Time to Refer President Kiir and the Oyee Machine to ICC

By Elhag Paul

June 4, 2013 (SSNA) — We have shouted and shouted and shouted to the authorities in Juba about the state of lawlessness and SPLM Oyee terror in the country only for these cries to fall on deaf ears.  The Atenys and Mangoks fully aware of their tribal crimes zipped their mouths initially and hypocritically set out to demonise others as Jieng haters, Nygats etc.  What they did not know is that keeping quiet about heinous crimes committed by their tribes mate make them equally culpable which means they are not different from the perpetrators of these atrocities.

In ‘Dirty Game’ published by Sudan Tribune on 28th May 2013, Zachariah Mangok Biar spills out the beans on SPLM Oyee pre-meditated crimes.  People in the country have long suspected that the state of lawlessness in the country may be down to the rulers’ plans to destabilise the other social groups in order for them to establish themselves as the elites in the country.  In a sense those who have been shouting are now vindicated.  We have time and again asserted that the Oyee party is a tribal organisation serving interest of a particular tribe in South Sudan.  We have also time and again asserted that this party is a criminal organisation similar to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and any decent person who values herself/himself has no business mingling with thieves, thugs and murders in membership.   Please see ‘SPLM brutality will destroy us all’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201210150055.html and ‘Republic of South Sudan – a rotten society mismanaging itself into self destruction’  http://allafrica.com/stories/201303070023.html

Being a member of the SPLM Oyee party eventually taints you beyond cleansing.  Take note, once you are tainted, always tainted.  Nevertheless if you quit now you may just salvage yourself and also help South Sudan free itself from the yoke of SPLM Oyee.

The lawlessness tearing South Sudan to pieces is unprecedented in its history.  South Sudanese people have until 1983 been law abiding and humane.  Even during the half a century wars of liberation with the Arabs there was reasonable security in all the government held areas.  Seldom did murders take place save occasional politically motivated massacres carried out by Sudan government’s troops usually triggered by defeats in the theatre of operations.  For example, the Juba, Wau and Malakal carnages of 1965 and the Juba massacre of 1992.  The police then to a certain extent was a force for good in terms of maintaining law and order.  It is important to note that the police force in South Sudan at that time was not under tribal control in its entirety as now.

The current problem of insecurity in South Sudan was sown in 1983 with the inception of SPLM.  As I argued elsewhere Dr John Garang introduced a new culture of killing with his tribally dominated organisation. Unfortunately the majority of the people who lost their lives in the hands of SPLA during the war were South Sudanese.  Since the perpetrators of this heinous crime are members of the dominant tribe, the leadership deliberately ignored accountability.  This tacit unspoken policy became a vehicle for looting, murders, general lawlessness and self enrichment by the tribal thugs in the so called liberated areas.   

As theorised in social theory the lack of accountability meant that all the members of SPLM/A were exposed to approved horrendous crimes.  The impact of this was that the SPLM membership got socialised via observation and imitation of the actions of the tribal thugs to a culture of violence with impunity.  This is the mechanism by which brutality was normalised by SPLM/A in South Sudan.  

In ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: Insider’s View’ Peter Adwok Nyaba illuminates this point by referring to the wrangle within the leadership of the movement at the time by writing, “Much of the movement’s leadership energy was absorbed in ensuring personal survival and hatching of conspiracies to elbow out of the movement those recalcitrant officers like Kerubino and Arok Thon.  The negative impact of such a situation in the leadership on the development of the SPLM/A and the conduct of the war can not be overemphasised.  For instance, to have allowed them to commit as many personal mistakes as possible in order to remove them from command was something that weighed down on the morale of the troops and the civil population because the damage was already done.  Some of the senior officers committed outrageous and horrendous crimes with impunity.  They looted, raped, murdered without being made answerable for those crimes.  These crimes were also emulated by the officers and soldiers at the front for which there was moral obligation on the part of SPLM/A leadership, to punish those junior officers and men.” So the construction of Oyee itself was on a bed rock of crime.

With the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the normalisation of crime and the impunity in the bush accorded to the tribal thugs got transferred into the newly formed government of South Sudan (GOSS).  Hence, the overt milking of the people’s resources with impunity and the persistent insecurity in the country.  This SPLM Oyee government of thugs and terror has no intention to address the problem of instability in the country because they know that they are the very people responsible for these ills. 

These people (rulers) are fortune hunters.  They went to the bush for personal gains as opposed to nationalistic duty.  The overwhelming majority of the SPLM Oyee machine was motivated by crimes for personal gain rather than pursuance of a political objective.  The project of ‘New Sudan’ belonged to Dr John Garang only.  The vast membership did not subscribe to it because they had their own agenda.  Some for the independence of the south and others for personal advancement.  This second group soon became the majority.  With the death of Dr Garang the ideology of New Sudan perished with him and arguably since then SPLM Oyee has been running on empty ideologically.  The vacuum created by lack of political ideology due to the demise of Dr Garang was swiftly taken over fully by criminal values and practice.  All the more, the reason why RSS is now a den of criminals from all over Africa. 

