By Dak Buoth,
November 16, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — On 14th November, Major General Stephen Buay Rolnyang revealed to the members of the Fourth Estate through his Defence counsel, Philip Anyang Ngong that his health is deteriorating in Juba Jail. It was said many times that he is very ill and he is not allowed to go to any hospital of his choice. Several appeals to his captors to have him release unconditionally had fallen in deaf ears.
Buay was arrested in Unity State Capital, Bentiu on 31st May 2018 after surviving an attempted murder in the hand of a government sponsored militia. On that very day, three of his aides were killed but nobody has been held to account up to now.
This murder plot was devised after an allegation that he wanted to rebel, a claim that his detractors did not prove before the court martial in Juba. On the day of his arrest he was flown to Juba by a chartered plane. And on arrival at Juba Airport, the government media began broadcasting about him in a way that assassinated his characters. After long stay in Jail, President Salva Kiir decided to constitute aforesaid court martial and appointed senior military officers to hear and determine his case.
Surprisingly, he was subjected to what you would call malicious prosecution. He was denied his right to fair trial under CAP 2 (34) (1) of the South Sudan Transitional constitution, 2011. The Prosecution, SSBC and the court martial played the same role in the case of Stephen Buay.
The militia officers who commit an attempted murder before doing the chaining handed him to the hired media that again showcase and propagated this inhumane condition which he was subjected to. Eventually, the court martial stripes him of his ranks and dismissed him from the Army completely despite the fact that he was found not guilty by the same court martial.
The court martial pronounced its verdict on 21st October 2019 and stated as follows: that Major General Stephen Buay was not guilty of all charges; that he was sentenced to one year in jail starting from the date of his arrest on 31st May, 2018; that he was demoted from the ranks of major General to a civilian; and that he has been dismissed from the SPLA also known as (SSPDF).
As everyone can see and hear, this is contradictory rulings which I have never heard. So far, Buay has refused to make an appeal for obvious reasons known to the people of South Sudan. His appeal shall be a waste of resources. I believe South Sudan is not a place for people who can’t think and make rational decisions both in judicial and political offices. And I wondered how such people find themselves in these public institutions. Now right thinking persons are asking: why do they pronounce such irrational judgment? Some are saying that it is because the case is political, and I disagreed. How could this be termed as a political case yet the person on trial is not a politician? At times, political cases are rarely taken to court. And in event they are taken to court the judicial officers must make a just ruling based on facts and evidences adduced by the parties before it. This court Martial could have comes clean by making a sound judgment; and then leaves the politicians in the executive organ to decide whether to violate the court orders or not. In the end they shall say we did our best part, which can place them on the right side of history in our land. I’m not of the opinion that all court rulings are perfect. All I’m saying is that this verdict is contradictory and inconsistent to say the least.
Precisely, the obvious reason why they decided to crucify Stephen Buay is because he is a Nuer, period. But he is a Nuer whose mother is a Dinka. So we can say the Juba regime is not only against the Nuer alone but also the Dinka. The constant malicious prosecution and execution of the Nuer will not ends Rebellion in South Sudan; and you can take this to this bank. In simple terms, the refusal to let him seek medical care is another plot to kill him. And like African reggae icon, Late Lucky Dube asked in his song known as ‘‘victims’’, ‘‘how long shall they kill our Prophets’’?
For one to make sense of the above assertions, he needs to compare and contrast Stephen Buay’s case with the case of then chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan.
In 2017, days after President Kiir sacked Paul Malong, the latter rebelled at night and moved with heavy armed forces toward Yirol County in Lake State. There were many reasons to believe that Paul Malong was headed for rebellion when he moved out of Juba that night. However, when Dinka from Yirol and greater Lake State declined to back the rebellion against Kiir’s regime owing to the Dinka cultural Philosophy dubbed ‘Konkoch’, Malong swallowed his pride and allowed himself to be ferried back to Juba.
On arrival to Juba, General Malong was accorded hero’s welcome. He was received by cheering crowd from the Airport to his house unlike innocent Stephen Buay who was jeered, chained and dragged on the ground up to his present detention camp like a slave in 2018. After coming back from Yirol, General Malong stayed in his home peacefully until the day he decided to travel outside Juba; he was told that he was under house arrest. But he was never taken to the court martial where Buay faced malicious prosecution.
