New York: Protesting The Massacre of Civilians in United Nations Protection Camp in Malakal, South Sudan.
To H.E Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Security Council,
March 25, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- I write to your esteemed offices on behalf of my suffering fellow countrymen and countrywomen, the people of Southern Sudan.
On February 17 and 18, South Sudan’s soldiers together with Dinka Militia carried out an attack on people of Collo and Nuer ethnic groups in the United Nations Protection Camp in Malakal, killing 52 and wounding 120 innocent civilian, women and children. This is the third major attack on civilians under U.N. Protection in South Sudan since the outbreak of Civil War in December 2013. The other two are: the massacres of innocent civilians in the United Nations camps in Akobo and Bor in 2014. These Killings I believe constitutes war crimes.
It is my belief that the government of Southern Sudan and its army has violated all the international conventions,norms and instruments dealing with protection of civilians. Such behaviour can only be termed as criminal in nature and therefore deserve to be accounted for by the leader of South Sudan namely, President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Since the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer people in Juba in December 2013 by the government of President Salva Kiir, it continues to commit more crimes regularly on the people with impunity. The latest being the attacks at the United Nation Protection Camp in Malakal and the killings in Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal State. It is worth reminding ourselves that the worst crimes in life take place when good people sit and do nothing. Nobody thought that Evil Hitler would have done what he did in the beginning because the world was watching and did nothing. Rwanda too happened because the world turned a blind eye.
Today in Southern Sudan a similar tragedy is unfoldimg and we are watching doing absolutely nothing. Over, seventy thousand people are dead, nearly four million are displaced and refugees with another four million facing severe famine.
In the month of May last year, I was forced to go on a hunger strike in front of the White House and the United Nations here in New York to highlight the plight of South Sudanese people and to ask the President of the United States Barack Obama specifically to intervene to secure peace.
During my 45 days on a hunger strike, the White House finally did announce that the President would add Addis Ababa to the itinerary of his African trip which he did. I am grateful for that. Finally, on August 17th 2015, Dr Riek Machar, the leader of the armed opposition accepted the IGAD Compromise Peace Agreement which he signed in Addis Ababa even though President Kiir flatly refused to sign. With pressure from the international community, President Kiir signed the agreement unwillingly on August 26th in Juba with reservations.
My sacrifice came from my deep love of my people and country. It was for unity, peace, reconciliation among the people of Southern Sudan. Unfortunately President Kiir, who I respected as a hero when he fought for the independence of Southern Sudan, doesn’t see it that way today. President Kiir and his Dinka tribal men known to the people of Southern Sudan as Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE), unfortunately are once again plunging the country into further turmoil.
On October 2nd 2015, President Kiir surprised the country by issuing an order establishing 28 ethnic states instead of the existing ten agreed in the Compromise Peace Agreement and that threatens the agreement that was signed in Addis and Juba. The creation of the 28 states raises serious issues around land since it takes away land from other ethnicities and gives it out to Dinka people. In short, it is land grab and this I believe constitutes aggression by the President using power of the state to rob the other tribes in favour of his tribe.
For example, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, President Kiir deliberately went after the peaceful Collo people robbing them of their lands which they inhabited since the sixteenth century before the coming of Dinka into the area. Collo and their kingdom came to where they are today in the 16th Century and the first Dinka to arrive in the area East of the Nile was in 18th Century with the rest of the Dinka coming to their present settlement as neighbours to Collo in the 19th century. Today President Kiir is using the office of the Presidency to change history that has existed for five hundred years and that is unacceptable.
With no solution to the wrongfully created 28 states, the President blatantly favoured his Dinka tribe. Thus South Sudan may never see peace because the Collo will not surrender their land that their ancestors and monarchs are buried in: the Kings, Queens, and Princes, Princesses, chiefs, Collo heroes and heroines. The world needs to do something to stop President Kiir’s madness.
For the sake of peace, South Sudanese and the international community have asked President Kiir to rescind his decree on creation of the 28 states but he has refused to do so.
On February 20, 2016 in New York U.N. Security council (UNSC), EU and Troika countries namely the U.S. U.K. and Norway condemned the killing of civilians inside the UN Protection Camp in Malakal.
With all the evidence on the atrocities that already have been committed by the government of President Kiir, I am appealing to you as the Representative of the World Community of Nations that the time of condemning has already passed. Now, is the time for accountability.
Here are our demands;
- A) To hold President Kiir accountable and responsible for all the crimes that the South Sudan army carried out under his leadership.
- B) Hold those responsible for all the killings of the Collo and Nuer people that took place in the U.N. (safe haven) to account.
- C) Hold the army generals responsible for all the killings that are now taking place throughout the country to account for violating the peace agreement.
- D) Hold President Kiir responsible for destabilising the country by abusing presidential power to promote grabbing of land of others in favour of his Dinka tribe.
- E) Press President Kiir to rescind his Decree that established the new 28 States and stop him from implementing this divisive programme imediatelys
With all the evidence in hand President Kiir and his Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders must be held responsible for the destruction of human life and the catastrophe that is taking place in South Sudan. On behalf of my people and the entire people of south Sudan I sincerely thank you immensely for your time and attention at this critical moment in the history of South Sudan.
Former Sudanese Slave and Human Rights Activists
2011 UN Watch freedom award