The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) takes this opportunity to calls on the Greater Nuer Community (aka Naath) around the global for calm and encourages them to embrace peace. While the Council acknowledges the pain the Nuer Community is going through after the release of long-waited AU Report on South Sudan conflict, where the Commission found that there was a State’s sanctioned summarily execution policy against Nuer innocent civilians, the Council feels it’s paramount to remain calm and strategize for ways forward.
On October 26th, 2015, the SPLM/A –IO and SPLM/- Juba, disguised as the Government of South Sudan signed the PCTSA Security Arrangement metric for the resolution of South Sudan conflict in Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.
Following the signing of the PCTSA Security Arrangement metric on the resolution of South Sudan conflict, the African Union Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan Conflict also made public its Report on Human Rights violations and other Abuses during South Sudan’s Conflict.
The evidence of crimes on the report committed against members of the Nuer ethnic groups are “horrific,” and they include forced cannibalism, castration of boys and left for dead, gang rapes and chopping off of young girls and women breasts after rapes, forced jumping on fire and forced drinking of human blood after being killed by the perpetrators.
These are insurmountable crimes reported and confirmed by the African Union, committed by Salva Kiir and allied militias in Juba, South Sudan on the 16th-19th of December 2013.
The validation of these horrific crimes by the African Union’s report on South Sudan is a victory, but has regenerated anger and uneasy feelings among the Greater Nuer Community. In an essence, these crimes are horrific, unbearable and the NSC understands that Nuer society has a right to be anger.
However, as a community, we need to take back step. Rethink for better strategic moves and answers to the problem. We also need to be thankful to the AU Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan for overwhelmingly and at last validating our long claim crime of genocide committed against Nuer civilians.
This position has consistently been the Greater Nuer Community and the Nuer Supreme Council stance since the day conflict stated and massacre was carried out on the 15th of December 2013 by non-other than Salva Kiir Mayardit, trained militias and organized forces against Nuer.
This position has also been our ground call for justice in order for peace to prevail in South Sudan. More importantly, it has been the basis for armed struggle and to self –defense against aggressors. You may recall, as a community, we had no other reasons than to fight rather than in defense in order to ensure our collective survival.
Various articles on the Commission’s Report justified crimes committed against Nuer innocent civilians. Article 812 for example on the report indicated that the Nuer massacre was a state sanctioned “organized military operation” and in “furtherance of a State policy”.
812. The evidence thus suggests that these crimes were committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy. Indeed, the method under which these crimes were committed proved the “widespread or systematic nature” of the attacks. The evidence also shows that it was an organized military operation that could not have been successful without concerted efforts from various actors in the military and government circles. Therefore the element of the existence of a State policy can be deduced therefrom.
The other evidence which suggests the manner in which ethnic Nuer civilians were targeted and proved as an element of well-planned and well- organized execution of one ethic group is article 459. Article 459 state that;
The fighting in Giada was just to provoke. It was just only to be a signal for these guys to start their work. So immediately when this fighting started in the others, these guys were now deployed and they did the killing, Nuer ethnic group, in Kor William, in Gudele, Mia Saba, ten so it in these areas where those concentrations had been made. Mostly women and children, elderly and youth. So it was a deliberate, it was something planned and this explains why even there was no talk about it. There was not report in the press about this thing. The population in Juba was told never to talk about it. If you were heard talking about this killing in Juba you will just be killed.”
The Commission believe that crimes such as murder, extermination, torture, rape, persecutions on political grounds as well as inhuman and degrading treatment were committed against civilians in various parts of South Sudan. There are also grounds to believe that these crimes were committed in a widespread or systematic manner.
Further, Article 810 on the report revealed how Juba was sectioned into four quadrants to maximize the execution. The report states;
On the part of the State, corroborating evidence from various witnesses 378 recounted how Juba was divided in four operational zones. Roadblocks or checkpoints were established all around Juba and house to house searches were undertaken by security forces. During this operation male Nuers were targeted, identified, killed on the spot or gathered in on place and killed”.
These crimes are insurmountable and indisputably premediated against defenseless civilians Nuer women and children. The report ascertained this fact on the Article 791 which says;
Indiscriminate killings of civilians as a war crime were committed in Juba. Indeed, unlawful killings of civilians or soldiers who were believed to be hors de combat were committed by element of security forces of the Government. These attacks resulted in massive killings in and around Juba. The people killed were either found during the house to house search or captured on roadblocks.
Though the NSC commended the African Union Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan Conflict for making the Human Rights violations and other crimes committed in South Sudan public. The Council is disappointed that the AU Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan conflict did not find reasonable ground for crime of genocide despite the fact that there are overwhelming prodigious evidence of genocide committed against Nuer innocent civilians in Juba.
The Council believes this is a missed step and gross mischarge of justice in its pure form and may have dire consequences. To avoid this path, the Council calls on the African Union Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan conflict to reconsider it finding. For we know, the people of South Sudan and the world know that crimes of genocide were committed in Juba.
This is our position, and we would like to assure our members that the Council will pursue this path given the magnitudes and ghastliness of the crimes committed against our people.
Under these difficult circumstances, the Council would like to reiterate that it stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Sudan, particularly the Greater Nuer Community as we collectively inspires to promote peace to ensure political justice and held to account those who have committed heinous crimes citizens of South Sudan.
Though the Council acknowledges and feels the pains that members of the Nuer Community are going through, it is therefore important to recognize that stoppage of bloodshed firsthand by silencing of guns is imperative. It is the first step toward guaranteeing accountable and seeing to an end impunity.
The Council remind its members that continuation of the imposed war is a blockage to accountability. Undoubtedly, this is what the criminals in the government of South Sudan and Salva Kiir Mayardit himself want.
For Salva Kiir, the continuation war is a strategic pretext to avoid justice. On this desperate scheme, Salva Kiir government is preying on renegaded SPLM/A –IO Generals and using them as a springboard to destroy the agreement. The Council believe people of South Sudan are smarter and won’t be dupe by cheap political propaganda for that matter.
Recently Gabriel Changson Lew Chang, the breakaway disgruntled politician from SPLM/A called for mutiny and desertion within the SPLM/A –IO forces. Therefore, our people must know that these are signs of Kiir’s last desperate attempts to kill peace.
In this regard, the Council urges its members and other South Sudanese to disassociate themselves from renegaded generals. Their aim is to destroy peace and deny accountability to take roots.
We must not allow this to happen in our watch because our objective is to bring those who committed heinous crimes against innocent Nuer civilian to account. This is our goal and common national interest and nothing short of this.
Finally, the Council like to take this opportunity also to acknowledge job well done by educated young Nuer men and women and other open-minded South Sudanese during these difficult times.
Fellow citizens, we have done a great serve to your people and nation. You have assured the world that you are a force to be reckoned with; a force for good against the forces of evil.
Chairman of Nuer Supreme Council