By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, DEC/19/2016, SSN;
While the world community is commemorating the 3rd Anniversary of the December 2013 Juba Massacre, the same genocidaire regime chose to distract everyone’s attention by releasing a speech by the same president announcing the commencement of a so-called National Dialogue. A Dialogue with a tyrant, my foot!
Notwithstanding the fact that I didn’t listen to the speech while it was being read out by Salva Kiir Mayardit himself, nonetheless, I have read through the entire document of the speech dated 14th December 2016. My personal conclusion is that this is just another well-ruminated speech prepared for him by his speech writers who often engage more on the what should be said but not necessarily what can be done.
The Call by dictator Salva Kiir Mayardit for a National Dialogue under his auspices and yet oblivious to his personal role in the current crisis if anything to go by is itself utterly absurd.
With the demise of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan (ARCISS) in July 2016 following the failed attempt on the life of SPLM-IO’s Chairperson and Commander in Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) legally ceased to exist.
Whatever is there now, is simply what the International community and the outgoing President Barrack Obama’s administration would like to maintain as a face-saving exercise, no more, no less.
Let me be very sincere with those who continue to think that anything good can still be achieved under the pathetic leadership of General Salva Kiir Mayardit, General Taban Deng Gai, General Kuol Manyang Juuk, and General Paul Malong Awan, that they are indeed hostages of a ‘Big Lie.’ For it is these generals who chose the path of violence as a way of addressing South Sudan’s political issues.
The generals would like to remain relevant to the politics of the country, and they can only achieve that by further dragging the entire country into more devastating, yet senseless civil war. I wish to believe they have reached their goals so far. To come out of it is not what they can be entrusted to accomplish.
Characteristic of Salva Kiir Mayardit and coterie, they have often portrayed themselves as peace loving people, but wherever they go, a trail of blood follows them. Maybe this little extract from the president’s Independence Day Speech can serve to shade light on what often trademarks his speeches and essentially, they are all about empty promises that the least sophisticated South Sudanese doesn’t even buy into anymore:
“It is my ardent belief that you are aware that our detractors have already written us off, even before the proclamation of our independence. They say we will slip into civil war as soon as our flag is hoisted. They justify that by arguing that we are incapable of resolving our problems through dialogue. They charge that we are quick to revert to violence. They claim that our concept of democracy and freedom is faulty. It is incumbent upon us to prove them all wrong!”.
Does anyone need reminding that the genesis of the 13th July 2013 crisis was a breakdown in dialogue within the ruling SPLM party!
The people of South Sudan deserve to have a better leadership than those murderers masquerading as statesmen. War is obviously not the best way to go about addressing national issues, yet this is what Salva Kiir’s regime has opted for. But there must be an end to this destructive war.
And while there is an urgent need to restart the process of a peaceful settlement, Salva Kiir will always be part of the problem and never of the solution.
Hence, until we can all see that this is the case, worse things will likely continue to happen in this new country while the culprits with the blessing of the inaction of the international community continue to enjoy financial and moral support in the regional and beyond.
No one with conscience including President Barrack Obama and his entire administration can miss seeing the many squandered opportunities that could have saved South Sudan should the situation continue to deteriorate, which indeed is already the case.
For many observers, including the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, headed by South Africa’s Yasmin Sooka and Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, have recently warned that the current violence, much of it inter-tribal and increasingly directed at ethnic cleansing, is sliding towards genocide.
Repeatedly, Sooka has said: ‘The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it.’ The last time was on 1 December after visiting South Sudan with her commission.
Sadly indeed, nothing tangible has been coming from the African Union although we all know that the AU’s Constitutive Act permits forcible intervention in the case of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
As the number of South Sudanese who have abandoned their homes because of this war has already surpassed the one million mark, the crucial importance of the International community to continue with the provision of the much needed humanitarian assistance without hindrance cannot be overstressed.
However, a real process to reverse the precarious situation on the ground in South Sudan necessitates a new inclusive political process. This process MUST be outside South Sudan to enable the participants the freedom to delve into the various root causes of the conflict.
And whether they like it or not some very painstaking decisions must be reached to re-structure the future political, social and economic outlook of the new country be it in one piece or several pieces.
Yet the very crucial step must begin by immediately operationalizing the Hybrid courts for South Sudan to consider all the crimes committed in the period that started from 13th December 2013 to date. While preparing for all these, it is also important that Salva Kiir and his regime are held responsible for the demise of the ACRISS.
All leaders who are responsible for war crimes and offenses committed against humanity must also receive targeted sanctions in forms of travel bans and freeze of ALL their assets.
Finally, the time has come for this country to be put under severe forms of the arms embargo to stop this brutal and savage regime from continuing its vicious assaults on unarmed civilians cowardly using lethal Helicopter gunships and jet fighters.
It is the time that the international community comes to the realization of the wrong path the Obama administration has imposed on it by erroneously giving recognition to Salva Kiir-Taban Deng regime in Juba. They will come to regret it if they are already not doing so.
It is the time that they see the administration for actually what it stands for, as it is bent on imposing its violent kleptocratic nature on the country with wider ramifications for the entire region. Kiir’s regime is presiding over a pariah state that deserves isolation and not embracement.
Author: Justin Ambago Ramba. A Concern South Sudanese Citizen and a Voice for the Voiceless.