GENERAL TITO BIEL’S 1ST ANNIVERSARY: A MOMENT TO STAY PUT
By Dak Buoth,
Nov 23rd, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– On or about Wednesday 23rd November 2015 today in history, late General Tito Biel Chuor Puot Nhial was brutally murdered in cold blood alongside hundreds of his unarmed foot-soldiers in an unexpected attack orchestrated by SPLA and UPDF gunships at Mundri County, Eastern Equatoria State, Republic of South Sudan
This November 2015 will forever remain etched in the mind of millions South Sudanese youth, women and all compatriots from all walks of life, and for the gruesome reasons. The deceased’s extended family, his struggling Naath community, and the nation at large have not yet come to term with this painful reality up to today. The country of south Sudan was robbed in broad day light of an energetic and combative defender of people’s rights. General Tito Biel was not nonagenarian by the time he was killed for he was in his 60s; this is the perfect age for person to impart his rich experiences, wisdom unto the youth, and act with sobriety and decorum. At the age of 60s one normally envisioned the destiny with an immaculate clarity and certainty.
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It was almost a ripe period when General Tito could sit aback to penned down his memoirs and reflections with a view to passed the baton, and inform us on how far we have come, the challenges and where we need to go as a country. Many may have heard of him for long time since Anyany’a two, but it was because he joined the armed struggle for our independence at his teenage years. He was a relentless defender of national good. In fact these saboteurs have killed a foremost and tactical revolutionary personality of our times; and a one who still owe us a lot as a nation. His untimely demise was great disservice to our country. For sure, the victims and marginalized south Sudanese will missed him dearly especially at this very moment when we are resisting a concerted forces of SPLA that is destined to exterminate us in our land.
However, we have to be very categorical and candid for our decisions are not based on emotions; our stances are derived from experiences, humanistic ideals and personal convictions. We have to be livid and not timid now and forever, that it is not a time to waver or cower neither is it moment to stir up tensions. It is an appropriate time to raise attentions among those who are being pushed to the peripheries. It is our moment to stay put and be expeditious in our quest for political hygiene. Che Guevara once said, ‘‘I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only killing a man’’ Long live General Tito Biel. He was indeed robbed of his life unjustly, but we must soldier on. Nothing will scare us, not even these indigenous oppressors in the regions will block us from achieving our goals. These East Africans dictators who are seen engaging in diplomatic sideshows and shenanigans are destined for shame and regret; our day of triumph shall come to passed sooner than later
General Tito Biel was a shepherd of soldiers with clear ideological and philosophical balance. He was a proponent of social democracy; just leader who often aspired for open and free society where equality prevails against inequality. He was a selfless and radical public figure who always detested any fraudulent and corrupt practices all his life; he never got guts to amass public wealth.
Basically, General Tito Biel was great character with strong family values, he cared for all us alike; we shall continue to love and miss him very much. However, in spite of the high regard that we hold him, we have always said and reiterated here and now, that we never consider him as a saint or sinless, that would be an overstatement if we perceived him as such; he may have had his personal weaknesses. We know he was not a know-it-all man; he was often open to corrections and criticisms whenever he erred in decision-makings. General Tito Biel has perfected the art of not flattering people or mincing his words when it comes to truth-telling; unfortunately, his truth telling trait has been misconstrued by certain misguided lots among his adversaries as weakness. More often than not, he spoke his mind meticulously without fear of reprisal. General Tito was pragmatic military leader who does not do things at rush because his interest was not motivated by materials desire or ravenous lust for status. He was no nonsense guy when it comes to things like those matters.
As junior military officer, General Tito fiercely disagreed and rejected the 1972 peace agreement with among others, the like of Tangiye, leading to the reestablishment of separatists radicalists movement duped ‘Anyanya two’; they had first detected the dishonesty and inconsistency of President Jafar Nimeir and Joseph Lago who were both inept and naive.
General Tito Biel was a force behind the formation of SPLM/SPLM in 1983; and in 1991 he defected from the said movement citing dictatorial tendencies which its top leaders were promoting at the time. They went and founded SPLM-Nassir, and later established SSIM and finally SPDF.
Eventually In 2002 as chief of staff of SPDF, he became reluctant and none supporter to so call SPLM reunification saying the peace with mrely between the Late John Garang and deposed Riek Machar. He held the strong views that the amalgamation process of the said deal was poorly initiated; that it was only addressing personal grievances between the duo renegades; that the process was done without wide inputs from the public; and that because he doesn’t want to be perceived negatively at the eleventh hour by impoverished southerners as impediment to the independent, he decided to lean back quietly, he opted to waited and see what would transpired; he then went to Khartoum first. One would be wrong if he doesn’t attribute the current crisis to the 2002 half-baked deal. The players rushed to independent day without factoring in pertinent matter such as restructuring the movements to make it inclusive party for all. People just joined without even touching the issues that let to defection in 1991. Time is always good teacher, we did waited, and now we have seen how we clashed and crushed; I fear we shall continue to clashed because there military showdown waiting for us next in the corridors and in valleys of our mountains.
When General Tito Biel returned, he supported Taban Deng for Gubernatorial position in 2005 and they won on landslide. He became overall state security advisory. As state chief security advisor, he never went to bed and kept mum in face of looting and widespread corruption practices that were done. When the menace and vices graduated from fraud, corruption to looting and direct thievery, he told the governor frankly and face to face to stop looting from public coffers.
