REMEMBERING SOUTH-SOUTH DIALOGUE(OCT.2010) An open letter to Elijah Malok Aleang, President Bank of South Sudan
- Written by Deng Bior Deng
- Category: Pachodo.org Latest English Articles
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Dear, Excellency, Elijah Malok.
During the South-South dialogue in October 2010, you asked me two questions: 1- what kind of politics do I play while I have no Support of my people. 2- Whether I read your book; and if I read, what was my evaluation. My answers to you were short to the points. But you were not convinced except for my positive recognition of your book.
It was also necessary for me to avoid a reasoning that might provoke an argument with a personality like you, President of the Bank of South Sudan, who deserved respect in such an important public gathering like the South-South dialogue. You may ask yourself why I have chosen to answer you after this long period; and why should my answer be open to the press. You will find the reasons in the fact that your questions deserve an answer for public knowledge of my people who have the right to evaluate me should I beg them for their representation in politics. It was also good for one to give himself time to react to such a document like your book whose evaluation of it should be for public benefit.
In answer to your question: Why I should play politics while I don’t have the support of my people; this is what I have to say: I want to let you know that I don’t practice politics to be only elected to parliament but to express my political position in the affairs of my country. Politics should not be restricted to particular individuals who think they are more popular, important and nationalists than others. Everybody in a community is a political unit in his own right because the effect of politics affect each individual house to house. When I am a voter, I have the right to speak out; leave alone being a political activist and/or leader in my own right like you.
You, as a political leader should know that, if my political ideas can be acceptable to people of South Sudan, my people are also part of South Sudan and there will be no reason for them not to lend me their support. It is a matter of time. Yet, I am not a power ambitious person. What matters for me is that I must positively contribute to the politics of my Country without fear or favor. Therefore, even if you are my political opponent, directly or by proxy, I will still agree to the right of my people to choose who deserve their representation in politics. There is no shame or pride in loosing or winning a ballot box. But the future of our country is our joint responsibility. Do not single me out; it is not a matter of whether I am popular or not, it is a matter of that I need to have a personal responsibility to my Country like you.
As for my evaluation of your book, it is a historical record of political events. Being so, one is expected to response likewise. I reserve this right for now; especially when it comes to your comments about some SPLM personalities mentioned therein. However, your comment about General Gismalla Abdalla Rasas , former President of High Executive Council, did not appeal to me for the following reasons:
1- On page, 110/111, you referred to General Rasas as half Southern Sudanese. I did not know about this. But my information after I read your book is that our uncle Abdalla Rasas comes from the Wau Dinka sub-tribe of Marialbai with Stanslaus who was one of the leading SSLM members with you during ANY-NYA one. I do not know if Stanslaus was also half South Sudanese during Any-Nya one. Yes, may be their ancestors might have come from Western Sudan some hundred years ago and settled amongst the Wau Dinka of Marialbai. That they are half or full South Sudanese does not really count for any reason. It is not within the Dinka and Nuer culture to disown and abuse a people with whom you have already acquired a blood union.
2- You referred to the former Government of Rasas as an exception to the former Governments of Abel Alier and Peter Gatkuoth because the later were true sons and daughters of the South. As for Rasas, you made his Government an exception because he was a Western Sudanese with his mother, as you put it, a Southerner from some pertit tribe in western Bahr-Elghazal. You also remarked that Rasas appointment to the Presidency of High Executive council was an insult to the political intelligence of the people of the Southern Sudan.
I have the following to ask or say: A) - Stanslaus, a cousin of Rasa, was a leading member of SSLM during Any-Nya one; was this an insult to the intelligence of the same liberation movement in which you were a member? of course not. Why would Rasas not be a President after Addis-Ababa agreement if his cousin could be a liberation fighter for the South? You did not explain. B) - What would you say about President Obama being a President of the United States of America while his father is a Kenyan and mother an American? would this be an insult to the intelligence of American people? Of course not. C) - What would you say about his Excellency, Rasas, now being an advisor to President Salva Kiir? Would you say that President Salva has insulted the political intelligence of South Sudan by appointing Rasa as his advisor? Time to answer in your book review. D) - Abdalla Rasas was appointed President of high executive council by Nimeiry to conduct referendum on the re-division of the South. But he took the offer and, to the dismay of Nimeiry, appealed for the unity of the South which Nimeiry accepted but ordered for elections which brought James Tumbra in whose hands the South was divided into three autonomous regions in 1983.
Why would the appointment of Rasas be an insult to the political intelligence of the South if he was for Southern unity? I did not understand you here; but let me at this juncture advise that we should stop playing around with such politics. That is why some Southerners attribute tribalism to the Dinka because of such statements from leading figures like you. In evaluating, I am obliged by both political and moral conscience to say that your comments about Abdalla Rasas may down grade the intellectual level of your book to a sub-standard literature. However, your story about the child, “AZUMA’, was fascinatingly amusing to add some flavor to my reading. In general terms, you have tried your best to be honest to your thoughts and fair to yourself. There is nothing wrong with your book that can arouse controversy except that it will be a right of your readers to answer you in the same coin if they need to. That will not be a controversy; it will be a contribution to history just like you have written.
DENG BIOR DENG; SPLM-DC.
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