Dear Salva Kiir; Dear Riek Machar


I know that you two are safe and sound wherever you are. Your families, safely tucked away from any risk of harm. That is what fathers do. That is what parents do for their children. Yet safe is a vocabulary to the citizens of your country. The fathers and mothers; the sons and daughters of your great republic. Not many of them can get this platform to talk to you; to the entire world. In fact, most of them are out looking for their lost children or busy trying to shield them from the hungry firearms of your loyalists. Others are not out looking for their children; their children are out looking for them, or their remains.

It hurts me to look at you and call you leaders. I therefore refuse to acknowledge any of you as president. My president would not degenerate to the level you have. History tells me that I came from South Sudan; a place called Bahr el Ghazal. Where I settled and call my home today, I celebrated with you on the milestone of attaining independence. I was confident that the future for South Sudan would embrace the sky as the limit. I idolized the late John Garang’ for his servitude and steadfast commitment. I adored him for his vision for his people. Your people.

How many more need to die? How many more need to be burnt alive whether Dinka or Nuer? And why? So you can fulfil your own selfish egos? Or are you out to rule corpses and humans with memories of a president who sat and watched as their subjects were massacred? Why is it so important for you two to be in charge?

Look at Rwanda, hardly 20 years on and you pick up from where they left! Almost all countries in Africa attained their independence through bloodshed. Back then, we were fighting the white man. We were fighting the colonialist. Whom are you fighting today? What has that neighbor done to deserve death by your cruel hand? Are you guys so proud now that you cannot see eye to eye? Is this how you repay a republic that was optimistic enough to rally around you with the hope of reaching the Promised Land?

I have heard enough. I have seen enough. The pictures of human beings now laying lifeless arranged on various open lands. The humanitarian group now reduced to counting corpses and burying them in mass graves! Was this the only way that we could attain peace? Is this what you had to do to measure each other’s guts?

I wish you could talk to me. I wish you two could be locked up with me in the same room and answer me these painful questions. Questions that one day, the generation of tomorrow will float before you and your successors expecting satisfactory answers. Answers on why South Sudan had to burn by the hands of its own trusted sons. Tomorrow, no one will care whether one was Dinka or the other was Nuer, I don’t care already and neither does the entire world. My worry, the worry of the international community is why the innocent have to pay with their lives to sustain your raw egos. Why after winning back the country, you first of all had to reduce it to ashes!

We are 42 tribes in Kenya. And yet we have survived more than half a century together. You are only two tribes; why can’t you put your house in order? Mr. Kiir, is this the history you would like to have for your people? Mr. Machar, is the sword the only way to air you reservations with the government?

Even as I pen this letter, thousands more continue to perish. Not because of hunger and neither because of disease or accidents! In Kenya, terrorism troubles us; in your country, under your very watch, civilians are murdered in cold blood. Someone will read this letter. I hope one of them shares its contents with you; both of you. I wish you will hear the cry of your children. Your sons and daughters; your brothers and sisters. And I hope upon hope; that you will rise to their cry.

Ooko Victor.


One thought on “Dear Salva Kiir; Dear Riek Machar

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