The SPLM’s latest relent of being guilty for 2013 Juba Nuer Massacre: The root causes & end of South Sudan’s current conflict

By: Bol Khan


February 3, 2015 (SSNA) — Now that the SPLM has admitted; that it had indeed massacred over twenty thousand (20,000) innocent South Sudanese civilians in Juba just for power greedy, in December 2013. In another word, the SPLM massacred innocent civilians, for an insanity of power or its internal problem which precisely took place among SPLM’s members and should ended up in the Party’s premises. Since January 2014 the South Sudan civil societies, faith based groups, all international human rights organizations have been persistently calling on the SPLM leadership to name and bring the Juba Massacre culprits to book. Political stability, permanent peace would never return to South Sudan while impunity is still the order of the day. Unless, those who have committed atrocities are picking out and taken to an indispensable international court of justice. All those calls have been ignoring by SPLM-led government. Since then, the SPLM wasn’t admitting it’s guilty for 15 December 2013 Juba Massacre. But, in its recent Arusha, reunification agreement, the SPLM had publicly admitted for the first time that indeed what had happened 13 months ago was the SPLM’s making.

The following were SPLM Leaders’ statements which they had to say in a press conference made after their reunification agreement. “We, in SPLM three factions, have convinced that what happened on 15 December 2013 was indeed an internal misunderstanding among the SPLM party’s members. The problem occurred within and during the National Liberation Council (NLC) convention. Therefore, after a long discussion, we have now agreed and reunited our historic political party, the SPLM”. They agreed, in Article 2 of Arusha, Tanzania Agreement, the SPLM’s leadership resolved that it shall make a public apology to the people of South Sudan for what had happened in December 15-20 2013. That public apology must be for all South Sudanese in general and Nuer Nation in particular, the only ethnicity which nationally was targeted.

To me this, latest relent, is a right step ever taken by the SPLM‘s leadership towards addressing the root causes of December 15th 2013. It is a best way to end the current South Sudan’s conflict. The Party has comes to its right sense that, the Nuer civilians who were genocide in Juba were really unconcern about who stand against who in the SPLM’s Chairmanship. Or any other political party in South Sudan. With that in-competency belief in mind, the SPLM purposely trained tribal-based militias, prior to December 15 2013. And on 16- 20s December 2013, those militias were told and started a door-to-door search in Nuer residences killing over twenty thousand innocent civilians.

Those militias’ leadership deliberately thought, the Nuer civilians were behind the candidacy of Dr. Riek Machar for SPLM’s top office. So, the SPLM was very sick of a political paranoid caused by chronic lunacy for power and its slogan of “Let’s kill even (your father) civilians”. At worse, when the SPLM’s Government acknowledged it miserable failure, it resorted to a ploy of setting South Sudanese communities against each other. For instance, a ploy that trained youth from one ethnic group to kill another ethnic group was the SPLM’s successful destructive plan. The Government also, armed as well Chollo youth, Mabanese’s militias and Greater Upper Nile’s Dinka all against the Nuer ethnicity. These irresponsible divisive devices from the government deeply created hatred among the South Sudanese diverse communities. Congratulations to the targeted ethnicity for not having retaliated despite all that happened to it! The SPLM’s government in its structure totally loses the culture of peace. Instead of sowing culture of peace, among the 64 tribes of South Sudan, the SPLM had decided to use falsehoods and constructs disgust through media fabrications. SPLM, in history had been successfully organizing tribal-based killings. For example, 1984-5 Gajaak Massacre, 2009 Shilluk killings, the same in 2011 George Athor-GoSS, 2012 Murle killings, 2006 Lou-Nuer Massacre…etc. If there were a culture of peace in the SPLM all these mass killings would have not taken place. The culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that rejects violence and prevents conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiations among individuals, groups and nations. Oppositely, SPLM since its inception has been creating hatred, stereotypes, barriers and divisions among ethnic groups of South Sudanese communities. An irrational political paranoia always in the SPLM’s leadership is what has been fragmenting itself into factions.

The SPLM’s political paranoia and insanity for power

A political paranoia is defines as a thought process heavily influenced by political anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrational and delusion. Making false accusations and general distrust of others also accompany political paranoia. Individuals with this personality disorder may be, easy feel slighted, incorrectly and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions in trying to validate their fear or baseless facts. Such kind of people are poorly eager observe. They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger. Potentially, such individual doesn’t appreciate other evidence by installing in mind that all certain group of people is against him/her. Typically this includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning perceived threats towards oneself or group of people (e.g He/she may think “everyone is out to get me or group X wants to take what I have.” Here, such kinds of person in this state of affairs could easily resort to whatever power he/she has in hands. Irrationally, in the same way the SPLM’s members who masterminded 2013Juba Nuer Massacre thought: Nuer civilians were all candidates for SPLM’s Chairmanship. Or every Nuer was Riek Machar’s supporter. Political paranoia is further characterized generally by the following:

1. Excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs;

2. Suspiciousness and pervasive tendency to distort the reality by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous ;

