Why Equatorians must discontinue fighting for the regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit and instead defend their interests?
By Kenyi Modi
March 1, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing” By Konstantin Josef Jireček, a Czech historian, diplomat and slavist. Yet, “the problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt while the stupid ones are full of confidence”~/Charles Bukowski.
From 2005 to date, it is evidenced in Equatoria that the regime under Kiir is never for the interests of Equatorians. The criminal intentions and actions under the Kiir regime against the interests of Equatoria and its citizens are incidences of shown below:
- Dismantle militias in Equatoria while build those in Bahr el Ghazal
When the peace agreement was signed in 2005, the SPLM led government under Kiir knew that the many militias particularly in Central Equatoria were of grave danger for them to implement the policy of scramble and partition of Equatoria, its occupation and enslavement of Equatorians. An effective strategy was to trick the generals from Equatoria particularly those in Central Equatoria to mobilize the militias for integration into the SPLA and organized forces. Indeed, this plan was successful as evidenced by thousands of Militias from Lainya, Terekeka, Jebel Lado, Gandukoro, Mongalla and other areas integrated into the SPLA and organized forces. This strategy was effected by Equatoria generals knowingly or unknowingly of future consequences for those areas. Since then to date, those and other areas remained insecure and unsafe with few inhabitants witnessing intensified commercialized land grabbing, construction and settlement continue. Central Equatoria Government is helpless because the security in the state is controlled by non-Equatorians. You can see that in the State, County, Payam and sometimes Boma police, CID, MI and National Security personnel are non-Equatorians. If they are Equatorians, they are those who accepted to work against their fellow Equatorians.
- Appointment of Equatorians into government positions at all levels
Since 2005, Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Equatoria loyalists ensure that all the political positions in the states, counties and payams are occupied by Equatorians who protect the interests of the regime i.e. to partition Equatoria land, lease to investors, and resettle themselves and so on. This is true with the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Clement Wani Konga, and other pro Kiir Equatorians inclusive. Ordinary Equatorians will agree with me that since 2005, the SPLM led government has shown that Equatorians are not part of South Sudan. That is why they are being killed day and night with impunity. Their property looted, robbed or grabbed at will. However, ordinary Equatorians are now becoming aware of selfish Pro Kiir regime Equatorians with the only option left is defend themselves, their property and land because relying on the Pro-Kiir Regime Equatorians politicians, leaders and generals is like perfect submission to enslavement by Kiir regime. Equatoria politicians, leaders and generals in the Kiir regime are only servants to their master Kiir and his tribal clique against the interest of Equatorians.
- Integration of former Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) into SPLA and organized forces
Soon after the eruption of the 15 December 2013 crisis, again, the Kiir regime seized the opportunity of getting rid of former SAF officers, NCOs, men and women from Equatoria plus unemployed Equatorians youth. Whereas the former SAF and unemployed Equatorian youth saw the opportunity as an employment, the Kiir regime saw this as a means to continue its policy of killing all Equatorian youth. The current Vice president, the three Equatoria Governors, politicians and leaders supported, facilitated and helped the Kiir regime to achieve its objectives.
- Deployment of SPLA and organized forces
After the integration of former SAF soldiers, the group in charge has to ensure that those integrated are immediately deployed at the frontline in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. This is to uproot them from Equatoria so that they will never see what the Kiir regime is doing to their people and Equatoria land. Often, they are transported by helicopters without weapons until their place of deployment. Sometimes, they are not given enough ammunition so that they get killed. However, the former SAF soldiers mostly from Equatoria realized that they were employed but without military number and salary. A confident source revealed that when the integrated forces deployed at Unity and Upper stated to complaint for their unpaid salaries. When their boss, the current presidential guard commander said, “Are they still alive? I thought all of them are dead.” Similarly, the recent Owinykibul atrocities committed by the Kiir regime militias against Equatorians are a proof of the criminal intentions and actions against Equatorians. Eye Radio reported that many people were killed and more than 100 huts of the Acholi peaceful people were burnt. The apology Governor Lobong after his people were killed is questionable together with the compensation announced by his Government. Reaction from politicians, leaders and generals hailing from the region is yet to be heard. But the practical and effective intervention is for the Acholi people to defend themselves, their property and land against the provocation for war by the Kiir regime to wipe the Acholi from their land so that the Kiir regime resettles its people and nomads. These atrocities add to the previous ones planned and executed in Yambio, Yei, Nimule, Lainya, Juba, and other places by the same Kiir’s regime. The tribal militias, notoriously known as “mathiang anyor”, a private army of the Kiir regime are responsible for the atrocities committed against Equatorians and foreigners in the country since 2005. Equatorians, you have the right to defend and protect yourselves against the Kiir regime if you are to survive.
