Date: 14/01/2023 The Jieng's fallacies on South Sudan's liberation (Part 1) By Lotole Lo Luri The rhetoric sounds familiar; indeed, it has been on and off popping up whenever the Jieng, in general, and the Dinka Bor, in particular, are challenged or criticized for wrongdoing. I am referring to a recent audio recorded by a Dinka Bor guy who was insanely furious, throwing threats against the Bari people.
He was almost choking with anger to the point of incoherence. I only managed to get two points from his emotionally charged utterances. Firstly, he said, the Dinka did shed their blood to liberate South Sudan, ignoring or denying the sacrifices of the other communities in South Sudan during the liberation war.
Secondly, the tribal bigot went on the loose with threats of killing ten Bari individuals for each Dinka Bor killed in Equatoria. He didn't specify, as the Dinka Bor section of the Jieng community has numerous foes in South Sudan due to their aggressive behavior against other communities. But the observers in the international community who follow the events in South Sudan know that the Dinka Bor militia, the Mathiang Anyoor, and the South Sudan People's Defense Force (SSPDF) are already on a killing spree in Bariland and elsewhere in South Sudan.
Furthermore, the Bari are unarmed, law-abiding citizens who do not have a militia to defend them. So, will they kill ten Bari individuals for each Dinka Bor killed by the Murle, the Nuer, and the other communities in South Sudan? The first claim offers the opportunity to address the countless lies together with the baseless glorification of the Jieng as the sole liberators of South Sudan. Firstly, exposing the relentless disinformation and the flagrant attempts to rewrite history by the Jieng is essential to avoid having a misinformed and misguided younger generation.
One of the biggest lies is that Kerubino Kuanyin Bol fired the first bullet in the liberation war led by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, Kerubino did fire the first bullet but for the wrong reasons. At the time, Kerubino was under investigation at the Southern Military Command in Juba for 2 embezzlements of troops' wages.
He was summoned to Juba for a purported court martial. Faced with such a predicament and aware of the prevailing dissent against Kokora within the Jieng community, Kerubino seized the chance to stage a mutiny on 16/05/1983. By doing so, he hit two birds with one stone. His revolt overshadowed the disgraceful act of theft that he was involved in and, at the same time, made him a hero to those who do not know the facts.
Maj General James Loro stunned his host over SSTV in 2012 when he said, with the confidence of an insider, that Kerubino did embezzle the salaries of his soldiers and was ordered to come to Juba. He rebelled to avoid being investigated and, most likely, dismissed and imprisoned. General James Loro's account was credible because he was once the commander of battalion 105 stationed in Bor. There was nothing to suggest a revolutionary Movement led by Kerubino.
Moreover, Kerubino was extraordinarily abrupt and lacked the competence and wisdom of a revolutionary leader. Garang was in the area on leave. He used his charisma and guile to ride on top of the wave created by the mutineers to establish the SPLM/SPLA. In April 1996, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, and Riek Machar signed the so-called "Political Charter" with the government of Sudan. Of course, this happened after the bloody split within the SPLM/SPLM in 1991. The event further confirmed that the mutiny on 16/05/1983 was never an uprising led by Kerubino because a revolutionary leader would never engage in such a dishonorable act.
Secondly, the insistence on calling the Movement the Sudan People's Liberation Movement was repulsive to the Equatorians and those who wanted to fight for South Sudan's independence. At the same time, it was confusing to the Jallaba, who wanted to maintain the country's unity at all costs. It led to the Equatorian and communities other than the Jieng; not joining the SPLM/SPLA in large numbers.
Speculation ran rife about the Jieng's motives as most Equatorian believed that the whole thing was driven by Kokora, which the Jieng hated with a passion. It's also worth mentioning that during that period, the Jallaba kept asking - from whom does Garang want to liberate Sudan? The SPLM vision of "New Sudan" was one of a united Sudan and never a secession of South Sudan from the rest of Sudan.
With mounting pressure from Southern secessionists, Garang had to come up with an answer about the SPLM objectives. He cunningly persuaded the naive folks that 3 of those who wanted to fight for secession should stop fighting once they reached Kosti, while those fighting for New Sudan should continue the offensive until they captured Khartoum.
It was a bizarre statement by Garang because no responsible leader would consciously plan the demise of his movement. His argument was tantamount to allowing a split within the SPLM/SPLA. But Garang said that because he had already designed to liquidate the secessionists and weed them out one after another.
Precisely, that was what happened throughout the struggle. To make things blurrier, the SPLM/SPLA included significant numbers of northerners who lost many lives during the war. I could argue that the Nuba and the Angasana lost far more lives in combat than the Jieng during the liberation war. Of course, the Jieng lost many lives for reasons other than battling the Sudanese army.
The question that the Dinka Bor would struggle to answer is whether the above gives the Nuba and the Angasana the right to leave their ancestral lands and settle in Equatoria, killing, raping, and looting the locals in the process.
It's worth noting for historical records that the Nuba and the Angasana felt betrayed by the SPLM after the secession of South Sudan. Late Commander Yousif Kuwa, from the Nuba mountains, and the current leader, General Abdul Aziz El-Hilu, were instrumental in some SPLA successes.
The same applies to General Malik Agar from Southern Blue Nile. Further, the battles in the Kurmuk area posed a more significant threat to President El-Bashir's government than any other confrontation.
Kurmuk's importance stems from the area's strategic location and proximity to the Roseires dam, the major hydroelectric power generator in Sudan. Garang seemed to have deceived both sides, telling Southerners something while telling the northerners something else. After more than a decade since secession, the bitterness of betrayal and abandonment remains palpable within the two communities (the Nuba and the Angasana), and their sacrifices are unforgettable. To be continued in (Part 2) next week.
The opinion expressed here above is a solid view of the writer.