Kiir’s Tribal Revolution at the End of the Road

By Stephen Par Kuol

May 3, 2014 (SSNA) — Any SPLM/A insider would know that Salva Kiir and his Dinka Bahr el Ghazal coterie of primitive warlords and pseudo intellectuals in the likes of Telar Riing, Aleu Ayeny, late Dominic Diim, Malong Awan,Salva Mathok Gengdit, Garang Mabil, Bol Madut, Matur Chut, Daniel Awet Akot and  Bol Akot have been on a protracted mission of  establishing an ethno- regional oligarchy at the helm of the SPLM/A leadership since Yei Showdown of the year 2004. This cohort was terribly disappointed when the showdown ended with Rumbek Leadership Conference that resolved the vendettas between Salva Kiir and Dr. John Garang. Those primitive warlords like Bol Madut, Matur Chut, Malong Awan preferred violent split of the movement along regional and ethnic line at that critical time when the CPA negotiation was going on in Naivasha, Kenya. From his base in Yei, Salva Kiir went as far as making secret contacts with Khartoum and South Sudanese armed groups under Paulino Matiep to militarily confront the SPLM/A mainstream. Putting credit where it is due, CPA could not have been signed if Dr. Riek accepted Kiir’s persuasion to join him in that show-down. There could have been another bloodier split than that of 1991.

Fortunately, out of patriotism and civic maturity, Dr. Riek  Machar took it upon himself to dissuade Kiir from pursuing that reactionary revolution.  As came clearly in his presentation in Rumbek meeting, Kiir mobilized the people of Bahr el Ghazal to support his divisive tribal revolution.  Instead of speaking for the entire movement as the F,irst Deputy, he strongly and critically spoke as representative of Bahe el Ghazal in that meeting. According to the minutes of that meeting, Kiir had this to say:  “the people of Bahr el Ghazal have suffered too much from repeated famine and from the Arab militias and for these reasons I am the first to embrace peace to relief them from suffering.”By embracing peace, Kiir meant peace with Khartoum against SPLM/A and Dr.John Garang.

It goes without mentioning that majority of Dinka Bahr el Ghgazal intellectuals are endangered species in this revolution. With the exception of Mr.Nhial Deng, the man  they have  long promised to come in after quenching their power thirst, no serious Dinka Bahr el Ghazal intellectual is in the inner circle of this ethno-regional mafia. They have been marginalized and neutralized in the name of Dinka Unity. In what  many have seen as an insult to the collective intelligence of  Bahr el Ghazal intellectuals, Salva Kiir went as far as appointing an illiterate caretaker governor like Matur Chut in gross violation of the constitution to advance the cause of this anti-intellectual movement. Being a revolution of illiterate hooligans, its ideals overrides everything including the provision of social services, good governance and development.  That is why Bahr el Ghazal states are statistically still the poorest per national poverty index since 2011.  The reason being the simple fact that the region has been governed by Kiir’s illiterate commanders since the time of the liberation struggle. These tribal warlords have the faulty conviction that they are the liberators who deserve the best to rule the whole country with iron fist. Ironically, they are not qualified to rule even their own tribal communities where they are known best for nothing but corruption, incompetence, tyranny and violence.  Where they ruled from Northern Bahr el Ghazal under Paul Malong Awan, to Warrap under Bol Madut and Lakes States under Matur Chut , they subjected the  population to red terror and extreme servitude. In Lakes State, Matur Chut is known best for shooting dead whoever expresses contrary views or violates his martial laws. According to a close friend of mine from Warrap who served in his government, the reign of  Bol Madut will be remembered in Warrap State just like that of Idi Amin in Uganda. In Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Paul Malong has been running the state like a feudal emperor since the liberation period. This greedy warlord owns everything including the grasses, land, women, money, cattle, you name it. He calls the shot in everything in the state where he levies private taxes to support the excesses of his oversized family which is estimated to be running between 75 to 80 wives. He has eight places where he sends money every month to feed the children. These place are; Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Juba, Aweil, Warawar, Malualkon and Wau.