SPLM Oyee due to its negative indoctrination see power only as emanating from the gun and violence.  This is rooted in Dr Garang’s doctrine: Kalasinkob (Kalashinkov) da abuk, wa aumak, wa inta bakul fogu” meaning the AK47 gun is your father, your  mother, your source of food etc.  This believe is contrary to the democratic norm that true power is derived from the people through consent.  Only politically aware leaders with a commitment to the betterment of their people can make a difference.  This kind of thinking and reality is wholly absent in SPLM Oyee.  Had RSS had such leaders and not “idiots ……..rotten to the core”, a huge difference would have been achieved in terms of improvement in health, education, housing, food production etc.  But what do we have now?  Thieves for multimillionaires, unplanned residential areas dotted with villas around Juba, high mortality rate both in infants and adults, zero health service, zero education service, zero food production, zero security, daily unexplained murders.  For how long should this tyranny by the few and abuse of state power by tribal criminals be allowed?  This is a question that the people of South Sudan must answer for themselves.

As SPLM Oyee’s accession to power in RSS to a large extend was facilitated by the international community especially given the fact that the CPA excluded vital section of South Sudanese with opposing views to SPLM from participating in the process thereby granting Oyee total monopoly, they now have a chance to remedy this situation for a better RSS.  For the international community to be true friends of RSS in light of Zachariah Mangok Biar’s revelations they must look the Oyee terror machine in the eye and tell them their behaviour is unacceptable.

The failure to comply with international Human rights law by president Kiir’s GOSS, calls for Kiir to be held to account for his abject abuse of human rights as the head of state for South Sudan. 

The international Community’s refusal to accept their responsibility for this riotous government’s abusive actions also makes the international community complicit in the abuse of the South Sudanese people by GOSS. We, the South Sudanese people need to be alerted to the fact that we are the only ones with a vested interest in seeing the current government go. It is us who need to push for Kiir to be indicted for his grave crimes against humanity.  Therefore let us be instruments in our country’s future instead of being passive bystanders and let us call for an international arrest warrant for president Kiir.    

Since 2005 these rights have been violated at will by the tribal agents of the state.  On the right to life there have been numerous heinous crimes committed in South Sudan without any accountability and this according to Zachariah Mangok Biar is down to the government.  For instance, the shooting of police officers in Yambio, the shooting of a doctor in Yei, the assassination of Isaiah Abrahams, the killing of Ethiopian doctor in Malakia, the slaughter of Banyjioth Matoat Tap, the killings at Kemiru, the massacre in Wau, the massacre in Lorema, the disappearance of John Lewis and many many others. 

On the right of liberty, there are many people languishing in filthy run down jails on tramped up charges and hear-say for years without being formally charged.  For instance, George Tang, Simon Gatwech, Peter Sule etc. 

On the right of property, indigenous people of Nimule are being dispossessed of their land by the tribal gangs with support of the government.  This is replicated in Chollo land and many areas in the country.

The US Human Rights reports covering South Sudan since 2005 and others show clearly that crimes in South Sudan are not solved.  In a nut shell GOSS is run by criminals who are responsible for these crimes and depriving the victims of justice as well as failing to protect the citizens of South Sudan.

Now that we the people of South Sudan are not able to obtain redress to these injustices the only avenue available is through the International Criminal Court as mentioned above.  The crimes of SPLM Oyee in the country fall under Article 7, Crimes against Humanity.  What is needed to activate investigation by the prosecutor is a referral.  The international community can now do that if they are serious about the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.

There is a compelling case for the friends of the South Sudanese people in the international community to refer president Kiir and his acolytes to ICC or at least to pressurise GOSS to initiate a national conference involving all the political parties, armed groups, civil society groups, women groups and youth groups to discuss the deteriorating situation in the country with an objective of forming a credible government.  Or, they should pressure president Kiir to call for elections now for the people of South Sudan to choose the next government.  It makes sense for the bleak situation in the country to be addressed now to avert a more serious problem in the not too distant future.

The international community is known to tolerate abusers who advance their interest under the “Strongman Syndrome”.  For instance, Gen. Augustine Pinochet of Chile, Gen. Sadam Hussein of Iraq, Mobutu Seseko of Zaire, Gen. Jaafar Nimeri of Sudan etc.  It is hoped that the mollycoddling of Juba as evidenced by Ms Hilda Johnson’s indifference to the abuses of GOSS is not based on this short sighted policy.  A policy that portrays the international community as friend of the abusive dictators and enemy of the people. The truth be said the Strongman Syndrome is an imperialistic policy where individual dictators carry out the will of the imperial powers who in turn shield them from accountability.

This policy contradicts the Western claim to promotion of the ideals of the enlightenment enshrined in their constitutions.  As believers of the enlightenment ideals they need to support democracy and human rights.  Thugs and criminals pretending to be statesmen should not be condoned in this 21st century.  However, the onus is upon the African people to reject the abuse of state power by African leaders. 

SPLM Oyee is a tribal terror machine as evidenced by Zachariah Mangok Biar’s revelations and it needs to be held to account.  The international community should consider pressurising Juba to accept the proposal put forward in this article.  If president Kiir refuses then the international community through the UN should make a referral to ICC on the grounds of all the reports of the various domestic and international agencies buttressed by Zachariah Mangok Biar’s revelation.  The impunity in Juba is a government thing and as the citizens can not get redress, the friends of South Sudanese people in the international community need to intervene by making a referral to ICC as soon as possible.  As for the people of South Sudan they need to take responsibility by organising straight away and using ‘Article 15 – Prosecutor’ of ICC statute to raise an electronic referral to Madam Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of ICC to open an inquiry on all the unsolved crimes in the Republic of South Sudan.  It is time for President Kiir and the Oyee machine to account.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The Author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected]

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