent Anyuaks (specially they young one) with this personal motive, it is only to result in the 1980s chaos and this time around it will be a very good one. Because this time you do not have James Sigin Banak as commissioner who at that time happened to be married to an Anyuak lady (king Agada daughter) to save some Anyuaks in his house. Mr. Ojoch also do not ask himself that during the fight of the 80s there are some Nuers who lost all of their families and now leaving in the United States which you consider as safe heaven for you. My friend you can run but you can not hide. Choosing the Dinka as safe heaven to protect your interest is yet another deadly miscalculation. This is true, specially with Naat (Nuers), who do not care about anything that go against them or threaten their interest. Please keep talking your wards are well taken as that of Ojoch not to include all Anyuaks at this time, until your deeds become reality.
* Peter Lam is based in the USA. He is gradute student in management and policy. Also he is a member of South Sudan Democratic Fourm (SSDF) email: firstname.lastname@example.org