It might be scary to know but the salient truth is that it is this clique of primitive tyrants including Kiir ruling our country presently.  Those primitive war lords like Matur Chut, Garang Mabil, Paul Malong , Bol Madut,Bol Akot are the power behind the throne and the King( Kiir) depends on them almost for everything.  It is  this group that can launch a successful coup at any time(not Dr. Riek and his colleagues). Literate tyrants like Telar Riing, and Aleu Ayeny are just rubber stamps in this revolution. Judging this revolution by the prominent figures in its inner circle,  it is evident that Kiir Mayardit would rather work better in what some political scientists have called Kakistocracy,  a government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens, (government by the worst). This is what that fascist oligarchy squarely represents as opposed to another type of system known as Meritocracy, a government wherein appointments are made based on demonstrated talent and technical competence. Otherwise, Bahr el Ghazal is endowed with better human resources than those mediocre like Nyadeng Malek and those illiterate warmongers. This group needs Kiir and Kiir needs them. Birds of the feathers flock together as William Shakespeare observed.   As the only way to survive and thrive, this tribal oligarchy has been pushing for militarization of politics within the SPLM culminating in the fabricated coup attempt on December 15, 2013.

Politically, it is an anti intellectual tribal movement led by primitive tribal warlords who can rule only through political militarism, tribal conflicts and violence. None of the above mentioned personalities can survive any fair and civil political competition even in Dinka community of Bahr el Ghazal. That is why they have been pushing Kiir for years to resort to the army which he failed to discipline and reform. Having discovered that he was going to lose the party nomination for the forthcoming presidential elections, Kiir had to structure the army by removing those he thought are dangerious to his tribal revolution law the fickle and the weaklings he could use easily.. This resulted in the removal of many generals majority of them hailing from Greater Upper Nile. Now that he had cleared his way by replacing them with his loyalists, Kiir declared war on his political rivals within his own party using the national army in what the whole world has seen as a coup against his own regime. Under the pretext of the coup, some of those supposedly retired warlords were all reinstated to command their manufactured war. Having chosen his own resident as the operational headquarters, Kiir was personally seen deploying these retired generals including Malong Awan, a sitting elected governor to command the mass killing. Juba was divided into five sectors. Governor Malong Awan was given the eastern sector that extended from Juba Market to the riverside and Atla -bara, Mathok Gengdit was given the entire Amharat zone including the ministries complex zone, Marial Cinuong was deployed to the Northern sectors from Thonkpiny to 107 and Manga. Garang Mabil was deployed to the Gudella and Lou Clinic area where the largest mass killing took place. According to eye witness reports by the survivors of the genocide, using the Dotkubany brigade he recruited and trained from his home state, Governor Malong Awan, was technically in general command of that genocidal campaign. The national security and the national army (SPLA) were sidelined to execute this genocidal operation.

Having declared war on democracy, Kiir has established his own tribal private army and appointed one of his most trusted lieutenants who is none other than Governor Paul Malong Awan to command these tribal troops. Outsiders might be astonished to see a retired general and sitting elected governor to replace a professional soldier in the like of General James Hoth Mai, but to insiders, it has been known since last year that Malong was the real General Chief of Staff of the SPLA. What was decreed as relieving of General James Hoth and appointment of Paul Malong was just a pathetic formality. 

In any case, what is worth noting here is that at the end of the road, Kiir’s tribal revolution is hatched wild and alive. With appointment of a notorious war criminal likes Malong Awan and criminal convict like Marial Nour, Kiir has declared a protracted tribal war in which the SPLA proper is no longer relevant.  The next two to three months in South Sudan could see high tension within the SPLA, mass defection and fierce infighting. Of course, this does not bother Kiir and Malong as they have sufficiently recruited, trained and armed from their local communities for this senseless war. Using the national petro-dollar, this fascist regime has also hired foreign mercenaries to execute the ongoing tribal war.  Kiir has been and will continue to sell this war to the outside world through his diplomatic mission and to the masses of the people of South Sudan through government owned SSTV as a national program for defense of the nation, but in real life on the ground it is an ethno-regional movement led by war criminals and genocidaires under the leadership of that fascist dictator called Kiir Kuithpiny Mayardit. It is a war that will flood South Sudan with more blood and tears.  Hence, those who give it love and lives must get their conscience clear that they are plunging this country into a bottomless pit of tribal war and genocide.

Stephen Par Kuol is a former Deputy Ambassador of the Sudan to the United Republic of Tanzania and the former State Minister of Education in the Government of Jonglei State. He is also a researcher and freelance writer on academic topics pertinent to Human Rights and Post-conflict Criminal Justice Administration.

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