Nyirol Massacre and the current attack of Puowbor: The Murle found the land where it is people are wrongly held by South Sudan justice
By Peter Reat Gatkuoth
March 23, 2012 (SSNA) — The government that supposed to bring the violators and warmongers to justice in order to help the victims of injustice becomes an injustice itself to the victims.
On Thursday, March 23, 2012, early at 12:00AM, Murle SPLA defectors had attacked the Nyirol county, Puokbor cattle camps again. This village was attacked few months ago but the owner of the cattle had retreated back their cattle through fierce fighting. Today, the same attackers came back, and attacked the village that resisted their ambush in the past few months. The attackers (murle) had left many people dead on ground with a lot of casualties while they took all cattle.
Many individuals who blame the government that it should protect the citizens during the transition of disarmament are wrongly quoted by the opportunists and opposition group who do not understand or read between the lines. Operation to Restore Peace has never been objected neither by Lou Nuer as a community nor by individual members within the Sudanese community. Constructive criticism to the government does not mean an overthrow of the government but a need to strengthening strategies and policy to protect the people within the society. Our argument since the start of the process is that, the government should deploy troops in the borders to enforce laws against the trouble makers. If they are not ready yet to deploy troops in the border areas such as Kakuiy and Duachan, then they should not take the guns from the hands of the civilians who are just protecting themselves from the enemy.
Recent developments of disarmament illustrated an increasing awareness of what will happen after all guns are taken in the hands of the Lou Nuer community. This awareness is also reflected in the 2006 disarmament that only target one community and leave the Murle with their guns. The Government of the South Sudan should first deploy the troops and made a public consultation of those communities within the boarder Jonglei community. Doing so will serve two things; involvement of the community to participate in the disarmament process and it will help the SPLA forces to know the locations of those who opposed the disarmament.
The central point is that the proposal of disarmament lauded by the dominant Political elite in Juba stood in stark contrast to the objective of the disarmament and the views of the community’s members. Raping women in the villages and beating people was not what the society is going to expect. The soldiers should act professionally base on the rule of engagement, and mobilize the public politely about the benefits of the disarmament. If they start beating the people, demanding certain things and taking individual cattle by forces, then it will be very difficult to determine how the government will supplement existing methods of enforcement when in fact they failed to respect and protect the civilians. This sends a clear message that the hacker mindset behind the disarmament doesn’t actually see what will happen in the whole land when the civilians are so exhausted in the system. The rights to peaceful existence and the rights to participate in promotion and maintenance of peace is not only the tasks of the government but the public in general. Peace is needed and that is why there are no many confrontations between the civilians and the regular forces. Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men should primarily base on mutual trust through mediation and only secondarily on institutions.
Since the run-up and the start of the disarmament, much of the discussion relating to the disarmament revolves around the question of protection. All civilian including the people who live in diaspora are sick of guns violent but the people strongly blame the government for using wrong strategies and unorganized plans. The disarmament has gained enough endorsement but it has to be planned in ways that will reflect the interest of the people and this has to be in nonviolent ways. Non-violence ways always leads to the highest ethics which is the goal and the interest of all human being and peace lovers in particular.
The discriminatory political disarmament reflects the same political discourse going on within the deaf government in Juba. Had it not been such, the diaspora community asked the government that the problem of Jonglei should only be solved through mediation. The mediation as an approach to the conflict resolution should firmly target the warring tribes such as the Murle and the Nuer. A well-structured mediation process would lead to a binding agreement between groups in conflict and thus stop more deaths in this Jonglei State and South Sudanese communities across the country. The conflict resolution that is made possible through mediation usually involves dialogue between the disputing groups. It will be the responsibility of the mediators to facilitate the dialogue between the disagreeing parties with the supervision of the South Sudan Army Forces. The open negotiation in a mediation process usually leads to a fair agreement which caters for the needs of the groups involved in the peace process and formation.
In South Sudan, the disputes which often arise from family and community conflicts in additional to the economic interests of the pastoralists groups would thus be solved if mediation was given an adequate chance of reaching a long lasting solution. Conflict resolution is necessary in order to solve the ethnic conflicts and political differences hence averting imminent danger of nation collapse. Conflict resolution is also necessary in ensuring that South Sudan makes significant and irreversible progress in the economic, social and political spheres.
As it has been noted, government interventions have not yielded any significant outcome in regard to resolving ethnic conflicts, and have in some cases worsened the political differences. Therefore, there is need for change of approach in the conflict resolution process in South Sudan in order to achieve the post- liberal peace within the society. Experiences in most countries that have resolved the conflict among warring communities and various researches have shown that public participation in peacemaking and state-building is critical in achieving long-lasting and sustainable peace in any given country.
Disarmament that is tribally and politically motivated would never help to cease the tension between these tribes. Because all tribes in conflict are experiencing the same adverse effects of the fighting, it is arguable that they all desire for a resolution of the historic tension. Thus a mediator will play an important role in facilitating a fair agreement within the state. A neutral nation, Civil Society or selected groups can act as the mediators in southern Sudan to end the wars and the economic, social and political implications associated with the conflict. Disarmament of today is the same like the disarmament of 2006. The same deaf government of South Sudan will still re-arm the civilians through the invisible hands.