December 15 and the Nuer Self-Defence

By Mayian Tot

August 8, 2014 (SSNA) — December 15, 2013, fighting break out at the presidential guards military headquarter in Bilpam Juba. It was establish thereafter that the genesis to the fight was brought about when president Kiir orders the commander of the presidential guards. Mej: General Marial Ciennoung to disarm the guards at Joint Integrated Unit [JIU] military barracks.

General Marial Ciennoung executed this high executive orders and assembly the guards at the parade and begin to disarm them.  Simultaneously, while the guards are being disarmed, the Dinka unit is secretly and swiftly being re-armed while the Nuer unit within the guards is not re-armed.

When this top secret conspiracy was exposed, the presidential guards second in command a Nuer by ethnicity physically confronted General Ciennoung to the motives why the Dinka unit is being re-armed while the others are not. This physical confrontation between the two senior commands and the secret re-armament of the Dinka-guards has prompted the Nuer guards to break into armoury’s store and in the process re-armed themselves too like their Dinka comrades thus break- out the fight between the two unit.

Being out-numbered by the other guards but with their fierce warrior hood bravery, the Nuer unit within the Dinka dominated guards had established themselves in full control of the barrack within less than an hour of the fierce fight, forcing the pro-Kiir’s guards to flee in disarray. 

Firmly in full control on the ground of self-defence, the Nuer guards did not advance to attack the presidential palace, airport, radio-television station or other vital governmental institutions as they have no motives to overthrow the incumbent regime at the time rather than to fight in self-defence.

For these Nuer guards at the time, –the fight had nothing to do with the state nor civilians. They believed it was a misunderstanding that led to the bloody confrontation among themselves [the presidential guards] and to them it was not an organised coup d’état to take over the government.

For these reasons the breakaway Nuer force had virtually remained at the military barrack in self-defence awaiting the authority to swiftly intervene and amicably address the incident that led to the infighting within the guards. Their approach was a clear-cut military self-defence and any military logic would dare not sum the above events as military coup d’état in any case possible.

Military science and/or military doctrine would strictly cited the above scenarios as a conscious self-defence and would not agree to president Kiir’s claim of Coup d’état. Of important, the so-called coup d’état was in facts –a self-engineered coup by president Kiir himself and was swiftly executed and implemented by General Marial Ciennoung the head of the presidential guards as these evident proved beyond any reasonable dough.

Nevertheless, while the breakaway army was firmly in control of Bilpam military barracks, the then army Chief of General Staff was venturing on a double dealing tactic, organising the military force and other reinforcement to dislodge the breakaway force from the barracks on one hand. And simultaneously, was communicating with the breakaway forces convincing them that the government will decisively address the incident.

Having been convinced was the biggest grave and fatal mistake that the breakaway forces has ever adhere to.

Because, the following day, a huge military reinforcement armed with tanks and other heavy weaponry launched a gruesome attacks on Bilpam military barrack against the breakaway Nuer unit subsequently dislodging them out of the barrack. Thus began the door-to-door ethnic cleansing of the innocent unarmed Nuer civilians in Juba.

After the barracks assault, the SPLA Kiir’s loyalist, the presidential ethnic militia, the security apparatus and the other organise force swarmed in to Juba neighbourhoods ensuing house-to-house ethnic cleansing to which the Interior Minister called ‘’ clean-up operation’’. Tanks were used to run over houses, unarmed Nuer men identified with their facial marks are rounded up, children women and the aged are delivery executed. Forcing the Nuer civilians to swelled into UNMISS Camps for protection in large numbers.       

These rampaged killing of ritual violence, decimating innocent unarmed civilian of Nuer ethnicity with brutes’ savagery went on for some days in the following suburbs; Jebel, Mia Saba, Lologo, Gudele, Eden, and Newsite, Khor Williams and Mangaten.

Consequently, 10,000 innocent civilians were killed in just a matter of days and to cover up these ritual animosities dead copses were thrown into the river, some burned while others were secretly buried at night during the curfew hours in mass-graves by the security agencies.

