By Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
Our people in the UN PoCs got lost and have forgotten who and what brought them into these camps in the first place and to be refugees and second class citizens in their own country. They should know that even the leaders whose power wrangling within their decayed SPLM and the ones who forced them to rot in the UN PoCs for the last 7 years have now reconciled, are in peace, giggling in joy and feasting in their luxurious and extravaganza mansions while you are submerged under water of the flooded UN PoCs and at the mercy of mosquitoes, venomous snakes and all the possible diseases. Such a true hell needs no additional complications by your infighting, staged by the same power drunk and greedy so-called leaders. More fear, insecurity and extra trauma are the only horrible outcomes of such awful divisions and feuds. I know incidents happen for a reason or another, but letting such gruels be manipulated by the same masters of your suffering is a complete mistake if not a fatal ignorance. We heard that the fight started with wrangling over a memory card but now we are hearing it is between Western Nuer and Eastern Nuer. Before the R-TGoNU peace agreement, it used to be either within the Western Nuer themselves, Bul and Dok or within Eastern Nuer various clans. It seems the nature of fight also has changed with the nature of politics and this can’t happen without some organized devilish claws behind the scene. How a disagreement on a memory card which apparently was between two individuals developed that quickly to a clannish and sectional fight devastating the already embattled mother community, the Nuer at large? That is the question in itself.
While the recent defections have further divided the embattled Nuer community into divided clans supporting their defected Generals and politicians from here and there, it is also clear that the same agents of divisions are the one fanning the infighting of their various communities. What would be the gains in putting people’s lives at clear risk such as that? How do our politicians feel comfortably on their seats and positions upon the dead bodies of their own people? On the other hand and on the side of IDPs, this reflects a sad example of how one’s horrible life case can be lost with time and circumstances, how the case of our people in UN PoCs got lost and developed with time and various circumstances until it transformed the very victims to be the agents of their own destruction. This fall within the category of many histories of the exploited poor around the world and it happened throughout the years of building frustration and hopelessness amidst hardships of all sorts. We thought that, the priority of R-TGoNU was to workout an effective plan to bring the country back to normalcy at all social, economic and political ends. This should have started with IDPS and the refugees who are the real victims that have beard the burns of the war for the last 7 years. They have lost everything, dignity, good health, properties and their kids future is also in question. Thanks to the UN and the NGOs, it could have been worse.
But the Machar’s IO movement that arrived to power riding on the backs of these people has gone awry since their day one in Juba last February, 2020. The way their top leaders conducted themselves and have divided their share of positions in the R-TGoNU have destroyed their mission and image as a reformist and an agent for change that these people been, for the last 7 years, waiting for. Since February, the battle within IO has been against itself through uninformed decisions, short-sighted policies and finally appointment of its own ministers through a very nepotistic lens which most people has finally labeled as a family enterprise business. All these shortcomings reflect a clear shift in how the IO is no more the expected reformist rather than a complicit partner of Kiir who may have stroke a gentlemen agreement with Kiir behind the scene to just be a long term partner in the same corrupt system. This is evidenced that the IO couldn’t go ahead with all the latest flawed decisions and policies without guarantees from Kiir and other partners in the ruling establishment. Now, that it failed or came back to its true color, the IO new approach is either to set its supporters with the IDPs included, into a new world and path of confusion or set them apart or against each other through conspiracies theories as usual and PoCs infighting and other latest incidents could aid such assumption. However, the blames on this state of division and weakness doesn’t goes only to IO of Machar but his defected generals and politicians, SSOA and other Nuer politicians as well.
I remember that it was only Mabior Garang, the recently resigned deputy interior minister to be the first and the only leader from IO that has started his short tenure with the visit to trauma hit populace of PoCs. To these forgotten citizens, the effects and loses of 7 years long stay in those camps are enormous and disastrous. But who care? Three months have passed already and the states governors aren’t appointed and the political wrangling over irrelevant issues continues to be the norm. Citizens’ lives should be of high concern and without a clear agenda; the R-TGoNU is ending up in limbo where the accommodated leaders of the former oppositions have gone into silence and complicity since they have secured their seats and salaries. They have gone in their separate ways with the very people and reforms they have used as the slogans and the ladders to climb to those seats. But remember, Kiir’s seats and positions are not permanent and some should have learned from the lessons of the past. At least if you can’t improve the lives of our suffering people in PoCs and help change the bitter frustration they are in, can you please stop manipulating these vulnerable people and your attempts to use them again to attain your power ambitions through their own destruction.
Until the rivalry and lobbying for governors seats is over, my poor people will continue to be the target of our greedy politicians, dividing them and using them for cheap political gains. Kiir and Machar, may also surprise you as usual, choosing the governors from their own nepotism nests and there you will be a loser twice, losing the seats and your dead people in such risky gambling.
Eng. Chuar Juet Jock