The Wau Massacre exposes lack of accountability in South Sudan

BY: Bol Garang de Bol, Canberra, Australia, JAN/5/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is both discomposed and confounded by the inefficient approach with which the Government continues to address insecurity in the Western Bar el Ghazal, Jonglei State and Lake State that has left a number of persons dead and many more injured. Sadly to
mention, the Wau massacre isn’t the first incident in which our Government has failed our people.

The Government has failed the citizens by not undertaking rapid response, efficient data collection of intelligence information, and measures to diffuse conflict in Mile 14, Heglig (known as Panthou) and Abyei. Instead the South Sudan government and the ruling party
(SPLM) seem to have adopted a “fire fighting approach” that responds only to a disaster instead of responding to signs and symptoms that could potentially prevent a disaster.

The way our government responds to threats of the security of the citizens is confusing and indefensible. The Government must have a proactive response to a threatening situation by assembling all national security machinery for collecting necessary intelligence
information that could circulate a volatile situation and the government could drag its feet to prevent death of innocent people.

The South Sudan government’s inefficient approach raises fundamental condemnation and distressing questions that leave our National Security in disbelief. The South Sudanese people may ask why the President and Commander in Chief of South Sudan Armed Forces
cannot command an immediate action to end the on-going massacre in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei State and Lakes State.

The recent incident in Wau undermined the eligibility of South Sudan police Inspector-General, Achuil Tito Madut, Minister for National Security, General Oyai Deng Ajak and all Directors of security organs to hold public positions.

The President has a moral obligation to the citizens of South Sudan under the Interim South Sudan Constitution which stipulates that the President shall ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rules of law. The people of South Sudan for the last seven years since 2005 have continuously witnessed the breakdown of the rule of law and the inability of the persons conferred with such responsibilities failing them every time and again.

We’re deeply concerned with reports that the aid agencies spoke of properties being looted and houses burnt. While the number of those killed by the SPLA has not been counted due to tight security situation in the town. The use of military personnel against civilians, and the use of brutal methods for extracting information from the suspects are unacceptable and should be condemned by all civilized societies.

I would like the South Sudan Government to take note that we condemn the violent killings in Western Bar el Ghazal that are as a direct result of the pressure that has been building due to failure by the State to uphold the rule of law.

I also note that the failure and delay by the Government to undertake security sectors reforms is undermining key changes that could enhance the performance of the security sectors to ensure sustainable peace in the country.

For the sack of national interests, I call on the South Sudan’s government to:–

1. To strongly and speedily stop and investigate the Wau massacre.
2. The immediate resignation of National Security Minister, General Oyai Deng Ajak and South Sudan’s Inspector-General of Police, Lt. General, Achuil Tito Madut.
3. The immediate disarmament of the general population
4. The South Sudan Government must take political responsibility by enforcing the rule of law so that such acts of lawlessness may not happen again.
5. The government must inform the public about what measures are in place to control future massacre.

I believe, not only me, but many Southerners now and in the near future will share the same idea with me by accusing this government of having failed to deliver to people’s expectations. The people of South Sudan under the current leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit are agitating for good service delivery, a corruption-free South Sudan, transparency in the Party leadership and public sectors.

The major issue in the Government of President Salva Kiir, is accountability. No one is being held accountable to the South Sudanese people… neither the President nor his Executive arm of government.

The President and his Executive keep denying if anything went wrong, therefore, who will the South Sudanese hold accountable for rampant corruption, Wau massacre, stolen $4 billion and malicious killings in Juba?

Giving critical analysis to the situation facing our country today under the SPLM Rule, you may find it that the Movement we joined 30 years ago isn’t the same Movement we’re having now. The SPLA/SPLM was formed as the Movement of the people for the people to liberate South Sudan through a change of government but in a civilized way.

I was assuming the people of South Sudan to go for service delivery government similar to those of UK, US, Australia, Kenya, South Africa which are responsible governments not that of “Fire Brigade” with only one or two with the vision for all. The government we need in South Sudan between now and 2015 is a transitional government which can represent the interest of South Sudanese people and protect them and their territory.

We don’t want the government which failed to negotiate the political fate of Abyei, Mile 14 and Wau massacre. The people of South Sudan at this critical time need a national leader that can build trust among ethnic communities on this momentum.

Bol Garang de Bol is a South Sudanese living in Canberra, Australia.
He can be reached at

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