3. Preoccupation with un-substantiated “conspiratorial” explanations of events to the world at large.

In December 2013, after Juba Nuer Massacre, the SPLM’s political paranoia caused by insanity for power and falsehood promoted some government’s top officials to spread poisonous lies all over the world. Those government officials are characterized globally by the quality of being untrue throughout; talking lies, deceiving or lying to any leader (diplomat) they meet from any country. These top officials are none other than Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Marial Benjamin, Michael Kuei Lueth, Kuol Manyang Juuk, Pual Malong and all the South Sudan’s Ambassadors to different countries worldwide. They have successfully requested foreign Governments including Uganda’s, Zimbabwe’s, China’s and Egypt…etc for mercenaries and logistical supports to help them fight the SPLM’s rebels. These officials have gone mad enough with desperate need to remain in power forever at the expenses of the citizens. In addition, they have also introduced other strategic way; misleading the world, i.e. spreading lies all over. When they are about to start talking, there are some sentences-words which stick in their minds. The phrases which they use to utter on Radios & TVs are: “A democratically elected Government, the constitutional and national elected Army (SPLA), democratically elected legitimate President, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, Hon. Elected Minster of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, a national legitimate Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, and an elected legitimate Press Secretary of the President. Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny”…so on and so forth. None of my readers will disagree with me on these phrases. For sure, you can hardly find these officials speaking without stating one of the aforementioned phrases. Even in their own private things (places) you can also find them saying: “In the name of the democratically elected, legitimate President Kiir’s Government”.

All these phrases glued in their minds by the lunacy for power or to remain there. And for them to remain in power they have had to falsely tell the world unfounded lies. They said to the world: “The Republic of South Sudan democratically elected government was/is fighting 31 strongest tribes out of 64 tribes in South Sudan. “Requested international helps (which were immediately offered) and still calling upon globe community to assist an elected legitimate President Kiir’s government militarily. Otherwise, oil production and democratically elected system will be halt by the rebels of Riek Machar in collaboration with these 31 tribes. As a result of these government officials’ fabrications, exaggerated by political paranoia or lunacy for power, several east African countries, Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM/A) two factions, SPLM-N, Egypt even China contributed troops which are now helping the SPLM‘s Government. Chemical weapons were brought to South Sudan, cluster bombs were used and all countries which are interested in oil also contributed troops to fight for their interests in South Sudan.

Those thirty-one (31) tribes; according to Kiir’s government officials, can be found in Greater Upper Nile region’s four largest states; namely Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. And they are Gok tribe, Kuach tribe, Chiechua tribe,Gajaak tribe, Chienyawar tribe and Gaguang …etc tribes of Unity state. Again, in Jonglei state, you can find Chiedak tribe, Gabal tribe, Nyang tribe, Riah tribe, Bang tribe, Kuacbor, as well as Gajiok tribes of Eastern Jikany in Upper Nile state. Those Government officials have talked very much about such unfounded lies on international media including Algezera TV, BBCs, CNN etc and most clandestinely to the countries they have been requesting for military and logistical supports. If, “you, the International Community can’t help the elected Government of South Sudan in fighting against the rebel of Riek Machar plus these 31 notorious tribes, then they will dismantle the country’s system including your economic interests”. SPLM’s political paranoia evolved by insanity for power, falsehood from government officials termed thirty-one (31) Nuer clans’ sub-clans as different tribes.

Were there really thirty-one (31) tribes fighting alongside the SPLM/IO?

As a matter of truth: all that they mention as different tribes are merely clans of Nuer tribe. And I think, defending on observations, what the Nuer civilians’ White Army, has been doing; since 2013 Juba Nuer Massacre is nothing, rather than neutralizing the advancement of Juba’s killers to Nuer rural areas where they would have massacred additional fathers, mothers and children as they did in Juba. The fact that Nuer is only ONE tribe is known to everybody, not only in South Sudan but also in Africa continent as a whole and even beyond. However, just for public consumption, particularly for those of Marial Benjamin and his likes to know to acquaint themselves; that the Nuer is indeed ONE tribe, let me write hereunder the clans of Nuer tribe and their respective sub-clans. Let’s begin from Greater Bentiu, Greater Nasir combined, (1-7), Greater Fangak (8-10), and then Greater Akobo (11).

The twelve (12) CLANS of Nuer tribe in South Sudan are:

