Opinion: Nueri should not be silenced by Bor Camp mass murder

By GC Guek

South Sudanese troops loyal to President Salva Kiir pictured at Bor airport after they re-captured it from rebel forces. (Samir Bol, AFP)

South Sudanese troops loyal to President Salva Kiir pictured at Bor airport after they re-captured it from rebel forces. (Samir Bol, AFP)

Canberra – Australia, April 20, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Since 1980s the link between Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) and Nuer nation has often been provocative, hostile and unforgiving. The SPLA army supposed to be people’s army as its name claims was ogled as an army not only fighting for the freedom of South Sudan but also for elimination of Nuer population. Nueri in certain occasions were targeted by SPLA in their civilian and military groups. Gaatjaak section of Eastern Jikany was for example, ethnically and mercilessly targeted by SPLA between 1984 and 1987. In 2006, again Nuerland in particular, Jikany and Lou Nuer lands were invaded and smoked by the same army for a forged name of disarmament campaign where uncounted Nuer youths insisted to give up their arms. Nueri by then did not eyed the future of 2013 would be their black year. This paper will thus brief us on why Nueri should not be surprised, shocked and silenced by UNMISS Camp attack perpetrated (17.4.2014) by the SPLA soldiers with the lending hand of armed Dinka Bor Youth who together forced their way and indiscriminately fired on defenceless Nuer civilians, murdering 217 mainly women and children and leaving behind over 300 injured, with the fate of some in uncertainly.

Furthermore, the SPLA is to some communities a liberation movement perhaps fought to liberate their lands from Arab north but not Nuerland. Otherwise, unforgettable past memories, incidents, bloodshed, atrocities, destructions and assassinations gored inside Nuerland should have not been engineered by the SPLA head. Samuel Gai Tut and William Chuol Deng, for clarification were respected for their passion to freedom, before wrongly fallen to blood thirst SPLA group in 1984 and 1985 for they stood firm for the secession of South Sudan rather than the United Sudan. Bodies of both men were inhumanly abused for being Nuer, even though their idea would in 20 years be backed by Dr Riek Machar and the rest of South Sudanese. Samuel Gai’s body was beaten 100 times by Cdr. Kerubino after Dr Garang, the man then in charge of SPLA/M denied his burial, so that the birds could help themselves. William Chuol Deng’s head was too carried from Fangak to Eastern Jikany village of Thiajak as a punishment. Consequently, anyone seems to stand tall for Nuer interest is in some stage enemy of SPLA, and thus must be chastised.

On December 1984 and early January 1985, it was when the first atrocity uncovered, strategized, and executed in Nuerland by the same army against Gaatkiir. Later the massive killing of Gaatjaak section ranged for 4 years. The first division to attack Thiang civilians was Jamuz of 12,000 men, fully equipped under the command of Cdr. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, a Dinka. Nearly 3,000 innocent Gaatjaak civilians were murdered for no concrete reasons rather than saying they were opposite to SPLA movements. However, to Gaatjaak, it was more than a punch as the SPLA soldiers were undisciplined since they rape, robe and murder unarmed civilians. Gaatjaak were in this category determined to fight the movement that comes to destroy their lives and prevent them from their daily activities. Such atrocities instigated in Gaatjaak-land and inflicted by heavy machine guns were undocumented locally, nationally or internationally due to ignorant of SPLA movement that does not consider or value Nueri as important assets of South Sudan.

Moreover, the SPLA as a tribal machine has stabbed Nuerland and its inhabitants. In 2006, a faked Disarmament Campaign was launched under the command of Maj. Gen. Peter Bol Kong, but at the outset it was started in Lou Nuerland in a place called Yuai, populated by Lou Nuer white army fighters. The Disarmament was complicated and this resulted in many Lou Nuer causalities. Nearly 400 SPLA soldiers and 2,200 Lou Nuer fighters were lost, and government officials recorded at least 213 civilian deaths, according to Centre for Complex Operation, 2010. Wutnyang Gatkek, a former Nuer prophet and SPLA commander was evidently killed in Yuai, while together with the SPLA. This unauthorised disarmament produced food shortages in Lou-land and Juba respond was negative. On May 7, 2006, a similar forced campaign was carried out against Jikany Nuer and soon led to fire-squadding of those youths who killed their enemies in tribal feuds and insisted not to give up their arms. On December 26, 2010, Ulang police and civilians clashed with the same army where 7 civilians were confirmed dead and several injured. One SPLA soldier was wounded and before the calmness was restored, James Hoth Mai (Chief of SPLA Staff) was phoned if he could redeploy this SPLA unit that indiscriminately fired upon unarmed civilians and their livestock; however, Hoth insisted by saying their presence must be guaranteed even if they accused residents of being allied to Khartoum, while the instigation of the incident was over a local girl. The redeployment of this unit was put on hold until referendum. Sadly, such noxious events aimed to reduce Nuer population were never conducted in Murle-land, Shilluk-land or Dinka-land.

