Nuer America Christian Mission Network Invitation letter, to Juba Nuer Genocide Memorial Service Event
Pasor James Rut, Chairperson
December 12, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this upcoming respectful burial Memorial service for those who lost their lives in Juba, on Dec 15-19, 2013. May warm memories of your loved ones surround you and always!
South Sudanese Churches and Communities around the World and in the United States are going to hold a Memorial Services on the 20th of December 2014.
The purpose of the Memorial is to pray for those who lost their lives (20,000) as a result of the Juba, Massacre carried out on Nuer Ethnic group by a brutal Dictator, Salva Kiir of South Sudan. The Juba Massacres against Nuer Ethnic Group took place on the 15th-20th of December 2013. This was a triggering event in the current civil war between the Government under Salva Kiir, and his former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, who is currently leading an armed opposition against the regime.
The Republic of South Sudan obtained its Independence on the 9th of July 2011 when her people voted overwhelmingly for the separation from the Republic of Sudan. The Comprehensives Peace Agreement (CPA) that granted Southern Sudanese a right to vote was made possible through the pressure from the United States Government, Norway, British (otherwise known as TRIOKA), to the Parties that negotiated the Peace. After obtaining her Independence, the United States, invested heavily in the capacity building in the Security Sector (Training of Military, Police, etc). The U.S through its U.S AID Program had built the first paved modern Highway (Nimule-Juba), linking South Sudan with its neighbor, the Republic of Uganda. The heavy investments by the U.S in the new Republic were made in order to promote good governance and the Rule of Law, which had been lacking in that part of the world.
But, despite the pressure from U.S and many other countries to the young government to push for democratic reforms, South Sudan’s President defied all the advised to democratize the Party (Sudan People Liberation Movement—SPLM) and the promotion of human Rights of the citizens. The country is now in flame due the dictatorial tendencies of the President to relinquish Power.
Causes of the current conflict
The cause of the current conflict in South Sudan started early last year (2013) when Dr. Riek Machar, the SPLM first vice Chairman, declared his intention to contest for the SPLM Chairmanship in the then upcoming National Election to be held in 2015. Salva Kiir, who doubled the Chairmanship of the Party and the President of the Country, responded to this by issuing a presidential decree withdrawing delegated powers from Dr. Riek Machar in May, 2013. Sooner thereafter more presidential decrees followed dismissing Dr. Riek Machar as Vice President, dissolving the cabinet and suspending the SPLM Secretary General and subjecting him to criminal investigation over corruption charges.
Dr. Riek Machar and his group on December 6th called a press conference in the SPLM House in which they outlined the main differences and called on the SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit to convene the Political Bureau in order to set the agenda for the anticipated National Liberation Council. Dr Riek Machar also announced a public rally the group would hold on Saturday December 14th, 2013 on Dr, John Garang Memorial Grounds. The SPLM General Secretariat also scheduled that day for the opening of the session of the National Liberation Council.
The NLC meeting, however, started as scheduled on Saturday morning which was attended by all the Members, including Dr. Riek Machar and his group. When his turn came to addresses the delegates, Chairman Salva Kiir apparently referred to Dr. Riek Machar ostensibly to put him in unfavorable light among the membership of the NLC and to discredit his demands for democratic reforms in the SPLM. This perhaps prompted Riek, Rebecca Nyandeng, and others to boycott the Sunday meeting incensing Salva Kiir into frenzy.
On Sunday afternoon as the meeting of the (National Liberation Council-NLC) was winding up, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Commander in Chief of the SPLA, ordered Major General Marial Ciennoung, the commander of Tiger Battalion to leave the meeting venue in Nyakuron back to his H/Qs and to disarm his troops, mainly Nuer soldiers. Marial went and implemented the orders. However, after dispersing the troops, he ordered the Dinka elements rearmed. The ensuing argument between him and his deputy, a Nuer, attracted the attention of some Nuer soldiers who happened to be nearby. A fistfight ensued between the storekeeper and some Nuer soldiers. The rest of the fighting in other parts of Juba, which lasted for one full week, was the presidential militia recruited for that purpose from the President’s home State of Warrap & Aweil, were terrorizing and butchering the Nuers, other Dinka elements presumed to be supporters of Riek Machar, simply because they were Nuer.
On Monday, President Salva Kiir called a press conference. Clad in complete military attire (the uniform put on that day by the Tiger Battalion), the President declared it was a coup and that the loyal forces have crushed it and were now pursuing the remnants. The linkage of the fighting among the presidential guards to an attempted coup against the state carried by the president’s press briefing makes an incredibly clumsy story. The absurdity of the coup story comes out clearly, with the deployment of the presidential militia hailing mainly from Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, who indeed are killing unarmed Nuers soldiers, civilians including women and children in Juba, on the presumption that they were Riek Machar’s supporters, that Salva Kiir inadvertently has pushed this young country into the current situation. In Juba, many innocent Nuers, some of them government official, members of the NLC, but the majority are civilians women, youths, students and persons from other ethnicities have been executed either in their own houses or are taken under guise of being arrested and killed in ghost houses run by the National Security and Intelligence Service elements in the town. Their bodies buried in several mass-graves secretly by night.
Salva Kiir and his group in the Government have been informing the world that the current conflict arises out of a failed coup attempt, orchestrated by the former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, and his group who are senior SPLM Political Bureau members, despite the fact that all evidences point to the contrary. The Opposition under Dr. Riek Machar, on the contrary, has been defining the conflict to have resulted from Salva Kiir’s rejection of democratic changes in the Party and from the massacre of innocent South Sudanese men, women, and children, who were targeted on an ethnic basis; which in turn caused the cycle of revenge killings that has continued in the three States of Greater Upper Nile Region.
The coup story has since been dismissed by the courts in South Sudan, when the Chief of Military Intelligence testified in court that he could not connect the accused with any coup plot (as reported by Global Voices on 29/03/2014). The Ugandan President, Yoweri Musevni, whose forces are fighting a long side Salva Kiir’s soldier, had also admitted that there was in fact no coup. As a result, the Political detainees were released from their detention because of the lack of evidences from the Government to charges them for Treason. The massacre of innocent men, women and children (that followed) on the other hand, has been confirmed by several rights groups; including International Crisis Group (ICG) which puts the figure of the murdered at 10,000 killed from the 15 – 18 of December, 2014. The communities have also documented those killed by name and county and their figure is over 20,000.
Thank you very much. Our bless you all.
Pasor James Rut, Chairperson
Nuer Christian Mission Network of North America
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402)714-4399.