The Jonglei State Communities World Wide -The tacit hand of Salva Kiir’s regime behind protracted intercommunal conflict in Jonglei has come to bare in the last three months, not only in blatant admission by Akot Lual Arech, Presidential Envoy to Pibor, of support he has had and continues to offer to Cobra Brigade for logistics and political enablement. Not even in a well-documented incessant supply of ammunition and arms by deep-state organs on the directive of Executive Office of the President to marauding Murle cattle rustlers and child abductors but more palpably in partiality and brutal use of executive powers by President Kiir in allowing evacuation of Murle wounded fighters and incongruously, banned any flights to airlift the wounded youth from Lou, Gawer, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor in the current conflict.
The unabated rumors that President Salva and State machinery personified in opportunists who have been acting in subterfuge that they represent people of Bahr Al Ghazal Region, being ill-bent to destroy Upper Nile as the only way to exploiting their resources without accountability and henceforth giving their regime contemptible longevity, has now played out openly.
The great people of Bahr Al Ghazal who gave their sons and resources for the liberation of South Sudan cannot allow their hard-earned Nation State to be founded on the basis of exclusion and destruction which are catalytically symbols of a government that does not represent its people. This is emblematic of successive regimes from Northern Sudan that South Sudanese fought against for over half a century. Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Sudan People’s Liberation Army were people-owned organizations and in no way could they have been designed to exclude and persecute the very people they were formed to liberate.
To ensure that people owned these institutions, Dr. John Garang dined and resided with chiefs who were primarily his hosts in tours during the war. This was witnessed in his well-documented reception in Yirol (Agany) by women and children, in Rumbek by women, children, and chiefs and in Malual Kon by chiefs and women. Until his death, South Sudanese and Sudanese felt a sense of ownership of their revolution and were looking to experiencing changes in their dejected livelihood. All this seemed to have been shattered by the crash of their beloved leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior.
Since Salva came to power, he invested in divide and rule as a way to escaping burden of responsibility that comes with leadership of the nation. His mentors who overwhelmingly did not attend to the cause of liberation perceived death of Dr. John Garang as a coup d’etat, (assuming that he was not assassinated). They went ahead to conceive political leadership and stability of certain communities that were dominant in the SPLM/A as a threat to their control of power, both within and without of Bahr Al Ghazal and Equatoria.
This explains why the likes of Dr. Castello Garang Riiny, Dr. Velario Ahoch, Paul Mayom Akech(Advisor), Dr. Achol Marial were left out in the first government followed by frustration and ultimate resignation of people like Nhial Deng Nhial who had strong opinions on how the country should have been established and run. The same principle was applied to officers in Bahr Al Ghazal who had strong belief that South Sudan should be established on the basis of service to the people against prevailing culture of intimidation, exploitation and backpedaling.
The stratagem was to exclude from plundering, those who were politically associated with Garang in Bahr Al-Ghazal and Equatoria if they did not dance to the tune of Bahr Al Ghazalism as a new paradigm of governance. Many were left to wither in poverty like their colleagues from Upper Nile. Those who were able to change joined into the bandwagon of herd’s mentality and groupthink mindset that was bent in the destruction of other communities.
The next move was to destroy SPLA’s leadership by expunging senior officers from Upper Nile and replacing them with militias with the hope to cause dissonance within communities. This led to transfer of influential officers like Deng-amer Leek Deng to Fire Brigade, Jok Reng Magot to prisons, Malok Ring to Police, and many more of the region’s best fighters with the hope to turn Nuer against Dinkas in Upper Nile Region. When Oyai Deng Ajak refused to heed this destructive intent, he was replaced with less resistant James Hoth Mai who for the fear of being turned against his people, the Nuer, accepted unsifted integration of militias who had no military doctrine training.
The next stride was by President Kiir to start a counterinsurgency scheme, a style borrowed from the National Islamic Front (NIF) to destabilize the region perceived to have produced some of the best brains in the history of the country. This led to the strengthening of marginalization of Dinka of Panaru through Taban Deng Gai to cause discord among the Nuers and Dinka in Bentiu, continuous driving of wedge of bitterness between Shilluk, Nuers and Padang of Malakal and formation of Cobra Brigade to destabilize Lou, Gawer, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor of Jonglei State. This strategy seems to have worked.
While back in Juba, Kiir and his handlers were busy advancing destructive politics between him and Dr. Riek, their agents at grassroots were busy insulting minorities to widen division and encouraging them to fight their neighbors. To cement this dangerous machination, training of militias from his communities was exacted to fight Nuers in the theater that was ripe in Upper Nile while insulting communities of Upper Nile to dance to their tune of violence against their neighbors. Those communities that understood this scheme refrained from joining collateral destruction and were branded with names including cowards, traitors or rebels by regime profiteers and their apologists.
