Contributor's Dak Buoth Opinion

Sanctioning and Blacklisting an Attack-Dogs is an Effort in Futility

By Dak Buoth,

Gen. James Ajonga Mawut (center) promoted to South Sudan army chief of general staff (Photo/supplied)
Gen. James Ajonga Mawut (center) promoted to South Sudan army chief of general staff (Photo/supplied)

10th September, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— On this 6th day of September 2017, the US Treasury Department and company had again blacklisted and imposed sanctions on three infamous persons considered to be perpetuating violence for self-aggrandizement in South Sudan. The trio is none other than the Minister of information Makuei Lueth, deputy chief of staff-in- charge of military procurement Malek Riak Reuben, and the ailing immediate Former Chief of staff Malong Awan alias king Paul. Folks, I would say it is not even a good trail. I know some guys will ask: gaari Dak goore ni hoo baa ngulel or in English, Haa! What does Dak want to be done? I would answer these inquisitive fellows as follows: that what I want and what I don’t want are not one and same; that what I don’t want is double standard on the part of the international community, and that what I want is the opposite of the same et cetera et cetera.

Perhaps, that sentiment may be misconstrued to mean other things, but I don’t care even if readers mistook me as perennial cynic or pessimist. A few who will regard me as such are mere bubbles that have perfected the art of burying their heads in the sand. Good enough, I have many soul mates outside there that will understand and interpret what I mean herein. Let me tells you for free that I don’t often find faults where there is none nor am I good at correcting errors because I know not. But I wish I know more so that I can perform that duty diligently and add value to those within my reached. In any event I do write to exercise my inherent right of expression to communicate my feelings with a view to seek correction where I know not or erred.

I tried to look at this latest sanction with several lenses unlike the previous ones. The timing of this sanction speaks volume; it clearly shows what prompted it, and who the issuers are; who they’re working for and what their intentions are. Believe it or not, I see something fishy. The Issuers of these sanctions are proponent of retrogressive adage that says law is like spider-web that only catches the small insects.

At first, I want us to ponder on the ‘scope of the sanction’ looking at its impacts in its entirety. I would like to note that sanction is not news in South Sudan. In 2014 and 2015, the above named institution imposed drastic sanctions on so many individuals that were perceived to be an impediment to peace and stability in South Sudan with exception of President Salva Kiir and former vice President Riek Machar.

As we converse now, South Sudan is not short of people who have been blacklisted and sanctioned in relation to the ongoing war. Nonetheless, the sanction has not produced an iota of impact so far. Since the advent of sanction couple of years ago, I have failed to comprehend one simple question: what are the aims of this sanction? Was it issued to deter or punish these belligerents? If this sanctions was imposed to deter these wrongdoers from committing the same offenses, than we can now say the strategy has failed to live up to its mandate.

So far, none of those who were sanctioned had stopped perpetuating violence let alone reevaluating their war mongering attitude. Moreover, if the sanctions were issued to serve as punishment, than we can as well say and agree here that these known perpetrators of violence have not yet feel the pain or the effects of this sanction.

On the same note, if we can reach unanimity that sanction had not achieved what it was intended for, I think it is an opportune time to craft another counter-strategy that will hit these conventional warlords below their belts. I am not suggesting that sanction isn’t good, not at all. Largely, the point I am bringing to the fore is to avoid imposing sanction on small fish only.

The unfortunate thing is that I am not certified expert. I am not qualified to propose a possible counter-strategy against these rogue fellows. I can only suggest and remind the US Treasury Department and company to borrow from the wisdom that says ‘‘fish rot from the head’’.

I am pretty sure that the problem in South Sudan started from the Head of this genocidal SPLM regime. In other words, the core problem did not originate somewhere else. It started bleeding right from the head before it cascade down to the rest of South Sudanese Society.

In view of the foregoing, I urge the US Treasury Department not to beat the tails for beating the tail is akin to beating the bush. Going forward, the US treasury Departments and company should apply the ‘SNAKE beating style’’ We all know that snake is very poisonous Animal, just like the dictatorship. I think Paul Malong can now attest to this painful truth. When you’re rattling the snake you must be prepared to be bitten by it. When you’re fighting the snake you hit the head not its tail. Therefore shooting the tail or foot is like a warning shot in the air. Once the head is crushed, the teeth will be bleeding. As such, even if the head will try to bite but his attempts to cut us loose will be blunt. As a result, the monster will fear and he will head our wise counsel. It is a very simply logical. The snake won’t stop biting because you hit the tail.

Practically, beating the head means inserting all our efforts by identifying the President’s foreign links: backers and financiers with a view to shame and eventually bring them to face the full wrath of law.  

Prior to the issuance of sanction, the US Treasury Department and company must first conduct a scientific Research to establish real culprits who deserved sanction. That research must be undertaken to find out number of things which include inter alia: how the sanction will affect the person in question; the repercussion of sanction on the target individual and his closed family members who are potential gainers of his war mongering altitude.

In 2014, I laughed off the US treasury department when they issued travel ban and asset freeze on Gen. Peter Gatdet and others. Remember Gatdet has never traveled to USA, and don’t think he has plan to reach there soon or later. I also presumed he does not have bank accounts. And if he has bank account I guessed it has been emptied long before. The sanction against Peter Gatdet was akin to telling someone not to take shower again in nearby river when in fact he knows he has enough running water in the house. The guy will just welcome the order knowing that he has enough water for domestic use.

