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Salva Kiir has no difference with Joseph Kony

By Pel K. Chol

February 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- Some of the worst atrocities which prompted the world leaders to go after the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have no different to the atrocities Salva Kiir’s regime is committing today in South Sudan.

Joseph Kony, the leader of LRA has been a wanted man for the last eight years by the Uganda government as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC) for abducting children in Northern Uganda to join his LRA movement. Other crimes against humanity to which he was charged with include raping and killing of civilians by his forces

However, while being fair to the LRA, anyone who is aware of the extent to Sava Kiir’s criminality would acknowledge that Kiir is incomparable to no one when it comes to perpetrating of crimes against humanity.

At the beginning of the war, many Nuer civilians were targeted based on ethnicity and were brutally executed some of whom were burnt alive for punishment as well as the concealment of crimes. This is nothing to what Kony had done in Uganda. Kiir has armed every community in South Sudan to kill Nuer. The situation in Lake State tells it all as Dinka civilians far away from Nuer areas have turned against each other using Kiir’s rifles he initially aimed against the Nuer.

While Kiir is collage of crime continue to breed, the UN has learnt a new indictable offence, the abduction of 89 children near the UNMISS compound in Malakal by Kiir’s right hand man, Joseph Oliney, who abducted the kids to fight against Machar’s forces.

No one would know if Kiir is aware about the severity of this crime as he is a big fool leading a big nation which his intellect is not suit for. However, the truth of the matter is that conscripting children into national armed forces is a serious offence under the Geneva Convention’s article 136.

It was due to this offence that prompted the Obama administration to send US marine into the jungles of Uganda and DRC to hunt for Kony.

The intriguing part of this is when one compares these hideous crimes. Kony was labelled as the worst human being for abducting kids from their homes while the world continue to shake hands with Kiir who has done worse than what Kony did some of which include this abduction of kids at the UN compound. Yet the world is not even condemning the severity of this man’s crimes leaving the UN only to issue rhetoric. What a world!

The Author pf this article is awaiting graduation for a Master Degree in the Center for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. He could be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Do not abhor General Lul for re-joining the butcher, but work on how to stop others from following suit

By Pel K. Chol

February 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- Democratic sympathisers attracted to General Lul Ruai Kong on facebook and other media networks were caught by surprise hearing the defection of the man whom they thought understood the nature of his job very well more than anyone else in the rebel movement.

General Lul has been bringing credible news not only to the members of the opposition group but to everyone in South Sudan as well as some other media outlets such as the insider, Chimreports and the Sudan Tribune.  He never shy away from telling the truth even when his forces had a military setback.

That was what hurts the genocidal government telling the truth about Machar’s rebel movement as well as the atrocities the government commits throughout the country day in and day out.

General Lul had many facebook followers more than any other General one can name in the SPLA –IO resistance not merely toughness but his access to modern technology heightened him. However, his rise has been brought down by what many would argue as entirely a greed factor.

Lul broken the ranks with his colleagues and master and on February 18, 2015, he decided to re-join the monster he once dubbed “the Genocidal and Tribal Government and an enemy of the World Peace and International Security”.

Lul’s fans could not believe he would disappear like a blink of an eye in the opposition movement. His fans were indeed unaware that the General actually shared uncommon principles in the quest for bringing peace and justice in South Sudan. Until recently Lul stood firm with many families whose relatives, friends and fellow citizens were slaughtered by Salva Kiir’s rogue regime.

He once expressed that no stone would be left unturned for the death of thousands of Nuer Civilians in Juba in the hands of East Africa’s most brutal butcher.

I was once attracted to his conviction and once spoken with him asking for some queries about strategies we could employ  to win this war not knowing that I was impetuously speaking to “a soon would be an enemy General”.

General Lul’s departure from the SPLA in Opposition will not make any significant impact in the rebel movement as Lou Nuer where he hails from have completely disowned him including the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff, Mr Gatwech Dual.

His defection to Kiir would instead categorise him in the list of sons and daughters of the Lou Nuer all of whom have been repudiated by their society notably the likes of Nyadak Puol, Riek Gai Kok and Marial Benjamin to mention a few.

Lou Nuer is the heartland of Rebel movement and anyone who knows it would vouch that it would neither be intimidated nor shaken by resource seek Nuers which many freedom fighters refer as Money Lovers.  

A defection of a military General or a medical doctor who prefers food a head of justice for the Nuer killed in Juba would not change the game on the ground. Kiir’s policies in South Sudan particularly on staying in power for life at the expenses of South Sudanese lives could be compared with an ugly rich person who cannot find love but buys sex. With his money he could buy sex but does that symbolise a fulfilment to attain love? This is a question many ugly rich people struggle to comprehend.

Likewise, it implies to evil dictators such as Kiir who is out of touch and out of reality with South Sudanese but uses the country’s resources to buy cheap peace. Kiir has been setting up communities against each other so that people would be terrified of him and then praise him like Adolf Hitler.

He is also busy setting up communities such as Maban, Shiluk and Nuer Money Lovers all with the intention to go after South Sudanese who are trying to see justice serve about the death of innocent civilians in Juba. All this was meant by him to protect his throne as well as keeping South Sudanese busy killing one another rather than seeking development that the country badly needs.

