Thoughts on the Dec. 2013 Massacre in Juba City

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, 19/DEC/2015, SSN;

December 15, used to be an ordinary day or perhaps a day full of excitement to those who follow the Christian faith as it’s only 10 days away from the big day, namely Christmas. It’s among the days that mark the warming up for Christmas and the new year celebrations. People go shopping, travel to see family members and friends and some travel to spend Christmas holidays in their villages.

It’s the happiest time of the year all over South Sudan. It will continue to be the same though now marred by the horrific events that started in Juba that day in 2013 and continued for three or more days.

The hostilities then quickly spread to other parts of the country and within a couple of weeks, South Sudan was plunged into a civil war.

Catastrophic events are not uncommon in the history of nations and countries. We have lived through multiple horrible events albeit not of such magnitude in terms of the number of victims and the level of savagery involved.

To the older population of Juba, the events brought back memories of days in August 1965 when the Sudanese army committed a massacre against the citizens of Juba. People were hunted down from house to house and shot dead or burned inside their homes.

There are similarities between the events in the past and what took place in Qudele and Mia Sabba residential areas in December 2013. The difference though is that the perpetrators in 1965 were Mundukuru (Arab) soldiers targeting all the South Sudanese citizens of Juba and not a single tribe.

At any rate, the events that started on the 15th of December 2013 remain puzzling to a great number of citizens and observers. The reason is that, if there is anything that properly fits the definition of a man-made catastrophe, it must be what befell the republic of South Sudan on that day.

There can be no logic or wisdom that could justify what happened.

The country has just arisen from a long and painful war and was well-received into the league of nations. Expectations were quite high both from the citizens and from friends and well-wishers.

It seemed logical that South Sudan was destined for rapid growth and prosperity taking full advantage of its huge natural resources and the unprecedented support from the international community.

The threat to nationhood was never perceived by South Sudanese to emanate from within but was and is still believed to come from the north. To the layperson, the Juba massacre was a startling realisation of a scenario that was unthinkable prior to its occurrence.

To a keen observer the trajectory was long pointing towards the direction of violence since the president settled to forming his tribal militia.

It’s the first major catastrophic event that happened to us as South Sudanese. All the other atrocities occurred while we were considered Sudanese citizens, hence foreign involvement even if minimal, cannot be discounted.

There can be no doubt about whom to blame for this massacre. The responsibility rests squarely on the regime’s head.

The brutality of the events transpires that something deeply troubling has come into being amidst our populace. Grotesque acts like forcing victims to eat burned human flesh and drink human blood can only mean one thing that is extreme hatred that has taken full control of the perpetrators. They have been trained and brainwashed by the real criminals at the top of the regime.

In essence they were used as tools to execute a satanic plot.

December 15/2013 also tells us about what irresponsible and short-sighted leadership could do to peoples’ lives. Up to the day before the events, all South Sudanese communities were living in harmony save the long-standing cattle rustling and pastoralists’ attacks in Equatoria.

People were aware of a conflict within the SPLM leadership and that the president and his deputy were embroiled in a power struggle.

The laypeople paid little attention to what was going on as they were busy in the pursuit of their daily livelihood. It was the regime’s irresponsible acts that pitted communities against each other culminating in the outburst of violence all over the country.

In these difficult times, the south Sudanese people regardless of their ethnicities should be supportive and lend a helping hand to the families of the victims. One would have expected the government to issue a statement about the December 2013 events as a sign of good will and readiness to lead the reconciliation process.

It will also be seen as an acceptance of responsibility and that it cares about the victims’ families.

I would have expected our national flag to be flown at half-mast in remembrance of the victims like the rest of the civilised world. The victims’ widows and families would have wanted the government to designate one of the days of the massacre as a national day of commemoration.

In fact all the major events that include the Juba massacre, the Wau shooting and the Bor massacre should have designated days for commemoration. Unfortunately nothing of that sort is forthcoming from the regime so far.