However, because President Salva Kiir was accomplice in the looting of 2 percent of Unity state, they realized General Tito was hard nut to crack. Taban misadvised President Kiir to relieve him of his state Job. While he was at hospital bed in Khartuom, the President announced his sacking; he then became the first senior official to be dismissed irregularly. Ungrudgingly; in 2010 election, when he weighed the capabilities of Taban Deng, now the Vice President, and Angelina Teny, the wife of the Rebel chief Riek Machar, he said the latter had more liberation credentials than the former, and as such, he decided to throw his support to Taban despite how the latter humiliated and betrayed him in the first place.
At the tail end, when Angelina emerged the winner, he advised Taban to concede democratic defeat because they lost. On hearing this sound advice, Taban never heed, instead he became furious with Tito, and he falsely accused General Tito Biel of working for Machar family’s interest. As an incumbent governor, he mobilized his forces to intimidate and threaten Tito biel to an extend of taking away his life. Taban and company the likes of Gaduel Gatluak, continues to issues death threats, accompanied by frequent way-laying in bid to assassinate him. Subsequently, General Tito abandon the state for capital Juba, and never to go back again until he dead.
While in Juba, the conspiracy continues, the trio never deploys him, stay silently and lives in his simple shackle house at Hammarat estate behind Kiir and Riek’s huge mansions up the time when the trio ignite this conflict in 2013. It is long tale worth telling. He was persistent fighter who fought for what he considers rights no matter who it is for or against. If I can paraphrase the statement wrote by James Gatdet Dak, that General Tito Biel was courageous freedom fighter for decades.
We know General Tito Biel was humorous phenomenon who never held grudges in expense of his peace of mind. He was real African person who thrived in good and bad times; he was a natural entertainer and teacher who liked cracking jokes anytime anywhere. Throughout the time he was held captive at UNMISS camp, he was considered as a morale booster and morale orienteer by all internally displaced persons in Juba.
General Tito Biel did not take part in the two years long war which unfolded in 2013. At the onset of the crisis, he was among those held captive at United Nation mission (UNMISS) camp in Juba. Soon after the signing of compromised peace agreement in Addis Ababa in 2015, he then felt it was an ample opportunity for him to go out, and help in the implementation of Security arrangement, with a view to restructure, and push our country up again to the next phase of peace and healing.
The time he left the UN camp, it was the UNMISS protection forces that escorted him till he reached where they wished to assemble, that show he left in good faith, and with a clear and tactical objectives known by relevant institutions.
Unfortunately, immediately the news of his final exit went viral, and received with roaring jubilation worldwide, the mercenaries in juba soon began trembling and became fidgeted unreasonably. This reminds us of an old adage which say, ‘‘guilty are always afraid’ General Tito Biel was feared for no good reasons by this paranoiac regime in Juba. As a result, Salva Kiir and company devised scheme to kill him merely on fear and suspicion that he was going to threaten the status quo as soon as he gains momentum, owing to the majestic youth who thronged his camp from all corners of the republic. We termed it as act of cowardice meant to set us aback, and to deny us the peace which was on sight. An African proverb opined, ‘‘when a hero fall, people don’t weep, instead you just pick his spear and run ahead with it’’
We shall not be deterred; nor shall we be conscripted by these primitive boot-lickers. Right now, they can go on bragging prematurely, they can laugh and dance like revelers assuming they won, unbeknown to them is that we shall laugh last. Their days are counted. At the end, they will try to escape but they won’t hide. They should rest assured that we will soon take justice to their doorsteps.
The barbaric killing of General Tito Biel and his unarmed soldiers continues as worry agenda of hate and intolerance that has taken root in the country and as way of dealing with pro-democracy campaigners, dissidents and opponents real or perceived.
However, silencing those who criticize SPLA regime for presiding over the suffering being endured by citizens will not bring stability and tranquility in our country. We will rise to the occasion to stop this longstanding and persuasive culture of impunity in South Sudan once and for all. Cesar Chavez said ‘‘once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducated the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress and intimidate the people who are not afraid anymore’’ This dictatorial SPLM regime has misconstrued our desire for peace as weakness; and we must not allow them to tread further and let them commit rights violation with impunity.
It is evidence that this autocratic regime is destined to confuse and indoctrinate the youth with their lies and ethnic politics of impoverishment and looting, they don’t want any senior citizen with potential to resist its treacherous tactics; that is why they killed General Tito Biel who they know was a societal informant, a steward of the people for decades. He did not die in vain. We knew from the onset that General Tito Biel will not die a natural death because he was not a passive observer or society. He was a hardliner who disliked oppression of man by man.
The killers of General Tito Biel did hit us hard below the belt, and they will not like it if we opted to go and act as they prefer. We wish they can now rethink and change their mischievous habits because we believe in forgiveness and unity. But there are things which ought not to be compromised; justice and equality are basic principles that must be guarded jealously. These lots who been presiding over gross human rights violation have perfected the art of robbing others of their inalienable right to life must not go Scott-free. They must be pursued and put behind bars. This is the bottom-line.
On this critical occasion, we call on South Sudanese downtrodden, and particularly the majestic people of Unity State to unite as one indomitable front. Let us honor General Tito Biel by forgiving one another so as for us to expedite the cause we are longing for. The cause for peace and freedom that we are yearning for will not come to fruition while we are in disarray and disunity. Let us put our differences aside. A United people shall never be defeated. Continue soldiering on.
The writer can be reached for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org