By Alma Ettore- Equatorian citizen in the UK
I have been hearing many biblical quotations casually used by arrogant people and people of shallow knowledge to justify the injustices and terrible deeds done to innocent civilians in South Sudan. People who do not know anything about the Holy Scriptures have started to use the phrase “ The land of milk and honey” to describe Equatoria and justify their carefully planned and forceful occupation of Equatoria, resulting in land- grabbing and brazen- faced daylight thieving. They are likening Equatoria to the “promised land “ that was promised to Israel by God in the Holy Scriptures. In reply I will say to these misguided people that misquoting from the Holy Scriptures is a satanic act because Satan (a fallen angel) knows the Holy Scriptures very well and often twists it for his own ends to confuse and mislead people. In short, it means that Satan is a liar.
The land of “milk and honey” which is the land of Canaan according to history and the Holy Scriptures originally belonged to Israel (Jacob the descendant of Isaac and Abraham). Abraham the grand -father of Jacob used to live and own massive pieces of land in Canaan. Jacob (called Israel by God) and his descendants went to live in Egypt. They lived there for over 400 years by God’s plan. Later they were delivered from the hands of the wicked ruler of Egypt (Pharaoh) through Moses, the man of God. God instructed Moses to take the sons of Israel back to their land (Canaan, called the land of milk and honey) because at that time ungodly people were living in that land, whom God wanted to punish and remove so that he gives that land back to Israel to facilitate the coming of Jesus Christ.
The bad people who God wanted to remove were people who did not know God but followed worshipping idols and performed obscene acts, displeasing to God. When the children of Israel were on their way to the land of Canaan, God consecrated them by giving them strict laws to keep themselves pure from sins so that they are set apart from the ungodly people in Canaan. The basis of the law is the 10 commandments, which was given to Moses on Sinai Mountain. The Jewish people had to keep these laws or else they died. Of the commandments there were laws against worshipping idols, stealing, killing and coveting other people’s possessions. That is why land grabbing and forceful occupation by the SPLA/M of Equatoria goes against the will of God. The SPLA/M are the opposite of the people of Israel who God blessed. The SPLA/M cannot claim that they are God’s people. On the contrary they are the same as the people who God wanted to eliminate from the land of Canaan.
So this will bring me to the question: Who was the character that ordered the SPLA/M who are predominantly Dinka to kill Equatorians and forcefully occupy their land? It is clearly not God. Was it Dr. John Garang De Mabior? If it was he then why did the forces behind him collude, kill him and later stage his death? It is clearly not he as he would be immortal if he were to fight the will of God. He will have to be stronger than God in order to win. By dying he showed that God is his creator and he was weak in front of God just like any one of us. If he was behind “the milk and honey” legacy of occupation of Equatoria by the Dinka, then his followers will have to know that that is the wrong and deadly approach to follow because clearly God is not happy that his laws are being broken.
When things happen to us especially in a bad way, we need to sit down and think rationally about the root causes and ways to address them in a civilized, balanced and mature way. People have to know that the Equatorians will never give up their land and history has proved time and time again that any bunch of dictators, occupiers and forces of evil will never win. One day the whole of Equatoria will be a free land through the will of God, where people will live in real peace, respect, love and harmony with each other.
God the Almighty created the land of milk and honey, thousands of years ago and He decided that
” This great land shall be called Equatoria and the people who I am going to give it to will be called Equatorians.” Period. The same goes for the rest of the country. The Dinka were created in Dinka -land. The Nuer in Nuer-land. The Fertit, in Fertit -land. Likewise all over the world; each and every people have their own designated countries. This was God’s plan when he created the Earth. He started by putting Adam and Eve in a specific place called the Garden of Eden and when they did not obey his orders he expelled them from that specific place to show them that he was displeased with them, so they had to look by themselves for another specific place which they called “home” to live in. This shows that land allocated by God is a plan of God. No man should change it at his/her whim. If any one wants to cross over in order to live among other groups of people they have to respect that land and its people because it is the land that God has given to that specific group however lowly or poor or weak they may be. It is their inheritance from God. Living in one’s land is the cornerstone of peace, because however weak a person is, if you want to dispossess them of their inherited land, they will fight you to death and if they do not fight you, God and the land itself will fight you. In the Aramaic Bible it is written in Mark 10:9
”The things that God unites let NOT a son of man separate”.
