Contributor's Opinion


BY Rigoberto Modi.

Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan's state house, known as j1, the house where Kiir's leadership and militia attempted to assassinate First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar(Photo: file)
South Sudan’s state house, known as j1, the house where Kiir’s leadership and militia attempted to assassinate First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar(Photo: file)

August 23, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— There have been a lot of talks of and about South Sudan since its inception as the world’s newest nation.  At first it had a lot of positive attributes to the extent that in the international airport of Toronto, Canada, there is a piece that says ‘business with South Sudan is soon becoming not an exception but the norm’.  People arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto have seen this writing if they have the time to look around as they move towards the immigration desks.  Until recently it felt good to be a South Sudanese that is until Massacres were committed in our nations capital and our nation Plunged into bloodshed, fraternacides and of the most recent international aid workers raped in broad daylight, not in a remote villages of the savage parts of this country, but right here in our nation’s Capital, Juba.

For a long time we have said South Sudan is going the wrong way but now I say it has gone, arrived and settled in the wrong way thus these wrong ways are now facts and fatal fate for many of her citizens.  A country that has come into existence on the basis of social justice for south Sudanese who have been robbed of all dignities by the Arabs for centuries but now what was left is now stripped and exhausted by the Jieng Council of Elders and their lead sword carriers Malong and Salva Kiir Mayerdit. The painful truth we must accept is that many who had survived the two wars of Independence from the Arabs, have succumbed in the murderous hands of Kiir.

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We should be reminded that South Sudan’s existence was globally supported, thanks to the United States of America and Spiritual entities led by the Catholic Organisations, but now this endear nation has become a feria state associated with heinous crimes of murders not only that of its own citizens, but also international agencies and all kinds of crimes against humanity.

South Sudan today is a country that does not fit to belong in the community of nations.  The UN plan for an arm embargo has not gone far enough.  It should be the removal of the flag of South Sudan from the Community of Nations that should be discussed not tomorrow but now.  Which nation, if I may ask is willing to allow its flag to fly next to South Sudan’s flag? Except for similar nations led by dictators?

Members of South Sudan's SPLA-IO burrying their deads in Juba after falling into the hands of enemy(Photo: supplied)
Members of South Sudan’s SPLA-IO burying their deads in Juba after falling into the hands of enemy, the “unknown gunmen” that kills without being held accountable (Photo: supplied)

It is a sad reality today in South Sudan that has disintegrated systematically into a not only a tribal entity but one that has no morality.  Killing, raping, looting, lying are all among the standard of the day in South Sudan.  Is it true then, as the writing at Toronto international Airport goes, doing business with South Sudan is going to be the norm?  Those who read this article, I am sure will find that Canadian advert very offensive and will demand its immediate removal and never again to put it up there for it is an affront for the victims of this government.  I am sure the Prime Minister Justin Trudor is very aware about what South Sudan has become as a state or rather a failed one.

The question to be asked is how did we get to this, I will say the problem has been not new.  Even an insider have written and said ‘the SPLA has a subculture of lies, misinformation, cheap propaganda and exhibitionism…’ All along, therefore, the SPLA/M (Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement) has never been up to the task of leadership and governance. Today I go even further to say these dark traits which once was believed to be a subculture is now the main and only Culture of the SPLA.

The misnomer of people’s army was clear when “the people” in their hundreds of thousands fled the SPLA advances to Khartoum instead of embracing their army. The irony of this was, the very people they claimed they were liberating felt safer with the very enemy they were fighting, supposed being liberated from and Southerners took to Khartoum by the thousands instead of living in liberated areas, a good many of them remained in Khartoum even today. They are the wise one.

Today the same has happened when people in their hundreds of thousands are in refugee camps and internal displaced camps.  The question that needs to be asked again is who are they running away from?  Of course it is the SPLA of Salva Kiir, the same who was and who now is.  Please prove me wrong by going across to Uganda, start at Adjumani Refugee Camps, the Kyriadongo Refugee camps. If your army, the SPLA, prevent you from leaving South Sudan, well visit the Internally Displaced Camps all over the nation starting right here in Juba and do interview with the refugees or the displaced, ask them who are they afraid of.

