By Dak Buoth,
Jan 4th, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — General Buay Rolnyang is one of the living war veteran and freedom fighters of South Sudan independence that should not die and rot in jail for no good reason. I don’t know him physically and I’m sure he doesn’t know me too. But we hail in the same region and I know he had played pivotal roles for South Sudan to be called a country that we’re all proud of today. In any case, he deserves fair trail and justice that he struggled so hard to achieve with among others in our midst.
On 30th May, 2018, he was arrested in Unity State capital, Bentiu and later detained-in communicado on mere allegation that he was planning to join the rebel movement (s) which has now signed the revitalized peace agreement that we all vowed to support and implement.
Fortunately, the Rebel group (s) that he was accused of siding with at the time had now become full time co-partners of the aforementioned peace accord (R-ARCISS) signed by President Salva Kiir and armed opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2018.
Based on what i heard and read repeatedly after he was put behind bars, he has not done major offence other than fictitious claims that he wanted to rebel because of his clear objection against rampant human rights abuses in Unity state which is the major reason why everybody took armed against President Salva Kiir’s Government in the first place.
He should be release, and my main reason for demanding his immediate release is based on this simple fact that the rebel group (s) that he was accused of planning to join have now signed peace with the Juba government. In spirit of peace and reconciliation that we are all advocating for, General Buay and all other political prisoners should be granted their freedoms and allow to walk freely into the New Year 2019 that commences tonight or in five hours’ time.
Since his barbaric arrest and humiliation in public glare, no proper investigation has been undertaken by the authorities in Juba nor has he been charge before competent military tribunal. Thus, i believe General Buay remained as an accused person, and by law an accused person is innocent until contrary is proven otherwise.
It is therefore our moral and legal obligation to speak for the rights of any innocent person (s) that is being punished unjustifiably and unfairly for one reason or another. If we keep doing that, South Sudan will be good place for us all.
The manner in which Buay was handled and ferried to Juba after his arrest in Bentiu was archaic, and those who saw the drama on 30th May 2018 will agree. He was chained on ankles while his hands were tied, thrown on Airplane and shown live in state-own television, SSBC all the way from the Juba Airport to the prison.
In my view, his brutal arrest was one thing, and the way he was chained and shown on live Television, SSBC was another. I looked at it that, his captors and their masters at the time thought that by putting him on live Television while on chain amount to insult to his community and largely to show that South Sudan is no longer democratic state. It was a worse kind of treatment only done and seen in Gestapo Germany. The event of 30th May 2018 has made South Sudan an international disgrace. I’m now appealing for him to be set free in this New Year 2019. In fact were it not because we are now in the period of peace, we would have said and stated other things and not pleading on this very emotive matter of blatant human rights abuses against one of our own.
Prior to Buay’s arrest, words went around in Unity State environs that he was heard telling all SPLA soldiers deployed in Bentiu to respect the rights of non-combatants and totally shun human rights abuses and other crimes such as wanton killing, looting and rapes in the entire Unity State region. However, because it always appears like there was well orchestrated government policy to commit these crimes among Unity State communities as showed in the Amnesty International Report entitled ‘‘ANYTHING THAT WAS BREATHING WAS KILLED’’, General Buay was soon implicated and accused of planning to rebel. It’s now seven months since he was incarcerated, and if they had enough evidences to justify their claims they could have dragged him to court with or without lawyer and charge him few days after he was forcefully brought to Juba.
It was sad indeed that his professional works and respect for human rights which are the cornerstone of our struggle for independence was deliberately misconstrued to mean that he was a traitor who was harboring rebellious views and so on and so forth. Indisputably, this tell you that the SPLM-led government is such a unique, and to put it bluntly, it is a useless, autocratic administration that glorifies wrong-doers and punished the good and dedicated cadres who are out trying to follow their professional ethnics both in public and private life. It is type of government that knows no appreciation for good service rendered for public good.
BENTIU RAPE REPORT
Many condemned and regretted General Buay’s arrest, and i now demand for his unconditional release with immediate effect. Chances are that: had he not been arrested and detained, the recent mass raping reported this month by Human Rights Agencies in Bentiu could have not taken place in that magnitude.
As usual, the government via her investigation team denied and dismissed the UN report as baseless, and we are not surprise of their verdict because we know it is a government that has perfected the art of denying any single responsibility for anything wrong that happened in South Sudan. However, President Salva Kiir who should be custodian of peace and unity in the country must now change his attitude and begin listening and acting on pleas directed to his office.
HUMAN RIGHTS STATE
We had struggled very hard for South Sudan to be Human Rights State where rule of law prevails over the rule of person. And if this stance is reverse and not binding, it simply means we betrayed our course that many South Sudanese fought and perished for over five decades.
General Buay’s continued confinement without charges demonstrate government’s total disregard for the rule of law and basic human rights principles. Through this peace accord, we should swallow our pride and compromise other superficial things that we know like positions but not basic human rights to life, conscience and dignity.
More often than not peace is meant to preserve and safeguard our lives of young and the old. But we cannot talk of peace when our lives are at stake and innocent people continue to rot in jail for no good reason at all. Nonetheless, we have a remedy for a government that does not care or grants the basic rights of its citizenry, and that remedy is to take it upon ourselves to safeguard our rights to life and further work to remove and replace it by any means at our disposal.
In my view, the detention of General Buay is continuation of what SPLM regime had been doing all along. Over the years, the SPLM government has been working to find ways and means of assassinating senior military leaders from Bentiu using several tactics even during the time of peace in the country. For instance GENERAL TITO BIEL CHUOR and GENERAL GATLUAK GAI KUACH are perfect examples of senior Generals who were killed mysteriously in time of peace process. And we are saying these treacherous plots must cease otherwise we won’t have lasting peace in the country.
The continuous perpetuation of the state sponsored terrorism on the innocent citizens of Bentiu must halt forthwith, and we won’t stop talking about these crimes against humanity unless or until the perpetrators are named, shamed and eventually brought to book, aware that justice delay is justice deny. It is against this background that I said ‘the revival SPLA strategy of ‘non-confirm-to-killing them’ will split South Sudan for forever.
The Writer is the Chairman of Unity State Community in Kenya; the views expressed here are his own. He can be reached for comments via email@example.com