Let President Salva Kiir, who is a churchgoer listen to these words from the Holy Bible. God has united the Equatorians with Juba, Yambio, Torit, Nimule, Yei and every inch of the land of Equatoria. Who is he to separate us from our land? If he thinks that he wants the Dinka ethnic group to occupy Equatoria because he has helicopter gunships, SPLA/M, Bahr- El- Ghazal miliia, The UDF, TBN Joshua and all the Nigerian Conjurers behind him, then I would say we have God on our side who created the Heavens and the Earth. Who are President Museveni and TBN Joshua in the sight of God??? Listen to this:
Peter 1:2 New International Version (NIV):
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall”.
This is how men are. Therefore I will fear my God only, not man who is made of dust; who is here today and gone tomorrow. It is only our legacy that will remain. If we preach and make hatred and war, hatred and war will follow us up to our fourth generation and even further if we do not repent.
Yes Equatoria the land of flowing milk and honey is ours. It belongs to our father’s fathers and their father’s fathers. It belongs to us the Equatorians. Our destiny is entwined. The nomads do not understand our attachment to our land because they roam with their cows here and there and everywhere. They do not have a fixed abode nor have any ties with any piece of land. They do not know what land means, nor do they respect it. Land is something that is alive. It has ears and eyes. It breathes and it fights back if provoked. It has its own spirits which never slumber or sleep. This is why we treat our land with reverence, respect and fear because it is directly linked with the spirit of God. That is why people lay their lives to fight for their land. If someone takes your land, that means he has killed you and your descendants. No one will give up his or her land, because land is life itself. It is honour, integrity, destiny and longevity of the human race.
President Kiir has divided South Sudan into 28 states for his own political gain and ambition but doom is round the corner for him. He can change the name of the land but he will never change the fact that we are Equatorians and that our land will remain Equatoria as long as we live. Changing the name of Equatoria is like changing the name of an individual. Will it change who the real person is if a person who is called “Peter” today decides to call himself “ John” tomorrow? Equatoria will always remain Equatoria however divisive are, the forces that try to divide its people because Equatorians respect neighbours and boundaries. We as Equatorians will never infringe on other people’s territory and if there is a dispute we always settle it in a civilised way. We do not kill each other to settle issues. We talk before we act.
“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and incease with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain”
“A strange god” means power; riches, lust, witch- craft, false prophets and people like Museveni of Uganda who are helping Kiir kill his people. Dividing the land of South Sudan (28 states instead of 10) for gain by President Kiir was mentioned in the Bible more than 2500 years ago. This verse is describing the behaviour of the rulers of South Sudan who are not true leaders. This is a message for President Salva Kiir and similar rulers such as Bashar El Assad who are doing mirror image atrocities to their people. As I said no man will be able to help bad rulers from the wrath of God. Dictators will always fall with a bang on their own swords. Look at the fate of Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, and Gaddafi etc. History will always repeat itself. This shows that God is alive and working.
We the Equatorians cultivate, clean, nurture and love our land. We hold it sacred. For us our land is a gift from God. We are born on it, we live on it and we get buried with dignity within its soil. We choose a spot and God will blesses it forever. These are spots that we do not forcefully occupy or grab from other people. When we have a spot we mark it and respect our boundary. We live within our boundary and respect our neighbours. If blood is spilled on the land we perform rituals taught by our ancestors to appease our ancestor’s souls and bring peace in the neighbourhood. Appeasing our ancestor’s souls means appeasing God’s angels that guard the land. This scenario is mentioned in the Bible:
Genesis 4:10 “ And he said, what hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”
That was a conversation between God and Cain after he killed his brother Abel and spilled his blood on the land God gave them. God later laid an eternal curse on Cain and his descendants because of his evil deed.
Many innocent Equatorians are killed on a daily basis and the SPLA/M land- grabbers spill their blood on the soil of Equatoria daily. The most infamous incidence occurred about 2 years ago during which 2 sisters; their cousin and children were killed in Juba a few months before the December 2013 incidence. The young women killed were indigenous Bari citizens whose ancestral land is Juba. Their family did not retaliate against the Nuer SPLA who shot them in their own home, in cold blood like dogs over land dispute. How can a Nuer come all the way from their land and kill Bari citizens in their ancestral land? Do we have Nuer tribe in Equatoria??? The government of South Sudan did nothing to the culprits, and to rub salt on the wounds, they did not apologise to the bereaved family who made their peaceful protestations by taking the dead bodies of their loved ones to the House of Parliament in Juba to show the heinous crime committed against them. The bereaved families did not retaliate but left every thing in the hands of God.
