By Emmanuel Malou Deng,
NEW YORK, FEB 8th 2024.
In the politically charged atmosphere of South Sudan, debates often go beyond policy critiques to become deeply personal attacks. This is not good for the country. To be sure, no one is against criticism of President Kiir’s decisions as a leader. The problem arises when we go personal. Has this become the last option for people like Biar Ajak? I mean even if you are playing politics, can’t he try to be fair in your judgment? We now know that Biar is motivated by personal grievances rather than a genuine concern for the welfare of South Sudan and its people, and he is ready to go dirty by all means— I don’t know what he wants to achieve. Otherwise, a sound person can’t promote a book full of hate and defamation in a country that is implementing peace and preparing for a transition through elections.
Tim Edwards’ book Peter Biar is over-praising and excitingly sharing everywhere is just aimed at defamation. The book is filled with laughable lies! Consider one of the fabrications—a purported dream in which President Salva Kiir is disturbed by John Garang as follows:
“Now, as he [President Salva] started to recollect the vivid discussion they had in his dream, he remembered that John Garang sat on the right side of his bed. He instinctively looked at the spot where Garang had sat to ensure it was not real. He recalled Garang’s words, ‘Is this what you have done with my legacy? Is this what we promised our people? You have surrounded yourself with thugs and thieves who, together with you, are looting and bleeding the very people we fought for. I will wait for you on this side to answer for your failures and crimes. Do not say I did not warn you.’ All he could reply to Garang was, ‘Please forgive me, baba, baba pardon me.’”
Really? This account is questionable! If President Kiir had indeed had such a conversation in a dream with Dr. Garang, how could the author possibly know the exact words? Moreover, why would President Kiir refer to Garang as ‘baba’ when he had never done so even when he was alive? This story is a fabricated fiction. Unsurprisingly, the book was never published due to its defamatory nature.
Furthermore, there is a section titled “GABILIA (TRIBALISM)” which is dedicated solely to defaming the Dinka tribe— portraying them as violent, land grabbers, and tribalistic, among other negative stereotypes. Even a non-Dinka wouldn’t agree with the way Dinka has been singled out in this chapter. The author claims: “The Equatorian tribes looked down upon the Dinka as uncivilized, uncouth, and forceful greedy grabbers who took what they wanted without regard, including human life. The Nuer considered the Dinka a bunch of cowards who relied on ‘Junun adad’ (madness of numbers) because of their large population.”
He continued: “In the event a Minister or some other senior figure in the government was a Dinka he made sure to fill the ministry with relations first, then village mates and finally other Dinkas, regardless of qualifications and or competence.”
Well, It’s important to note that not every ministry led by the Dinka engaged in these practices. Similarly, ministries headed by Equatorians or the Nuer and other South Sudanese also demonstrated instances of restraint from such behavior. However, for those ministries that did engage in nepotism, this issue was not unique to those under Dinka leadership. Across the board, some ministries led by any tribe displayed comparable tendencies towards favoritism at the time of Edward’s book writing.
If the book aimed to be fair, why would a general chapter on tribalism focus exclusively on a single tribe? This bias suggests to me that the book’s intent was defamation and no one should believe most of the lies mentioned in that book. I know this is why it was rejected by publishers. Most Western publishing agencies scrutinize potential publications to ensure they are objective — a standard this book clearly did not meet. It was also funny (or sad) that Peter couldn’t even bother to talk about this section as he did not want to point out the weakness of a book he plagiarises before every Facebook live show.
On the other hand, the book dedicates another entire chapter— chapter 15 to defaming Gen. Paul Malong Awan by describing him as lust, violent, corrupt, and tribal. Even if such were true of Gen. Malong Awan 1st of Awiel as the author suddenly named him — and if one were to be objective — how could Dr. Riek, Peter Gatdet, David Yau Yau, and others be overlooked in discussions of violence and similar issues? Remember this book was written in 2016.
While reading the book, I confirmed that Peter Biar has been plagiarizing this book by recycling content from the book to insult and defame the President on social media. The 2022 controversial derogatory comments about Kiir being a drunkard and getting lost in New York City, claimed by Biar as his observations, are actually lies he plagiarized from the book. A liar plagiarizing lies! Peter Biar has found a book that feeds his ego and teaches him how to insult and defame President Salva Kiir. This is the book Biar wants to promote to be read by every South Sudanese. South Sudanese are smart— they will read the book and judge for themselves whether Tim Edwards is overly lying and defaming or not! It doesn’t need Biar to preach its content!
About the Author:
Emmanuel Malou Deng is an Economics and Political Science BA candidate currently in his third year at Columbia University. Co-founder of the Young Leaders Academy of South Sudan, he is passionate about writing and youth empowerment and leadership development in his home country. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or WhatsApp at +211 981 156 792.