By Choromke Jas,
Nov 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— In his analysis of the initial paralysis of European and American powers in containing Hitler, Henry Kissinger, a veteran US Diplomat, wrote: “The tuition fee for learning about Hitler’s true nature was tens of millions of graves stretching from one end of Europe to the other.” In recent times, the seeming willful inaction shown by the mediators and guarantors of the August, 2015 South Sudan peace agreement, towards the violations by President Kiir, recalls Kissinger’s statement in the mind of many observers.
At the end of World War I a peace treaty known as Treaty of Versailles, was signed between the Allied Powers, (USA, Britain and France) and Germany on 28 June, 1919. In brief, the treaty was aimed at punishing Germany as the guilty aggressor. Broadly the treaty compelled Germany to disarm, make significant territorial concessions to countries that it had invaded, and pay reparation to the victims of its aggression. Germany and particularly Hitler’s Nazi regime eventually and incrementally violated all the terms of the treaty.
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The Allied Powers, who were the guarantors and enforcers of the treaty, were blackmailed by Hitler when he forced them to sign an agreement on 29 September, 1938 in Munich. That agreement paved the way for Hitler to annex Austria and invade Czechoslovakia. These were the very acts prohibited by Versailles. Consequently, Munich became a term of extreme diplomatic humiliation and capitulation to blackmail.
This capitulation by the Allied Powers emboldened Hitler to go full throttle in his quest to conquer the whole of Europe. In this drive, Hitler overran France, Belgium and threatened to invade Britain itself, the then undisputed premier European power. This act of extreme aggression later led to the start of World War II during which millions of Jews and other non-German people were exterminated. This was the Holocaust.
Kiir’s regime resembles that of Hitler in many ways. Like Hitler, the true nature of Kiir’s personality is obscured by his seeming ordinariness. Kiir has only modest level of formal education and when he speaks, he does not impress one with sophisticated turns of phrases or great intellectual insights. But, like Hitler, he showed his cunningness and ruthlessness when he organized a coup against his rival Dr Riek Machar in December 2013. In the chaos which followed the coup, Kiir’s own private army, called Mathiang Anyoor massacred tens of thousands of Nuer civilans, simply because they shared the same ethnicity with Dr Machar.
In August, 2015 a peace agreement to end the civil war that resulted from the massacre, was signed in Addis Ababa and Juba. The agreement was mediated and guaranteed by a regional group called IGAD and a selection of countries that included USA, UK, Norway and China. Like the Treaty of Versailles, the agreement aimed to restrict the hitherto dictatorial powers exercised by Kiir. Imitating Hitler, Kiir immediately conspired to abrogate the agreement in its entirety. For example, shortly after the signature, Kiir increased the number of States in South Sudan from 10 (as stipulated in the agreement) to 28. He did not only increase the number of States, but he also gerrymandered the borders of the new States to carve lands belonging to other tribes (or nationalities) and handed them to his Dinka population. This is reminiscent of Hitler’s action in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Other violations of the agreement include: Kiir’s refusal to demilitarize the capital city Juba as required by the agreement; ferrying in more troops belonging to his private militia known as Mathiang Anyoor into Juba; and obstructing the cantonment of the opposition forces in Equatoria region.
The guarantors of the agreement did nothing significant to deter Kiir from further violation of the accord after this violations. Furthermore, repeating the pattern of the capitulation in Munich, this inaction by the guarantors emboldened Kiir to organize yet another and the mother of all violations. In a move similar to Hitler’s Blood Purge of 30 June, 1934, in which Hitler’s rivals were hunted down and assassinated, Kiir’s private army, on 8 July, 2016, mounted a massive attack against his co-signatory and partner to the peace agreement, Dr Machar. In the ensuing battle, during which helicopters, tanks and artillery were used, hundreds of Machar’s soldiers and civilians bystanders were killed. Machar himself had to run under fire to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from where he was later rescued. Having satisfied himself of the demise of Dr Machar (Kiir had believed that Dr Machar was killed in the assault), Kiir now proceeded to replace Dr Machar as the First Vice President in the government of national unity (a creature of the agreement) with Taban Deng Gai (who is a renegade from Dr Machar’s side). It was this final act that has now killed the agreement.
