To: Agel Machar.
By prof: James Mayik
This post is meant for my South Sudanese audience. Someone in Agel Machar Ring’s contact should forward these comments to him. He is not my friend on facebook and I don’t want it to sound like a gossip. It is not gossip, I am real.
Dear Hon. Agel Machar,
I wonder! I understand your comments were directed to the authorities. I assume those authorities are members of South Sudan’s Presidency. But given your ubiquitous presence in South Sudan’s politics, I am compelled to comment on your comments as well. If appointing Johnson Olony is what will give you a break in South Sudan, I am sorry but you may have to take that break somewhere else. This following statement in your comment is condescending and I quote “the only reason we hear via various media outlets is that this Gen Johnson Olony dude is some serious “warmonger” end of quote. It shows that you are either ignorant of the serious issues facing the people of Greater Upper Nile or disrespectful to their cause. But if the latter is the case, I have the reason to believe that anybody who doesn’t come from Twic Mayardit doesn’t matter to you. Consequently, you must be told to hold your horse.
So you only hear via various social media and do not actually know that Johnson Olony has recruited and armed thousands of Shilluk youth and deployed them near or within Atar Dinka villages of Pigi County? That means you actually do not know that Johnson Olony’s forces have been lynching, maiming, and slaughtering innocent people of Pigi and Akoka Counties respectively in the name of claiming their land as he believes it belongs to his ancestors. It is unfortunate that you don’t know if this one Johnson Olony is entrusted with a statutory power, he would actually move these forces across the Nile to the eastern bank and implement the agenda of his long term dreams of displacing Dinka families whom he sees as occupiers of his ancestral land. If you don’t know that, other South Sudanese know it and you need to give them a break. They have suffered enough in the hands of warlords.
It is mind boggling to also observe in your comment that you don’t remember or don’t know that this one Johnson Olony was once an ally to the South Sudan’s government prior or around 2013 after he negotiated peace. He held a senior position in the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) during the onset of civil war in December 2013. Owing to that alliance, he was entrusted with very expensive military hardware up to and including a multi-million dollar vessel and technical personnel to operate them in order to protect civilians in the western bank of the Nile. Instead of maintaining loyalty to the constitution, Johnson Olony betrayed the South Sudanese people.
He slaughtered all the tank operators who were not members of his Shilluk ethnic groups under his command. What type of a national leader can do this? As that was not enough, he almost used the military vessel to sabotage the national oil infrastructure in Meluth. Unfortunately, such an expensive vessel was destroyed in deterrence of sabotage. Such actions in a normal country can be classified as treason and are punishable by hanging until death. Mr. Olony should be in Jail, not gubernatorial palace in Malakal. If you also hear such betrayals via various social media, then you need to give South Sudanese people a break. They have suffered enough to see killers and criminals who should be rotting in jails rewarded with power. It set a very dangerous precedence.
I am afraid to contend with your frivolous assertion that someone must quickly gather the required courage to appoint General Johnson Olony as governor of Upper Nile State. The fear to reward Gen. Johnson Olony with power is not about the land. In fact I am one of a few people who view disputes over the tribal land boundaries in the same country with disdain. Instead of developing land tenure policies so that local and international investments can commence in full swing, people are busy bickering over grazing no-man bushes.
This is savagery. The rejection of Johnson Olony, at least in the views of victims of his crimes in Upper Nile State, is about the life and death of the innocent villagers he has terrorized for years. It is about Johnson Olony’s integrity to lead the people of Upper Nile. It is about entrusting him with the State power when everyone knows (except Agel Machar) that he is an active criminal with a lot of non-State armed militias waiting to swamp Malakal once he is sworn into office. Giving Johnson Olony Thabo the power to lead Upper Nile State is like surrendering the surviving victims of his criminal activities to him in order to be wiped out.
I am glad that the government of South Sudan is legitimately cautious in their approach to this issue. If this one Johnson Olony could not be trusted with military equipment/hardware, service men from other ethnic groups under his command, and a multi-million dollar military ferry, how can you trust him with the steward of a multi-ethnic State such as Upper Nile? I wonder!
(Opinions expressed in this article are owners’ and do not reflected RB’s)