Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 13 January 2018

South Sudan’s vicious tyrant

By Duop Chak Wuol

The Republic of South Sudan is being run by a man with a reputation for having a ruthless heart and tyrannical brain. Salva Kiir’s presidency, which promotes tribal divisions and glorifies the killing of South Sudanese, has committed atrocities that are serious enough to win him a new title: vicious tyrant.

I have mentioned in some of my previous writings that I do not believe in the existence of hell. However, I think that a person who committed appalling crimes deserves to be put in a place that fits the meaning of hell. The carnage Kiir committed in Juba in December 2013 proves that he is not a sound-minded national leader who can unite the people of South Sudan and transform the young nation into a democratic society. Kiir’s use of tribal militia in his December 2013 bloody campaign against the Nuer ethnic group was a colossal political blunder — a blunder that I believe no reasonable South Sudanese leader would wish to repeat. Kiir killed a lot of people in Juba using different dictatorial techniques he borrowed from his Ugandan counterpart and regional ally, Yoweri Museveni. Kiir thought that he could easily use the same killing methods Museveni once used against the Acholi and Langi people.

It would be a mistake for any thinking South Sudanese to burn helpless women and children alive and use military vehicles to obliterate the houses of civilians who have nothing to do with the failure of South Sudan’s political leadership.

Any informed South Sudanese analyst would agree that the current First Vice President (FVP) Taban Deng Gai is a mere copycat of Kiir’s savage regime. Taban is known for having intolerance in his heart — his post as FVP is just a name. Taban and his close political associate, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, are not fit to lead the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The two men are known greedy political freebooters who think with their bellies and see through their mouths — their rather egocentric political faction is full of self-proclaimed politicians who always use nonsensical blames against rebel leader Dr Riek Machar in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to gain access into the materialistic or political world.

It is good to remind people about the role the notorious tribal entity, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), is playing in South Sudan’s destruction. The JCE deserves to be dismantled and send its old tribal hooligans back to their villages. These raging tribalists are not fit to serve at the national level. The Jieng people should publicly denounce this harmful group that believes tribal supremacy should be the official political doctrine of South Sudan. Kiir, Taban, and JCE thugs are close destructive partners.

Salva Kiir failed the people of South Sudan. If Kiir thought like a leader who could bring people together and develop the country, he would have ceased the door-to-door killings of civilians his private soldiers carried out on that tragic week (December 16-19, 2013). For instance, Kiir would have deployed a protection force to guard all areas of Nuer ethnicity to make sure members of the Nuer tribe were not attacked and killed. It is at times painful to remind myself of how helpless Nuer women and children were deliberately set ablaze by tribal thugs who enjoyed the bloodbath Kiir had planned for months. Kiir surprised millions of South Sudanese when he announced the following morning after the war broke out that his forces were hunting down rebels. In fact, there were no rebels as he claimed; only innocent civilians who were systematically being removed from their homes and executed by his tribal militia. Again, if Kiir was thinking as a president for all, he would have dealt only with his political rivals, not helpless citizens. Kiir further damaged his reputation by ordering his tribal militiamen to carry out targeted killings in Wau and Equatoria region.

It is sensible to assume that the nations established as democratic constitutional states should enforce universal human rights such as the right to life and liberty, among others. I would like to point out that there is no such a thing as equal rights of conscience. There is, however, equal human rights — these rights are the cornerstone of natural rights. Kiir’s regime has violated South Sudanese rights in an unprecedented way. His December 2013 decision not to protect civilians is unquestionably a grave violation of human rights — this violation also amounts to direct complicity in the disappearances of thousands of ethnic Nuer in the infamous Juba massacre.

Who would want to be ruled by tyrant Kiir, world-class greedy man Taban, and the JCE’s hoodlums?

It is up to the readers to draw their own conclusions. Understand, though, that it would be a mistake for one to think that a peaceful South Sudan will be maintained under these three blood-stained allies. Salva Kiir is a determined oppressor who thinks through tribal lenses and who also believes that the killing of other ethnicities, not Dinka, would put fear into people’s hearts and cement his power. His cruelty is unmatched in the history of South Sudan. Under Kiir, peace is unlikely to return to South Sudan. The level of Kiir’s fantasy of becoming the president for life is beyond belief. In his mind, Salva Kiir wants all South Sudanese to embrace his bloody rule and justify his carnage. Kiir is too ruthless to be a leader, he is truly a vicious tyrant who deserves a blistering-room in hell — his seemingly tribal presidency is too detrimental for South Sudan and its people. Enough of his atrocious regime!

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.