1. Bul clan inhabits Unity state’s Mayom county, with Gok and Kuach as it two sub-clans.
2. Leek clan inhabits Unity state’s Rubkoni County, with Chiechua and Chiedeng as its two sub-clans.
3. Western & Eastern Jikany clan inhabits Unity state’s Guit County and Upper Nile state’s Ulang, Nasir, Maiwut and Longuchuk counties respectively, with Gajiok, Gaguang and Gajaak as its three sub-clans.
4. Dok clan inhabits Leer County, with Chietitjak, Juong, Chiengbapuoh, (Chiengluoth) as its three-four sub-clans.
5. Jagei clan inhabits Koch county, with Reayian, Bhor and Lang as its three sub-clans.
6. Haak clan inhabits Mayiandit county, with Kuei, Jaloh and Beek as its three sub-clans.
7. Nyuong clan inhabits Panyijiar county, with Chienyawar, Chieteny, Nyal, Thak and Lok as it four sub-clans.
8. Thiang clan inhabits South of Fangak county, with Riah and Bang as its two sub-clans
9. Lak clan inhabits North of Fangak County, with Kuachbor and Jonyang as its two sub-clans.
10. Gawaar clan inhabits Ayod county, with Nyang and Bar as its two sub-clans
11. Lou clan inhabits Nyirol, Uror and Akobo counties, Lou’s sub-clans are Gabal, Cheidak and Mor respectively.
12. Jimhem clan which is believed had scattered amongst others eleven above clans of Nuer tribe.

These are only twelve (12) CLANS of NUER TRIBE! Even if Marial Benjamin, Makuei Lueth and all their likes have to go or do more research on this matter and they are going to interviewee God Himself, still they would get the same thing that the Nuer is only ONE tribe. So I wish the “a democratically elected, legitimate government’s officials” to read this piece. After this piece I think these “legitimate Government” officials won’t vomit unfounded lies again on Algezera TV, BBCs…etc about those so-called thirty-one (31) tribes which are nowhere to be found, instead of NUER as ONE TRIBE. Dr. Marial Benjamin’s father, himself, was from Lou-Nuer clan’s Chiedak sub-clan in Uror County. Dr. Marial also does still call the sub-clan he belongs, Chiedak of Uror County, as a tribe. That was why he (Marial) told Kiir Museveni that the UPDF MUST dispatched through the direction of bravest three tribe of Greater Akobo, namely Chiedak, Gabal and Mor. What a political insanity for power and falsehood!


December 2013 Juba Massacre was the roots causes of the current expanded deadly conflicts. These deadly conflicts have been fueled by SPLM’s government itself by spreading hate speeches and divisive lies all over the places. If, our ruling party’s top political leadership didn’t create political paranoia in its soul the problem would happen, as it did, and only ended in the SPLM party’s premises. The whole country would have been peaceful and pretty calm presently. Now, anyway, it is good that the SPLM has admitted, though lately, the issues which caused SPLM’s fragmentations on 14-15 December 2013. In Arusha, Tanazania, they identified: the case of 5% for Chairman, how to vote whether by show of hands or secret ballot and a need for general reforms in the Party as the main reasons for SPLM party’s 2013 deadly divorcement. And on the other hand, the SPLM in Arusha, identified also Juba Massacre as another main reason why the sons and relatives of the innocent civilians massacred in Juba apart from SPLM-IO angrily involved in a current armed South Sudan conflicts. That is to say, the root causes of the present conflicts between the SPLM warring factions were basically different with the root cause of the SPLM’s Government and South Sudanese’s White Army. The later was triggered by Juba Nuer Massacre, which means the two root causes were a bit plainly different. That is the SPLM’s factions clearly acknowledged: reuniting the SPLM is one thing and apologizing to the massacred people publicly is another different thing. I think, this is how the current South Sudan’s conflicts can be categorically measured and resolve. If, they are really determined to resolve country’s problems for once and for all!! Why did you brutally Massacred those thousands innocent South Sudanese civilians, whilst the case was purely your political party’s internal dispute? This is a question to be asked, I believe, by Independent Judges in a court room and accordingly answered by the killers of those innocent civilians.

A Way forward—where to start it!

Lastly but not the least, the SPLM’s awaiting public apology for what had happened in mid-December 2013; Juba Nuer Massacre, is only one sure way to restore South Sudan’s social, economic, political stability, permanent and sustainable peace. However, forming South Sudan’s proposed Transitional Government of National of Unity (TGoNU) with penetrators of December 2013-2014 Juba Massacre (s) implies paving a clear road for further destructions, continuation of war and vice-versa. Where to start a way forward, towards ending current South Sudan’s conflict? To me, the SPLM must first of all name among its members, individuals who masterminded Juba Massacre, Bor-UN base Massacre, Unity and Upper Nile states subsequent similar killings of innocent civilians. Voluntarily name the master minders or culprits who committed atrocities since December 2013. This is where to start it best!! Lest, the SPLM fails in bringing its members accountable for the atrocities they have been committing all along. I can, thus, demand African Union’s Commission of Inquiry to release its final findings—investigations conducted on South Sudan as soon as possible for the public to know who actually committed what crimes. And thereafter refer the same names of perpetrators right away to a justified criminal court of Justice for execution. Justice is very, very important part in peace process. As a saying goes “If you want peace, work for justice”. In another word, the root causes of any conflict, peace and justice are the two sides of the same coin. Therefore, an immediate announcement of perpetrators’ names by African Union’s Commission of Inquiry is badly needed. This is finally to say, the practical execution of December 2013 atrocities’ perpetrators is ONLY ONE safest and easy way to end the South Sudan’s current conflict.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese civil society, human right and peace activist. He can easily be reached, for comment, at [email protected].  

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