- Unemployment of Equatoria youth
Many educated and trained Equatoria youth in various disciplines have no jobs because doors for employment are closed for them. Those who have attempted to search for employment are often told to come tomorrow in infinity. Economists will agree with me that employment and unemployment affect the socio-economic and political life of any given society. For example, when youth are unemployed they remain dependent on their parents or guardians. The consequences of this include weak economic power which can lure the victim to do things against himself or herself, family and community for the interest of the Kiir regime.
- SPLM monopoly of power
Since 2005 to date, the ruling party, SPLM has been monopolizing power for selfish and tribal interest against that of the majority, particularly Equatorians. The usual slogans to make people drunk are the SPLM Oyee, SPLM hakuma pitana, and so on. Over 70% of the power belongs to the ruling tribe. The 30% is divied among the remaining 64 tribes and opposition political parties. Some tribes don’t even one. The re-unification of SPLM is most likely to continue the current ugly regime since Kiir will still remain the president. So, more the worst against Equatorians is coming when peace talks in Addis Ababa are concluded. This means that Equatorians enslavement will continue unabated with impunity because Kiir will remain the cruel master or king in South Sudan in general and Equatoria in particular.
- Impact of Kiir’s iron hand on South Sudan and Equatoria
The ever iron hand of Kiir since 2005 on the South Sudan people in general and Equatorians in particular. This is evidenced in the chronic, intensified and motivated aggravated land grabbing; nomadism; physical and mental insecurity; corruption; economic stagnation; destruction of physical infrastructure; high cost of living; rampant illegal exploitation of resources; environmental degradation; increased poverty; and increased unemployment; loss of the spirit of nationalism; patriotism and common citizenship; lack of political will; lack of regional trust; motivated tribal politics; disunity and lack of trust among the tribes; power struggle; tribal intolerance, arrogance and hegemony; and marginalization of tribes; exclusion of opposition political parties and the majority of tribes from participating in the ongoing Addis Ababa Peace Talks rather South Sudan Inter-Tribal Conference is no solution to South Sudan problems in general and Equatoria in particular. Opposition political parties and civil society organization have advocated for reforms in the Kiir regime all in vain.
- Dishing money to Equatoria politicians, leaders and generals
To ensure that Equatoria politicians, leaders and generals remain loyal, Kiir dishes money for them so that they continue to protect his interest against the majority of Equatorians. Whereas it is apparent that Equatorian politicians, leaders and generals under Kiir regime are rich, it can be estimated that 90% of Equatorians live in object poverty and ignorant vulnerable to diseases, insecurity and unsafe environment.
- Keep Equatorians in object poverty, ignorance and vulnerable to diseases
Only lies to Equatorians through their politicians, leaders and generals continue to sound sweet melodies of the Kiir regime. But in reality, the intention is to perpetuate Equatorians in object poverty, ignorance and vulnerable to diseases vulnerable to diseases, insecurity and unsafe environment. For example Kiir promised creation of more counties in Juba district almost half a year ago. This was welcomed and supported by the citizens of Central Equatoria States together with politicians, leaders and others. But to date this has remained a naked lie. Pessimists to this promise are considered rebels to be killed because they knew that promise by the Kiir regime was only empty calculated to shut up people from talking about and demanding for federal democratic governance in South Sudan. The promise for creation of more counties in former Juba District was to create dispute and conflict among the citizens of Central Equatoria. This was true when the politicians of CES became preoccupied with political positions, border disputes and conflicts as well as tribal tensions. The next strategy was general elections and now is the amendment of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 to unlawfully extend their term of office after 09 July 2015. If power really belongs to people and they gave the Kiir regime the power through ballot in general elections, it would amount to theft because you can retain what doesn’t belong to you. Doing so will amount to the abrogation of the TCSS or a coup de tat against the South Sudanese people who have the right to defend TCSS.
- Equatoria nationalism, a solution to Equatoria problems
In my view fighting for or working under the Kiir regime amounts to perfect submission for the occupation of Equatoria, deprivation of rights and enslavement of Equatorians. Yet, because the current tribal-political crisis created by the Kiir regime which has reached breaking point and is bound to continue for generations, Equatoria nationalism is a solution to South Sudan fragility and disintegration into three independent countries of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile through self-determination in a referendum. Independence by BALLOT is cheaper than independence through BULLET. The latter should be the last justified resort.
The author is a human rights lawyer, fighting for radical reforms in South Sudan through human rights revolution. He can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org