According to a joke supposed to have come from Omer Hassan al Beshir, that south Sudanese have to face ‘tiger by the night and typhoid by the day.  So ‘tiger by day and typhoid by night’ summarises the state terrorism and social service breakdown in our country. Nobody is safe in Juba not even the very international organisations that midwifed her, including the US embassy staff and Switzerland embassy personnel.    These guys are remaining here in Juba on their taxpayer’s money but why in a place void of moral relationships and so why are they remaining here?  Are these countries also in the same moral quagmire thus partners, enablers and partners to a criminal government against its people who have fled South Sudan?

A blanket coverage of South Sudan at this time will not be warranted.  There have been divisions.  Those who have been running the show and those who benefit from the chaos are the Dinka.  Ask any of the remaining 63 ethnic groups in South Sudan and the answer is unanimous.  But people who look at a deeper level know that the Dinka is a name that does not represent a clear-cut interest and organisation.  For identification purposes, it is worthwhile to focus on the programme and interest of those who are at the vanguard of this conflict.  It goes without saying that people who occupy homes of other people by force like in Nimule, Yei, Mundri, Juba and anywhere else, are surely perpetrators of human right abuse and are in the wrong side of national development and this are those who took this country into the abyss.  Majority if not all are Dinkas.  This has nothing to do with one tribe but after collecting data the repeated incidence of people of a particular tribe lends itself to the interpretation that it is a tribal issue. And that is a Dinka problem.

Where the hell have they inherited this culture from as compared with the rest of the remaining 63 other communities?  History is useful but it may not give all the basis of a particular behavior.   The Dinka were the people who had close relationship with the Arab north.  During the Mahadist, the forces of Abdallah al Taishi, the Bagarra tribe’s men were divided into two: the slaves and the regulars.  According to that history the regulars were armed with swords while the slave soldiers were armed with muskets captured from the Turks and of these most if not all were Dinkas.

It repeated itself during the war when ‘Murahaliin from the north used to carry out raids in Dinka land driving them eastwards’.   So the authority figures and governance these people have ever known was in relationship with North Sudan and in their capacities as slaves.  And it is possible that in the events of independence of South Sudan they would want to replicate the same idea and relationship they had with the north.  This is not just an idle speculation.  Take a look at the people in South Sudan who are wearing blue ‘Jalabiah’ and listening to radio Omdruman.  People who go all the way to Koboko in Uganda to buy blue short ‘jalabiah’ are Dinka. This factor is important because during the Mahdi revolt the Ansars were wearing green ‘jalabiah’. So to differentiate them from the Dinka slave soldiers, the ‘jalabiah of the later was blue.  Today it is the same attire seen in Dinka land.

In Juba in the 70s they were called ‘arian jenge’.  The job they were doing was removing shits from toilets, which were designed in such ways that shits were to be manually removed in buckets regularly.  Again this was a reflection of their earlier slave jobs in their former country, the Sudan.

This article does not support the status quo or the way things were in the past.  Instead there is a lot of option to move quickly into a new dispensation fully aware of the past.  In the community of nations, now South Sudan should be labelled a feria state.  For a long time that was what it was but until the raping of American ladies in the broad daylight and killing of a journalist, the Cup is now full.

That happened after many South Sudanese were murdered and raped and manhandled in very many ways but the international community was mute to our pain.  Just go to the refugee camps in Uganda, Ethiopia or Sudan and ask the people why they left their country.  I am hundred per cent sure those in Adjumani whom I have talked to will tell you it was the SPLA, the official army that drove them out of their homes.  I saw it myself and can verify it with names and pictures of people who were shot on 12th, 15th, 17th and 22nd of July in Kerepi and Loa, which is not far from the Ugandan border. Those atrocities compelled fellow Citizens to flee from their own government, and the facts can be verified in the entire various refugee Camps in the Neighbouring countries including the Sudan that looks heaven in comparison.

So who in this time and day wants their flag to fly next to South Sudan, a country raping international humanitarian agents and killing its citizens?  If anything, for the females, I say think seriously before you come to South Sudan on whatever mission!

In conclusion, is this not the case of Boutros Boutros Ghali in 1992, the 6th secretary General of the United Nations, calling for the redefinition of sovereignty of nations?  Should all nations be treated equally? Is it not time to jettison this archaic concept of nationhood in the mist of global citizenship?  Should global citizenship take preponderance over national sovereignty in Africa?  My question is whether South Sudan has not lost its sovereignty or the international has become meaningless?

The author, Rigoberto Modi, is a concern South Sudanese in Juba, South sudan. He can be reached at rigoberto.modi@gmail.com

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