Contributor's Deng Vanang Opinion Politics South Sudan

Nuremberg Trials, Not Joburg Soap Operas As Popular Demand

By Deng Vanang,

South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir and his army chief pray at a local Catholic Church in Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)
South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir and his army chief pray at a local Catholic Church in Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)

June 15, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— A cow once bitten by hyena, must eventually die of the latter’s bite unless the cow quickly dies of natural causes.

Its only salvation lies in dying early of natural causes than in so devouring jaws of the beast. The ordeal of dying a slow but painful death is equally something rued by human beings.

Adolf Hitler to avoid the would be grueling victors’ justice at Nuremberg trials following the end of World War II, had to commit suicide by first shooting his newly wed girlfriend, Eva Braun and then himself dead.

So are Kenyan politicians accused of 2007 post – elections violence hell-bent on bribing witnesses to escape facing music.

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Whereas the strong headed fellows who refused bribes, succumbed to their sanctioned cold blood murders. Resultantly sending The Hague-based ICC court into disarray due to lack of witnesses to verify evidences filed against the accused politicians.

Not the end of story, though. The court is now recuperating from its legal waterloo as it looks for fresh witnesses to relaunch the botched trails.

Such ICC’s seriousness not to let off the hook Kenyan politicians {President Kenyatta and his deputy Ruto} mirrors the usual determination of any Western backed court’s pursuit of its marked victims unless they die quickly a natural death.

It is the same ICC’s determination that drives juba nuts to the extent of forging a joint letter purportedly written by President Kiir and First Vice President Machar.

All aimed at avoiding the slated hybrid court’s proceedings on war crimes committed during and following December, 2013’s internecine violence.

But ever since Machar through his spokesman, James Gadet Dak tearfully disowned the opinion piece published in an American-based New York Time magazine.

While Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny proudly accepted responsibility for writing it.

The New York Time is currently facing credibility crisis amidst its wider readership for the Op-ed it admitted it never verified before publishing, vindicating its rival Washington Post for branding the former as a serial liar it has always been.

In admitting responsibility for the Op-ed, Kiir is just upping the game he always wins. For he cooked the deadly coup de tat to extend Presidential term by evading 2015 elections he wasn’t sure of winning.

Survivors of his self – engineered coup via peace agreement are then returned under his tight grips after they were denied by Western powers to militarily smoke him out of Juba town so as to form government in January, 2014.

And now he is at it again by trying to obstruct the dire consequences of his bloody coup in preference of South African – based Johannesburg ’s soap operas kind of justice called open testimonies over the German’s Nuremberg judicial trails.

President Kiir’s miscalculated act has too reminded the watchful international community of his unwillingness to face justice. Notwithstanding coming from unrepentant perpetrator not ready to heal the broken hearted women widowed and rendered childless by his senseless war while unable to reproduce more.

Had he succeeded, his action could have set an international precedence first of its kind for the accused to dictate the method he could be tried in competent court of law.

Which could as well run roughshod on an essence of establishing a state meant to protect the weak from the strong, sanctity of life and hard earned property from criminals.

Kiir ‘s attempt also insinuates his belief that the victims of war are his deemed property to have their fate decided unilaterally by him as he so wishes, at far from being mindful of retributive justice whose goal is three – prong.

This kind of justice normally aims at settling the troubled heart of the aggrieved person against pursuing revenge that could have been more harmful than done to him.

Another is to punish the perpetrator in order not to repeat the same cruel act against anybody else. And lastly, to deter others from committing similar or related criminal act.

Is South Sudan ready for truth telling and not trials?

Truth and reconciliation are not likely to succeed where unprovoked and deliberate acts of impunity are repeatedly perpetuated over and over again.

Not least in South Sudan where grassroots communities have armed themselves dangerously to the teeth away from the long arm of the law.

And at worse, not anywhere when the state is rivalled by a few armed gunmen straddling width and breadth of nearby bushes.

Hence, mere truth telling in the country like South Sudan that has gone through repeated collective crimes cannot present a workable solution.

If any, can only succeed in postponing punishment for such crimes only to arise again with vengeance to haunt future generations that are ignorant of the dark past.

Not to mention our history which is fraught with more shilling experiences that still face us today. Topping the list are more recent 2010 rigged polls that made many politicians and senior military officers to rebel against the authorities.

To end the deadly skirmishes, the rigged individuals were consoled back to the folds with baits while authorities behind their rebellions covered exposed backs with general amnesties.

Failure to deal with SPLM/A’s mass murders against the Nuer, Murle and Taposa nationalities in 1980s resulted in 1991 Dinka Bor massacre in which an estimated 3,000 civilians were known to have been killed.

It is the same 1991 Bor massacre when some leaders refused to address it following independence in 2011, that brought about Decemebr,15th 2013 genocide against the Nuer civilians in Juba.

Given those examples, no any rocket science evident to convince people that choosing a mere fairy tale called truth telling minus trials shall in any way bring everlasting peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and ultimate healing to this country.

What is certain in reverse, is the rise in degree of the criminal trend into becoming future holocaust if these gruesome criminal incidents are not addressed using stiff punishments against the alleged perpetrators.

Additionally, where literacy rate is very low and negative ethnicity high in case of South Sudan, truth and reconciliation remain a far distant dream.

In the same South Sudan guided more by customary law than statutory one, none can accept his kith and kin dying for nothing without avenging his death or at least receiving some bountiful form of blood price in return. That is only after a rigorous soul searching for naked truth in the competent court of law.

Deng Vanang is a political scientist, journalist and author. Reachable at:dvanang@gmail.com

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