None of the IGAD Member Countries Qualifies to Mediate South Sudan Peace Talks

By: Tut Daub Jiah

April 25, 2014 (SSNA) — It may sound outlandish for some, but the truth of the matter is that all Eastern African Countries are sharing one thing in common with the current genocidal regime in Juba. And that is the rule by one-party under the absolute control of one tribe.

Many circles with some direct or indirect interest in South Sudan politics would agree with this writer, in some point, that participatory democracy is hard for many African Countries to adapt. As such, all South Sudan’s neighboring countries are anxious to see the rapid transformation of the yesteryears’ movement (SPLM) into a pure political party which may cuddle the participatory democratic system of governance as its culture. This had manifested itself well during the CPA negotiations in Kenya under auspices of the same organization (IGAD), which is currently trying to bring together South Sudan two warring tribes. The first mistake the IGAD and friends of IGAD committed was allowing the SPLM to negotiate the peace talks on behalf of all South Sudanese key stakeholders; and knowing that SPLM was the organization dominated by one tribe, who would never think of ethnic groups’ interest, but its own. The current crisis is the result of that mistake, which must not be allowed to repeat itself in the watch of all rightful owners of this piece of land calls South Sudan.

Our brothers and sisters in most of African Countries had helped the Dinkass to control the movement since its inception in 1983, beginning with Derge Regime of Col. Mangistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia, Daniel Arop Moi of Kenya, Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

The current conflict in South Sudan must be viewed in its true nature and not the way Salva Kiir and his friends want the outside world to believe. For this author, South Sudan conflict is purely tribalistic coated with political wrangling to divert the intentions of South Sudanese and the world at large. In many cultures, when a woman commits some embarrassing act, like adultery, she always gives a convincing reason to the public. One of the causes for her to engage in love outside wedlock is to say “the man is not sexually active, in other word, unproductive”. This argument is always receiving overwhelming reaction, in favor of the woman from the public, including the family of the man whose wife has been accused of wrongful doing. In our case, Dinkas have been oppressing other South Sudanese tribes all along and they go around accusing them of Arabs Collaborators, Militias, Traitors, Nyagats, Unconfirmed, you name it. However, our brothers and sisters from other African countries never bother themselves enquiring and finding out why the 63 + tribes should be complaining against one tribe always. Today they came up with another salable, but unmanufactured commodity (coup d’état), hopping to confuse the democratic world with their loud noises and get assistance to clear out all Nuer tribes out of South Sudan. Unfortunately, the would-be customers insisted on seeing the product before paying a Dime. To justify the above points, one would want to refer the readers to the following circumstances that look alike and share a whole lot of characteristics with current political upheaval:

Destruction of Anya Nya II’s Headquarters (Bilpam) in 1983 by John Garang

To cut the long story short, it was under ambiguous circumstances when Bilpam came under vicious destruction of lives and properties by the combined forces of John Garang and Mengistu Haile Mariam, after Gai Tut’s group narrowly escaped assassination in Itang and Garang became the overall leader of SPLM/A. It was not clear because the leaders of Anya Nya Two at that time were in full support of John Garang’s leadership, especially Gordon Koang Chol, who had personally, wrote to Garang, pledging his unwavering support to him, after those of Gai and Akuot Atem left for Sudanese territories. Can somebody tell me in details why did Garang decided to bomb and destroy Bilpam, in which the entire leadership was in his side? The reason was obvious. I simply don’t need to be redundant here; otherwise I would have given more explanations to what is in my recollections on the subject matter.

The above mentioned incident was the starting point of the ugly history of the SPLM/A, which John Garang came to revealed few months later as a “War against separatists” in his Manifesto. Again, that was to coat the main aim of his war against Nuer and made it looked something worth buying, by anyone including the Nuers themselves. The Gajaak Nuer ethnic massacre in Ethiopian territories all the way to all the Nuer lands from 1983 to 1991 was the explicit reason of the overwhelming response from all four corners of the Nuer lands, when Dr. Riek announced his coup on August 28, 1991. Throughout those years SPLA had been a symbol of “Red Terror” to Nuer, without exception. Whether you are in the movement or outside it, one being a Nuer alone automatically put him in the Nyagats side. 1983 marked the first time when Dinkas painted an ugly picture, which our brothers and sisters from other African countries don’t want to see; while calling themselves as “Dinkass the Warriors, the Liberators, Unbeatable, True Nationalists, and Men of Men”.

Uninvestigated so-called Bor Massacre of 1991: Did it happen, how did it happen, and why did it happen?

There is every reason for well-informed individuals not to believe what has been the most delusive event of the 21st Century, the so-called “Bor Massacre”. Some clues may help the readers get into the bottom of what I meant by calling that highly publicized event as “elusive”.

