OURS ISN’T A TOTAL YET WAR

 

By Chadi Michael

Opinion 

South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir (R) shaking hand with First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) in Addis Ababa after signing the revitalized agreement (File photo)

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir (R) shaking hand with First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) in Addis Ababa after signing the revitalized agreement (File photo)

October 20th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – War is an agonizing state of hostility where men directly subject themselves to brutality and savagery just as nature dictates. No one man is immune from its devastation and enduring hardship. Ordinary citizens, war experts refer to as non-combatants bear the brutality of it in full swing. They have more to lose in conflict than in peacetime.

Their tranquility is disturbed and livelihood goes up in smoke. When these happen, both sides to the conflict come to terms with the reality that war isn’t always the best option to settle vendettas. They must now resort to something previously overlooked to rid themselves of such brutality. They must rid themselves of war only when both sides here exhaust all their arsenals, resources and support base that sustain the duration of conflict.

I say both sides in this regard because most wars are often fought by two sides, where one side claims moral justification for its action while other points to its constitutional legitimacy and legality. Each side values its cause and demands nothing else but complete disarmament of the other. If anything has ever taught mankind about the totality of war, look no further than the disastrous centuries of warfare in Europe and America. Immutable agreements were reached where further military engagements became unnecessary because everyone was tired of war. But if one side had made horrendous demands, the end of war wouldn’t have come with just simple pair of signatures on a piece of paper.

South Sudan War

The raging war isn’t a total one like in Europe between the Allied (US, France, Russia, and the UK) v. the “Axis forces,” Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 1940s. Such a war brought the savage nature of white man out in full force. It clearly illustrated to the colonized native populations around the world that white men weren’t exactly exempted from death. And that they weren’t sheltered from destruction by other people like themselves or different. Especially after seeing the score of dead Europeans laid in-close quarters, men mowing themselves down merciless with their own inventions. That war gave rise to decolonization by compelling the governed to rise up and demand what had always been theirs but couldn’t’ find ways to take it. It also softened the tone of colonizers, as they became humans again. They were battered, defeated and weakened to embark on another war with natives. They cleverly made way for local administrators to claim victory at their home fronts.

South Sudanese war couldn’t be compared with the US civil war either. The latter was a very deadly one. Scores of men fell. Town after town wiped out completely with nothing left standing. General Sherman swept through Georgia, burning everything on his way while laying the blame squarely on Confederate generals and the South.

In his own court of judgment, southerners offended the United States, when they decided to lift up arms against the Union, the United States government. He showed no mercy and administered savage justice to the South, so no southerner or their posterity would ever rebel against the United States government.

Ours is a lot different. It’s a one-sided war. Victims are the ones seeking peace and their plea for peace is seen as their weakness. They are the ones wanting the return to normalcy and togetherness but these are associated with weakness and defeat. Unlike the South and the Axis forces that brought tragedy to humanity, the perpetrators of South Sudanese civil war haven’t tasted the bitterness of conflict because they haven’t yet met their match.

Rebels Shouldn’t Tiptoe

South Sudanese rebels are different. They are indifferent to the reality and the gravity of the situation. They trade with good conscience, assuming peace will be found through dialogue, or by submitting to the will of their rivals. They are partially right yet largely wrong. They’re right because many people have vested interests in the country. Organizations and individuals are eager to perpetuate destruction and ruin so that they thrive and continue to benefit wholesomely in such a chaotic jungle. The continuity of war is just an excuse these people need to exploit the country’s resources, although they are doing that with or without conflict.

They would never get tired of killing and displacing the Africans and blacks from their homesteads. Perhaps, the rebel leader understands this better than anyone else. And that’s why he’s sticking his head above water every time there is a pronouncement of peace. Which is why he was nearly kill, trying to salvage the peace signed in Addis Ababa in 2015.

The other method rebels overlook is the need to have both side fight it out until one side wins. There is less need to dwell on something that would eventually return people to war sooner. Peace isn’t a forcible measure, it comes naturally and voluntarily. It comes when the fighting parties find no gain in hostilities and without setting aside reservations, both agree to restrain from military engagements.
If rebels now hit the heart of Kiir’s country, don’t you think he would feel the suffering of his tribesmen already?

If rebels decide to leave the Nuerwew in the occupied territories and embark on the tit-for-tat against the Warrap, Aweil, and Bor, don’t you think the war would soon come to a decisive conclusion?

There are always other possibilities. These possibilities are sometimes employed by desperate people and in desperate moments when they have nothing else to lose. The West calls this ‘collateral damage.’ It’s referred to as collateral because it strikes fear into the heart of state by extending the war beyond its present parameter. By involving the non-combatants just like in Juba or Berlin where Allied Forces bombarded areas densely populated by civilians. In Japan, the US dropped the ‘fat boy’ to condition the Japanese into surrender. Or in the US civil war where Gen. Sherman burned to ashes the towns of Atlanta, Richmond and finally, the Gettysburg to force the last standing southern general to wave a white flag. Salva Kiir and people haven’t met their match yet. They are pretentious and over-confident because others came to fight their war for them. But I think they are flirting with danger. They are dancing to the tune of a total chaos that will one day make them wish they stay true to all these treaties signed here and there.

Their banality would one-day breed a savage like themselves who will call hell down from above and teach them a lesson only seen in total war. They will learn that lesson in bitterness, agony and an all-out destruction of their kingdom.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese citizens and can be reached via: chad8204@gmail.com