It was learned thereafter that the motive for disarming the guards and secretly re-arming the Dinka unit within the presidential guards was an end route mission to arrest Dr Riek Machar Teny and the other entire reformist thus silencing the voice of internal party democratisation, transformation and the overall leadership contest once and for all.  

According to some explanation, Dr Machar and the Nuer ethnicity form the core power bloc that threat Kiir’s overall ethnic-domination. He Kiir therefore had organise and execute this barbaric massacre to remove this perceived threat once and for all. His core plan was to either killed Dr Machar or forces the entire Nuer society including Dr Machar into full submission to his reign of ethnic domination and thereafter rules South Sudan like his personal kingdom.

These kind of dangerous mindsets is the one that continue to bedevil South Sudan with wholesale destruction, killing with impunities with its humanitarian catastrophe. 

Meanwhile, general consensus within the Nuer Community has it that Kiir has made a grave mistake because killing innocents Nuer civilians will not force the Nuer people to submit themselves to his genocidal regime. In facts it has made them to be more determine to fight and defence themselves to the last man.

The genocidal regime must be remained that, historically the Nuer People had neither submitted to the Turks, Egyptian, and/or to the Mahdi’s state with their destructive slave-trading merchant nor did they surrender fully to the Anglo-Egyptian administration.

But, had resisted them all to the point that in January 1929 the Nuer were the first civilians on record to be air-bomb by the Anglo-Egyptian Colonial Government of the then Sudan, ruthlessly using R.A.F /bi-airplane. Machine-gunning –firing on Nuer’s villages killing both domestic animals and peoples so as to force them into submission. But this plan didn’t succeed either.

It goes largely without a dough that ‘’The Nuers’’ were the first and the only people in the whole history of Sudan to have had brought down (bi-airplane) by a traditional hand held tool or weapon known in Nuer language as ‘’WEITH’’ injuring two pilot on the due cause. In short the Nuer had never submitted themselves to become slave to others, never in their entire history.

Anyway, when the horrendous news of Juba December 15 massacre reached Nuer towns, counties and villages. Nuer in SPLA begin to split and defects to SPLM-IO in large numbers and youth begin to take up arms to defence their villages, counties and towns against the genocidal government.

Meanwhile, the SPLM-IO had to effectively organize itself into armed resistance so as to neutralise the state’s ethnic cleansing and fights back in self-defence. This resistance movement was borne and is firmly rooted in the fundamental human right to survival.

The freedom fighters whom had joint the revolution had did [so] not out of ethnic hatred or a quest to dominate other ethnic groups. But because it is their natural human rights to fight back in self-defence.     

The right to self-defence is the right to survive. Self-defence is a natural human reaction to any given threat; be they perceived, real or imagine. That is to say, violence is confront with violence and war is oppose war until such time that the situation warrant either defeat, victory or compromise-able peace treaty. 

The freedom fighters firmly understood that freedom, liberation and human progress are not easily achieved. They’re attained through relentless sacrifice determination and courageous commitments.

Of important, challenges death and setback are part and parcel of any given struggle. In most cases, what is paramount in any struggle is that, the leaders at the forefront commanding the struggle must minimise its error of judgements so as to reduce give away victories at grave human’s cost.

They must learn not to repeat previous mistakes once identified. Moreover, they must also effectively capitalise on their opponent’s weakness thus solidified their political and military strategic strength.

If the genocidal regime thinks that military muscling is the ultimate solution, then so be it. The freedom fighters are more than determine to liberate themselves from the genocidal regime. There is no turning back. It’s not the weapons or how heavily armed you’re that win battles. It is how committed and determine you’re that secure you victory.

These freedom fighters are undefeatable, and fighting them is not an easy matter. They wield practical combating skills and they marshal these skills to war like a double-edge sword; sharp on offensive and tough on defensive.   

The genocidal regime had used state military arsenals, Cluster bombs and hire foreign mercenaries, such as JEM, SPLM-N, and UPDF only to come fight one ethnic group and yet the freedom fighters remained undefeated.

Mayian Tot is a concern South Sudanese reachable via [email protected]

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