Is Dr. Okuk a Devil’s Advocate or a New Kiir’s Hireling?
By Duop Nyidar,
Former MP, NLA.
March 27, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Although Dr. Okuk’s analysis and reasoning in response to Mr. Stephen Par Kuol’s article is so confused as his specialization, I will attempt to make a few comments with the hope that our analyst in Public and Politics, or is it Public Policy?, will understand what Mr. Kuol had wanted to put through to his readers. First, Dr. Okuk, and mark the meaning of “okuk” in Chollo language, believes that there was a coup attempt because according to him, “(T) his has not been falsified yet because no court verdict has taken place so far” and if it was not and “only running for dear lives why not run to non-violence asylum in another country”? .
But the testimonies of the intelligence communities in Kiir’s regime and foreign missions in Juba all denied that there was any coup attempt whatsoever and “shootings in the army barracks do not constitute a coup a lone”. How many a times did people hear shootings in army barracks and these were never classified as coups? Our “public analyst in the area of politics” is confusing issues. How can someone who is being tracked down by assailants have options of where to run to? In reality victims under threat always run where it is nearer and safer for them. Dr. Okuk can be excused because he never experienced in his life such life threatening moments. Ask president Kiir where he ran to when he was about to be arrested in Malakal on the suspicion that he was coordinating the rebellion which latter translated into the SPLM/A. Dr. Okuk’ arguments are fallacious and only appeal to his ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantian)on what happened in Juba.
While Dr. Okuk admits that some killings happened but does not believe these could constitute genocide. So the issue is what is genocide? How many people have to be murdered to constitute genocide? The legal and official definition of genocide comes from Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) which under the Office of the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of genocide (OSAPG). The definition goes like this: Genocide is any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, whole or in part, a national, ethnical,, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing seriously bodily harm or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated its physical destruction in whole or in part; …
Dr. Okuk in his article continues with his usual fallacious and misleading vividness and writes, “(R)emember a victim cannot resist, hence no rebel can be regarded as a victim”. Where the hell did Okuk do his PhD? Who told him that a victim cannot resist? Victims can mobilize and resist persecution, ethnic cleansing/genocide, tyranny, dictatorship or socio-political and economic control of their lives. South Sudanese fought resistance wars under the AnyanyA-1 and SPLM/A against Khartoum for exactly the same reasons mentioned above. Is Kiir any different from Khartoum rulers whom we fought against? And in all the wars we fought we were always the victims. And let me refresh our minds when the Chollo people were being killed, displaced and confined only to the west bank and their villages burnt by the so-called Padang Dinka of Upper Nile with encouragement and support from President Salva Kiir what did the Chollo do? Did they not arm themselves and resisted the Padang onslaught? And today those of Olwony and Ayuok Ogad who are serving Kiir were all leaders of that Chollo resistance?
Dr. Okuk wrote, “(D)iplomatic language is a language of nice and flattery expressions in order to cool the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day”. In contradiction to what he wrote above, Dr. Okuk then says, “(D)iplomacy of blaming and condemning both warring sides is a correct one…” Which is which now? Do you mean you can use diplomatic language to cool down tempers and then annoy the parties to the conflict by blaming them? In this contradictory model of mediation how do you achieve your objective of “cooling the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day”? This is the model of mediation that IGAD applied in the last peace talks and which broke the camel’s neck – there was no deal and the talks were declared has having failed.
So Mr. Kuol was saying let IGAD, or any other mediator for that matter, use diplomatic language and avoid threats, apportioning of blames to both parties but condemn and blame those who are obstructing the achievement of peace. Although the start of IGAD Mediation it has been Kiir and his team who have been arrogant and intransigence because they think Museveni and Sudanese rebels will protect them when talks fail. But in practice no mediators should be neutral to the extent of not naming who has done right and wrong at least in the spirit of the theme “African problems for African solutions.
What the conferees debated at Pagak Consultative Conference was how peace can be achieved and on that the delegates said peace cannot be achieved with Kiir’s cowardice act of hiring Museveni’s UPDF and Sudanese rebels using South Sudanese oil money to keep himself in power. They recommended to their peace delegates to demand the withdrawal of all foreign forces from South Sudan.
The delegates also said that while the peace talks go on the forces of the SPLM/A –IO should be vigilant against Kiir’s attacks in violation of the COH. Dr. Okuk is also concerned about the amalgamation of forces. But what do you do if Kiir claims that 70% of the SPLA defected to SPLM/A –IO? Should it not be the case that they are amalgamated at the end of a specified period of confidence building for the forces? Amalgamation of forces is a brilliant proposal from SPLM/A- IO. It is your position that amalgamation should not be done because it is “a recipe for another future eruption of senseless violence”. But retrenching them is more dangerous. Anyway there is no sensible violence in this world, but violence is either just (SPLM/A –IO) or unjust (SPLM/A- Juba).