EDITORIAL: DEC/24/2015, SSN;
QUOTE: “This war has been hell for the people of South Sudan, but it has also been very lucrative for their leaders. War crimes pay has been the message…..when there are no limits to the hijacking of state resources or consequences for the use of violence.” John Prendergast, Enough Project, 2015.
As we get to the Christian season of Christmas, most South Sudanese Christians and even some of their Muslims fellow countrymen and women, will fervently be indulging in serious prayers for the peace that has for long eluded them as war and death became the most common tragedies in the last two years.
Yes, there’ll also be prayers for the hundreds of thousands of those who needlessly fell victims and were murdered in a senseless war fought between two sides of the criminal and soul-less SPLM/SPLA, an organization of unrepentant murderers who are utterly fearless of God.
Truly, these so-called leaders of this autocratic, atavistic, clannish and tribal system of SPLM/SPLA governance have betrayed and wasted the opportunity for our people that the independence had provided after decades of fighting for liberation.
No question, there will be more prayers for forgiveness for the leaders-cum-killers and for their unimaginable crimes against humanity they overtly and covertly committed especially first when Kiir and his jieeng tribal commanders premeditated, commissioned and committed the murders on December 15, 2013 without remorse or repentance.
As sure as the Sun will rise every morning, murderer/president Kiir, Machar, Wani Igga, Kuol Manyang and Paul Malong, Pieng and the many SPLM/SPLA killers of their fellow Christians will surely go to their respective tribal churches and devoutly proclaim their faith as ‘good’ Christians.
However, and most poignantly, would our people and our pastors/priests also pray for real justice for the tens of thousands of the innocent victims and survivors of this war that wrecked our the nation?
The prolific American writer, Guy H. King wrote that, “No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayers than the devil, not that he practices it, but suffers for it.”
As our nation supposedly is coming back together, that’s with the return of the so-called ‘rebel’ SPLM/A-IO, we must first exert greater exhortation for God’s revenge on those who started the war in 2015 that led to the subsequent murders that followed before we rush to call for forgiveness.
The Obasanjo Report just released abundantly exposed the unimaginable magnitude of the atrocities that our so-called SPLM/SPLA national leaders committed which even included unimaginable acts of cannibalism, rape, castration and burning our young boys and girls alive.
Historically, South Sudanese have had the misfortune of never ever seeing any justice and accountability for egregious crimes that predated the December 15/2013 Kiir-Machar war, and this goes back to the very genesis of the SPLM/A in 1983, followed by the 1991 First Jieeng-Nuer internecine war.
In both previous instances and just like in the current predicament, instead for seeking justice first followed by forgiveness and reconciliation, the powers-that-be had chosen to conspiratorially circumvent any justice and accountability.
Unlike the Europeans or Americans, where if a leader commits such horrendous crimes in office or in his command, he or she automatically steps down on his or her own volition from that office and is ready for any legal course against him or her.
More poignantly, if such leader were a Japanese or Korean, he would simply commit suicide as an atonement and a repentance for his crimes.
One thing specifically stands out and cries loudly about us, South Sudanese, never has any single person in the current SPLM/SPLA leadership, from John Garang to Kiir and Machar, has ever publicly expressed or showed contrition about the killings they commissioned or effected.
If we do negate those killings done during the bush war on the grounds that then it was a just war, how about those since the SPLM/SPLA predators took power over a peaceful Juba since 2005?
By some credible experts’ estimation, the SPLM/SPLA war killed more South Sudanese than the enemy Arab North Sudanese killed during the same period.
Returning to our current predicament, it’s absolutely unacceptable that we can tolerate the blatant disregard for the rule of law by those entrusted by the people to lead the country. Inside the SPLM/SPLA, there are proven murderers walking absolutely free as they’re somewhat emboldened by the ineffective lack of due justice and accountability.
During the outbreak of the Kiir-Machar war in December 2013, the nation’s Inspector General of Police, Gen. Pieng, for instance, threw out his police uniform and the law, and hurriedly put on the murder insignia of the SPLA as he dashed to the war front-lines in Bor to abet in the killings of the Nuer.
Gen. Pieng was live on BBC at that time then, vowing seriously to kill the Nuer who at that time were supposedly marching to ‘capture’ the Capital, Juba. No wonder, now that he is back as Police Chief, Juba is now the top Murder Capital of Africa, where killings are breaking records daily and without accountability!
Peace, especially a lasting peace in South Sudan, is untenable unless there is absolute justice whereby those known perpetrators of the egregious crimes of killing innocent citizens, whether the victims are Dinka, Nuer, Azande, Madi or Pojulu in Wonduruba, must be brought and tried by the court of law.
In an ironical twist of tribal retributive justice, the jieeng worshipers recently drove ‘rebel’ Madame Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of late SPLM/SPLA founder himself, John Garang, from their church for allegedly ‘betraying’ the tribe by her supposed family support to rebel Machar.
However, instead of desecrating their tribal church in such a lawless way, what those jieeng worshipers should have done was to file a case in the courts of law against Rebecca Nyandeng and family for any war crimes allegedly commissioned or committed by this once-First-Family in the nation.
Anyway, since the real people who executed the Dinka-Nuer War of 2013 are already in Juba and more are soon arriving into town, perhaps this will be a propitious moment for citizens to take to the rule of law by filing lawsuits against some of the commanders and soldiers whom they suspected to have carried out the murders of their relatives.
Once again, as the Archbishops, priests and pastors conduct the prayers on these holy days of December, they must, as an obligation, vocalize the urgency for justice before rushing with the call for forgiveness.
Incidentally as alluded to above, these blood-stained and conscience-damaged SPLM/SPLA leaders on both sides of the party, like the ‘devils’ that they practically are, fervently believe in the power of prayers as shown by their habitual public manifestations of their various faiths in their respective churches.
But deep down in their souls, they are terribly scared of the power of justice and retribution. It’s time to bring more heavyweight pressure on them, positively for the churches foremost so as to make them accountable in spite of their misplaced sense of invincibility.
Finally, let’s just put in the backs of our minds that this new Dinka-Nuer or better still, this new Kiir-Machar coalition governance being soon put into place is another marriage from hell…..sooner rather than later, it will unravel and splinter once again!
Though on paper the agreement deceptively appears as absolutely comprehensive, it is just as fragile and untenable because it is dependent on the good cooperation and commitment between Kiir and Machar, but those things seem to be lacking as the two protagonists have little incentives to do so.
In short, nothing has changed very much, no transformative institutions have been set up first and those that are there are utterly inadequate.
Furthermore, the SPLM and the SPLA are two faces of the same coin, when the first gets the flu, the other one sneezes!
At the present moment, to reassert the experts’ deductions, Kiir can ‘never be the principal political vehicle for peace and reconciliation, just as neither the SPLM nor the SPLA, in their present form or in recreated “unified” forms, can ever act as unifying institutions in the country.
In the meantime, in this supposedly joyous season of birth of Christ, let’s all tell them that nobody is above the law and that all lives are sacred. This is my New Year message!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.