Why the United Nations and International Community Betrayed the People of South Sudan. A Case of an Urgency to United Nations Security Council
To The United Nations Security Council
Brig. Gen. Samuel Mut Gai
Office of the Chief of General Staffs of the SPLA (IO)
May 13, 2021 — Negotiations come and go, and this one of South Sudan shall go no matter the discrepancies on the side of the negotiators and the regime in question against the innocent civilians. With all the due respect, the handing over of the South Sudanese Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) to the same regime, which had slaughtered and chased them to Internally Displaced Camps without the completion of the security arrangements, and the deployment of the unify forces, as stipulated in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, is not only a betrayal by the United Nations (UN) and the international community; rather, it is by legal definition a crime against the humanity. Unless otherwise, the UN is not considering the innocent people of South Sudan human beings. To begin with, the United Nations’ and the International community’s way of handling the case of South Sudan is bearing no fruits on all accounts and may qualify the world’s supreme body for objective judgment as accomplice and partner in crimes against humanity with the regime in Juba if they could allow the regime in question to protect the vulnerable South Sudanese whom have been in the UN cells for over 7yrs under the leadership of a cruel master.
The conflict in South Sudan is very dynamic making it not unique from other conflicts around the world, which the United Nations and the international community had successfully handled. For the UN to not be blamed for this betrayal, the UN needs to reconsider other strategic ways of handling and/or solving the issue of IDPs in South Sudan.
South Sudan’s political establishment in relation to governance and services delivery have been from the start non-existing or hijacked by special interest groups which comprises of actors from the region and outside the region. Ethnic political concepts and ego based on false belief made it possible for special interest groups to usurp and disabled all government institutions and the top leadership in the country.
Conflict in South Sudan is all about the lack or complete absence of a functional government whereby the government of the day which claims the right of sovereignty is just an organized
ethnic group of men & women who are using the name of a nation and national resources for their own benefits. Advising South Sudan leaders to do what they don’t know and/or what they don’t want would be just a waste of time and resources by the international community. The false claim used by the regime in Juba, that South Sudan is a sovereign country, which can run and manage her own affairs without the intervention of the international community is just nothing more than a mere mockery to the people of South Sudan and the international community.
South Sudan is just an independent country on the paper, but such a nation is not by all accounts ranging from services delivery to governance, is way behind more than the old days when the people were in the bush fighting the liberation war. Every sound-minded human being is aware of this fact.
The political road map provided in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan may sound legitimate and well-thought. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with how the road map has been designed the way it is, but there is a big concern on how it will be implemented as required since one of the partners doesn’t comply with the rules and procedures setup by the mediators and such individual peace partner (the government of South Sudan) is able to get away without being held onto account by the mediators who seemed to have everything and all the powers to bring the government of South Sudan to her knees.
The United Nations and her international partners have for the last 7yrs. spent billions of dollars on food aids and peacekeeping operations in South Sudan while South Sudanese are dying in thousands every month. Such a huge sum of money would have been well spent if the UN and her international partners choose the right option, which is the removal of Salva Kiir Mayardit government earlier. Such an option would have saved lives lost because of continued food and physical insecurity. A quick fix of reforming and correcting the behavior of the same people (leaders) who messed up the country won’t be likely possible.
The barbaric actions committed by the government against the innocent people of South Sudan right after the signing of the peace agreement in September 2018, are clear examples of how mere and gentle persuasions won’t change the regime’s ruthless habit and its determination to suppress the voices of the people and democratic transformation in the country.
The people of South Sudan do really appreciate the effort and the commitment shown by the region, the international community and the United Nations to bring peace to South Sudan. However, the slow process and the rate of activities committed by the government against the implementation of peace agreement are some of the major concerns and warning signs, which indicate that this peace will culminate with unimagined dire consequences that will include mass killing and possible genocide if urgent action is not taken by the United Nations Security Council.
