As he pushes for democracy in South Sudan, one of Fargo’s Lost Boys fears for his life
As a lost boy from South Sudan, Joseph Akol Makeer traveled through refugee camps for 16 years. He acquired English in Kenya and, at the age of roughly 23, sought refuge in Fargo.
Now he’s lost again, but this time he’s being hunted down by the government he’s backed since the country’s independence ten years ago.
“Unless the United States expresses its support for us, they will seek for us by all means and murder us.” “My coalition is seen as the major issue,” Makeer revealed recently in a magazine obtained by NCMP, adding that the price on his head was reportedly $2 million.
The People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), Makeer’s coalition, is a pro-democracy civil rights organization promoting peaceful political change in South Sudan. The alliance claims massive corruption in the administration and is pushing for peaceful elections, which have not taken place since the country’s independence ten years ago.
Many PCCA leaders have been imprisoned for opposing President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s regime, said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., before Congress on Jan. 6, mentioning Makeer as one of those on the run for his life. Their assets have been sequestered. They’ve been targeted for assassination, according to Leahy.
“I’m hiding,” says the narrator “Makeer refused to provide his present whereabouts. “Some of my coworkers have also gone into hiding. They are not citizens of the United States, therefore they are hiding someplace in Africa. We are now encouraging people to go to the streets in peaceful protest.”
The criticism started with a top-secret study that cowboy-hat-wearing Mayardit requested Makeer to undertake in a country wealthy in oil, coal, and diamonds. Makeer distributed the five-page letter in the aim of bringing attention to his condition.
Makeer said that as a lieutenant colonel in the South Sudanese Army and a director for the Internal Security Bureau, he was entrusted with acting as the “eyes of the government” and altering papers in favor of the government.
“This is something I failed to accomplish,” Makeer said. Instead, he sent his results to his supervisor, Gen. Akol Koor Kuc, in a top-secret dossier.
“After we abandoned friendly nations who are wishing South Sudan well, mainly the United States and several European countries, we have left our country susceptible for hyenas to prey on.” “This political turmoil is a commercial celebration for both local and foreign organized criminals,” Makeer stated in his report, which also called for Mayardit and other vice presidents to resign.
“The present administration’s leadership of five vice presidents has failed from the start and has put our country in ‘intensive care,'” “He wrote.
He submitted his report to the government on May 18, 2020. The study was “lost,” but it was eventually leaked and resurfaced at a conference attended by Mayardit in 2020.
Makeer’s findings were gathered into a final report, which urged for a halt to the bloodshed, the resignations of Mayardit and First Vice President Riek Machar, the resumption of elections monitored by an independent organization, and the creation of a national constitution.
“We feel that the best patriotic thing for them to do is to prepare for their withdrawal from politics with the honor, dignity, and legacy of having been the founding fathers of South Sudan’s sovereign country,” the study said.
“Unfortunately, the government is corrupt, and most of the money that has flowed into the nation has gone into the coffers of these officials instead of being utilized to give employment, construct roads, schools, and hospitals, and develop the country as a democracy,” Makeer said in a recent interview.
According to Congressional records, the United States has granted South Sudan more than $3.3 billion over the previous decade.
Makeer, who is still a US citizen, says he “loves this nation (America) so much” and calls North Dakota home. But he feels driven to assist in bringing about democratic change in South Sudan.
He claims that throughout his years working for the government, he observed South Sudanese government officials take bribes in return for favors in extracting the country’s natural resources.
“It irritates me. “We have a lot of oil, coal, and diamonds, and the individuals who are conducting this business presently are foreign and adversaries of the United States,” Makeer said.
According to South Sudan’s Eye Radio, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, the alleged continuous crackdown on free expression caused a top presidential adviser, Gen. Kuol Manyang, to censure Mayardit.
“All of the Lost Boys and South Sudanese in America wanted to go back home and construct a nation, but nobody is returning home because of horrible leadership,” Makeer added. He attempted to organize a rally last year, but the government crushed it with tanks and martial rule.
The Lost Boys, as well as a lesser number of Lost Girls, are survivors of Sudan’s Second Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2005.
In the early 2000s, Lost Boys started to arrive in Fargo. They attended school and found jobs in their community with the assistance of volunteers and Lutheran Social Services.
Makeer’s calling, however, led him back to South Sudan after graduating from North Dakota State University with a degree in criminal justice.
“It’s quite upsetting, which is why Sen. Leahy is issuing a statement,” he added “Makeer said. “I’m calling on my North Dakota senators to do the same.”
According to Leahy’s report to Congress, the PCCA is a nonviolent group seeking honest and effective leadership, and the existing leaders should stand aside.
“The oppressive acts of the South Sudanese government should shock everyone of us, particularly given the billions of dollars provided by American taxpayers to achieve South Sudan’s independence and set the nation on a road to prosperity,” Leahy said.
According to the story, a senator in the United States supports Makeer’s work in South Sudan and has urged the present president to listen to the people.
“President Kiir is an unelected leader who was appointed to his position after South Sudan’s independence.” Instead of obstructing fair elections, participating in corruption, and prosecuting his opponents, President Kiir should immediately enable the people of South Sudan to freely pick their leaders “Hoeven said.
“Joseph Makeer is a courageous man who has risked his life to bring peace and democracy to his own country of South Sudan.” We admire his bravery and applaud his efforts to assist the people of South Sudan in establishing a peaceful and democratic nation. In fact, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in December to support these efforts in South Sudan,” Hoeven stated.