The Dictator’s Mentor

By Delfiero Chuol

December 31, 2013 (SSNA) — All dictators think alike and their aim is to oppress others and remain in power for the rest of their lives. That is what Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has done to her country for generations. He came to power by deposing other politicians through violent in January 29th, 1986 until now. In the course of his presidency, he rule with iron fist and changed the constitution of Uganda in his favor by abolishing the term limits so he can rule indefinitely. In the last election in Uganda, the opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and his supporters was bitten death by the oppressive Yoweri Museveni security agents. He is now fighting for his life when he was shot several times while demonstrating. I remember during the election time in Kampala, many South Sudanese were attacked by pro-Yoweri Museveni supporters in suspicion that they support the opposition leader.

The Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, also has a history of starting wars or getting his neighboring countries into chaos so he can benefits from their demise. He was involved in proxy wars in Congo, Rwanda, Somalia and now South Sudan. He just bought new military weapons and South Sudan is the test site for his military hardware.

It is true that if “someone associate him or herself with the Mafia group, he or she will eventually become a Mafia “and execute Mafia principles better than the Mafia themselves. The situation that engulfed South Sudan on December 15th, 2013 was nothing less than an act of an accomplice Mafia.  At least some of us have seen this coming, when South Sudan President, Salva Kiir worn the same Cowboy hat with Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, the dictatorship master. I knew that this friendship between Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and South Sudan president, Salva Kiir will bear fruit of dictatorship in the new nation of South Sudan. It was just a matter of time.

Eight years in power is enough for many of us to understand and see the trends of thoughts in our President’s mind. We know that the president is someone whose decision making is seriously faulted in a sense that he cannot make decision of his own. He tends to act on directives or advice from other people, for instance, Yoweri Museveni. One can conclude that the president is not an initiator, but executor of decision made by other people. Also, the corruption in the country was rampant at his watch, while many people in the country are starving to death. The president has done nothing to discourage tribalism in the country and the resources of the country are channels to relatives by the few elites. In short, the country was falling apart at his watch. Imagine what South Sudan would be if Salva Kiir is a dictator?

As an advisor to President Salva Kiir, Yoweri Museveni mentored Salva Kiir against democracy. Being good at executing other people’s ideas, President Salva Kiir agreed and laid down his plan to depose his challengers or potential challengers in the country. He knows that his main challenger is Dr. Riek Machar, the former vice president, who has wider support among other politicians and military commanders.

So, the president set out his strategies to weaken Dr. Riek Machar’s support by removing powerful military officials/commanders whom he thought may support Dr. Riek Machar and force them into retirement. Second, he removed powerful ministers that he thought may show support for Dr. Riek Machar from their post without new assignment. And when Dr. Riek Machar made know his decision that he will contest for presidency in 2015, President Salva Kiir was irritated by the decision. He became more hostile toward Dr. Riek Machar and his supporters and finally, dissolved the entire cabinet in the process to removed Dr. Riek Machar. All these moves by President Salva Kiir were mastermind by President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni and his opportunistic advisors. From that point, Salva Kiir behaves like Yoweri Museveni, dictating everything and ignoring to act within South Sudan’s Constitutional powers. He removed two elected governors from Lakes and Unity State, and replaced them with close allies loyal to him. This is clear infringement of people’s rights to choose their leaders according to the constitution of South Sudan.

Few months earlier, he went to his home state of Warap and Western Bar El Ghazal to conduct a meeting there. In the meeting, he was speaking in Dinka dialect. He told people that this presidency is for you and someone want to take it away from me, will you accept that? The people roar, No! No! We will not accept that! After the meeting, he asked the two governors to recruit young men from his ethnic Dinka tribe to make up his militia in the name of the presidential guards. This was the turning point of what is set to be “Juba Massacre of Nuer ethnic group” by his new militia between December 15th, 16th, and 17th 2013. When the President (Salva Kiir) realized that his dictatorial tendencies are condemn by Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) party leaders. He continued to ignore their calls to reform the party and layout the foundation for 2015 general election.

On December 06, 2013, the party leaders led by Dr. Riek Machar held a Conference to call on the president to call a meeting for all party organs to discuss the matters of the party. He sat up a meeting, but refused to discuss the party’s important issues. He already knew that if this SPLM Party transformation happens, he won’t get enough support for the SPLM Party ticket for 2015 general election. Therefore, on December 15th, he planned to arrest all the political opponents so he could appoint himself as SPLM Party candidate for 2015 general election.

He ordered the Presidential guard’s commander, Marial Chienuong to disarm the Nuer presidential guards only. Then, the Nuer Presidential guards became suspicious and the fight broke out among the presidential guards in the barrack. That is when fight spread to military barrack, Bilpam in Juba. The militia presidential guards were ordered to go to Dr. Riek Machar’s home to capture him, but he already fled. The Presidential guards destroyed Dr. Riek Machar’s home and killed all children and women found there. Then, the militia presidential guards (all from Dinka) went to door to door killing Nuer civilians, destroying and looting their properties for three consecutive days. In these three days, curfew was put in place by the president from 6pm to 6am so that his Dinka militia presidential guards continued to massacre Nuer in Juba. According to eye witness, people who have visible Nuer marks are shot dead instantly and the ones that doesn’t have mark are asked in Dinka dialect to know if they are Nuer or not. The killing spree went on for several days thereafter, terrorizing people in Nuer community and most of them fled to UNMISS compound. All the Nuer killed is either dump on the Nile River, Mass graves or burned inside houses. The death toll stood over 1000 Nuer civilians and could be more since some of them are still in hidden mass graves and others thrown into the Nile. This is done to satisfied Salva Kiir and his group’s hatred toward Nuer people in South Sudan. When heard by some of the Nuer commanders in the frontline, they defected because they do not see the reason to support the government that massacres its citizens and children in Juba.

There is one main question that President, Salva Kiir need answer for people of South Sudan, if the alleged coup plotters as you claim (to cover up terrorizing political opponents) comes from different ethnic groups (Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer and Equatoria) in South Sudan, why would you target and kill only Nuer civilians in Juba?

Although this war have taken turn toward tribal lines, one thing remain the same, the war is about dictatorship Vs democracy in South Sudan. It is pathetic to see many South Sudanese support the wrong course just because some politician is from their tribe. You should ask yourself, what is in it for me? The war in South Sudan is not about Dr. Riek Machar or Salva Kiir as most of you tend to see it. It’s about dictatorship vs democracy! For those South Sudanese supporting or laughing loud that dictator Museveni is supporting his fellow, Salva Kiir, against democratic reform in South Sudan, your judgment is seriously compromised and blinded. The democratic reforms that Dr. Riek Machar and his colleagues are pushing in South Sudan mean a lot to our future and future of our children.  With democracy in South Sudan, the future of your children is bright and their dreams are endless. It also, means that your child can dream to become a president of South Sudan and he shouldn’t be denied that right by someone.

Ask yourself, what is in it for me when I support Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni? It means that you are infringing your rights and the future of your children. My advice to all South Sudanese is that, you should not follow blindly. We must follow with objective and with our future in mind. It was Ludacris hearing the dictator Yoweri Museveni making threats to Dr. Riek Machar in our own country today; he came to inaugurating the civil war in South Sudan.

We all must admit that people like Museveni are the enemy of South Sudan and we must stand up for dictators like Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni; they will destroy our future and our country.

Remember, a friend of a dictator is always a dictator! So Mr. President (Salva Kiir), your position will not be safe by foreigners and you know that.

Long Live South Sudan.

The author can be reached [email protected]

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