In light of the aforesaid subject, I have said time and again that the likes of Michael Makuei Lueth and are mere Attack-dogs. They have no major roles in this conflict. First of all, the US needs to know his work descriptions before charging him summarily.

The sanction against Michael Makuei will only raise his political profile and stature. In south Sudan many people have risen to the military echelon on account that they commit atrocities. Salva Kiir’s leadership has perfected the art of rewarding people for gross human right violations. On this basis, Mchael Makuei’s constituent will considered him as hero who has managed to massacre Nuer and Shilluk both in Bor and Malakal UNIMISS camps.

However, until contrary is proven, I don’t think it was Makuei who killed 120 and injured over 270 Nuer at UN camp in Bor. The information I have was that the order emanated from President Kiir himself in Juba. One of my informants told me the President did ordered his marauding soldiers to dress up in civilian clothes before orchestrating the attack so that it look like it was the Dinka Bor civilians who carried out the attack. I am sure if the President wasn’t privy to the order, Dr. Francis Deng, South Sudan representative to UN would have not denied it at UN assembly when he was grilled to answer why soldiers attacked displaced persons in Bor UN camp.

The President’s intention was to remind the Dinka Bor members that these Nuer people are the ones who did the infamous Bor Massacre 1991; that it was your turn to do the same. Wittingly, he was trying to inflame their emotions and keep alive the perceived enmity between the Lou Nuer, gawar Nuer and Dinka Bor communities which resulted from that unfortunate incident. However, attributing the Bor and Malakal killings on Michael Makuei mean they have exonerated President Kiir and his co-culprits: the commanders who commanded the forces in Bor at the material time. The US Treasury Department has now done Michael Makuei a great service for free for accusing him of planning and coordinates the killing of 140 Nuer and injuring 270 others. He must be celebrating the outcome of this report now. When the media asked his opinion on the day the report came out on Wednesday, he did not repute or accept the report, that mean he welcome it on the aforementioned grounds.

Let me reiterate, it is undeniable that if you kill Nuers today you will be exalted as hero in this war. Gen. Paul Malong was regarded as hero for orchestrating the Juba Massacre on 16th December 2013. Today for someone to hold key portfolio in Juba regime, she or he must have conspired against the Nuer let alone killing some. One must have vilified, castigate and called them names to get an employment in Juba based regime. And that is primary qualification. Any serving officer or an official in Salva Kiir regime must have turn against Nuer at one point either through misinformation, propaganda or misrepresentation. To prove this assertion right, you will not find a single government official who ever paid visit to Nuer displaced persons in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal and other towns across South Sudan.

Today if the Government soldiers want to kill or incarcerate a Dinka or member of other ethnic group, they first accuse him or her of being a Nuer and or rebel.  Many Nuer who serve in Juba regime are first brain wash; they’re first made to think negatively against their kinsmen, and they are only trusted after they became antagonistic to their community.

On the other hand, i hold that sanctions cannot be issued against spokespersons or persons serving as mouth-pieces. The US treasury Department must strive in its research to identify the owners of those who are performing the barking duty.

In SPLM regime, there are individuals who are posted to serve as scarecrows. Such individuals speak and pretend like they can harm but nothing at all. Some of them are not even party or privy to where the decisions are made. For instance, you can’t expect someone like Lul Ruach Koang, the spokesperson of SPLA to know the planning and secrets of SPLA. He was put there as mask to be wear by the real perpetrators, he is clueless. He is only brought on board when and where his master planers do not want to appear personally.

You will recall fortnight ago, Lul was shown on camera at Juba airport while receiving the body of slain American Journalist Chris Allen who was killed by Government soldiers in the battle of Kaya town. People like Lul are only brought on the limelight to deny any massacre that Kiir forces had committed. Thus, when one wants to hold those mouth-pieces accountable, the image of their bosses must too be unraveled and punished.

This idea of issuing general sanction will only put south Sudan into deeper abysses. The same tactic was done Zimbabwe against Robert Mugabe regime. By then, hundreds of Mugabe’s lieutenants were slammed with several sanctions ranging from travel bans, asset freezes and so forth. In the end, it only helps the Ruling ZANUPF to forge a united front. Too many sanctions on the attack dogs only aided Mugabe to solidify his iron hold on power.

In light of this, i am of the opinion that let’s spare the Attach-dogs who serve the dictator and deal with the dictator himself and his foreign financiers head on.

Finally, any act that touches on our customs must be treated with and extraordinary caution. An African war ethic teaches us that we shouldn’t fight someone who has surrendered or one who is on sickbed. The sanction against ailing Malong Awan would have been kept on hold until such a time when he recovered fully to face us in the combat again. He is on sickbed now. It is only his erstwhile comrade president Kiir who is pushing him to his grave. But we had condemned his boss’s cowardice action with contempt it deserves. If he wishes Malong dead, he should wait until his demise come as natural death. I withheld my opinion on the so the call deputy chief of staff in charge of military procurement.

The Writer is the Chairman of the Congress of South Sudanese Patriots, he can be reached for comments via eligodakb@yahoo.com

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