By Morris Yoll*
The President of South Sudan Quick Action Saved the life of civil Society leader, Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir, but the ball is still in the President’s court.
According to Dinka’s sayings, “a mad dog would first bite its owner.” As well, “it is the mad dog’s owner that hunts his dog before others join the hunt”, the saying goes.
It has been more than two weeks now since Mr. Deng Athuai was kidnapped and tortured, yet no arrest has been made or suspects named. It is apparent that no justice would be done to Mr. Athuai. Equally, civil society or public would not know who is responsible for kidnapping and beating of the Civil Society leader.
It is said that the kidnappers, are currently engaged in writing and sending threatening messages to the members of civil society to stop supporting their boss or risk being given the same or more horrifying treatment than that of their boss had received. This is troubling, for the culprits are not hiding. Not the least, they are determined to silent the civil society! It begs more questions and as well raise suspicions in many South Sudanese’s minds as to who is really behind or responsible for kidnapping operation meant to kill the civil society leader?
It is obvious to speculate who the culprits are. Hence, it is one of the two: it is either the security of South Sudan that is abducting or threatening those who are decrying corruption or it is the mafia of the government officials, accused of corruption that are terrorizing the activists. Both are powerful and secretive. They have a common goal of protecting their interest even if it means killing the activists. Whichever it is, it is President Kiir and his government that would take the blame for it, for the harassment and beating of the civil society member happened under the watch of his government.
This kidnapping and torturing scheme has brought the government of South Sudan and its President into the world attention. The cruelty and inhumane action of the RSS’S security or action of the RSS’s members of government against Mr. Deng Athuai tarnished the image of the government of South Sudan and its President. Above all, it is appalling and frightening to know that there is an organized crime actively in action within a year of South Sudan’s independent.
The abduction of Mr. Deng Athuai revealed that the gang had even imported chemicals used in kidnapping and abduction of the targeted members. Mr. Deng Athuai was reported to have been tranquilized in the car immediately after he was lured into the car. In short, the Civil Society’s leader kidnap and torture give away a dark side and hidden deployed iron- fist rein of the South Sudan government or organized mafia of the corrupts who have learnt despicable ways to dislodge activities.
It is the government that ensured there is or no freedom of expression. Or it is a President and his authority that would either stop or allows security of the nation or the gang of corrupt ruling mafia thugs to terrorize citizens. But the government has failed in ensuring that citizens are protected regardless of their views.
Yes, the President’s action finally saved the life of the victim, Mr. Deng Athuai. But how and why did such terrible incident happen in the first place? And how would it look if those responsible for this horrifying act are not brought to justice? Would it mean that the mafia is a formidable force to defy the authority? Anyhow, the outcome of this incident’s after said investigation remains to be seen.
However, as many people viewed, the President have reacted quickly to save Mr. Deng Thuai’s life and to a certain degree have saved the image of his haunted government, but since the mafia is powerful and determined to silent people, it would be too late next time for the President to save the situation.
This says the ball is still in the President of South Sudan court. He has to ensure that there is justice done to Mr. Deng Athuai and civil society by finding and prosecuting those responsible. He has to make sure that the buck stops with corruption in his government and not adding kidnapping, harassment, torture and killing of the activists into the list. Addressing illegal harassment, beating, torture and killing of the activists would save him a great deal of embarrassment or being responsible for the abuses his government is perpetuating in the eyes of international communities that is currently suspicious of Mr. President Security apparatus.
I am not optimistic this would happen since the President is known of acting always too late on the issues of concern! Second, if he is really serious about fighting corruption, he MUST cast the first stone: declaring a hunt for the corrupt first and the public will help him catch them. Likewise, the President has to bring those responsible for the beating of the civil society leader to show to the world that he is in charge and not the mafia of corrupt government officials.
The author is a concerned South Sudanese residing in Calgary, Alberta- Canada. He could be reached at email: email@example.com