Opinion: Collusion and harmful actions against South Sudan peace process 

By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, right, and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar, left, signing a preliminary peace deal in Khartoum, Sudan, (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, right, and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar, left, signing a preliminary peace deal in Khartoum, Sudan, (photo: File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 2nd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – For a very long time now since the war in South Sudan erupted in 2013, there have been accusations that some South Sudanese political actors together with others in the region and in the international community are conspiring to make South Sudan ungovernable so that the situation could be used as a pretext for the Country to be taken over by a foreign body in collaboration with those South Sudanese or have country placed under the United Nations for some years.

As a journalist and South Sudan’s citizen, I followed and investigated this matter keenly in several ways over the years. In my findings, this conspiracy involves South Sudanese politicians who are not for genuine peace since they see themselves unable to compete with some of the current senior leaders in the Country even when there shall be a democracy, thereby they prefer the continuity of war or a win of their conspiracy against South Sudan existence.

Those politicians have over the years placed their South Sudanese allies in strategic positions with influence into the affairs of The country in order to promote their agenda, even ones that are against genuine peace.

-Dishonest efforts by foreigners holding South Sudan’s Citizenship 

The second category of people involved in this conspiracy are individual foreign nationals who have acquired South Sudan’s citizenship by the virtue of being in the Country either decades ago and those who got South Sudan citizenship in recent years through shady deals.

Some of those individuals were already systematically placed in several strategic positions since our previous liberation wars. The new ones also have now got positions in strategic posts with influence into the affairs of the Country.

The institutions, organizations and bodies those conspirators are generally found in include: influential civil society and human organizations in the Country and the region, embassies of powerful foreign nations in South Sudan, religious organizations and very likely the security sector.

Foreign and local journalists are also involved in this conspiracy, though at different rates and not necessarily motivated by the same reasons. Those journalists I am talking about know what I have found out about them.

Over the years, those entire conspirators consistently continue to carry on with their conspiracy in several ways to ensure that South Sudan becomes ungovernable for the reasons I mentioned above.

The problem is some of those who got into the Country decades ago are engaged in the peace process in a manner that they want to win against others, for some ulterior motives about their own historical wrongs, not a genuine search for peace per se.

On social media, the language of such individuals claiming to be South Sudanese have been consistently inciting, with no compromise for peace. It is easier to detect them when one looks carefully around the various sectors engaged in the talks. Giving many details about them shall not help the process as intended that is why the author has chosen not to mention names.

It is more harmful that, in addition to being in reputable organizations to damage genuine peace efforts, some of those individuals have key positions within the different parties to the conflict and they use those positions to fuel war and disagreements, instead of finding lasting solutions.

The allegiance  of many of these individuals are not for South Sudan and it is very shocking to see why South Sudanese political and civil society actors would like to rely so much on advice from such people on very crucial national matters such as the ongoing peace process. In fact, they have seriously derailed how civil society and even the religious groups ought to perform on matters peace in the current talks and all other important tasks in the Country.

However, there are those who are not originally from South Sudan but they continue to make honest efforts for lasting peace in the Country. Those are known and we appreciate.

-A continues fight against me personally

I have been a very critical journalist and I offer solutions for permanent peace in South Sudan, through my articles. Social media and journalistic profession in general. On one hand, the solutions I provide through my profession do not conform with the agenda of those conspirators who do not like to see a permanent peace in South Sudan any soon. As a result, they continue to see me as an enemy. And further worst, they continue to be a source of insecurity and harm for me.

On the other hand, being critical of the government also continue to put me into threats.

The third major issue which I struggle with and finally made public is the participation of my so-called mother, so-called step sister, other members of my so-called maternal family and others close to me in sustained efforts to fail me from discovering my identity, harm me or end my life altogether, actions which those against my profession desperately want.

In general all those people from the first to the last category continue to try several methods against me, my life, while I was in the Country and even when I fled into exile since 2017. I have reliably documented what they have done against me so far, including on damaging my health in several ways and other attempts to take away my life.

Their interests are both political and historical. The historical aspect got to do with their role or attempt to cover up for those who implicated or killed my father, Alfred Yoron Modi who was a journalist and chairperson of Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba during our last liberation war.

According to a 1995 Article in Human Rights Voice on Sudan Archives, my father was arrested in February 1992 in Juba during former President Omar Al-Bashir’s rule and was held for three months, accused of inciting students to resist the government’s attempt to introduce Arabic as the medium of instructions in Southern Sudan’s Schools. English was the common language used in Education in the South.

Well, resisting introduction of Arabic as a medium of instructions for the entire South was a good stance for Southern Sudanese then. But now as we head towards Permanent Constitution-making during the upcoming Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity, it will be up-to-the people of South Sudan to decide if they want to adopt Arabic as a second official language after English or not. Some schools have already started teaching Kiswahili. There’s the French Corner teaching French, etc. So many options for South Sudanese.

Back on the Article, in May 1992, my father was again arrested, this time for announcing the impending beatification of the nineteenth Century Sudanese Nun Josephine Bakhita. He was accused of broadcasting “an offensive and subversive” announcement. And he was taken to the military headquarters for questioning, the article says, the authorities were objected to the mentioning of Bakhita being sold as a slave.
There’s also a letter which he wrote from the detention, saying, among other things, that it should be taken to Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro so that he could come for his rescue as he was put on military trial despite being a civilian. That letter was not taken and I don’t want to talk about that now.

Also, for my father being repeatedly elected as Chairperson of the Justice and Peace Committee since 1989 despite the diversities and challenges there… the Archbishop could have to go see him about his detention, or if it was possible…

All in all, he died doing his struggle from within, writing, broadcasting and leading peaceful protests.