Upon assured implosion of the nation along tribal lines in December 2013, as designed and advanced by the regime, bitter wars emerged and enraged in intended theaters of Upper Nile Region. The Cobra, Agwelek, Abushok, Bermorben and white army unleashed human destruction, to the pleasure of its on-looking engineers, to a level it had never been witnessed in the history of the region. As other militias have come to the understanding on this scheme of self-immolation orchestrated by regime peddlers to the chagrin of their existence, they stopped attacking each other and embarked on reconciliation of their communities.
This unsettled the regime and its profiteers. Political effort from within the State House intensified from 2015 in support of Cobra to ensure continuity of human suffering in Jonglei State. This started by isolating Murle tribe from its brothers by unilaterally creating their state without consultation of their neibibors, arming them and cheering them on to destabilize communities around them.
This heinous destruction which has been manifested in child abduction, human killing and maiming, and cattle rustling, forced communities which are otherwise civil to step up in self-defense when the President himself challenged them to do so when they complained to him.
But as Martin Luther King once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’, the war and its effects have now become ubiquitous and reverberating across South Sudan. Every citizen in spite of his or her region now lives under the subjugation of relentless destructive communal altercations. This flame of hate for sure is soon going to consume its merchants in Juba.
That was just a parenthesis to give background to the emotive issue of the hour; evacuation of wounded youth of Gawer, Lou, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi, and Bor communities from Gumuruk.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the youth of Gawer, Lou, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor communities in their attempt to recover their raided children and cattle from regime-sponsored militia captured Gumuruk. The fight brought about numerous casualties, killed and wounded, on both sides. As good gesture for humanitarian its duty, Red Cross picked casualties on Murle side from Pibor and took them to Yei for treatment on June 18, 2020, of course with the permission of the regime. Upon its next round to pick the wounded from the other side of the conflict, Red Cross was directed by the regime’s deep-state against carrying casualties from Gawer, Duk, Twic and Bor communities’ side.
As the communities looked for other means to evacuate their wounded, while continuing to convince youth to withdraw, the regime instead banned all flights to the conflict zones and threatened communities’ leaderships for arrest avowing that the victims should rot to death. To add salt into the injury, the transported a contingent of Cobra militias from Juba to attack Bor (Jale), Twic East and Duk counties on 18th, 19th and 20th June, 2020 respectively which led to the kidnapping of children and raiding of cattle albeit some of these cows were recovered.
In these fights, victims who sustained serious injuries from Twic East were brought to Juba for more advanced medical attention. The community hired a plane to bring these victims to on June 23, 2020. To the disappointment of everybody, the pilot was put into jail on arrival at Juba by National Security to indicate bad intentions against these communities. The young pilot is still in prison as we speak.
As if that was not enough, on June 22, 2020, a heavily replenished combined force of Murle youth, Fire Brigade, Wild Life, Prison and Cobra Brigade, on the directive regime of tacit forces, attacked Bor, Twi, Nyarweng, Hol, Lou and Gawer Youths in Gumuruk. Because these forces were well-armed by the regime, as testified in the documents captured, heavy casualties were sustained on both sides. Again, on June 23, 2020, the government airlifted casualties of Murle from Pibor and took them to Yei for treatment. As before, secret orders issued were to stop all humanitarian plane intending to airlift the wounded youths from Gumuruk, the current base of these other communities and any private flight was to be shot down.
While on one hand, in an emotionally charged meeting yesterday with Dr. James Wani Igga, Chairman of Jonglei Crisis management committee, the President threatened to arrest leaderships of Gawer, Lou, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor if they tried to send any plane to Gumuruk to extract the wounded, on the other hand he authorized two plights that picked the wounded from Pibor (Murle) side to June 29, 2020. The wounded were taken to Yambio, Meridi and Yei for treatment.
Given the background of this conflict, it is now a common knowledge that the intention of the regime and its profiteers, is to debilitate youth from these communities who are seen as stumbling blocks to their agenda of pillaging and terminating existence of South Sudan. Otherwise, nothing explains this behavior from a President who as a commander in the bush days, led an operation that recovered over a thousand children. This can only be attributed to unbending hand of NIF that recruited and assigned spies around J1 to control and direct affairs of South Sudan government in a way that will curtail its sovereign responsibilities and ultimately terminate existence of our beloved nation among the League of Nations. This is the mission that was given to them from Khartoum after sudden death of Dr. John Garang. Let this group be assured that South Sudan true are keenly watching and will not allow this to come to past.
The victims of this heinous scheme which is planned by the state and executed by innocent Murle people, warn the president that the day these communities will give up on him and his government, his end and that of his government will be assured. It will be definite and instantaneous. We implore the President and his strategists to rethink this stratagem before it forces them to turn against the regime..
Finally, the regime and its proprietors must remain reminded that South Sudan did not come on the cheap. The communities that sacrificed everything for the cause of freedom, will bring this situation to the past, and for certain, the peddlers will ultimately be consumed by their flame of hate, moral bankruptcy, and malevolence.