Embarrassing pictures making rounds on the internet showing respectable South Sudanese generals and war veterans in Gambella Airport, Ethiopia struggling to climb a construction-type ladder to get into a passenger plane has struck a nerve with patriotic can-donate-state-property people in Juba and they have decided to help that struggling airport in Ethiopia by donating – not one- but two air-stairs.
In the last few days, internationally sponsored flights had to be chartered from there into Juba, the capital of South Sudan for Very Important Persons (VIPs) who, after waging more than two years of war among themselves and falling short of wiping out the opponent’s tribe, have decided to “turn a new page” in the same horror book of South Sudan.
Using a cement bag as a stepping stone, the scaling that steep construction ladder and holding onto nothing but the reels for 3 meters was not easy especially for army generals who have learned to know more about the black-market dollar exchange rate than the last time or how much their soldiers got paid.
Imagine…, I had to step on a cement sack, and climb up a construction ladder that was not stable…to get into a plane!…. To make matters worse, I was officially dressed in my South Sudan army uniform, a General in the army of one of biggest fighting tribes in Africa..
“Imagine…, I had to step on a cement sack, and climb up a construction ladder that was not stable…to get into a plane!…. To make matters worse, I was officially dressed in my South Sudan army uniform, a General in the army of one of biggest fighting tribes in Africa, and a VIP heading to South Sudan… to become someone…. and this was what I had to go through in Gambella (Ethiopia)?,” wondered one SPLM-IO general upon arrival in Juba, South Sudan.
The two air-stairs, the stairway thingy used to conveniently get into a plane, are being repainted and embossed with the word “donated by Dr. Riek Machar, 1st VP of the Republic of South Sudan, and leader of the SPLM-IO”.
It is also reported that SPLM-IO plans to investigate the matter as 17 of their high-ranking officers are currently nursing serious injuries sustained after victoriously climbing those goddamn-ladders and straining long-forgotten muscles in parts of their bodies they forgot about since the days of fighting Khartoum.
Some experts still speculate that Riek’s delay in returning to Juba was mainly due to his refusal, pride, fear or inability to climb that ladder. Had UNMISS not provided a smaller jet with a simpler way to get into the plane, Riek would still be in Gambella – ironically frozen with fright of physically scaling a tiny construction ladder en-route to Juba where a VP post waits him (and peace for the rest)…
Meanwhile in Gambella, the ladder has been taken to a museum…