“He, who does not learn from history, is doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana
By Zechariah James Machar
November 10, 2015 (SSNA) — Choosing to forget December 15 massacre means choosing to side with those who raped you out of your family’s solicitude, those who forced your mother to eat your father’s roasted flesh; those who removed your son’s testosterones to impede the growth of Nuer’s population and to instill inferiority in you. Opting to forget December 15 means you have chosen to part with those who raped your daughter with wooden or metal tools, those who gathered elderly people in hundreds and burned them alive.
Choosing to forget December 15, 2013 mean choosing to forget your own identity!
Why should we never forget December 15, 2013?
Well, there are so many lessons to be learned from December 15th, good, bad, and way ugly. How did it get to such a stage? What drove the offenders, and what drove the rescuers (Local Civil Defense Forces and their brave generals in Bor, Malakal and Unity State)? How would we ensure that if a similar tragedy arises that we would not remain bystanders? Bystanders were in many cases, essentially passive offenders because without their silent consent, Salva Kiir would have had a much harder time in doing as much damage as he did!
December 15 must be remembered because it was a major event in the history of South Sudan when thousands of innocent Nuer and other South Sudanese minorities were targeted and murdered in cold blood for their identity. We will always remember the December 15 as a day in which many innocent civilians perish in the hands of a coward president who found joy in revenging against helpless civilians and endangered the survival of the entire ethnic group. This is the doom day in which foreign mercenaries were prepared to use their superiors against one ethnic group. Failing to commemorate this tragic past risk as if nothing happens would risk a repeat of such impunities. This is not our culture!
December 15, like the holocaust, is the day when men we entrusted with power openly introduced ethnic discrimination and hatred into our state policies. Regrettably, these things continue to happen on a significant scale in nearly all minority groups and they would continue to happen if we act as if nothing happened. We, the survivors of December 15 massacres, must continually preach to schoolchildren, our next generation, that hatred, ethnic prejudice, discrimination, segregation, splits and domination are a cancer that must be abolished in our systems if we ought to build a stable democratic nation. This cancer kills and it will eventually kill those who harbor it today. Don’t ever hate, and if you don’t, give an evil eye to those who practice it!
We all bleed the same color. We are all people, when you see someone being bullied, stand up and do something – whether you get help or say something yourself, but don’t just stand idly. December 15 shows us what happens when we stop seeing people as people; when we fail to see a person as unique individual.
Why would we mourn on December 15 instead of 16?
As Christians celebrate Christmas on the day Jesus was born, and God Friday on the day of his crucifixion instead of any other day when major events and temptations happened, December 15th is the day when ethnic discrimination, hatred and subsequent massacres were ascended into state policies. December 15th is the day the trained presidential militia and hired mercenaries, hided in Nesitu and other parts of Equatoria, had anticipated.
As we all know after the first day of the national Liberation council (NLC) meeting on the 14 December, 2013, Dr. Machar and his Dec-6th meeting group withdrew and failed to return back to the meeting on Sunday, December 15, 2013 due to hateful speech of Salva Kiir and his supporters and on the same day at 9:30 PM fighting broke out at the SPLA headquarters barracks in Juba amongst members of the presidential guards. Following hours of fighting involving the military, the fighting spread out into the general population on the streets of Juba; the military together with Salva Kiir militias (Mathiang Anyor) began a house-to-house search for Nuer civilians. It’s intuitive to conclude that even Salva Kiir led his Tiger battalion on this night as he demonstrated on the national television the follow morning.
For those who would like to have the original designed logo for 2015 Commemoration event of December 15 massacre, please visit Nyamilepedia contact page or simply contact the author of the article.
The author can be reached at zee4yo at yahoo dot co dot uk