BY: Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual, USA, JAN/29/2014;
After the untimely and suspicious death of Dr. Garang, the founder of South Sudan ruling party Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM), persona of President Kiir accorded many South Sudanese comfort and solace. The people were simply comforted by the fact that President Kiir was one of the founders of SPLM who would ensure the mission of SPLM is realized through implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and beyond.
However, I was not impressed by Kiir’s ascendency to power because his ulterior motive to completely annihilate peace loving community of Bor was going to be realized.
Mr. President since he joined the movement in 1983 and became SPLA general chief of staff and head of intelligence has been busy working to ensure the Community of Bor is wiped out.
The following discussions will highlight specific roles he played and continues to play to ensure his ulterior motive of decimating or paralyzing the community of Bor is realized.
As a head of SPLA intelligence, General Kiir concocted numerous seditious claims against loyal members of SPLA/M leadership who happened to have hailed from Bor community; unfortunately as a result majority of these people were arrested and fatally tortured in the prisons characterized by harshly inhumane conditions.
Notable and highly educated sons of Bor Community, who selflessly served in SPLM/A ranks and files, were hunted down and brutally murdered in cold blood.
In earlier months of 1991, General Kiir claimed that he had gathered enough intelligence against Dr. Riek; that Dr. Riek was planning a coup against leadership of the SPLM/A. Consequently, Late Dr. Garang commissioned General Kiir to arrest Dr. Riek.
However, given his lack of tactics, General Kiir allowed Dr. Riek to get to Nassir where he mobilized and prepared his tribesmen into a robust military unit and summarily killed cadres of SPLM/A who were of Bor origin.
Dr. Riek attacked and helplessly killed civilians in Bor area, at the time when Bor sons had converged at town of Juba. Dr. Riek and his army, mostly comprised of few former SPLA soldiers and vast majority of untrained civilians under spell of Wurnyang’s magic, killed unarmed civilians – women, children and elderly, looted livestocks and burned crops and buildings.
Many civilians lost lives and many more got displaced from Bor area, thanks to General Kiir.
Pass forward to post referendum. At a prayer gathering held at late Dr. Garang’s house in Juba, Dr. Riek was moved by the speeches of various elderly members of Bor community; he became emotional and broke down.
Then he confessed about atrocities he committed in Bor area and asked for forgiveness – a move that was welcomed by the members of Bor community who wanted to bury the hatchet and start new a chapter with Nuer community in general and with Dr. Riek in particular.
But the President General Salva – who is constantly giving amnesty after amnesty against enemies of South Sudan – ironically dismissed Dr. Riek’s turn of heart as ineffective; the President told Riek that local apologies would not suffice.
Dr. Riek clearly heard Mr. President’s call for bigger platform on which to deliver his apologies for atrocities he committed; and came up with and worked for an idea of national reconciliation.
However, the same president who called for bigger platform pushed off Dr. Riek from organization of national reconciliation.
The president’s moves are aimed at stonewalling any reconciliation between Dr. Riek and Nuer community on one hand and the community of Bor on the other hand.
The president would like Nuer community and Dr. Riek to remain as sworn enemies of Bor community; this fits the president’s ulterior motive to annihilate Dinka Bor community.
President Kiir’s selective disarmament process leaves a lot be desired. Peace Loving community of Bor was targeted for disarmament while hostile communities of Nuer and Murle remain at large with guns.
While Dinka Bor community has given up their guns, the government stood by while civilians are raided and helplessly killed by these belligerent communities.
To make matters worse, supposedly SPLA forces stationed in Bortown comprise of members of these hostile communities of Nuer and Murle – forces which are reluctant to pursue their own tribesmen who are committing atrocities against civilians.
While sons of Nuer and Murle are stationed in Bortown, sons of Dinka Bor are assigned to South and North borders where they would not be able to defend their civilians; majority of the SPLA cadres of Dinka Bor origin have been prematurely and disgracefully retired.
Literally, this president is working overtime to ensure the community of Dinka Bor is at a position where they cannot defend themselves.
If all of the above scenarios are not enough to make my case, let’s look at the president’s activities leading to “coup attempt.”
President was expected to set a reconciliatory tone in the meeting of SPLM, but he instead veered off from the tabled agenda and personally attacked Dr. Riek.
The president went further to dare Dr. Riek to commit similar atrocities of 1991. Sadly, Riek repeated his actions of 1991.
He helplessly raped and killed elderly, children and women. Sick people in Bortown civil hospitals, people who had sought refuge in churches and elderly were killed.
The forces tore down buildings and anything they could find. Atrocities Riek and his forces committed this time around are two times those of 1991.
I am sure the president would be contented now for many civilians who are killed and more displaced and it would take several years for Bor to be Bor again.
Though one would clearly see President Kiir’s intention to destroy Dinka Bor community, one would not understand what could be the genesis of this deep-seated hatred. He is bent to annihilate Bor community in part or as a whole.
Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual: the author is an anthropology student at University of Maryland and could be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org