By James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, MAR/24/2015, SSN;
As long as both the SPLM-IO and the GRSS continue to use violence means for securing their political interests, facts and fictions will always get mixed to produce propaganda fallacies in attempts to justify one’s evil actions. The article of Stephen Par Kuol is not absolved from such one-sided bias. It is his right to be biased for the interest of the SPLM/A-IO, but he doesn’t have a right to force it on our throats without a response.
Mr. Stephen has already damaged his credibility when he lied that he was an eye witness of ‘genocide’ in Juba while he lived in comfort in New Sudan Palace Hotel and was driven on a standard car to Juba Airport for flight check-in to Nairobi as the city was under threat of rebel attacks.
Even myself who lived in 107, dodged some bullets to escape death narrowly on 16 December 2013, swallowed the bitterness of my house being attacked and looted badly with damages, and communicated with some of my neighbors who managed to reach UNMISS camp alive, cannot temper with my credibility to lie with a conclusion that ‘genocide’ took place in Juba.
Yes, some targeted killings took place but not ‘genocide’ as the SPLM-IO propaganda machine used to lie to the international community.
Also not all those who were killed in Juba during the outburst of the crisis hailed from one ethnic group. Other ethnic groups were affected too, including some foreigners.
If 20,000 members of one ethnic group were killed in Juba on 15, 16, 17 and 18 December 2013, then who would have been left among them in 107, Kor William, Gudele and Jebel to run for a dear life and take refuge in UNMISS camps?
Even those who took refuge in UNMISS camps were not all from one ethnic group. That was why you could see signposts in UNMISS camps pointing to one ethnic group on one side and other ethnic groups on the other side.
Armed Forces Status Issue: The amalgamation proposal is a recipe for another future eruption of senseless violence. The case of the CPA’s model of the Joint and Integrated Units (JIUs) is still fresh in our memories where the two armed forces clashed thrice in Malakal, for example. Thus, neither integration nor amalgamation of the armed forces of the two warring parties will work as long as there is no trust and good faith between them.
Also the proposal of proportional representation of the 64 tribes in the national armed forces will not set a good precedent for a one nation-building because it will, instead, entrench tribalism as criteria for tackling national issues of South Sudan.
Hence, it could be safer if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement model is adopted for tacking the issue of armed forces of the warring parties. Thank God that veteran Gen. Joseph Lagu is still alive and kicking for consultancy on this matter.
Public Disclosure of Debts: If the SPLM/A-IO has already given a verdict that the debts of President Kiir’s Government are illegal then why should it be disclosed at will?
Why should Dr. Riek’s Resistance Movement negotiate with a kleptocrat and an illegal president if at all there is honesty in what the SPLM/A-IO posits? They should not stick to overthrowing him via violence means if they thought it was an easy matter to usurp power that way?
But is the SPLM/A-IO legal itself to demand for legality of another? It should be the citizens who have not taken arms against the state to demand such disclosers of government debts; not outlaws rebels.
Also the law-abiding citizens of South Sudan will not bother themselves asking for disclosure of debts of rebellions because rebels are never accountable to the citizens; only the legitimate government.
The Coup or No-Coup Narratives: This has not been falsified yet because no court verdict has taken place so far. The case has been stayed only until further notice.
But how do you call shootings in an army barrack which make politicians escape from their homes and declare rebellion resistance movement against the government within a very short period?
If it is running for dear lives why not run to non-violence asylum in another country rather than to violence rebellion in the bushes? Remember that a victim cannot resist, hence, no rebel can be regarded as a victim in the current crisis of SPLM failed leadership in South Sudan.
That is why the Intra-SPLM Arusha Reunification Agreement forced all the so-called SPLM leaders to apologize to the people of South Sudan and be ready to answer any proven war crimes against humanity. Victims don’t apologize.
Peace Talks in Bad Faith: In Pagak consultative conference, the SPLA-IO generals told Taban Deng Gai to carry on with peace negotiations in Addis but they will continue to conduct the violent approach on the ground with Paul Malong until President Kiir is gone for good.
Where is the good faith to demonstrate from the SPLM-A-IO even if the GRSS failed to bring peace out from around the corner of Makuei Lueth?
Hence, comes double standards of contradiction of mixture of both dialogue and violence at the same time but with the result of collapse of negotiations and continuation of warfare. This makes the region and the world skeptical about seriousness of the warring leaders of South Sudan in bringing good news to their people.
Thus, an agreement could possibly be forced on their throats by/before July 2015 as their hands are held on pens to sign it unwillingly with international guarantees for its implementation.
Diplomacy is an anti-thesis to Militancy: Diplomatic language is a language of nice and flattering expressions in order to cool the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day.
The diplomacy of blaming and condemning both the warring sides is a correct one as long as the SPLM/A-IO and GRSS senseless war continues. This language may only change if the principals agree or are forced to end the war by any means.
So, it would be better for Stephen Par Kuol to keep his appeal to the regional and international community to himself because they are doing what diplomacy is supposed to do when there is no will for peace from the warmongers.
Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and public analyst in the area of politics. He lives in Juba and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org