PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF JIENG UNION (DINKA) IN EAST AFRICA
This press release comes from the office of Jieng Union in East Africa. Jieng Union was formed in 2014 to represent the interest of Dinka people and act as their voice where there is a threat to their existence wherever they are.
Thus, acting on behave of the Dinka people, we, the leaders of Jieng Union in East Africa have noted with great and grave concern as it has come to our attention based on concrete evidence that the war in South Sudan is no longer against the government but against Dinka people because of their ethnicity.
As a matter of fact, which is supported by the evidence of the eye-witnesses and survivors, Dinka people are being targeted by certain organized groups whose intention is to eliminate them in South Sudan. The clear intention of these groups is shown by the use of the word “MTN”.
MTN is a well known South African Telephone Network that stands for Mobile Telephone Network, whose slogan is “Everywhere You Go” because it is found almost in all countries in Africa.
Therefore, the organized groups mentioned in the third paragraph above are using the slogan of the MTN, “Everywhere You Go” to refer to the Dinka people since they are also found everywhere in South Sudan, hence, derogatorily referring to them as “MTN.”
It is not a surprise that since the adoption of the word “MTN” which has now become synonymous with the word “Dinka people”, the killings of Dinka people has increased to disproportionate level.
Dinka people are being targeted everywhere, and in particular, on major roads in South Sudan. These major roads include: Juba-Yei Road, Juba-Mundari Road, Juba-Terekeka Road, Juba-Bor Road, Juba-Torit Road, Juba-Nimule Road, Juba-Kecji-Kecji Road and Yei-Kaya Road. The Vehicles travelling on these major roads are frequently stopped by these groups as already mentioned above, who then search those vehicles to find out whether Dinka people are on them. Once a Dinka person or Dinka people are found on board, they are ordered to go down from the buses or taxis and then killed without any strong reasons but because they are Dinkas.
As a result, many Dinka people have been killed because of their identity and ethnicity. What makes us to conclude that they are being targeted is the fact that once these groups stop the vehicles, they ask passengers to show their identity cards and when it is found out that the holder of the identity card is a Dinka or they are Dinkas, they are ordered to go down from the buses or taxis and immediately executed and dumped on roadsides.
For instance, on 30th of September 2016, 11 Dinka students who were undertaking training in nursing course at Kecji-Kecji in South Sudan were killed on the road from Kecji-Kecji to Juba because of their identity. As the evidence suggested and through the use of the “MTN,” they were singled out among other passengers and mercilessly murdered because they were Dinkas.
Again, on the 2nd of October, 2016, three (3) traffic Dinka police officers were killed in cold blood at Aruu Junction because of their identity.
On October 8, 2016, about 200 Dinka people, mostly women, children and elderly who were travelling from Yei to Juba were massacred in cold blood simply because they were Dinka members. On the same day as the killing was going on, on Juba-Yei Road, Dinka people who were staying at Rom Village at Meluth County in Eastern Nile State of South Sudan were killed and their houses burned down because they were Dinka people.
What makes the killings mentioned in the above paragraph even worse and heartbreaking was the way they were killed. They were killed and after that the dead bodies were mutilated and finally burned beyond recognition. It was horrific and gruesome killing and at the same time inhuman.
There are a lot of evidence substantial the existence of these horrible killings has already taken away hundreds of lives of Dinka people who are killed through target killings since the beginning of 2016 because of their identity and ethnicity.
Apart from killings, there are also evidences which show that the abovementioned groups are organized with the sole mission to use all means to eliminate Dinka people. For instance, these groups have now resorted into checking the names of Dinka people in the telephones of non-Dinka people and if the Dinka names are found in mobile telephones of non-Dinka, then the person whose telephone contain the name of the Dinka is detained and beaten because he has the name of Dinka people in his or her telephone.
In addition, these groups also check the logbook of the vehicle if the logbook is registered in name of the Dinka, then, the car, taxi or the bus is burned. This explains why Eco bus registration number SSB 154A which was burnt to ashes. According to the report, the attackers identified themselves as enemies of the Dinka people, fighting to take over government in South Sudan. They accused the Dinka and Ugandans of supporting the government of President Salva Kiir.
So their rationale of killing Dinkas is to eliminate of all of them because they are supporting the government, thus indiscriminately killing all children, women and elderly contrary to the international humanitarian law as we shall explain latter in this work.
We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that killing of Dinka people which include children, women and elder is not because of their support to the government but because of their ethnicity and identity.
Thus, the purpose of this press release is threefold: first of all, to condemn these barbaric killings in the strongest term possible, secondly, to bring to the attention of the international community that Dinka people are being targeted because of their ethnicity and therefore are entitled to self-defense unless the groups behind the killings stop the activities of extra-judicial killings with immediate effect, and finally, to warn these groups to unconditionally stop killings our people.
Condemnation of targeting killings against Dinka people
We, the leaders of Jieng Union in East Africa have condemned these barbaric killings of our people in the strongest terms possible. We would like to bring to the attention of these groups behind the killings of our people to the fact that the international human rights law, regional human rights law and South Sudan national law give the Dinka people the rights to life, security, integrity of persons and the rights to self-defense.
Thus, killings Dinka people due to their ethnicity violates the prohibition on the arbitrary deprivation of the right to life, which they enjoy under the law. In addition, these groups must know that during a non-international armed conflict, directing attacks against civilians not directly participating in hostilities, including extra-judicial killings is the violation of Additional Protocol II and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits all violence directed against them including murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.