On the contrary, a futile attempt is underway to downplay the Juba massacre into oblivion.

It’s troubling that many supporters of the regime never condemned the Juba atrocities but tend to refer to the 1991 Bor massacre whenever the issue of accountability is discussed.

It is clear to everyone that heinous crimes were committed in Bor town in 1991, but those crimes by no means justify the December 2013 acts.

There is a principle in law that a person can not be tried twice for the same crime. And by the same token a person cannot be pardoned twice as well. Thus if Dr Riek Machar has accepted responsibility for what people under his command did in Bor town in 1991 and sought pardon from the Bor community which reportedly was granted to him, then it must be assumed that a new page has been opened.

Also his return to the SPLM/SPLA and being given the third top position in the leadership hierarchy, leaves us with the assumption that he has been fully rehabilitated.

The regime supporters’ position becomes quite weak when faced with the fact that Dr Riek Machar was the vice president and the deputy chairman of the SPLM party for 8 years. Why did they put up with a “criminal” at the top of the government and the party all that time?

Liability is not an on and off situation in the sense that if someone is considered a criminal he remains as such until his name has been cleared.

Moreover it’s ridiculous to accept someone as your vice president for 8 years and then when things go wrong, you go back to your old books and demand his trial for crimes committed almost quarter a century ago.

The regime supporters tried to sell to the public the coup d’etat narrative in their struggle to justify the Juba carnage. It turned out to be nothing but thin air and was rejected by the whole world including president Museveni, Kiir’s only ally.

If they were to be true nationalists, they would have stepped back after realising that they have been misled by the regime. They would have let themselves be guided by their conscience and moral values that we ought to assume they do possess them.

Instead we witnessed vigorous attempts to defend the indefensible and malicious efforts to create divisions within communities. They were quick to condemn the revenge attacks against civilians in Bor, Akobo and other towns but never did the same to the Juba massacre or the attacks against the Nuer civilians inside UNMISS camp in Bor town.

It turned out that blind tribalism and material gains have trumped their conscience and moral values.

The December 2013 Juba massacre and the revenge attacks that targeted civilians in Bor and other towns are all war crimes under the international law. All the perpetrators whether from the government side or from the opposition side should be brought to justice. It should include the top leaders and no one should be above the law .

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

27 Comments

  1. Alier-kon says:

    Dear Lako,
    what do you want to says now? or what are you telling us? it seem that you desperate in your writing.
    what do you want war or peace?

    • Bol says:

      Brother Alier-Kon,
      The best way to cure our Dr is to ignore his outputs….Look at his last two article, one got 6 responses and this one was about to go into the dustbin without a single response, if you didn’t honour him with one response…..The Nuers and Equatorians don’t want to come near his controversial and absurd ideas.

      • Dr Lako Jada Kwajok says:

        Bol,

        The article you referred to was published on 08/12/2015 and was about sovereignty. I did criticise the government for not responding to the bombings carried out by the Sudan Air Force ( SAF ) in northern Bahr El Gazal and other states. On 12/12/2015, 4 days later, the government issued a statement that it will shoot down any foreign planes that enters our airspace without permission. Now if it was a coincidence then what I have pointed out is important. If it wasn’t a coincidence then it means I managed to hit two birds with one stone.

        • Gatdarwich says:

          Bol,

          killer NyanKiir’s kleptocracy-genocidal regime don’t have the air power to downed high flying planes. But It surely can and would probably gunned down the low flying United Nations humanitarian charter plane which can easily be hit and brought down by AK-47/RP-MK-19.
          Joseph Kony’s warplanes will still cruises South Sudan’s airspace and hit suspected Uganda’s military basses within Bhar el Ghazal region as usual period

  2. alex says:

    People do no bother you selves with this man
    He is trying to be a good writer. Let the peace loving S . Sudanese go ahead to embrace peace.
    This man has stated clearly he has a good job in UK and even he is not willing to return to his mother land. He is safe earning money in the west while we continue to kill ourselves. Lako should not write far away in UK. He should come to S.Sudan to show the evidence that there was no coup and secondly that the government planed to kill other people. He should come and provide the evidence to the Africa Hybrid Court to support his claim so that we close with the issue of allegations. By continuing to put blame others without providing hard evidence is evil plan to make the citizens of this nation to be booked down in hate. The African Hybrid court is there to deal with the issue of those who have committed crime. Lako should learn that those old politics of hate,lies and allegations without a hard facts belong to the past politicians who want to use the youths to achieve their objectives. It is not working now because we S.Sudanse need peace and development in our country. Riack tried a tribal card to win support but we S.Sudanse say no to war but yes to peace and he is now on the way home to embark on the only way of peace, reconciliation and unity of our people. The steps he has taken is not a defeat but realisation that the unity and development of our country is the best thing. If Laku is a peace loving individual he should come an help the African Hybrid Court to speed up the trial by providing the hard evidence he has so that we turn this dark page than bombarding people of S.Sudan with rumour, allegations and lies. Sometimes when one hide evil in the heart, it becomes difficult to express the message and this is illustrated in Laku ‘s writing That is why people are asking what exactly Lako was trying to express. His motive was the war to continue because he is not happy with the current peace agreement.
    Just leave the devil of hate to torment him spiritual
    Alex

  3. jok lual says:

    Dr lako Jada
    your not clear right now your writing is like one outside i think your a Dor

  4. Gatdarwich says:

    Alex, Jok, Bol, Alex,false millionaire, ww, Beek, LL Reuben, and the likes,

    It’s very vital for your likes to acknowledges the truths and indelitable facts because doing so will saves-exonerates you-kinsmen from imminent-castrophic vengeances!

    Dr. Lako’s article is very detailed, educative, and informative.
    We humans are very suspentible to committing preventable carnage on fellow brethren out of abnormal fear-insecurity and extreme hatred.
    Fortunately, humans are evidently capable of preventing foreseeable revenges resulting from the carnage caused if the culprits-perpetrators accepts, sincerely acknowledges their wrongful-deadly-revengeful actions, wholeheardedly apologizes to the victims, and the indirectly affected persons, community/communities.

    Our leaders have undeniably dug and actively still digging hell holes in our midst-country.
    Arrogantly denying-evading to acknowledges this fact, is nothing more than deepening the hell holes period.
    This is indisputable fact, countrymen-brethren!

  5. Mr Gatdarwich
    If you can read and understand English well,no body is against justice but we should come out
    of culture of making lines, allegations, assumption and blaming others without hard evidence. This is contrary to the spirit of peace and reconciliation. How do you feel when you have been punished for crimes you have not done? Will you accept it. Collecting rumours on the net or from other people without hard evidence or prove amount to miscarriage of justice and it want bring peace
    We need facts so if Laku has he should help the African Hybrid court to present the evidence. But to lsy allegations because you hate someone and you want him or her to be punished is evil and everyone had the right to resist such immorality. Reconciliation and forgiveness is about telling the truth. It not about alleging others. Peace lovers should learn to tell the truth.

    • Gatdarwich says:

      Ladoni,

      I hope you are not unsympathetically denying the undeniable fact that Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Malong Awan, Pieng Deng, Ambrose Riiny, Bona Malual, Makuei Lair, and other prominent Jiengs in Kiir’s Kleptocracy genocidal regime, did meticulously planned and executed the massacred of the Nuer children, women, elderly, and the sick, in December 2013 in Juba! They did-committed it(Nuer massacred), beyond a reasonable doubt, brother/sister. This is indisputably proven fact, not mere allegations as you inanely seems to argues!
      So, admitting or apologizing for their horrendous crimes would and shall be the least and the most lenient thing the relatives of their victims required of them(Kiir and co-conspirators) period.

