Tribute to the Slain General Abraham Wana Yoane

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Fellow Equatorians, Fellow South Sudanese,

It is with a heavy heart that I went to sleep on the night of 22 April 2021, knowing that General Abraham Wana Yoane passed away six hours earlier of his injuries after hitherto unknown assailants fatally beat him on the night of 20 April 2021.

Late General Wana was a battle-hardened freedom fighter and was one of the first Equatorian civil servants who joined the struggle for our freedom; for the dignity of the marginalized Sudanese, or to continue from where our fathers and mothers in the heroic _Anyanya_ Movement left. Make no mistake about it; had the martyred General Wana been from the ruling Dinka ethnicity, the tribalist government in Juba would have glorified him with decorated ranks and medals. Alas! He would have died, leaving mansions behind. Alas! Make no mistake about it; I am sure that General Wana’s combat track record exceeds that of General Salva Kiir Mayardit himself.

Many would ask, “so with all that decorated curriculum vitae, why did the regime end his life?” The answer to this lingering question is simple. Late General Wana was an Equatorian. He had dared to oppose the regime and was until his flight from the scene of the national crime –  which is Juba, was a senior military official; a Deputy Governor of the now-defunct Yei River State, which was born out of an ill-tempered presidential order; ostensibly to perpetuate a divide and rule agenda of the regime, and partly to obliterate the name Equatoria from the map of South Sudan.

General Wana, who had at first given the regime the benefit of his doubt, to try and change it from within, was giving back to his people as a civil servant and told himself that he had seen enough of the evil.

From what I gather, the _protecteur major_ of the clique in Juba, _aka_ the External Intelligence Bureau – concocted a story that General Abraham Wana was the brain behind the constant rebel activity around Yei, Lainya and Morobo towns. A decision was then reached to locate and lynch him. A hit squad was dispatched for the purpose. I learned that the slain  General’s daughter, hiding under a bed, said that she heard the assailants talking in Arabic (the street language of South Sudan). Her dad was repeatedly telling them that he refused to be taken away. He identified the attackers as a hit squad.

This incident is, of course, not the first time that a dissident from South Sudan got killed in Uganda. It had happened before during the dark reign of Major-General Salva Kiir Mayardit, a former hitman of President Nimeri’s regime in Sudan.

But, assuming the regime’s external intelligence organ trusted its source, how sure is it that the unrest in Central Equatoria State is the work of one person? How sure are the architects of South Sudan’s doom that the unrest is not a result of brewing rage, not only in Central Equatoria but the entire country? How specific is the clique that the people’s popularity is not because of the savagery of the regime’s loyal militia disguised as a national army?

For all we know, the regime did pursue and lynch dissidents such as Peter Abdarahman Sule (MP), General George Athor,  General Elias Lino Jada, activist Dong Samuel Luak and activist Aggrey Ezbon Idri. The dossier of Human Rights Watch organization are replete with how these sons of the soil who paid the ultimate price met their demise for daring to speak against the brutal, mafioso regime.

The regime should know that killing General Wana has added more fuel to the revolution against itself. Elimination of activists, dissidents, or even carrying out genocide, such as what happened in December 2013, when ethnic Nuer were massacred in a genocidal move, will never stifle the flames that are raging now! This is a moot point. Uprisings and revolutions are fueled by the blood of the innocent and fallen heroes. General Kiir’s handlers must be mindful of General Omar Ahmed Hassan Al-Bashir, who is now a disgraced high profile inmate in Sudan’s top prison.

General Abraham Wana’s blood has not spilt in vain. To many South Sudanese who will survive the onslaught of the genocidaire regime, General Wana, who hailed from Mukaya Payam of Lainya County, has died a hero. And today his name is cast in gold in our hearts. Those who share in his passion for pursuing the dignity of our people will immortalize him. Ten, twenty or fifty years from now, General Abraham Wana Yoane’s bones will rest in a mural in Lainya County.

Some of us might be long gone,  but our children or grandchildren will read our memoirs. For as long as I live, South Sudan shall one day be free and live a proud nation among the league of African countries.

Rest in peace, our hero,  General Abraham Wana Yoane.

Aluta Continua! Long live South Sudan!

LB Lokosang

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