By Rigoberto Modi.
Oct 31, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— It is now official; the cat is out of the box. If the supposed head of the state of south Sudan can talk this way, then the time is now and right for us to spill the beans and unreservedly. Unbeknown to most south Sudanese, they have no president; the president they thought was theirs is not. The recent scathing attack by President Salva Kiir was a big revelation. On the face value, the purported killing of Dinka in Equatoria, especially on the road to Yei and Nimule, annoyed Mr. Kiir. By the way the communities who inhabited this roads were once called cowards. He called this a targeted killings. Most people who heard the statement of the president were disappointed not by his myopic definition of the killings, but by his apparent ignorance of the fact that this targeted killings have been going on since 2012 perpetrated by his notorious Tiger Brigade and the National Security Service. Others will even say it has been going on since SPLA/M came to power. But not to confuse issues, let us consider the killings in Juba from 15th December 2013. Those were targeted killings. But already in Wau in 2012, the first SPLA orchestrated targeted killing has taken place. The worst one was yet to follow in Wau.
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Of recent the targeted killings continued in many places in South Sudan, especially in Wau and Equatorial region. Did Mr. President know the recent killings in Wau was much targeted? The huge number of civilians killed were the so-called Fertits to the extent that one religious leader went into a rage during a Sunday service and called the leaders of this mass killings ‘monkeys’? I heard the president even called this man along with the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, but he did not apologise to the president and the army chief of staff. The pain that religious leader expressed that time on the killing of his people in Wau is what you are experiencing now Mr. President; but it is just a small part of that pain. Imagine it could be multiplied to the proportion of the people of Wau? I am sure you are not going to like it much.
How about the massive displacement of the people of Pageri County by your tiger forces with a lot of killings beginning on 12th July 2016? They are in the camps in Uganda and the international community is daily trying to find the logic why such a number of people should be displaced the way it happened when there was a permanent cease fire signed with SPLA/IO. The answer is yet to be concluded.
I remembered the international humanitarian law that was taught to the SPLA officers in the old days. This was what set us apart from the forces of Khartoum. But this time around the statement of Mr. Makwei and your own statement appeared to depart from that standard widely. The claims that the SPLA in pursuit of the rebels will not differentiate between civilians and combatants sounds like a joke at the first instant. This is because it departs from the principle of differentiation in the international humanitarian law. But after the first instant when you and Makwei made the statement, it is now being read alongside your other statements, and the killings, lootings and destruction that have been seen and the statements of your cronies. So a better narrative can be developed. There is a good evidence that an ethnic cleansing motive for which you have prepared from long time is now taking place!
If you want to take command of the Dinka forces in Equatoria and go into battle, you are really most welcome. That is what people have been waiting for. Since long you have already identified yourself as a militia leader of the Baher el Ghazal Dinka forces, your presence in the field will help to galvanise the counter forces because in Magwi when William Nyoun broke away, in just one month you lost twice. And your record of battle when the Khartoum army moved all the way to Kapoeta in 1992 was not impressive either. No body fears you in the SPLA Mr. Kiir. If you have made up your mind to command, this was what people have been expecting you to say, so come on.
It has been long delayed. Statements like ‘we fought the war and where were Equatorians?’ sounds fine. This is the narrative we have been capturing with your acolytes around but now it has come from you. It has clarified the issue. But do not forget that the Equatorian commanders and soldiers were the people who fought in Equatoria when the Dinka group settled in the Internally Displace Camps as seeds. Even Malong in 2000 was traversing between Nimule and Nairobi with a brief case project of SPLA simsim production units. He was not in the field like Thomas Cirillo, Mamur, Jaddala and many others. Of course as usual the simsim project did not get anywhere or did it?