      • Gatnuer says:

        Gatdarwich,

        Who do you want to apologize for the death of mutineers, my friend? The 400 Nuers who died in Juba where fighting to take over the government. Their death came when they were defeated by government soldiers. Unless you have no clue of what it means to point a gun at your enemy. The Nuers soldiers started it first and they ultimately paid the price for their actions, period. No crime or massacre ever took place in Juba. Yes, 400, plus or minus, Neurs soldiers were killed, not in cold-blood but indeed in active gunfire fight. Don’t be fooled by Riak’s propaganda that Neur people were targeted by Dinka. What about other thousands of Nuer people who currently live in Juba. What about thousands of Nuer people living right now in other Dinka places? In Warrap, Rumbek, Aweil etc. Have you ever
        heard of any of them being killed in the above mentioned towns? Why they were not killed if there was a plot to kill Neur. If you want peace, then it is time to stop lies and propagandas and let’s just go ahead with the implementation of the peace at hand.

  6. Bol says:

    Gat…bol,
    When will your likes acknowledge that they were and are still part of the problem, not the angles you want to fool everybody? When will your likes realise that the wrong which some of us did doesn’t justify the wrong some of your likes did? Mate, dirty person can’t seek justice… Be clean and admit your own quilts.

    • GatCharwearbol says:

      Mr. Bol,

      Perhaps you are responding to Gatdarwich, whose comment appears in this particular article written by Dr. Lako, but GatCharwearbol whom you spewed your venoms to has not commented. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family.

      • Bol says:

        Gat..bol,
        Sorry for spewing my “venom” on you….It was a return “venom” and I hope it didn’t hurt you ….I honestly didn’t know that you have another twin brother, apart from the one who you used to hangout with …….late Merry Christmas; Early Happy New to you and your young ones…..

  7. jok lual says:

    mr Gatdarich all problem is a Nuer if you remeber from Gai tut_ Gordon kong _polino matip_Peter Gadet_ Gabrial Taging_Taban Deng_ Riek macahr one and Riek macahr two_mhmet chol amer_all those are Nuer so the big in South sudan is you Nuers you creat but you will pay for

  8. Gatdarwich says:

    Jok,

    The individuals Nuers you mentioned and tribally labels as troublemakers, all foresaw(in exception of Riek, Taban, & Gatdet), the extreme anonymity or hatred most Jiengs holds towards the NaathNation, which was clearly manifested in December 2013, in Juba.

    But deadly, the shallow minded Nuer majority self-detrimentally led down these great sages.

    May God blesses these GREAT Nuer sages abundantly.

  9. Gatdarwich says:

    Jok,

    The individuals Nuer heroes-sages you mentioned, and tribally labels as troublemakers, in fact, all, in exception of Dr. Riek, Gen. Taban, and Gen. Gatdet foresaw the extreme anonymity or hatred most Jiengs firmly holds towards to the NaathNation. That firmly held extreme anonymity-hatred was clearly and cowardly manifested in December 15, 2013.
    My may blesses the offsprings of these deceased and live Nuer heroes and sages abundantly!

  10. Gatdarwich says:

    Jok,

    The individuals Nuer heroes-sages you mentioned, and tribally labels as troublemakers, in fact, all, in exception of Dr. Riek, Gen. Taban, and Gen. Gatdet, foresaw the extreme anonymity or hatred most Jiengs firmly holds towards to the NaathNation. That long-generationally firmly held extreme anonymity-hatred was clearly-cowardly manifested in the massacred of Nuer women, children, elderly, and the sick in December 15, 2013 in Juba,
    Sadly and deadly, the shallow minded Nuer majority selves-detrimentally led down these heroes and sages Period

    May God blesses the offsprings of these deceased and live Nuer heroes and sages abundantly!

  11. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    No one said Nuer are angles but certainly we did not start the December 2013 carnage our country is going through. Dr. Kwajok has explained very well in his article that 1991 does not justify 2013 massacre. Riek Machar the then leader of SPLM Nasir group has apologized to Bor community in 2011 and his apology was accepted. If there is any issue than you should have taken him to court to answer crimes committed by forces under his command in 1991. Most Dinka commentators are abusive to the author of this great article for pointing out facts.

