By Steve Paterno
I have already made an obvious indictment of UNMISS peacekeeping colossal failures in its operations in South Sudan on this live TV interview : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgpYNe9JEQc. I don’t want to any more indulge about it in this piece. Since the peacekeepers in South Sudan cannot be able to protect themselves, one wonders how they are even mandated to protect civilians. So, for the world body to scapegoating a decorated Kenyan commanding officer, Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki for the peacekeeping failures, one can conclude that the Kenya government responds to disengage from such unsuccessful operations is appropriate measures. Kenya as a neighbor of South Sudan is in a better place to deal with South Sudan on bilateral terms than getting entangle in international conspiracy against the region.
Since this is my take, in this case, the focus of this piece is on the issue of deportation from Kenya to South Sudan and subsequent arrest of James Gatdet Dak. James Gatdet Dak took up arms to violently remove the government of South Sudan and since then he has became a mouthpiece of violence, operating from foreign lands on behalf of the armed opposition loyal to the South Sudan rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar. Such treasonous act provides millions of justifiable legal reasons against James Gatdet Dak, but one incident alone if pursued under a competent court can put the fellow out for good.
On July 8th, 2016, just minutes when the firefight ensued at the Presidential Place in Juba, between the bodyguards of President Salva Kiir and those of First Vice President Riek Machar, in an apparent palace coup, James Gatdet Dak posted on his Face Book account an incited and incendiary message, which was quickly shared around and greatly contributed to the fateful events that saw Juba rocked in fire, with much destruction and unnecessary death. The scripted inciting message was posted as follows:
Fighting erupted inside J1, President Salva Kiir PLACE in national capital, Juba. The President and his commanders attempted to arrest the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny. This came after the President called for the meeting of Presidency in his office with Dr. Machar and Vice President James Wani Igga. This turned out to be a setup to arrest and possibly harm Dr. Machar. Fortunately, Dr. Machar bodyguards have managed to fight vigorously and rescued Dr. Machar. He is now safe! Meanwhile, fighting has continued.
As the events unfolded and truth began to emerge, James Gatdet Dak ended up taking down his inciting posting from Face Book. Nevertheless, it was too little too late, because the damage was already done as the firefights continued for the next three following days, resulting into destruction, displacement, death, and Dr. Riek Machar tactically withdrawing away from Juba, with clear intent to launch attacks in taking over the capital. Now, under South Sudan Transitional Constitution 2011, James Gatdet Dak has committed treason. The article 4 (1) stipulates, “Any person or group of persons who attempts to overthrow the constitutional government, or suspend or abrogate this Constitution commits treason.” Therefore, James Gatdet Dak commitment of treason is beyond reasonable doubt.
Then, there is an issue of James Gatdet Dak being an American citizen and for that others argue that he must be rescued by the Americans. Being an American is actually a more legal liability to James Gatdet Dak. According to American law, cited as the Neutrality Act of 1794, it is illegal for an American to wage war against any country at peace with the United States. The Act evidently states in part, “If any person shall within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States begin or set on foot or provide or prepare the means for any military expedition or enterprise...against the territory or dominions of any foreign prince or state of whom the United States was at peace that person would be guilty...”
Since then, this Act has been amended several times, and the relevant applicable precedent occurred in 2015, when an attempted coup in the tiney African country of Gambia was thwarted and the co-conspirators of the coup who were either duel USA citizens or residence ended up being charged for violating the Neutrality Act of 1794 through American courts.
So, if James Gatdet Dak survives the legal scrutiny in accordance with South Sudan penal code, one wonders if he could survive the one of his adoptive country, the USA. Perhaps, it is advisable for the South Sudan government to pursue such legal matters with the USA so as to indict all those South Sudanese Americans who are waging arms war to violently remove the government of South Sudan.