In the race to consolidate ethnic domination in South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar enters into a packed with President Salva Kiir and the JCE in order to destroy the patriotic people of South Sudan, under National Salvation Front (NAS), South Sudan National Democratic Alliance and the People Democratic Movement under Dr Dario Hakim.
On the 16th January 2019 “in a news conference in Juba, SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. James Koang Chuol Ranley and SSPDF General Chief of Staff Gabriel Jok Riak criticized NAS leader Thomas Cirillo for refusing to sign the deal and urge him to accept peace or face military actions.” (http://southsudannewsagency.org/index.php/2019/01/16/south-sudan-main-peace-partners-declare-national-salvation-front-threat-to-peace-warn-of-military-action/)
Now that Riek Machar has secured his vice presidency, those who do not agree with the ersatz peace, are to be forced to accept it. Hence, the declaration, “[We] urge him [Thomas Cirillo] to accept peace or face military actions.” Where it is a known fact that there is no peace at present in South Sudan. Which Peace do SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. James Koang Chuol Ranley and SSPDF General Chief of Staff Gabriel Jok Riak want to protect? The IGAD 12th September 2018 Peace Agreement is not legitimate. It was conducted under duress by the very people who colonised South Sudan for nearly sixty years with the sole purpose to grant President Salva Kiir legitimacy and control of the parliament for him to rule supreme, while the presidents Bashir and Museveni perpetrate war in order to exploit the resources of South Sudan.
The people of South Sudan are being forced to accept oppression and exploitation; it is either that the people choose peace as is prescribed, or be subject to a state of war deliberately created by President Kiir and the JCE. This is sad and unfortunate. The National Salvation Front and few others have taken the right direction by refusing to surrender and submit to the pack of blood-spillers. Their position should be understood in the context of Dr Martin Luther King’s sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville under the title ‘When Peace Becomes Obnoxious” (https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/when-peace-becomes-obnoxious-sermon-delivered-18-march-1956-dexter-avenue) For this article to make sense the reader is recommended to access the given link for full understanding of why the word peace must not be taken at face value.
In less than four weeks the alliance of President Kiir and Riek Machar supported by Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro is wreaking havoc in Central Equatoria. Where alliances are formed for the benefit of self, it is important that we the people of South Sudan examine the benefits that each group aims to achieve.
We the people of South Sudan ask: Why is Riek entering into an alliance with President Kiir? The answer is evident in the cave mentality of the SPLM/A. Under Dr John Garang the SPLM/A was intolerant of any rivalry. Any organisation that did not want to bow to the will of the SPLM/A became a target of military action. Their rational is that power must only be exercised by the SPLM/A in South Sudan, and is why they resort to violence to eliminate any competitor for power. When General Thomas Cirillo abandoned the SPLM/A in the spring of 2017, Riek while in incarceration in South Africa, thought that General Cirillo would become one of his commanders. When this did not happen, the believer of Ngundeng began to have hostile ideas. Even a J. Nguen, one of Riek’s ardent supporters based in Canada resorted to unnecessary intimidation to drive General Cirillo into SPLM-IO. Please see, ‘A Warning to Gen. Cirilo from the Nuer S.C. Mistakes any armed opposition must not do’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/a-warning-to-gen-cirillo-from-the-nuer-s-c-mistakes-any-armed-opposition-must-not-do/) . These matters did not end here. Riek from his gulag in South Africa in anger following recommendations of his people on the ground ostensibly Frank Matata, Gabriel Lam Paul and others ordered war against Cirillo’s forces in Central Equatoria. It is this war that has since continued. Riek’s unfinished business is central to his plan; remaining the only formidable opposition to the system in Juba with the hope of one day replacing the ethnic system put into place by President Kiir, with his own.
In alliance with President Kiir, Riek hopes to cement Nuer position as the second dominant tribe in the politics of South Sudan inspite of the existing toxic relationship. For example, the Nuer are second to the Jieng concerning all things in South Sudan – from political positions to the control of the security sector. What the Nuer do not know is that they are being psychologically conditioned to accept being second class to the Jieng, and that it is this alliance that affirms their conditioning and manifests itself in this lopsided relationship.
