By Stephen Par Kuol
The birth of the Republic of South Sudan was a painstaking labor that had to involve so many friends and actors of good will. However, the United States of America was the most instrumental midwife during that toilsome delivery. Even welcoming the new baby (South Sudan) into the world clubs did not settle down well with some powerful adversaries in some diplomatic circles, but without any qualm, the United States recognized the independence of South Sudan on the same day it was declared (on July 9, 2011) upgrading the consulate opened in 2005 in Juba to the status of an embassy. That historical solidarity with the people of South Sudan has given Washington moral obligation to nurse the infant state into political and institutional maturity. Hence, despite the leadership deficit in Juba, the bilateral ties between the two capitals have progressed to all spheres, including, defense, security, institutional capacity building and the infrastructural development program that brought about Juba-Nimuli Road which is now the only lifeline of Juba’s battered and collapsing economy. Pursuant to the framework of those ties, President Obama decided to provide military assistance and equipment to South Sudan in 2012. A team of five American officers to advise the SPLA soon followed this. A good number of South Sudanese military cadres were also sent to the US military schools for training.
To date, The United States remains the single biggest bilateral donor to South Sudan. In its budget request for 2017, the State Department asked for $30 million to help modernize the South Sudanese army so that it “respects human rights, is accountable to elected leadership, protects the people of South Sudan, and encourages stability in the Horn of Africa. Another $132 million was also requested for civil society and peace-building programs. The American people and their government have been doing all these to build the intuitional capacity of the nascent state to uphold the cardinal responsibilities of the sovereignty such as provision of public security for its citizens, respect for human rights and the rule of law. In another word, the American taxpayer’s dollars have been ditched to Juba to ensure that Kiir’s regime does not carry out the gross abuses it stands accused of. To the disbelief and dismay of South Sudanese and the world public, Salva Kiir betrayed all that well-meaning support and embarked on building a corrupt ethnocentric police state. The circumstantial president stooped low to betray every thing including his own noble historical legacy as the only surviving heir of the founding leadership of the revolution that made him the First President of the Republic. Without any shred of shame, President Salva Kiir Mayardit resigned to the cocoon of his kin and kith under the guidance of the infamous Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and became one of the worst depots in world history.
Right from the Independence, the cowboy tyrant introduced what will go down in the History of South Sudan as the “ Era of Rule by Decrees” when President Kiir arbitrarily arrogated all the constitutional powers to himself and sacked elected political leaders including his own running mate, Dr. Riek Machar. President Kiir then closed the political space through his notorious hoodlums by lynching political opponents, civil society activists and journalists. As a ploy to physically eliminate all his political opponents in the country, Salva Kiir fabricated a coup narrative that has plunged the country into the ongoing crisis since December 2013. Kiir’s fascist regime then unleashed its tribal militia( Mathing-Anyor) on the people of South Sudan and committed heinous war crimes in the process. South Sudan has thus become a slaughterhouse for humans, a hailing state on its deathbed, if you will!
To consolidate his reign of tyranny and terror, Salva Kiir adopted a very hostile foreign policy toward the United States for counseling him to govern democratically and inclusively. Having misperceived that wise counsel as a regime change policy, President Kiir shifted East (to China and Rusia) and started to maliciously work against all US and western interests in South Sudan. Thenceforth, from being the most indispensible friend it was during the liberation struggle, the United States has becomes the enemy number one to Kiir’s regime. Through his public blusters, Kiir’s police state institutions have internalized extreme hatred toward the Americans; be they diplomats, aid workers, development partners or expatriates. As a diplomatic vengeance, the Americans have been wrongfully accused of every thing from espionage to shunning the sovereignty of South Sudan, and grooming oppositional groups for regime change. Of late, the United States, EU and TROIKA have been bitterly blamed for imposing an agreement (ARCISS) with reform provisions that subject the despot to the will of the people through a democratic transition leading to a people driven constitution as well as free and fair elections in a leveled playing field. That institutionalized prejudice against American people has manifested itself in the most recent upsurge of violence targeting American citizens for killing, torture and rape. The Terrain Hotel savagery and the barbaric attack on the diplomatic vehicle (CD) carrying American diplomats by none other than Kiir’s own bodyguard are the hallmarks of that diplomatic madness!! Unfortunately, the Washington’s kingpins in the persons of Susan Rice, Donald Booth and John Kerry have continued to implement their treacherous foreign policy by rewarding Kiir’s fascist regime with more financial and military aid. That is morally disturbing as the ethnocentric fascist regime is using American taxpayer’s money to build a tribal army committing heinous atrocities against both the people of South Sudan and the American people. For worse, the military aid to South Sudan has also been implemented with a myriad of financial corruption involving some dubious contractors and self-appointed Washingtonians in Kiir’s pay roll system.
It goes without informing the records that those goons and gold diggers sharing the spoils of graft with Kiir’s kleptocrats under the cover of war have succeeded in smearing the issues surrounding the ongoing crisis in South Sudan. Subsequently, the Obama’s Administration has squandered all the opportunities it has had to hold the malignant regime accountable for all the crimes it has been committing against South Sudanese and American people since 2013. As the institutionalized treachery prevails both in Obama’s White House and Kerry’s State Department, even the death and rape of American citizens in South Sudan has not changed any thing in these treacherous bilateral relations between Washington and Juba. Being left to fend for themselves during the recent crisis, South Sudanese Americans in particular have born the brunt of that treachery in their sincere effort to give back to their native country.
With this piece of work, the point I am driving home is the cruel fact that Kiir’s fascist regime has proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be imminent security threat to South Sudanese in South Sudan, South Sudanese diplomats in foreign countries and all foreign friends residing in South Sudan at the time of this writing. Otherwise, in the diplomatic security as we know it, exposing accredited diplomats in your country to danger means exposing your own diplomats in the other receiving country to danger. That is evidently beyond the capacity of the rogue rulers in the jungle laws city like Juba to fathom. That is why these Juba’s nefarious loonies like Gordon Buay and Steve Paterno masquerading as diplomats are roaming Washington beer joins like nobody’s business while American diplomats and aid workers are subjected to hostile security surveillance in Juba. Perhaps, that is the stark contrast between one city ruled by statesmen and competent professionals (Washington) and another one (Juba) ruled by hooligans and hoodlums.
By all conventional diplomatic standards, the latest events in Juba have exposed the chilly truth that Kiir’s Police State represents nothing but organized violence, anarchy and miserable failure to observe the basic provisions of the international treaties it has signed and ratified such as the Vienna Treaty on Diplomatic Relations, 1961. Article 29(1) of that treaty stipulated that it is a responsibility of the receiving state to prevent attack on the accredited diplomatic agents of the sending state. This means that both the persons and the properties (automobile included) of the diplomatic agents are inviolable under the public international law. In any case, those documented incidents including the Terrain Hotel savagery speak volume of the ugly fact that the JCE regime in Juba is too deformed to reform (in the word of Dr. John Garang) referring to the then NIF regime in Khartoum. Thus, it has to be diplomatically isolated and removed since it has resisted to reform as per the provisions of the Agreement on the Conflict Resolution in South Sudan (ARCISS) it has just scrapped. Failure to do just that would be another telling tale of treachery to both South Sudanese and the American people!
The Author is a former diplomat of the Sudan and freelance writer on current affairs in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa. He can be reached via electronic mails at email@example.com