Your statement has helped to mobilise the senior commanders of Equatoria. The most suffering individual is James Wani Yiga. His home is being attacked and looted at will. Poor man! He will have to deal with that. But the young people are not going to tolerate it any further. In fact the only message is come on now Kiir! Equatoria is alert and ready. Let this be made clear, to our brothers and sisters in the Dinka community. You are our compatriots and we have no grudges against you. But the current leadership has placed a wedge between Dinka and the rest of the other communities. Evidence is too plain unless one decided to close one’s eyes. This is not what you would choose and this will not be your will because it is detrimental to your own community. Please we advise you to denounce this tactic of these selfish leaders and join the struggle to bring true peace based on mutual respect and justice. There is no peace in the world that does not honour the principle of mutual respect and justice for all.
My advice to our Equatorians brothers and sisters is that do not kill Dinka civilians at all and do not denigrate them either. They are human beings like anybody else. They too are suffering like us or if not they have suffered doubly. On the one hand they know the country is going bad and the leaders are from their community and on the other hand people look at them as part of these leaders and thus the cause of the problems. That is not correct. We have a South Sudanese culture of generosity and care in which we all share with the Dinka community. That is what they should be remembered for and we are proud to hold this together. But there are those so called leaders who are leading no body like Kiir, Malong, Makwei or Jieng Council of Elders,who are intransigent and do not see the logic of peace but talk ethinic war. They want to take down the Dinka nation with them. That should not happened. Do not shed an innocent blood at all! My take is that sensible people from South Sudan will finally prevail regardless of their tribes. Be part of this new generation!
Peace by use of force was once called ‘pax Romana’. In South Sudan it cannot be achieved. If there was a mistaken idea that other people can be forced into submission in South Sudan, believe me it is not possible. Those who flirt with such ideas have not taken history into consideration. South Sudanese value there independence. They prefer to live in their ethnic and cultural communities. In postmodern times this is a legitimate aspiration. Only during the time of misguided idea of modernism was the cultural and traditional way of life denigrated. Those days are gone! So a peaceful and manageable South Sudan will be the product of respect of all the 64 or 72 ethnic communities. To some extent this is where most serious South Sudanese are agreeing as the way forward. The process of ethnic supremacy which is outdated will not work.
Peace must be built on the ontological reality of South Sudan. All along it has been mentioned to IGAD. But as usual they prefer the formula of peace they are familiar with. But the other day, D’goot also mentioned that the future of South Sudan requires the real stakeholders to sit and discuss. The real stake holders are the different ethnic communities in the country who are now complaining that the Kiir regime has favoured Dinka to take over South Sudan just as the same way the successive Khartoum governments wanted to let the Arabs and Muslims to take over South Sudan. The similarities are too striking but the danger is that what the Arabs were able to do, the Dinaka cannot achieve. In this day and time it is too late to conceptualise a national life using that framework. Moreover in South Sudan where the central coercive power, unlike during the colonial system, can be effectively challenged, just do not dream that this Kiir, Makwei and Jeng Council of Elders’ project will work. It is outdated and outlandish. If you doubt travel on the road to Torit tomorrow.
Mr. President you are walking a very dangerous road. This war that you and your cronies have started will not be easy to end. In the past the narrative is on Riak wanting to seize power or Nuer and Dinka atavistic conflict. Those have long been overtaken by the new dynamics. Equatoria is in the war on its own right. It is not Riak or Nuer –Dinka conflict that mobilised Equatoria. You have been warned over a long time, even though the governors’ forum, that the war clouds are gathering in Equatoria in connection to your ethnic supremacy policy and the attempt to change the ethnic geography and history of the struggle. Was it not in Equatoria that you were taught to shoot a gun? Were you not informed that the Equatorians were the people who, politically crystallised the sense of South Sudanese identity? Were you not aware that the experienced and invisible guerrilla fighters were from Equatoria? Are you not informed that Equatorians have a huge base of educated people ranging from the churches, civil society organisations and government? The only thing I will tell you is that the chicken have come home to roost! You are welcome in the field as a tribal militia commander. Believe me see you there!
The author is a concern South Sudanese, reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org