We condemn these groups of people who target our Dinka people because of their ethnicity. Their actions of killing Dinka people who are innocent civilians based on their ethnicity amount to discriminatory diverse treatment, which is a violation of the international human rights law that prohibits discrimination. In addition, it also amounts to the violation of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and fundamental guarantees set forth in Article 4 of the Additional Protocol II.
We further strongly condemn the deliberate, ethnicity-based attacks on our people, which are widespread and systematic. The violence being directed against Dinka people is clearly defined by its scale and method, which indicates that they are being targeted because of their ethnicity. For instance, killings of our people is not random, accidental or isolated acts of violence, but rather it involves a high level of preparation that we believe it follows a certain pattern as indicated by the use of the word “MTN” to refer to Dinka people for easy identification and targeting.
We must stress that target killings and other acts of violence against Dinka people can constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law. Moreover, depending on the circumstances, which are met in this case, if established before the Court of law, such acts also amount to the violation of Article 13 (2) of Additional Protocol II.
We condemn and tell whoever is behind the killing of Dinka people that what they are doing is collective punishment, which is a reprisal directed against them due to their perceived support to the government, which is contrary to the international human rights law. The attacks on Dinka people who are accused of supporting the government of South Sudan can constitute a collective punishment which is in contravention of Article 4 (2) (b) of the Additional Protocol II.
Therefore, we condemn the killings of our people unreservedly and we would like to bring to the attention of all the International Community members that the war in South Sudan is no longer civil war between the government and the oppositions but it is now being directed against Dinka people because of their ethnicity since they are Dinka people were the President is coming from.
Our Information or warning to the International Community
As leaders of Jieng Community in East Africa, we have found it imperative to bring to the attention of the International Community that we are extremely disappointed and dismayed by the impotent response from the International Community to condemn these barbaric and inhuman acts which is in contravention of the international human rights and humanitarian law.
We would like also to inform the International Community that we, the Dinka people know how to fight and we can do it to the required standard but in this case, we have not chosen to adopt the violent means resolving the problems despite the fact that many of our people have been killed in cold blood.
The reason we have been keeping quiet and just watched helplessly though our people are being murdered everyday is because we need peace and unity in South Sudan. In other words, our interest is to save lives of innocent people and also to ensure that dispute is solved peacefully in South Sudan.
However, the way things have reached now as our people are being murdered mercilessly, we are likely to rethink our approach unless the groups behind the killings of our people stop with immediate effect. Thus, our information or warning is going to the international Community or whoever are in the contact with the rebels or these criminals who are killings our people to tell them to stop immediately and unconditionally. If they don’t stop these terrorist activities of targeting our people, we shall be forced to take the law into our hands to defend our people and since we have already warned the whole world in this press release, no one will again raise an accusing finger towards us because we are entitled to self-defense if we are being killed.
Warning to the people behind the killings of Dinka People
We would like to reiterate our call on these groups to stop killings innocent Dinka people and if they do not give heed to our appeal to stop inhuman activities, then this serves as a warning that unless the killings of our people stop with immediate effect, we shall be forced to take the law into our hands to defend ourselves. At that point, there will be no compromise as we shall begin with those who are working in Dinka areas and who come from the areas from which we suspect the people killings Dinka people to be coming from.
Inclusion, this press release is not intended to incite Dinka youth as we would like to emphasize that, we, the Dinka people need peace in South Sudan but we would also like to stress that though we need peace, the peace should not be maintained at our expenses because we are also citizens of South Sudan and we should be given equal treatment. We cannot be killed without defending ourselves on the ground that there is a need for peace in South Sudan. The role of peace keeping is for every citizen in South Sudan irrespective of their ethnical backgrounds.
Therefore, we again call upon the people killing our people to stop killing them and if they do not, then we shall be forced to fight in self-defense if these subversive and barbaric activities of killings our people due to their ethnicity do not stop.
By the office of Jieng Union in Diaspora (East Africa) and undersigned by the people listed below:
Name Title Signature
1. Peter Maniel Kuc Chairperson of Jieng Union (+256774343608)
2. Mabior Ikau Chairperson of Greater Bahr el Ghazal made up of ten states
3. Koul Monytong Chairperson of Jieng Padang
4. Ngor Mayor Chairperson of Greater Lakes State made up of three States
5. Akot Garang Chairperson of Aweil States
6. Machar Chol Chairperson of Greater Warrap States
Note the Copies have been given to all the embassies, the UN High Commission for Human Rights office in Uganda and other civil societies. The photos shown below are for those who have been killed on the road because they are members of Dinka ethnic group.
The article entitled: Who is behind the picking and killing of MTN? A nickname for Dinkas in South Sudan. MTN is a network with logo of “everywhere you go”, the business company’s logo becomes nickname for Dinka in South Sudan. They ask people in vehicles, is there MTN? They said yes if available or no if not!
By David Matiop Gai, Juba South Sudan
The author is a co-founder of National Mental Health Care Organization; He holds Bachelor degree in Social work and social Administration from SSCUST, Bachelor degree in Theology from CLT in Kalispell, Montana USA, and a fellow researcher. He can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com.
The above photo is of the nurse students who were training at Kecji-Kecji in South Sudan because he was a Dinka.
The person being carried in the above photo was one of the victims in Juba-Yei Road Massacre on 8/10/2016
The people who are lying dead in the above photo were some of the victims in Juba-Yei Road Massacre where over 200 people mostly women and children were killed on 8/10/2016
The vehicle above is carrying people killed on target killing because they are Dinka
The above photo is one of the massacres of Dinka people in target killings