God was greatly angered and so were the spirits of the ancestors that were being laid to rest hundreds of years ago. That day a tremendous black curse was laid at the doors of the SPLA/M: Men, women and children. The blood of the innocent young women, their children and cousin cried out to God and God executed his wrath on South Sudan within weeks from the arbitrary and cowardly killings. The Holy Scriptures has clearly described the “Tall and dark-skinned people who live beyond the 2 rivers”. In the same chapter IGAD and TROIKA are referred to as “ambassadors travelling down the Nile” It is crystal clear and this shows that the Holy Bible is alive.
Isaiah 18 described the culprits as “…a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down; whose land the rivers have spoiled”
A people “terrible” means awful and horrible people. It is people who can only do the things, which the SPLA/M are doing to innocent helpless civilians in Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan.
Verses 4-5 goes on to say:
“For so the Lord said unto me, I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of the harvest.
For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches”
This verse explains God’s anger “ like a clear heat upon the herbs”. This anger resulted in the door to door killings in December 2013 when the SPLA/M turned upon itself and destroyed itself in Juba and the same deed later on spilled to the Dinka and Nuer land where the “sprigs and branches were cut off” These are the young people dying, thousands upon thousands and the rest were scattered in different direction.
The same chapter 18 continues in verse 6:
“They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth; and the fowls shall summer upon them and all the beasts of the earth shall winter on them”
We have seen during the December 2013 war how the vultures and the eagles have pecked and feasted on the dead bodies of those killed and the hyenas, foxes and other beasts of prey have scavenged on the their bodies in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal. It was the most shocking and alarming event to unfold to the whole world. We were all in tears of dismay and gripped by total fear, panic and utter shame. Can anyone dispute that God has delivered this unnatural phenomenon? Have we learnt any lessons yet???
How much more clearly do we need God to speak to us? Prophet Isaiah made these prophecies long before Jesus Christ was born. At that time he did not know anything about the land he prophesied against. He never set foot in Africa. It was God who put the words in Isaiah’s mouth so that it is written down and handed to us today so that we know why December 2013 happened and return back to Him (God). People are talking about “root causes”, looking at every issue under the sun but not seeing the gaping truth, which is staring them in the face
Mark 8:18 (NIV)
“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?”
God is saying to you “ Don’t you remember the incidence which happened just weeks ago; the killing of the innocent young women and their children?” God has avenged them with thousands upon thousands of lives. Don’t you see with those eyes and hear with those ears that are on your heads?
Genesis 11: 5-7
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other”
This verse clearly shows that God has seen what was and still is in the hearts of the SPLA/SPLM leaders who were colluding together and planning dire things to the other tribes in South Sudan. The Nuer and Dinka were thinking, “we are the majority tribes and together we can overcome God’ s plans and take over the whole of South Sudan.” This is their “ same language”. God therefore came and confused their language and the epic and spectacular fall out happened on December 15th 2013. The SPLA/ M was a very strong force. It was like the tower of Babel. The people involved are arrogant and thought they will build their tower so that it reaches up to the heavens: (President Salva Kiir was prophesying that the SPLA/M will rule South Sudan for the next 100 years!!! Now it looks more unlikely than ever) Is he stronger than God? Is it God’s will or his? This is all the blasphemy, wickedness and corruption committed after God blessed us with Independence in 2011, in one of the most beautiful and rich countries in Africa. He gave us everything but what did we give HIM in return?
THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE CIVIL WAR OF DECEMBER 2013 IS THE FORCEFULL OCCUPATION OF EQUATORIA AND THE PERSECUTION OF ITS INDIGENOUS CITIZENS. If the SPLA/M continues to grab land and kill innocent Equatorians, more calamities will befall them. If anyone is in doubt, let him or her check the Holy Scriptures.
Equatoria is our land and we will never let it go. Equatoria is our flesh and blood; we will guard it with our souls. Equatoria is our crown we will forever decorate our heads with it. Equatoria is our beginning and our end; we will defend it until the last man standing.
Before I lay down my pen I will share with you Psalm 137 4-6
“How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
If I forget thee, O (Equatoria), let my right hand forget her skill.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not (Equatoria) above my chief joy. “
I would add if I prefer not Equatoria above my life.
This Equatoria, this land of milk and honey is ours, the land of our inheritance, given to us by God and no one, no man, no conjurer or a false prophet will ever be able to take it from us.
Yes, Indeed this land is ours.