Now I will examine the Nuer leaders. In all the agreements signed to date Riek eternally fights for the position of First Vice President, even though he held this position for nearly two decades. Why is this? Inferiority complex? Another Nuer, Taban Deng also fights to be First Vice President, even when such ambition is tearing families and leading to the loss of peoples lives in five figure numbers unnecessarily. Whether it is Riek, Taban Deng, Changson Chang etc they all seem to fight themselves, like ‘ferrets in a sack’ to appease President Kiir for second and/or ministerial positions. The Nuer community need to wake up and look in the mirror, so as to not allow itself to be the cannon fodder in the alliance of destruction. Certainly the Nuer have young capable and thoughtful leaders who should now step in and put a halt to the unacceptable, unnecessary losses of life.
It is Amazing how history repeats itself. Though the context may be different, the thinking behind remains the same. Riek on 21st April 1997 struck Khartoum Peace Agreement with President Omer Al Bashir of the Sudan. He immediately signed up to the destruction of the SPLM/A under Dr John Garang. His alliance of the willing almost succeeded to destroy the SPLM/A. Having been appointed as Vice President of the Sudan at the time, his forces worked ‘hand in glove’ with the National Islamic Front forces of Al Bashir. They marched from eastern Sudan through to South Sudan, county to county, and town to town routing the SPLA at a speed never imaged by observers of the Sudan war. The SPLM/A found it itself in Nimule. Khartoum started to crow about the end of the war, and truly it was. Were it not for the resourcefulness and gallantry of the Equatorian boys, SPLM/A would have been history a long time ago.
The Kiirs, Malongs, Manyangs and so on had all done a runner. They were nowhere to be seen. The heroes of the day were General Thomas Cirillo, the leader of NAS, General Augustino Jadallah, the current governor of Central Equatoria, General Emmanuel Mujung, General Oyai Deng Ajak, General Elias Lino (whereabouts unknown) to mention a few. These dedicated sons of the land re-organised the SPLA and led it into victory against all odds. They fought their way out of Nimule retaking all the major towns in Equatoria. Once the allied forces of Bashir and Riek were thoroughly routed, the Kiirs reappeared to claim leadership. The rest is history or a story for another day.
This leads us to the crucial question: Has Riek not learnt anything from his futile alliance with President Omer Al Bashir against the people of South Sudan? Why is he entering into another alliance with President Kiir against the people of South Sudan? I leave you the reader to ponder on these questions. Now let us move to the benefits of the alliance for President Kiir and the JCE.
This alliance between Kiir and Riek solely serves the interest of the JCE and their grand plan to create ethnic homogeneity with the Jieng as the hegemon in the country. This fits in well into the grand scheme of actualising an ethnic state in South Sudan. Remember President Kiir declared in Lobonok that this scheme will take 15 to 20 years to achieve. Please see ‘President Kiir’s speech at the SPLM Retreat at Lobonok, South Sudan’. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/). It appears that R-ARCSS was signed with a plan to either bring all the opposition together for a slaughter, so that they would continue with the project unopposed, or to co-opt SPLM/A-IO onto the side of the regime of terror to first destroy any opposition, then to finally clear Riek and the Nuer after having been thoroughly weakened.
On the face of it, we see divide and rule but the ultimate objective is to use Riek and the Nuer to do the JCE’s dirty work of clearing the other people of South Sudan, for a Jieng ethnic state to be realised, then eventually the Jieng will finish Riek after having been extensively weakened. This alliance of criminals exposes Riek’s deficiency in strategic thinking. Riek is so short-sighted due to his obsession with familial and tribal politics, that he cannot see beyond the interest of his family and tribe, exactly like President Kiir and JCE which renders him ineffective. The crimes of President Kiir and the JCE need a collective societal response for the sake of building a healthy and viable South Sudan.
It is incredible that the SPLM/A-IG and IO in this day and age believe that brute force is the solution to maintaining power. They need to understand that if in the last 36 years of their existence they have not learnt that brute force is not everything, they need to consult libraries. Brute force did not work during colonialism and certainly did not work in Iraq, Romania, and Vietnam etc. Brute force will not work in South Sudan!
This brings us to a discussion on NAS. Professor Johan Galtung strongly argues; if you need peace you need to understand your opponent’s position. President Kiir and Riek need to understand the position of General Cirillo and the others. To wage war is not a solution. Trying to subjugate an opponent produces counter force and determination. I thought Riek should have learnt something from his foolery of allying with Al Bashir to defeat Dr Garang. He sacrificed thousands of Nuer people for a futile project that did not yield any fruits for the Nuer community other than for his own family.