Sinking Nuer population is also a play game in military. Maj. Gen. Tangenye and Col. Gatluak Gai, men of two separate rebel group against the Dinka dominant government were in 2011 undermined and diluted to sign a forged amnesty and integration of their forces into SPLA. Nevertheless, this was not a legalised integration process but a mean to murder Nuer generals. Even though Tangenye and his deputies were blessed to survived assassinations, 60 civilians and 200 soldiers typically from Nuer were slain in what is known as ‘Kaldak incident’ at the time of their integration, and so do Gatluak Gai who was caught and cold-blooded. Marco Chuol Ruai, a deputy to Gatluak Gai claimed responsibility on July 23rd 2011, something everyone find hard to consider, even the family of Gatluak Gai, as they suspected the SPLA was behind. Moreover, the so called Army of South was seen setting fire to over 7,000 homes in Unity State’s Mayom County, a home to Bul-Nuer, as a result of what was then SPLA Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka who took up arms against the South Sudan government in March 2011, accused them of corruption. Gatdet defection led to mass murdering of Bul-Nuer where many residents were muzzled. One would wonder in these instances if the elimination of Nuer will mean peaceful South Sudan.

Salvatore Kiir and his gangs are mad men who only pray for a tribal ruling and total eradication of Nuer survival. Obviously, their negative attitude toward Nuer nation is widely visible and so deserves total criticism for tarnishing our nation in particular through Juba massacre where over 7,000 unarmed Nuer civilians were rounded, hunted, tortured, burned and gunned on December 15-20, 2013, with 20,000 others recorded elsewhere in South Sudan. Salva Kiir and his men (Kuol, Makuey, Marial Benjamin, Paul M. Awan, Marial Chanuong and so on) did indeed mastered the genocide by formed a private army notoriously known as ‘tiger battalion’ to ethnically eradicate Nueri and felt no shame, perhaps a plan studied and put in secret folder since 2006. As Nueri are a cancer to society for their speaking up voice and standing firm against marginalisation, the intention was they must be ethnically cleansed. Juba genocide was thus professionally designed to muzzle Nuer nation. To understanding it more, the plan was furtively designed to only “door to door” search Nuer members in Juba and Malakal. This chanced the government on its murdering style even on blameless civilians who were unlinked to Machar’s rebellion. Since December 20, after many made it to UNMISS camps in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, soldiers loyal to Kiir were yet eyeing out for chances to mercilessly shot at IDPs (Nueri) camped inside UN compounds. Consequently, UNMISS Compound attack in Bor was certainly a snap chance for Kiir’s SPLA soldiers who dreams for full reduction of Nuer population, and hence Nueri should not be daunted.

On the surface, it seems the SPLA is the only army working hard to lay to rest Nuer population, but if history could explain all, Nuer nation had pricelessly and tremendously added to this hard fought struggle that brought Salva Kiir and his gangs to this misrepresented power. Nueri did in fact sacrificed ultimate gifts included their sons and livestock such as cows, goats, etc. to today’s freedom of South Sudan more than any of the 63rd tribes, and essentially had then accommodated this guerrilla movement that turned its sharp teeth to such susceptible and unarmed civilians in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal. My grandfather for example, had from the past donated costly bulls to SPLA soldiers in Ulang just like any other Nuer man. Such lavish contributions in term of everything if ask one today to pay it back to Nueri, no one would say yes to it only because the Nuer contribution was cosmic. Only God of paradise, in this sense, would come and say yes Nueri your sacrifices, contribution and participation to nation building are abundant and thus it is a shame for Salva kiir and his gangs to deny your freedom. Nueri should not therefore be hold hostage, shocked, deterred, derailed, intimidated, traumatised and silenced in the land they have liberated until a democratically elected system is installed in South Sudan.

My heartfelt condolence also goes to all Nuer families affected by the Bor incident, and May the Lord of heaven bless their rested souls.

GC Guek is a concern South Sudanese who lives in Canberra – Australia. He can be reached at zoal11@hotmail.com

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