Again and unbelievably, the guarantors did not condemn Kiir’s action but instead they blamed Dr Machar, the victim of the aggression. They have not just blamed him; they have even put his name up for targeted sanction and barred him from entering South Sudan! Despite all this favorable treatment, the Kiir team continues to blame and humiliate (as was done Hitler in Munich) the guarantors, especially the USA, for allegedly planning for a regime change. US diplomats have been singled out for assassination in Juba. During the July putsch, Kiir forces shot at cars in which US diplomats were travelling; the diplomats escaped death only because their cars were armored.
Are we here overstating the similarities between Kiir and Hitler? Not all, if one considers the following selected further examples:
1. Hitler: The Nazi ideology was anchored in the claim of superiority of Nordic, Aryan race. The Nazi believed that the Germanic people were superior to other races who they despised as inferior beings. This belief led directly to the Holocaust.
Kiir: The Jeing Council of Elders (JCE), the tribal grouping behind the Kiir’s regime, believes that the Dinka (Jieng) are the biblical people referred to, in Isaiah 18:2, as “tall and smooth-skinned people who are feared far and near….” Therefore, they believe that they are born to rule over the other inferior South Sudanese people. This distorted belief is now leading to the genocide in South Sudan that is being perpetrated by Dinka militia.
2. Hitler: The Nazi spoke of Germany’s need for Lebensraum, her necessary living space (room), and thier plan to win territories for the “solid core of the German people.” The dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and Poland was driven by this ideology.
Kiir: JCE are grabbing land in Equatoria and other regions. The gerrymandering of state borders (referred to above) is geared towards achieving the Lebensraum in South Sudan to settle the Dinka who need more land for themselves and their cattle.
3. Hitler: Hitler ruled through the help of a private army, the SA, SS and the Gestapo; the latter being the secret police. The Gestapo was autonomous with its own legal system and its power exceeded that of any law court. It controlled lives, freedom and property of everyone. The German public lived in dread of Gestapo’s agents, who could knock at doors of the unfortunates in the middle of the night and took terrified prisoners to headquarters for interrogation and torture in its dungeons.
Kiir: Kiir rules through terror meted out by a plethora of private armies made up a militia called Mathiang Anyoor, a paramilitary unit known as the Tiger battalion and a secret police unit named National Security Service (NSS). Mathiang Anyoor and the Tiger battalion were responsible for carrying out genocide against the Nuer in December, 2013 and the continuous killings in Juba by the so-called “Unknown Gunmen”. They continue to perpetrate genocide against Equatorians as it now happens in Yei. The NSS mirrors exactly what the Gestapo did in Germany: they snatch academics, journalists, members of parliaments, politicians and anybody else whom they perceive to be opponents of Kiir and lock them up. They lock up prisoners in dungeons, starve, torture and kill them with impunity. NSS is a law unto itself; it does not require a court warrant to tap citizens’ telephones or internet communications, or for arrest. They can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge.
Before Munich, some diplomats in Europe had commented that Hitler represented a better hope for peace than the less stable governments which had preceded him in Germany. They even believed that under Hitler, Germans would be better united than at any time in their past.
Are these also the thoughts of diplomats in Foggy Bottom (US State Department), the Whitehall and elsewhere? If they are, it means that the present crop of Western diplomats also thinks that Kiir is the best hope for peace in South Sudan and that he holds the key to our unity. We think this is a delusion and an irresponsible line of thinking. South Sudan will continue to bleed and will disintegrate under Kiir and JCE. Those who continue to misread Kiir’s intention are willfully helping to repeat the Nazi history because, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, the price for slow learning of Kiir’s true nature will be millions of graves that will stretch from one end of South Sudan to the other.
Finally, one British politician who was the fastest learner of Hitler’s true nature was Winston Churchill. He alone recognized Hitler as a brutal dictator that he was ahead of everybody else. On becoming the British leader who led the war against Hitler in World War II, Churchill had this to say in exhortation to his compatriots:
“…We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender…”
Yes, Sir Winston, we South Sudanese shall fight Kiir and JCE, we shall fight in the desert, we shall fight in the mountains, we shall fight in the swamps, we shall fight in the forest and we shall never surrender.”
Choromke Jas is a concerned South Sudanese
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