    Merry Christmas to you all

    Hoiloom

    • Dr Lako Jada Kwajok says:

      Dear Hoiloom,

      Using abusive language is a trademark for these guys. It covers their emptiness and lack of ideas. Most are driven by tribalism and the fact that they are the beneficiaries of the regime. Look at the ridiculous demand that I should present evidence about the Juba massacre at the Hybrid Court when it’s formed. They seem to be or pretend to be unaware of the AU report, the relief organisations and the human rights groups inputs. And what about the eye witnesses and the mass graves that were discovered in Juba. Do they think the UN security council would freeze assets and put a travel ban on certain individuals without credible grounds?! Someone is even doubting the occurrence of the massacre. They clearly have problems in the department of morality. I put it down to poor upbringing and lack of moral guidance. Whatever they do on this forum would not stop me or other South Sudanese in their quest to expose the failed regime in Juba.

      • Bol says:

        Kwajok,
        “Dinka are loathed worldwide…. Dinka bring hunger with them wherever they go” were this words coming out of an empty head or written by a nationalist? If these commentators are driven by tribalism and stupidity, then how do you describe yourself ? What drives you? Considering these words are your own?

    • Bol says:

      Hoiloom,
      We have our criminals, who murdered Nuer tribesmen…You have your criminal who murdered Dinka tribesmen…..Both leaders are responsible for 15/12/13 tragedy because they prepared for it……Dr Reik elements started the shooting……Kiir elements responded, chase away the Nuer and {this is where they went wrong} commenced door to door search, arresting and killing of Nuer men mostly……..Who is clean here? Lets break the cycle of violence Happy New Year.

      • GatCharwearbol says:

        Mr. Bol,

        Nuer leaders, particularly Dr. Machar, didn’t prepare for this war. He was only interested in taking the seat of the SPLM party so he can be the ticket bearer for the supposed 2015 elections. Little did he know hell will broke loose for the reason of showing his aspiration of RSS presidency. What took place inside the Presidential Guard has nothing to do with Dr. Machar as you wanted us to believe. Drunk soliders shooting each other is common and other misunderstanding that may have led to the shooting. And how do you know who starts what? How could you be so sure it was Nuer soldiers who fired the first bullet? Where you there?

        Kiir’s lack of leadership is the cause of our suffering; let us point facts out.

  12. Gatdarwich says:

    Hoiloom,

    You’re absolutely correct.

    Most Jenges comments psychopathically on this commendable article simply because the author, Dr. Lako, articulately pinpointed the fact that the Jenges in killer NyanKiir’s kleptocracy-genocidal regime, in deed, devilishly planned and cowardly executed the December, 2013, Nuer massacred in Juba.
    This is a globally known fact which makes most Jiengs extremists quivers of its mentioned.

  13. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    It’s obvious that Kiir’s supporters in general and Dinka in particular do not want to take responsibility for December 2013 events, however facts remain facts and no body can ever burry the truth. The AU report is there as our evident. What took place in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu was a counter reaction to Juba massacre. Of course should the Hybrid court trial the culprits I won’t mind at all as victims deserve justice.

    Happy New Year and please advise Kiir and JCE to accept peace!

    Hoiloom

  14. Bol says:

    Hoiloom,
    Remember, It is the court only that can prove crimes, and gauge what extent is the quilt, not an enquiry penal…..Your is point taken I will advise him…….But how can you guys require two parallel unrelated things Justice and Rebellion? I think your assistance required to put an end to rebellion, so that justice can prevail…… No More Rebellions in 2016 Okay?

  15. Hoiloom says:

    Bol,

    Who against peace now? Agreed no more rebellions if CPA2 is fully implemented

  16. Gatnuer says:

    Bol,

    Don’t worry my friend. This peace will be implemented but do you envision Riak Machar winning the elections after 30 months? Look at the agreement carefully in conjunction with facts on the ground and think about it.

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