By Kuach Tutkuay
December 14, 2014 (SSNA) — In all my writings—be it about the situation in South Sudan or elsewhere—I am fond of expressing my sentiment and frustration about the plight of civilians to the world leaders, this is because I holds in me the belief that the world is one body and whatever affect one part of the world affects the whole world. The crisis in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and the hostility has not yet ceased, as the dry season is coming there are speculations that the warring parties may involves in large-scale military operations to crash the other. This will obviously perpetuate the already volatile humanitarian situation.
As of today, a poor widow is mourning her son who was dragged out of the house and deliberately killed while in other sections of the society some people are dancing happily in commemoration of a triumphantly foiled coup de etat. In one hand is the massacring of innocent civilians, in the other hand is the failed coup. These are two realities that would take an Athenian’s deductive argument to descend which is true. As Mahatma Gandhi quoted, “false does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become false because no one sees it”. Many findings—including that of the Commission of Inquiries, the Enough Project and the UN HRW reports—have indicated that civilians were killed indiscriminately in South Sudan. Having obtained and read all these documents, we are still void of finding a way forward.
The conflict in South Sudan is a tribal war although the warring parties try to divert this fact. Many reports also indicated this fact including the Human Right Watch Report. Sometimes it is quite cumbersome dealing with such situations because one may end up favoring one at the expense of the other. I don’t know what theory exist about tribal war but I would say its solution may not be necessarily rewarding one of the tribes. I would argue that, in such circumstances, a “zero benefit” may work better, that is to say reward none of the parties to the conflict. Some people might mistake my stance for supporting the political detainees or the G10; I am not in support of their leadership either because they participated in one way or the other in the genesis of the ongoing destruction in South Sudan.
Obviously things will get worst in the dry season, and there is only one way to save lives of innocent civilians in South Sudan—declaring the country under the UN Trusteeship Administration as was the case for East Timor and Kosovo. I am saying this out of desperation because it is quite a bleak situation; for the country to get back to normalcy under the same leadership is impossible. South Sudan has disintegrated beyond re-unification under its current leaders and a mere sanction will not help bring it back together. These leaders have lived most of their lives as rebels fighting for freedom from Khartoum, as such, they are used to committing crimes against humanity without being held accountable. Sanctions or ICC is not a threat to them because none of them knew what it is to be indicted at the ICC, they thought it is like the Kangaroo court in Juba where one judge himself and declare innocence.
Civilians will be happy to live peacefully and harmoniously regardless of who leads them than to be maimed at will for a leadership wrangle they had nothing to do with. The Dinka and the Nuer are socially closer than any other tribe in South Sudan. Speculations that these two tribes hate each other are mere lies. It is personal greed imposed on them to kill each other. Kiir was elected by 63 tribes, how can that leadership be protected by only one tribe? Protecting it from whom? Are they not the same people who voted for him? It is quite misleading to say “come and protect our leadership from so and so”. This is quite a political empty-mindedness because when a leader has nothing to offer, he creates chaos to make a reasonable excuse for failure.
We may threaten or impose sanctions; we may even force the two rival factions to accept power sharing—if at all they will be willing to compromise on the powers of the president and Prime Minister—but none of these will help the local civilians. As good as my opinion is concerned; either of these will only worsen the hostility and the suffering of the civilians. Supporters of these leaders will disagree with my opinion of a UN trusteeship; they may be citing national sovereignty of South Sudan as a basis for their argument. Well this is already under question since the very sovereign government targets it civilians on tribal line. Humanitarian workers were killed base on their ethnicity. Where is that sovereignty we are talking about? Anything that claims life of one of us is a menace we should not tolerate, with or without sovereignty.
My appeal to the world is that, Jesus or Mohamed will not rise to save our lives, if you have power to help save life of innocent children, you are their savior of the time and they will praise you for that. We are living beings and, I believe, our lives also matters and we deserve to live like any other human. Why would it not bother you when we are dying? Why would it be none of your business when women and little children are being killed deliberately? Please come to our rescue!!
The writer could be reached at [email protected] or @kuach444 on Twitter.