by Deng Kur Deng
It has become obvious that the SPLM Former General Secretary Pagan Amum has become committed to the idea of handing over South Sudan to international and regional bodies of control. If we were to interview the deceased who this country took and the living, who are depressed and probably overwhelmed, it would be made clear that no one envisioned South Sudan being run by foreigners after what we went through during the civil war. You must wonder why Pagan Amum is so interested in involving the international community in South Sudan’s affairs. I am not surprised, though, because I am not sure why our officials have this selling out tactics that leaves people vulnerable. Early this year, former Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin made a statement that contradicted our ownership of the Abyei, and the government wasn’t heard in its attempt to address the premature statement from the Minister.
Why wasn’t he confronted, many of us asked. Someone is always trying to sell people out, and all which is done in response is removing the person from their position, but without proper investigation.
Now, Pagan Amum is on the loose from the ideals of leadership. It bothers many South Sudanese when our leaders employ disloyalty and dishonesty when engaging with the people and the objectives of the SPLM. In fact, some of our leaders have been very consistently standing with the enemy of the state, and I can honestly say that I am terrified and worried for the future of South Sudan while it is in the hands of these sell-out leaders. Recently, Pagan joined a rally at the U.N. Headquarter in New York to betray the people of South Sudan. What is wrong with Pagan Amum? Yes, there are serious issues to be resolved in regard to security and other major concerns over peace implementation, but this doesn’t mean they are worth our leaders being ready to hand over South Sudan to the U.N. Trusteeship. Personally, I have read so much of the U.N. Trusteeship, but I can’t bring myself to agree with Pagan Amum and the liked-minded. Pagan Amum has become exceptionally dangerous to the people of South Sudan in his recent strategies.
Let’s be realistic for a minute: when Pagan Amum was implicated in what was labelled as a “coup attempt” or a “failed coup attempt” by the government, South Sudanese both within and outside of the country overwhelmingly called for his immediate release, along with that of his colleagues, because we know that he is a worthy man in the country, given what he stands for. Among the group which were arrested, there were people among them who have done us wrong for stealing unbelievable amounts of money from the people. Imagine, over $4 billion have been stolen, but think about this for a moment. During the struggle, my father (like everyone else) contributed until bulls were depleted, but Kuol Manyang never stop nagging because he believes my father still have a lot of cows to provide the SPLA.
Well, my father didn’t stop contributing, but when the peace was signed and we gained our independence from the real enemy—the Sudanese government, those in my father’s position didn’t get anything— not even safety. In fact, he lost a son to Murle after independence. My father and those who were drained of their possessions and recently looted are the ones who deserve to call for the U.N. Trusteeship to take over, if anyone, but it should not be Pagan Amum and those who have done enough looting and creating of wars. The elites who decided to take upon themselves the trajectory of stealing are now playing Savior, making claims of perfection when they lack sense of belonging. What are they complaining about, when they and everyone else pocketed South Sudanese money into foreign banks with at least 75 other officials? Over $4 billion was stolen, and with little shame. Maybe they haven’t thought through this very well and that is why a majority of South Sudanese are calling Pagan Amum’s decision premature and unpatriotic. What are the reasons for the drastic shifts in these leaders’ positions of support for the people of South Sudan? And yet, these leaders are the ones whose relatives have dominated the government’s offices.
Many of us have underestimated Pagan’s contribution in calling for the U.N. Trusteeship, but now we have realized the damages he is bringing upon our families and to our country at large. Imagine the unforgettable sacrifices they have provided in leaving dreams unattended during the civil war, these dreams being something they are returning to tarnish and shatter by using outsiders. With his clear involvement in cheering for the U.N. Trusteeship, our challenges as a country have increased. It is hard to believe that some of these so-called leaders have created the mess we are largely in, and now they are acting as if these problems were created by one person. Unfortunately, the rationality they have shown over 21 years of our struggle has magically vanished because of self-proclaimed ideologies, which simply can’t be traced into reality. People are greatly disappointed in what Pagan Amum currently stands for at the moment.
Pagan believes that he is searching for a solution for our country, but the people have realized that he is looking for more problems, including genocide, which he and others among his group have previously mischaracterized. This time, in case the U.N. Trusteeship becomes reality, genocide wouldn’t be mischaracterized—not again. In fact, it would be well documented in detail, but I doubt that a U.N. Trusteeship would make any difference any time soon. Many know that Pagan is fighting outside of the country has mysterious components to it, and it has overwhelmingly confused South Sudanese. The citizens realized that sacrifices many men paid the price for should never be handed over or governed under the U.N. Trusteeship. If Pagan Amum is doing this as a concern over repetitions of violence in the country, then he must be reminded that there are countries where the violence is barely contained for years, so why would he think violence can be easily contained by outsiders and the U.N. body rather than ourselves?
A majority of the people have shown disinterest among the South Sudanese in activities being exercised by Pagan, which shouldn’t be overlooked because our voices are strong enough to matter and that is why we voted at a rate of 98% for independence. This is very clear, that our sovereignty cannot be questioned and, therefore, we must stand firmly against a U.N. Trusteeship and Pagan Amum’s decision. When the Sudanese government was killing us for over 21 years, why didn’t the U.N. employ a Trusteeship to take over South Sudan and prevent the killing of marginalized people? We the people of South Sudan are increasingly uncomfortable with the recent direction he took and we are asking him to abandon such tactics because they won’t help the country. These clumsy attempt approaches displayed by Pagan to get rid of the leadership aren’t going to help the people of South Sudan. Pagan Amum is completely wrong, and there is little to say but, screw him and everything he stands for right now. Instead; he must be politically involved to change things from within if he is against what is going on in the country.
This article was written by Deng Kur Deng AKA Raanmangar. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org