Contrary to the expectation of the suffering people of South Sudan is the declaration by the United Nations through her official representative, the head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general in South Sudan, said at a Juba news conference in one of his several statements “after careful planning,” UNMISS began withdrawing its troops from the area because UNMISS believes it is now safe for IDPs to return home. Mr. David Shearer said that the UN is ending its protection responsibility on the internally displaced persons and officially will hand over the responsibility to a brutal regime, which cannot offer anything to the IDPs either physical security protection or economic protection. David Shearer and the entire team from UNMISS to UN Security Council are all aware of the present and the imminent danger awaiting not only the would-be abandoned IDPs, but the general population of South Sudan. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan might have different views and considerations on how dangerous the regime in Juba is. However, the reality of the situation from the view of others is otherwise telling a different story about the judgment of the UNMISS Representative to South Sudan.
The recent incident which took place in Malakal, Upper Nile State on Saturday, March 28/2021 which resulted with the killing of 59 IDPs residents who went out to attend the celebration and the welcoming of the newly appointed Governor of Upper Nile State by South Sudan government soldiers is a clear indication that the lives of civilians in South Sudan still in danger. What one would say if innocent civilians who were happily celebrating because peace has come to the country were killed by the same regime which David Shearer and the UN Security Council is going to hand over the responsibility to?
In our right judgment, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) seemed to be siding and has given a green light to the government of South Sudan to kill the vulnerable and innocent civilians of South Sudan who ran to the UNMSS for their safety and survival. Civilians who ran to UNMISS protection camps were taking this as their last resort after they ran out of all options.
We are fully aware that UNMISS/Security Council leaderships are facing a lot of tough challenges, but turning over the protection of civilians who have been under the custody of the United Nations for almost 8yrs in the name of a shaky peace agreement which is not moving forward is unacceptable. The use of “Carrot and Sticks” to force the party which does not want to implement a peace agreement as required, would have been and still is the best option to take. The looming genocide in South Sudan will be worse than that of Rwanda which in its early stages took similar steps to what is happening in South Sudan.
We the citizens of South Sudan, couldn’t see it appropriate to accuse the world’s higher body, the UN and the UN Security Council for masterminding the eminent mass killing of the South Sudanese which can happen any minute, but the fear of seeing similar patterns to that of Rwanda genocide taking place on the watchful eye of the United Nations Security Council is a big concern and strong warning sign. We thought that the UN Security Council had learned from the South Sudan government’s past activities and incidents committed against the internally displaced persons in various places in South Sudan.
The direct shooting at internally displaced persons in POC 3 and mass raping of women from IDPS in Juba right after the escalation of fighting in J1 on July 08/2016
The shooting and the killing of 48 Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the UN protection base in Bor, Jonglei State on Thursday, April 17/2014.
Humanitarian workers, an American, an Italian and a Dutch national were gang raped in July 2016 by South Sudan government soldiers when they were found hiding in a hotel bathroom.
Sister Veronika Terézia Racková, a Slovak Catholic Nun and medical doctor were killed on May 16/2016 by South Sudan government soldiers.
An American freelance journalist, Christopher Allen, who was killed in Kaya in Yei River State in August 2017. The mass gang rape of 125 women in Unity State in November 2018 by South Sudan government soldiers.
Those are few of the many prime examples of the South Sudan government’s barbaric activities, which the region and the international community are pretending not to see as dangerous activities.
Dr. Valerie and her team members who went to South Sudan as part of the investigation team on small arms survey is an eyewitness who can testify on the behavior and activities of the regime. She and her colleagues were detained in Yiey River County for nearly 24 hours in an unventilated container simply because they didn’t want her and her team to find out the facts about the mistreatment of civilians and arms smuggling. If a member of the UN Security Council could be detained and had her documents confiscated, what do you think such a wild regime would do to ordinary citizens of South Sudan?
In conclusion, the UN Security Council needs to reconsider and rethink the strategy of handling the case of South Sudanese IDPs before it reaches an uncontrollable stage. The UN should revise her stands on pressuring the government from dragging her feet to prevent a total collapse of social and economic fabric as it does on a slow scale day by day. The evidence pertaining to government violations of human rights are enough, and can therefore, be used to hold the government responsible for not being able to prioritize the peace processes.
Recommended action like that would save South Sudan from going down the rabbit hole and once and for all.
Brig. Gen. Samuel Mut Gai.
Director General in the Office of the Chief of General Staffs of the SPLA (IO),
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