In what has been jokingly coined an attempted chicken coup, a handful of protesters comprising mainly of disgruntled youth from the recent Jieng Parish protest temporarily overran the national broadcasting cooperation in protest against the disproportionate time and resources allocated on the state-run TV station to the former rebel-leader and current First Vice President Riek Machar.
According to the protesters, the former rebel leader now turn peace-and-reconciliation crusader should not be allowed the medium (church, funerals, print media or national TV) nor the time to spread his peace-and-reconciliation propaganda.
This latest development in the Jieng Protesters drama, appears to suggest these relentless and bitter young men will continue resisting and protesting against any reconciliatory moves – thus casting a dark shadow over the future of peace and the hope of any peaceful coexistence of all the victimized communities of the recent war in South Sudan.
A few days ago, this same group of unforgiving and not-ready-for-peace youth who (let us give it to them) only know Machar as that Nuer who massacred their ilk and burned downed their villages in 1991 and again in 2014, protested against the hosting of Machar at their community church. That protest rocked the tribalised Christian faith of the community, resulting in a fully grown-man-of-the-cloth and a bishop of the parish to weep like no adult African man. Another priest resigned his post in the church, and went into hiding for fear of his life.
The short-lived occupation of the national mouth-piece by the not-so-forgiving Bor youth caused a a brief disruption to the service and a momentary panic amongst Juba residents watching the drama unfold live on national TV.
One particularly angry protester screaming at the top of his voice and pointing his index finger at an imaginary Machar claimed that the government is sending everyone mixed messages by showing a little bit too much of Machar, his work and speeches about peace and forgiveness.
Another protester said they preferred how the national TV and government spokespersons side-lined and used to talk ill of the man. According to the protester, Machar is getting a lot of attention and is misusing it to achieve peace by brainwashing people to forget his mistakes.
Meanwhile a quick-thinking viewer called 777 and, miraculously, the actually arrived on the same day albeit a few hours later. That ended the attempted chicken coup. No one was seriously hurt but the protesters, unknowingly, managed to bring the media focus back on Machar.