In the heat of the South Sudan heat, forces allied to President Salvar Kiir Mayardit and his former deputy Dr Riek Machar are locked in mortal combat for political power with fears that the world’s youngest nation could disintegrate.
But in far off Nairobi and London, noisy battles are boiling in the house of General Kirr with a woman purporting to be his wife hurling ‘missiles’ at his elder daughter, Christina Adut Nardes.
In a stern letter seen by Sagepage-Uncolonized, Aluel William Nyuon Bany, who claims to be Kiir’s wife sternly warns Adut to steer clear of her marriage and threatens unspecified consequences if she persists.
Reminding Madam Nardes that “I dint chose a relationship with your dad” since “it has been happening for at least 10 years”, Nyuon Bany nostalgically narrates the scene of her traditional wedding.
“The Payun clan and a great many happy witnesses attended my wedding. It was so beautiful. The bulls that were sacrificed were of…the highest order,” she recalls. “I was undressed as the daughter of William Nyuon and was clothed and accepted as the wife of Kiir Marial-dit. They took me as a Nuer, as a hero’s daughter, the love of his life and his wife but I DO NOT (emphasis hers) need to be your step mother”.
Aluel is the daughter of the late Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) William Nyuon Bany who alongside Dr. John Garang, Salvar Kiir and Arok Thon Arok were the top four generals of the movement in its early days. He died in 1996, leaving several children most of whom live in the United States today.
She made headlines in 2011 after she went missing in Juba where it was later alleged that she had been kidnapped by powerful people with good connections in government.
Explaining that she already has a powerful surname, Aluel firmly dictates her position by exhausting events surrounding the president’s family.
“Try as you will, if and when I leave your dad it will because I chose to do so. I’m Ethiopian by birth, South Sudanese by descent and a naturalized Briton. Please feel free to choose the jurisdiction where you seek your legal redress,” Aluel dares Nardes. “Stop meddling with my marriage and deal with your own marital problems…let your dad be with the woman he loves...allow us our choice. Consider this a written warning”.
Talking to this writer on phone from Juba, sources from the South Sudanese government warned that the media should stay clear of matters of the first family.
“These are matters that are very sensitive and should not be published,” the source who chose to remain anonymous said. “Whatever is happening between this lady and Nardes should not go to the media at the moment. This is a criminal since the President has only one wife, Mama Mary Ayen Mayardit. She is a criminal who should be arrested”.
Joseph Lual, head of security at the South Sudan Embassy in Nairobi, called the newsroom to echo the same sentiments, saying what he knows is that Aluel lives in London.
This latest scuffle comes at the wake of another incidence last month when President Kiir son Manut Salvar Kiir was picked by police officers from Muthangari Police Station for allegedly assaulting his sister Winnie while drunk at their Manyani East Road house in Lavington.
Although Manut was released later, the South Sudanese leader is said to have convened a family meeting in Juba where he warned members against misbehaving in the public.
“I have always told you to behave in a way that would not create inconveniences to other people, because the way you conduct yourself would be interpreted to mean different things by different people,” Kiir was quoted by the Sudan Tribune. “You have to understand that you would never be alone wherever you go. So be careful with whatever you do. The real issue would be twisted and politicized”.
The incidence led some political critics in Juba drawing the parallels between the incident and the president’s political life.
“If you cannot manage your own family, it follows automatically that it won’t be possible managing millions of people with different family members from different ethnic groups,” the same paper quoted an anonymous source saying.
An editor was arrested and the English version of The New Sudan Vision banned after it published an opinion alleging that President Kiir’s daughter Adut had eloped with an Ethiopian immigrant, then considered a symbol of national shame. The said immigrant, Nardes Gebeyehu Alemneh, is now Adut’s husband after a high profile wedding in Juba where the president handed her officially.
The fact that the country was generally against the wedding to the son of Ethiopian elite is noted by Aluel when she tells her “allow us our choice. Just like the whole country grudgingly allowed your choice”.
The 28 year-old Aluel claims she has a copy of the marriage certificate and videos of her traditional wedding ceremonies.