However, article on Human Rights Voice later contradicted itself and never mentioned about the editorial my father wrote calling on the UN to intervene in bringing peace to the Country then. Plus, his name has been mentioned as the author of the article itself.

It was due to such contradictions that I questioned the report of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan on their wordings regarding the alleged killing of Dong and Aggrey.

For example, in one sentence the UN Panel report says the Panel concluded that it is “highly probable” that Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel Luak were executed, in another sentence, the report says “Their tragic deaths…”

“Highly Probable” and “Tragic death” cannot go together, since the former is not conclusive that they have been killed.

I have no problem with the use of the word “probable”. The point I keep raising is that in the UN report they used the language of probability in one sentence and in another sentence they declared the two “dead”… that is in the sentence which says “Their tragic deaths…”

Since they used the language of probability in their first sentence because they are not 100% sure that the two are dead, they should not have then gone ahead and addressed them as dead people. It’s not adding up. They should maybe say “Their probable tragic deaths” or “Their apparent tragic deaths”. And on the other hand, if they want to use the terms “Their tragic deaths,” they should not have used the word “probable” in the first place. It is self-contradicting.

Their report is self-contradictory and requires corrections/clarifications. I insisted on the part of corrections/clarifications based on the experience I faced regarding what I saw as intentionally contradictory reports written about my late father and others.

For such reports are important for legal issues and historical purposes and should not be taken lightly.

Though in one way or the other some of those against me and my journalistic work are those who had hands in implicating my father or they failed to do enough to ensure his release from detention in 1992, even when he complained of being given military trial instead of a civilian one which he deserved.

However, my father (Alfred Yoron Modi) was very human and reconciliatory even when he knew that he was going to be killed. In his latter to family signed 17th August 1992, he did not mention anyone’s name, only stating that “my enemy has won his battle.”

“My fate of survival may no more be there as of today.” “However, I urge you to take courage and live normally. You will be briefed about the cause of my disappearance which is regarding working for the protection of our human rights in the Church, the south and the Country at large,” partly read the letter he wrote on two pages of the Holy Bible. I could say a lot more than this here but this is enough for now.

Read more about my father Alfred Yoron Modi (R.I.P):

https://www.sudanarchive.net/cgi-bin/pagessoa?a=pdf&d=Djbrg27_11.1.1&dl=1&sim=Screen2Image&fbclid=IwAR2g_NZHq_j0OIeW8NUnY2rn6K0Xo27zg3tlVVFwztPOJJ5a7jSjhUC_aWg Read Page 7 (State Radio Announcer Disappeared) (He was an editor though and worked for the Church, several local and international media) The same document on Sudanarchive.net was available on Amnesty International Page for all these years but they just decided to pull it down in the last few days since I started citing and talking about it. Apparently South Sudanese or others with selfish interests over my Father’s death do not want his story out. There are several other pages that mentioned his name and work but his few enemies managed to have those articles pulled down from those websites, using bribes, tribalism or political links.

I have come to know some bitter truths which have been intentionally hidden from me over the years with regards to the killing of my father and since then my relationship with those people deteriorated, leading to them intensifying more efforts into their mission to kill or harm me.

-Collusion with officials in reputable human rights organizations

Against me for example, South Sudanese and others working for reputable human rights organizations continuously exploited details about my security threats and planned and carried out harmful, deadly actions against me using the information they obtained about the nature of my challenges.

I have well documented these and they know very well that I have legitimately and successfully squeezed them and their conspirators into a corner they truly belong to.

In relation to that, last year during the ARCSS revitalization process, I posted that as a journalist,  “I have enough evidence against several institutions, organizations and individuals trying to spoil the ongoing South Sudan peace efforts being made by the region but I will not publish, instead, as an incentive, I urge them to ensure an all-inclusive peace agreement and I urge the government, all the parties, the civil society and the mediation to speed up the process and signing of the modalities of implementation of the revitalized ARCSS as soon as possible and within the process of the IGAD-led HLRF. Speeding up the process means first officially releasing the signed Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance.”

That was true. If I had published the evidence I have, including on how harmful some individual officials in embassies of powerful countries have been harmful to attainment of genuine peace in South Sudan, several institutions and the talks shall likely collapse, leading to, I believe, a return to square one, when already a lot of progress had been made.

I shall continue to suffer all that they have done and continue to attempt against me but I would not like to be distracted from the fact that the time for a comprehensive peace in South Sudan has come. The government and all the parties have a chance to move forward with the implementation of the R-ARCSS while opening it up for the non-signatories so that there will be a lasting peace. This opportunity should never be squandered.

Finally, it is worth noting that this is just a brief piece of information on the nature of the harm done to me by those I mentioned here-in. Their network and methods are wide. But they have never and shall never succeed for reasons they know very well, including the reliable, systematic documentation made so far. The people I intend to see read this article know the rest of the information. I have a backup with credible human rights organizations and journalists and other powers to publish and take action in case anything happens to me.

I just have to keep this short and I urge all to exert honest efforts for the sake of lasting peace in South Sudan. In return, I promise I will neither prosecute any of them nor make their names public for the various harm they continuously executed on me.

South Sudanese and all who want the R-ARCSS to succeed and involve its non-signatories should take serious note of all the above-mentioned and seek appropriate redress. We also want a comprehensive peace in Sudan.

The Author, Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, a South Sudanese journalist, is the former Editor-in-Chief of Radio Bakhita and Managing Editor of Juba Monitor Newspaper living in exile. He can be reachied via his email: rogeryoron@gmail.com or Twitter: @RogerYoronModi

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