18 Jan 2019


The Kiir’s Biography, Which Perished At Concept

"The whole idea perished with the outbreak of the conflict in 2013 and the subsequent vicious war, which has not yet ended."

By Jacob J Akol*

I once seriously considered coming up with a proposal to write a biography titled: “Salvatore Kiir Mayar: The Joshua of South Sudan”. It would include a visit to his village where he was born, photograph of the house or ground where he was born. I would interview available close relatives, siblings, childhood friends who lived and played with him in the village.
 Then on to his schools and college days: I would seek out any living school friends from elementary to intermediate school and military college he attended. Find out if any of his former teachers and lecturers were still alive and interviewed them. Also any available school and college mates who remembered and wanted to talk about him. I would search for documents referring to him.
Then of course to his days in the Anya-nya and SPLA/SPLM liberation movements, interviewing his former colleagues-in-arms, his superior officers still alive and those he led as their commanding officer. Battles he led, won or lost. Looked for available documents.
His role in the negotiations that led to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. His positive and or negative roles in the near-disaster attempt to oust John Garang at the very moment he was about to deliver the CPA.
The death of John Garang (the Moses) and his stepping into his big shoes to lead the nation through hurdles erected in his way by Khartoum all the way to Referendum and then to Independence and his then expected retirement from politics by 2015 at the latest. End of the story.
I shared these thoughts with a number of ministers who encouraged me to come up with a proposal.
I was, however, hesitant to share the idea with Kiir himself, as we approached independence day; and particularly when he did not mention stepping down by 2015; for fear of being committed prematurely.
The whole idea perished with the outbreak of the conflict in 2013 and the subsequent vicious war, which has not yet ended.
In my last interview with Dr. Marial Bejamin, just before he was dismissed from his long-held ministerial position of foreign affairs, he reminded me of the idea I shared with him many years back. My answer was clear:
“It will not work. We are now too divided to come up with an honest and useful biography of Salva Kiir. Can you imagine, at this period in time, an honest biography title: “Salvatore Kiir Mayar, The Joshua of South Sudan?” I can’t recall exactly what he said but I believe he agreed with me.
End of story.   
*Jacob J Akol is Director/Editor of Gurtong Trust Media.
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