By Dak Buoth,
Jan 12, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- We the South Sudanese War Victims residing in Kenya do hereby welcome the rare Public Apology made by Salva Kiir on 9th January 2016 for gross human rights violation committed against us by his regime. Yes, we applauded him for shouldering political and legal responsibility as an incumbent President of the country.
He has finally swallowed his pride by admitting all the disgraceful acts committed during the war. This latest victory did not come in cold blood. It is a milestone attributed to the Congress of South Sudanese Patriots who grappled for it. You would recalled in our last press conference held on 6th September in Nairobi; when we demanded him to apologize for rendering our country Pariah and for subjecting us to this weird kind of situation that made us become a laughing stock. And now that he heed to our demand and responded accordingly, we ungrudgingly accept his apology for it purposely serve as an acknowledgement and affirmation of reality that he is personally responsible for massacres, destruction of properties and massive displacement of 2.5 million populace by the virtue of the office he hold either by his act of commission or omission.
First and foremost, we certainly believe this public apology will boost and enhance the work of the Prosecutors and Judges of the South Sudan Hybrid courts which is scheduled to commence as soon as the so call transitional government is constituted and operationalized.
This apology means a lot, its relieves us slightly and temporarily of the agony we’re experiencing right from the time his regime unleashed a state sponsor terror in Juba on 15th December 2013 and spread like wild fire to other parts of the country resulting to the loss of more than 20, 000 innocent lives.
Nobody is interested in revenge mission but vast majority long for a country that hold its people accountable for their criminal action irrespective of their social status. This is the bottom line and gateway to curb future unrest as we aspire to ascertain our rightful place among Nations; and as African proverb says, ‘‘you cannot change the wind, change the scene’’
Accepting this apology should not be viewed as cower or cowardice but rather a showcase of bravery and patriotism both for us and the apologizer. The challenge is now on the side of the victims who got hurt. Chances are that Salva Kiir and company may not plan to do the same but they can only defend themselves from the victims. So if the victims could agree to forgive and move on, we can be assured of a secure and stable country.
This late apology offers a stepping stone for our country to alleviate itself one again from the present state of antagonism, controversies and mistruth to a more peaceful and cohesive society; because it is always easy for the victims to forgive a wrong doer who honestly appeal for the same and promise never to redo it in future.
One of this Movement’s traditional and cardinal principles is to advance ideals that promote national cohesion and unity in diversity; youth reconnaissance; to propagate forgiveness and to inculcate values of dialoguing and reconciliation within our rosy society, Africa and beyond.
We cannot dare refuse an apology for wrongs done against us if indeed we claimed to be a reconcilable and peace loving citizenry. Let’s join our hands and work together in view to re-invent and re-organized ourselves and begin treading on the new juncture of justice and human development.
We do not want single child to die again either by cholera, hunger and or by barrel of gun but we always wish our children, Sisters and Brothers to dance and sing as they trek every morning to primary school without disruption or distinction.
On of this movement’s forerunner David Atem Ayuel once told us lividly at a live function held on 26th December 2013 11th day after this conflict exploded, he said and I quote, ‘‘I want to make it very clear that this war is not going to be won by any nobody, nobody is going to win this war. That is why we’re saying our leaders should come to the table and try to discuss and really reach a workable solution through negotiation because nobody is going to win this war, and we’re all losers at the end of the day whether we kill many of the opposition sides, or many from the government side, it is all South Sudanese at the end of the day that are killing one another and it is that we’re at the lost all of us’’
With this apology the president has made a decisive and fine gesture in our quest of attaining the much needed peace and reconciliation in our war-torn country. In other words, it means perhaps, he is ready to forge new path for national unity by working in the interest of peace and stability.
Nonetheless, we very well know Salva Kiir is not the only culprit responsible for what is currently bedeviling our nation. There are other major parties such as SPLM IO who have immensely contributed to this misfortune that has robbed us of our national pride, and we challenge them forthwith, especially Riek Machar and company to do the same this week. We remember when he apologized in 2012 for the past crimes he was privy to, and we further call on him to utter the same to match Salva Kiir’s apology.
However, we feel oblige to remind ourselves that empty apologies alone will never bring healing and sustainable peace in our country, neither will it ever prevent recurrent of such conflicts in future unless or until these apologetic sentiments are accompanied with sincerity and affirmative Actions against the roaming merchants of impunity who have now perfected the art of fomenting political animosity among communities for self-aggrandizement.
These players and beneficiaries of status quo are verily known by their long words and chants full of emotions but empty of any meaning. The good news is that South Sudanese whose lives and future are currently under siege have finally realized their dirty tricks. The south Sudanese people had vowed to refuse to be taken for a ride, and thus, should these warmongers continue peddling political rhetoric; they will be committing self-delusion, believing that their many words will magically cover their nudeness. They will be hoping against the hope.
We believe empty apologies and promises aim at achieving mere public relation and blackmail will only bear short term profits for these political dinosaurs, unless they abandon their archaic culture of war, division and deception failure to which, we shall always be in for a rude shock.
Finally and precisely, we would like to suggest to President Salva Kiir in respect to his apology to unconditionally and immediately do the following inter alia;
- That he should release another public statement forthwith persuading the internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their homes with a promise that he would grant them enough security;
- That he should immediately order the illegal occupants to vacate the houses of the displaced persons in Juba and elsewhere and prosecute them without further delay.
- That he must implement the terms and conditions of peace agreement which is the cornerstone of restoring political stability in our country.
- That he should revoke the unilateral creation of 28 states and uphold to the 10 constitutional states until the time when the current transitional constitution is amended in an inclusive, conducive and tranquilized atmosphere.
- That he should avoid shifting goalpost by reintroducing unnecessary politics of anger that only inflame our emotions.
- That the government under his leadership must continue dialoguing in good faith with other armed movements so as to restore absolute social harmony in our land so that everyone can return home to build our nascent country knowing our security is guaranteed.
- That he must promise to face the rule of law and assure the nation that he will not shield any of his inner cycle who are accused of committing gross human right violation, war crime and crime against humanity when time for criminal trail approaches because shielding impunity is worse than committing crime itself.
Dak Buoth | Chairman