By: Alma Zeno Riko Ettore- Equatorian citizen, UK, MAY/19/2016, SSN;
I wanted to write about this issue earlier but I gave the chance first and foremost to the Gender Minister, South Sudan Parliament and other well-placed women and men in South Sudan to challenge the President for a big “faux pas” he committed when he chose to offer women as sacrificial lambs to his wayward and unprofessional army. Seeing that no one has done so, I took the liberty to pen down my own thoughts.
Any woman has a special status in her community or the place where she lives: She can be a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother, a godmother, a cousin, a friend, a granddaughter, a neighbour, a community member, a government official, a colleague at work, a Minister, a Prime Minister or a President of a country, a Princess or a Queen etc. etc.
This shows that a woman can positively affect any society, community or country in which she lives. Most women have done this quite well with little opportunities and resources; this is why this world is still rotating on its axis and the sun is where it is supposed to be, the moon is where God has placed it and man is still walking on this Earth. If any man denies the importance of women in his life then he is exhibiting nothing but ignorance, lack of knowledge, lack of education and total self-denial.
“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”
This means that the mother affects the learning experience of a child from day one and therefore if she is learned and educated, her children will grow up to be a better breed of individuals because of that influence of the mother and as we all know, mothers make nations. The father’s educational influence is very little compared to the mother’s especially when the child is still growing and developing because a small child spends most of his/her time with the mother. A mother’s influence on individuals has been proven again and again in researches and statistics throughout the ages.
Every nation’s civilization, power and wealth is measured by the status of its women and not men; this is why South Sudan and its extremely low status of women who form the bulk of the population is one of the poorest in the world in spite of all he country’s natural resources and wealth. This is because these resources have fallen in the hands of ignorant men. As long as these ignorant men remain in power, South Sudan will remain poor and backward.
When President Salva Kiir gave the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) the green light to rape women as a reward and an incentive for their fight against the rebels, people around the world were stunned and dumbfounded with disbelief, shock and wonder. This is because President Salva Kiir is perceived to be the Head of a State and this is not how Heads of States speak but people have to know that President Salva Kiir is not any other Head of State: He is a leader of a “headless state.”
A Head of State metaphorically has eyes to see, ears to hear and brains to think. South Sudan has no government, no head. It is governed by the JCE, which is a self- appointed group of corrupt old people (average age 82) from the Dinka tribe who are the main advisors of the President. The President seems to fulfil their every wish, however destructive it might be to the nation.
Now South Sudan stands in the world arena like a headless nation, without vision, positive presence or principles. South Sudan has been reduced to a joke. Whenever anyone mentions the name “South Sudan” people’s demeanour changes to either pity or contempt.
This is not what we envisaged for our country. This is not why we went in droves to vote for the Referendum to secede from Sudan. This is not our vision for our beloved South Sudan. Everyone had a vision of freedom from slavery in all its kind; freedom from poverty and lack of education, from hatred, from malice and opportunism.
We envisaged South Sudan as a rich, powerful and exemplary country, a country leading in Africa. A country that will make us feel proud for the first time in 50 years and will stand out for the right reasons but President Salva Kiir and his JCE have other ideas.
Their vision for the country is to have slaves and masters, hatred and discord and division, one tribe against the other, one group against the other, death, poverty, hunger and confusion. This is indeed a Reign of Terror.
This President and his cohorts will stop at nothing. After mass- raiding the people of South Sudan’s public funds and looting and stealing from public resources, stashing the money in overseas bank accounts and buying businesses and private residences all over the globe, they became unable to give basic services such as salaries to the army on which they depend to terrorise and hold the nation at ransom.
As a result, the President has concocted the most disgusting and filthy means to reward the army by advising them to go out and rape women as a means for payment. The big question is “Who are those women that he is pointing out to be sacrificed?
President Salva Kiir will have to realise a true fact: ALTHOUGH HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF SOUTH SUDAN, HE DOES NOT OWN ITS PEOPLE BECAUSE FOR HIM TO OWN OTHER PEOPLE HE HAS TO BUY THEM LIKE SHEEP AND DONKEY. THEREFORE HE CANNOT HAVE JURISDICTION ON ANY WOMAN IN THE LAND EXCEPT HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTERS. IF HE WANTS HIS ARMY TO RAPE WOMEN FOR PAYMENT, LET HIM OFFER THEM HIS OWN WIFE AND DAUGHTERS.
God gave extra thought to create everything in the Earth for the comfort and survival of man. The Holy Scriptures goes on to tell us that He created the heavens with all its constellations, then the earth with its mountains, valleys, hills, oceans, rivers and then all the plants up to the microscopic algae and then the animals, birds, reptiles and invisible creatures.
All were created to perfection in order to serve man. When Adam was created God made him out of dust and he was told that he is the master of the Earth and that he should toil it in order to eat. Last of all, God created a being that is like Adam but far more sophisticated, complex and superior (This is why men being simple, will never understand women). God made that being out of Adam’s bone, not out of dust like Adam.
I will perhaps have to forgive the President for uttering such an unbecoming and shameful statement, which has been broadcast all over the world because the President lacks education, wisdom and vision. The reason he became the President of South Sudan in the first place is because at the time he was chosen, people were more concerned about seceding from the North of Sudan, therefore not much focus was put on him.
The other factor that helped him immensely is because he was hurriedly drafted in to fill the void vacated by the untimely death of Dr John Garang who was a highly educated, well-placed and visionary leader; the founder of the SPLA/M. If Dr. Garang was alive, Salva Kiir will never have the platform to insult the South Sudanese women or mess the country as he has done.
This President is the most unsuitable candidate for this job. He knows it, the JCE know and so does everyone in South Sudan.
We the South Sudanese women have to fight for our rights much harder and the first fight is to stand together from all the 64 tribes as women of South Sudan in order to topple this evil regime of President Salva Kiir.
The President who seems to like to inflict on himself grievous bodily harm has to be reminded that we the South Sudanese women who he so much derides and holds in contempt constitute ¾ of the total population of South Sudan and we promise that we will be the chink in his armour, the Achilles tendon in his heel, the banana skin in his way. We will never rest until he is GONE with the wind.
In conclusion I want to give advice to people who can make some changes in the lives of our long suffering mothers, sisters and daughters in South Sudan. The Gender Minister was appointed to look after women. She should be the first person to tackle and challenge the unbecoming and insulting attitude and speech of the President and men of low education and low morality like him in government.
The President is setting an unfortunate precedence and a very bad example to young people and people who have spent all their time doing nothing but damage to communities. The Gender Minister has the duty to educate the men around her and stand for the cause of women so that they can have a better life.
I will therefor urge the Minister for Gender to ask the President to apologise to the women of South Sudan without reservations. I will also ask the Parliament of South Sudan which is the most impotent, useless and redundant Parliament in the world to stand up for the rights of the People of South Sudan at least once in their lifetime and condemn the President ‘s ill-advised and utterly revolting statement against women.
Long live every Woman in South Sudan