When you asked: why was Buay and Malong treated differently? Before I answer this question, I guessed you must have had a clue. Buay is a Nuer and Malong is a Dinka. Tribalism is an ideal that has replaced Nationalism in South Sudan under SPLM reign. If not because of tribalism, the duo could have been given equal treatment and tried in the same court.
In the past, Buay and Malong defended the same government, and they have shared blames in the eyes of the innocent South Sudanese victims who were maimed and displaced from their ancestral homes. Most South Sudanese are pointing blaming fingers on them.
If today, the Father of the Post-South Sudan Independent rebellion, General Peter Gatdet wake up, he will tell you point blank, that Buay and Malong fought hard against the struggle for regime change, which is aimed at transforming the political and judicial landscape in the country. Considering the fate of these two Generals, SPLM regime is liken to a mother-dog that normally eats its puppies. At one point, General Malong’s health deteriorated while in the house arrest in Juba. He pleaded with President Salva and company to release him. And after sometimes he was released on medical ground. He left for Nairobi Hospital where he was treated and discharged.
In April 2017, General Paul founded in Nairobi what become known as the South Sudan United fronted (SSUF/A). I knew General Malong was going to rebel once he is released. But I doubt if Buay will rebel when he is set free. Many holds that Malong was forced to rebelled, and it is true. What can someone do rather than rebelling in a country where he or she is not allowed to think and move freely? When one is not allowed to think and do things freely, then the life becomes less useful. Not everybody can accept to be a walking- prisoner throughout in Juba except the vulnerable citizenry.
In fact, nobody can blame Malong for defending Kiir’s regime in the past. Perhaps, he thought Kiir’s regime was fully going to grant him his power and wishes to do anything he wanted by virtue of the fact that they hails from one ethnic group. But now that he was stripes of his rights and powers to do as he wishes, he can’t be blame for launching a rebellion to seeking the change and reforms that the rest of South Sudanese are yearning for.
However, there was negligence on the part of General Buay which according to some subjects his prudence in question. As an experienced and educated senior officer he could have foreseen that the regime that was ordering him to massacre his tribesmen en mass might one day come for him as happened in Germany during Hitler’s regime. Even if he decided to remain behind the regime, he could have had this idea in mind. I’m sure if he had done so he could now remind behind the regime and not behind bars.
BUAY WILL BE KILLED BY A PERSON, NOT ILLNESS
When someone fall sick and he has no access to medical treatment, chances are that he may not survive. That is the reason why there are high cases of death in our country because there are no enough health centres. Stephen Buay has revealed that his health is deteriorating in detention.
If his appeals for medications continue to fall in deaf ears, and by bad luck he dies in detention, we shall not say he died of illness. His captors who refused to release him shall be deemed as the cause of his death. In other words, we shall say he was kills by the persons who are keeping him behind bars, aware that he was not guilty of any charges. As such his illegal captors shall break the chain of causation between his sickness and illegal detention. Ideally, anyone who denies a sick person an access to adequate medical care is guilty of infringing his or her rights to health care and life.
Egyptian first elected President Mohamed Morsi fell down and died in courtroom after he had been denied access to adequate health care while in prison. In June, the United Nations (UN) called for an independent investigation into the death of Egyptian President. According to the Washington Post, Morsi, who suffered from diabetes and liver disease, was held in solitary confinement for six years. He had complained during his earlier court proceedings that he was denied the insulin dosage and special diet he required and that as a result had experienced diabetic comas. His supporters have described his death as ‘‘murder.’’. In calling for investigation into Morsi death, Human Rights Watch North Africa Director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said that Morsi’s death ‘‘ followed years of government mistreatment’’ and that his medical care had been inadequate.’’
I’m citing these cases so that his captors will know that in case Buay fail to resist his illness, some person will be held liable for murder whose consequences are dire and severe. The writings are on the wall. President Kiir will go, and we shall remain to be held answerable for our act of commission or omission. Let’s act humanly. In view of this, I reiterate my appeal to release Stephen Buay on medical and humanitarian grounds.
The Writer is the Chairman of Liech Community Association in Kenya; the views expressed here are his own; and he can be reached for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org;
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