Before, the Nasir Declaration of 28th of August, 1991, the following SPLA senior Commanders were deployed in and around Greater Akobo, Greater Fangak, Greater Bor, and Greater Piboor:

1. Greater Piboor and Eastern Equatoria: overall command of Salva Kiir Mayardit
2. Greater Bor, Fangak, Akobo: Under overall command of Kuol Manyang Juk with Kuol Deng Abot,

Machaar Akew, Chegai Atem, Biar Atem, Kuol Deng Kuol, and George Athor in charge in all Nuer areas.

Within few days after the declaration, those forces in all the Nuer lands decided to leave and moved directly to greater Bor, taking with them lots of cattle. Following their arrivals, Kuol Manyang had issued a stern warning to Riek Machaar, similar to what M7 has given Riek following the genocide in Juba and subsequent scape of Riek to Junglei Bushes. Immediately the persecutions of Nuer officers and men in the Dinkas territories and most of the Equatoria region started. It was when the news reached the Nuer land that Nuer people were being targeted and killed in the areas under John Garang that the Nuer of greater Fangak and greater Akobo began to mobilize and moved toward Greater Bor for rescue. For good three months Nuer had faced an intense resistance and lots of Nuer armed civilians had lost their lives , given the ill-prepared and ill-equipped nature of the White army compare to the well-trained and equipped SPLA army in the greater Bor, which was at the same time the center of the logistics for the whole war Zone 1 (Southern Sudan).

In the light of the above, one wonder how comes the white Army managed to kill the reported number of Dinkas civilians, after three months of fierce fighting between the Riek’s forces and the SPLA? Were those reported civilians killed during the fight as a cross-fire, before the fight or after the white Army defeated the SPLA three months later? If it was before the fight between two factions, were the civilians used by the SPLA as human shields? And if it was after SPLA tactical withdrawal, as they may like to call it, how come they didn’t inform and advice the local civil population to leave the area before they withdrew?  What was in the mind of Kuol Manyang, when he warned Riek that “Riek, you must revise your position and surrender before I come for you, or keep the water level as high as it’s now” (Radio message from Kuol to Riek). Militarily speaking, this is a provocative language. Therefore, if the other side takes a pre-emptive action, would it be surprising?

To this writer, the reported civilians in greater Bor that were allegedly massacred by Riek Machaar’s Army in 1991 were, in fact, the opposite. All greater Bor Civil population had been evacuated from their homelands two months before the end of the war, leaving behind most of their belonging, including cattle. The bodies of civilians video-taped and reported by media were those of white army bodies and not Dinkas Bor’s. This is what happened again this year. The white army bodies were introduced to the outside world, including Enough Project, as those of Dinkas Bor’s, when the Bor South population had crossed the river to Aweirial, Lakes state on December 17 and 18, 2013 when Kuol Manyang and Makuei Lueth ordered them to do so because they were fully aware of what was unfolding in Juba. Dukes and Twi East Counties populations were in their peaceful areas because they believed they have nothing to do with it.  

Truly speaking though, one would admit the fact that few Dinkas intellectuals have, of late, realized that Dinkas domination of power wouldn’t work. As a result, we are witnessing few of them are mentally being tortured (Dr. Majak de Agoot, Gen.Madut Biar Yiel, Eng. Chol Tong Mayai plus many more underground personalities), and some have physically been eliminated (Late Isaiah Abraham being one of them).

With all these, one would concluded that our problem is not the Power struggle between Riek Machaar and Salva Kiir, is not a question of political reform of the SPLM party, is rather a struggle of all none Dinkas tribes of South Sudan to find their rightful places within the big picture, which the Dinkass had been trying to hide from them. Nuers, being unselfish society and socio-democratic people who always want to see the rights of minorities are being protected, as they do in their own culture,  they become the first target to be hit hard before the rest, so that the road to political and economic domineering of Dinkas be nothing but a piece of cake. It must be within this context that the current crisis be brought to an end. Defining it differently will definitely means finding a wrongful and temporary solution, which will not last before it ignites into something, perhaps, more decapitating than the current one.

For the rightful solution to be realized, all ethnic groups must come up and define their own destiny, like what the Equatoria region Elites began to do. Dinkass themselves, who may see a need to change in their attitude, should start consulting with one another and give their version of what they see fit into building a unifying peaceful nation. Keeping the status quo which is fragmenting the nation apart would not serve any purpose, at all. It’s with this notion of status quo keeping which has been misleading and will continue to misguide the IGAD and other International Friends of south Sudan in finding the suitable solution to our problems.

One would therefore recommend that the mediation role be taken away from IGAD’s auspices to the European Union countries. Norway, British, Netherlands, Sweden and Canada must lead the negotiations and provide trusted solutions to our conflict. U.S.A, China and AU will participate as facilitators and observers. The divided IGAD must be done away with because whatever they will come up with must be received with mixed reaction due to their suspicious behaviors. Kiir and his henchmen and women must be made to accepting that the lunatic coup story they have been talking about all the times is the main source of their embarrassment and putting lots of their friends away from them. Therefore, they must bring up a different convincing argument, if they want to see themselves worthy of anything, aside from their leadership which they have just lost.

Tut Daub Jiah can be reached through [email protected]

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