By Stephen Par Kuol
December 27, 2013 - Having come to terms with the embarrassing truth that genocide in Rwanda could have been prevented, the world leaders under the leadership of Bill Clinton of the United States in 1994 vowed: “never and never again shall there be another Rwanda in the 21st century”, but in many other betrayals to humanity, it happened again and again in the watch of the United Nations and its founding supper powers!
It is now happening in South Sudan again and the UNIMISS in Juba is doing exactly what the French troops and the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission did in Kigali during that time of Rwanda genocide. Hilde Johnson in her diplomatically unacceptable exotic miniskirts is still praising Kiir and his killing machine (Dootku Beny or rescuing Kiir brigade) for bringing the situation back to normal in the national capital.
What Ms. Johnson’s mission has managed to do in this tragic time of calling is setting up an open concentration camp around UNIMISS compound in Juba where they are providing nothing to save lives from other natural hazards such as Juba’s blazing sun, hunger, disease and thirst as the door to door lynching of Nuers continued until yesterday, December 19, 2013 when I narrowly escaped the reddish eye bolt of the ongoing onslaught.
I therefore, write to inform New York and the entire international community that UNIMISS’s mandate under the United Nations Resolution Number [S/RES/2109] underscoring UNIMISS’s role in protecting civilians, improving security and supporting peace building efforts is administratively abandoned exposing the civil population to genocide in South Sudan.
Just like the deadly complacency in the case of Rwanda, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has left the crisis to Kiir’s genocidal operatives and the rebels to figure it all out. It goes without informing the records that there were many feasible steps to prevent the genocide that would have been taken in the case of Rwanda but they were all ignored and the genocide happened.
The history is repeating itself and genocide is happening once again in South Sudan. Those who argue against this assertion must consult the book for correct definition of genocide. Genocide is a Greek word for killing a race or an ethnic group. Geno is the race or an ethnic group and cide is the act of killing. Modern international criminal justice has defined it as a systematic plan of a political authority to eliminate a specific ethnic group.
In political terms, the targeted ethnic group is politically convicted of a collective guilt by the state with jurisdictional authority in a given state territory. This is how it happened in Rwanda and that is how it is now brewing in South Sudan. The Nuer Community from which Riek Macher hails is currently lynched to collectively punish them for Riek’s alleged coup and rebellion.
Even if we accept it for the sake of argument that Dr. Riek Machar and his armed rebels still pose danger to Kiir’s government, but do we the unarmed civilian pose that threat now in Juba? Why should my colleagues like Lam Chuol Thicuong , Honorable Jal Thiech, Brigadier General Martin Kueth Peat and Ustaz Reath Thoan who have nothing to do with the mutiny named coup lose their lives because of their ethnic identity if this is not a genocide?
The preliminary stock of the Nuer civilians killed so far between the December 16 and 19 makes more than half of the death toll reported so far in Juba. According to eyewitness report from the battle field, the real casualties of the military confrontation were 27 soldiers only. These other casualties were cold blood victims of Dootku Beny Brigrade, a private armed force of President Kiir in akin to Hutu ENTERAHAMAWE composed mainly of Dinka boys from Greater Bahr el Ghazal states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap.
The Dinka language meaning of “doot” is rescuing or reaching. It was privately and specially equipped to protect Kiir from perceived threat posed by the Nuer elements in the SPLA proper. In their genocidal operation, Dootku Beny and Kiir’s security operatives have turned the national capital into a festive heaven for vultures and other scavengers as the corpses begin to decompose around the city suburbs.
Many innocent victims have been murdered in 107 township, Jabel, Gurei, Gudella and Manga residential areas where those butchers hunt only for those who speak Nuer language. Many of the Kiir supporters including family members of Kiir’s cabinet ministers have been killed even in ministers’ residents.
Being the nature of the beast, genocide knows neither maverick nor moderates! That is why Nuer ministers and intellectuals who are Kirr’s strong supporters had to be evacuated to safer enclaves within the city where they are either protected by armed relatives or people closed to the president where they are compelled against their own conscience to condemn the so called attempted coup in the media. Other than that, they have no other use for this rogue regime.
Retrieve the last Presidential Press Statement declaring a curfew and the ongoing state of emergency which General Kiir declared in his sub-conscience thorough a slip of the tongue but was politically corrected by his shivering chicken ministers before the press. This secretly declared state of emergency has made it a nightmare to be a Nuer now in Juba.
Evidently, there are few moderate Hutus among our Dinka cousins in Juba to protect their Nuer cousins at the time of this writing. With the deathly news from Juba, the SPLA forces are now confronting one another along ethnic line in various barracks across the country. Events on the ground have their own dynamics and should this continue unabated, revenge killing will ensue plunging the entire nation into the abyss of genocide that could be worse than that of Rwanda.
Let us face it; we are at the apex of genocide by all legal and political meaning of the word. The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has the jurisdiction to prosecute crimes of genocide has legally defined it to mean any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as:
(a) killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
While many cases of group-targeted violence have occurred throughout history and even since the Convention came into effect, the legal and international development of the term is concentrated into two distinct historical periods: the time from the coining of the term until its acceptance as international law (1944-1948) and the time of its activation with the establishment of international criminal tribunals to prosecute the crime of genocide (1991-1998).
Preventing genocide, the other major obligation of the convention, remains a challenge that nations and individuals continue to face. Lack of preventive diplomacy at the United Nations has rendered advocacy against genocide futile. Preventive diplomacy is practiced only where there is a vital interest of the supper powers in the balance. A nascent landlocked fragile state like the Republic of Sudan South is nobody’s business.
So, only South Sudanese intellectuals, civil society and political leaders must rise to the occasion to reverse the unfolding catastrophe by doing the following:
- Bringing pressure to bear on Kiir and his henchmen to release all prisoners of conscience and stop the ongoing genocide in the country
- Urging the United Nations and the African Union to intervene with all the powers they have as quickly as possible.
- Appealing to our SPLA gallant forces to stop repeating the 1991 fratricidal killing. They must protect their comrades from other ethnic groups to avoid more revenge killing.
- Convening a serious national peace conference to seriously discuss the unfolding despicable situation.
- Urging Dr. Riek and his group to accept dialogue as the only way to avoid escalation of the situation. South Sudan is a traumatized nation without another mental and physical gusto to fight another civil war especially the brewing tribal war. Dr. Riek must avoid commanding genocide like what Kiir is doing now. He must also practice the peace and reconciliation he was calling for before Kiir sidelined him.
- Finally, I personally urge my fellow Nuers in South Sudan uniform to avoid genocidal revenge to honor their own struggle and blood of our martyrs which delivered us the independence we are now dismantling.
Honorable Stephen Par Kuol is a former Deputy Ambassador of the Sudan to the United Republic of Tanzania and the State Minister of Education in the recently overthrown Government of Jonglei State by Dr. Riek Machar’s forces. He is also a researcher and freelance writer on academic topics pertinent to Human Right and Post-conflict Criminal Justice Administration. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com