The bogus Khartoum Peace Agreement blessed by the biased and complicit IGAD known as R-ARCSS can not be shoved down people’s throat. If Riek is happy in his surrender as it appears, he should not expect that the people of South Sudan will follow suit in his footsteps. Targeting the sons and daughters of South Sudan for destruction in an alliance with President Kiir will not work, because this alliance itself confirms the fact that there is no peace and people should not bother with it. Already, far sighted members of SPLM-IO who see the foolery in this alliance are speaking out against it. Please see, ‘Disagreement emerges among SPLM-IO officials as government pushes for joint military offensive against NAS’ (https://southsudannewsagency.org/index.php/2019/01/21/disagreement-emerges-among-splm-io-officials-as-government-pushes-for-joint-military-offensive-against-nas/)
NAS so far is the only political and military organisation that truly represents the people of South Sudan. Careful observation of its structures and the people holding positions in those structures to a large extent without doubt, demonstrate it to be a national and patriotic organisation representative of the people. For example, the leader is a Bari from Equatoria, the Chief of the Army is a Fertit from Bahr El Ghazal, the military Spokesman is a Nuer from Upper Nile, the political Spokesman is a Pojulu from Central Equatoria, the leader of the IGAD negotiator team is from Wau, Bahr El Ghazal, the four Chiefs of the Army making up the joint command come from different parts of South Sudan and so on. Compare this to SPLM/A-IG and IO and see the variance for yourself.
NAS truly is what is needed in South Sudan to bring peace because its policies of equality, meritocracy and conviction in the rule of law are what is missing in the South Sudan. In a country of 64 tribes, President Kiir and the JCE have embarked on a project to create an ethnic state. Riek on the other hand is working hard by sacrificing Nuer, in order to build a familial empire. With this kind of mentality how can these failed leaders of the party of blood spillers think they can bring peace to the country of South Sudan?
The songs of peace being sung by President Kiir, Riek and the compromised SSOA are an utter waste of time of the people of South Sudan. For those who have not yet realised; the worst violators of peace in South Sudan and East Africa are President Kiir and his best friend President Yoweri Kagutu Museveni of Uganda. President Kiir violated peaceful understanding between South Sudan and the Sudan, when in the spring of 2012 he “invaded” the disputed area of Panthou which Riek for reasons best known to him gave it up to Khartoum. This led to the unnecessary loss of lives and the shutdown of the oil, damaging the economy of South Sudan. Then in July 2016 President Kiir again in broad day light violated ARCSS that was signed in August 2015 by attacking SPLM/A-IO, their partner in peace in Juba, and exposed the residents of Juba to unnecessary harm.
On the other hand, when President Museveni was a rebel leader fighting the government of Uganda under General Tito Okello, he entered into an agreement with the latter in Nairobi to end the war. Before the ink could dry in the agreement, he immediately launched a vicious attack on the capital Kampala seizing power and declaring himself president. What type of people are these who do not honour their words?
Unsurprisingly, President Kiir and President Museveni are bosom buddies in the East African region. “Birds of the same feather flock together”. With their kind of rogue record why do people believe that R-ARCSS will be honoured? One violator with a serial record of violations is a signatory to R-ARCSS, and the other with a serial record of violations and invasions of neighbouring countries is the guarantor. All of them possess a criminal record of mass murders. Can you see what is awaiting the people of South Sudan? If President Kiir were to be a man of peace, he would not have declared his plans openly Lobonok, to achieve Jieng Hegemony in 15 to 20 years from now, while at the same time singing of peace.
So to understand President Kiir’s songs of peace one has to peer into the history of Nazi Germany to find answers. Hitler in his campaigns in the Second World War lulled and fooled opponents as well as his potential victims, by entering into alliances and peace agreements he had no intention to keep, but to facilitate his overall plan to conquer Europe. President Kiir is now doing a similar trick to buy time in order to bring the opposition near to him for a final knockout, to realise the project of a Jieng ethnic state.
In conclusion, the alliance of criminals is a desperate act for the pack to maintain power, using brute force in order for them to build an ethnic system in the country, that benefits them at the expense of the people of South Sudan. It remains to be seen whether they will succeed, given the experience of the alliance born out of the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997.
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