It is apparent that IGADD lost its credibility by Kiir’s bribing technique encouraging them to mediate peace without addressing the root cause. This has led to the dysfunction of IGADD as well as the return to Juba of some Nuers including General Lul.

However, Kiir would be wrong into believing that he can buy a permanent peace because everyone understand that he is a failed leader who bases his policies on terror. With South Sudan resources, Kiir can buy people as an ugly person can buy sex but that won’t articulate into establishing polices which can bring a lasting peace. Instead he would be creating war after war if he were to win this current one.

Many would think Kiir’s strategy in getting General Lul may not entirely mean a pathway to Lou Nuer counties but to shut him down in exposing atrocities and evil acts Kiir’s government commits in a daily basis.   

General Lul was able to tell the true nature of Kiir’s rogue regime and its mass violation of human rights and crimes against humanity. In one occasion, particularly when civilians were lured by Kiir’s forces into giving them food aid in Mathiang, Upper Nile State, General Lul articulated it very well. He was able to inform the world about the subsequent atrocities which followed that civilians were raped and the food aid they thought they were receiving was contaminated with poison which yet again resulted into unnecessary Nuer deaths.

General Lul’s defection caused some discomfort in the rebel movement and many question were raised into why a prominent person like him would re-join a government he denounced so many times as bad as Idi Amin’s regime.

Some speculations were made that he was bribed and others pointed to a disagreement he may have with Mabior Garang, the son of late SPLA founder, Dr John Garang, who like many others has been humiliated and tortured by Kiir and now is at the centre of the rebel camp as the Spoke Person for the SPLA in Opposition. 

While other suggestions indicate that he was not supported in his role as a military spoke person and therefore he was left to fend for himself as well as the financial challenges that involved when he was in Addis Ababa and in Nairobi.

Regardless of whatever one may think behind this event, General Lul’s defection is an indicative of what I have always been saying not just about him but generally about the lack of strategies within our leadership and also the lack of support we South Sudanese in Diaspora could provide to the rebel movement.

According to my notes, on my Master in Counter Terrorism when referring to a former French commander, during Franco –Algerian War, my observation is that Salva Kiir is ticking every box I could see on counter insurgency principles to win this war.

What he does not have is only that the country’s whole population is not behind him and that is the only advantage we could get at the moment which we could hold onto. As rebels, we do not have the luxury of attracting people with money but we need a good structure where everyone feels valued in their role to bring down this terrible dictator.

But it does not seem to be the case and as a result, we aren’t ticking the boxes of winning this war. Despite many obvious sings of attraction where we can turn South Sudan into a killing field for all those who want to burry justice and rob us off our freedom, our leaders seem to live in a different world thinking that the issue will be resolved through dialogue.  

Instead of seeking allies or taking different strategy, our leaders have chosen the opposite and allowed South Sudan to be a killing zone for the Nuer. 

For instance, Uganda has done a lot of damage to us driving General Peter Gatdet out of Jonglei and used ban weapons against our forces. He denied the stability South Sudanese would have enjoyed because Kiir would have been long gone if it was not Uganda’s involvement. But we are not inviting Uganda’s foe to meet in the plains of South Sudan.

This is not the first time Uganda involved in the affair of another sovereign nation. Uganda created what the United Nations called Africa’s world war by overthrowing the former Zairean regime (now DRC) led by Mobutu Seseseko in support of Laurent Kabila.

Two years later, Museveni murdered his old friend, Kabila because Kabila asked him to withdraw his troops. Following the death of Kabila, Museveni launched a full scale war for a regime change to run DRC as like he run south Sudan.

Despite the outcry of many Congolese from the United Nations to get Uganda out of DRC, Museveni was not asked by the UN general assembly or the Security Council to leave Congo. He left only when Joseph Kabila used his IQ inviting the Zimbabwean, Angolan and Namibian troops who kicked Museveni and Kigame asses out of the DRC soil.

These are credible scenarios our leaders should take notice of and try to invite others who can help us with the challenges ahead of us. But they seem to be parsimony with finding a peaceful solution through peace talks which only work to serve the interest of the government and its allies. Our soldiers, commanders and generals will be tired of endless struggle in the bushes and ultimately will eventually give up such as what we have seen with general Lul’s defection.

On the other hand, when one looks the structure of our rebel movement, the best category he or she could give is that it is a Loosely type of Coupled Movement where there is no one person who can make decisions that are binding and agreed upon by its members.

Such movements are characterised by the absence of control and influence and often are called Leaderless Resistances.

In a war that we did not start, our leaders have been sitting in Addis Ababa trying to achieve a political settlement while those who initiated it are there in Juba connected with their army on the ground and deployed massive number of troops, weapons and ammunitions in our defensive positions trying to end the war militarily.

Personally, I do not believe our leaders are working toward any specific goal because no peace could be achieved by ignoring the root cause of the conflict. This is where they have missed and from day one when IGADD tried to find a political settlement, we could have avoided continuing further negotiations because IGADD has become tainted with the blood of innocent people.

We could have been frank to them objecting further negotiations as the issue is not about leadership in South Sudan but about why innocent people with no political affiliation whatsoever were killed with ethnicity being a driving factor.

Now that we have seen how IGADD behaved, Dr Riek is unable to see that what they are doing is a delaying technique until every general he has re-joined the genocidal government. If Lul has joined, then the next target would be Peter Gadet if not the SPLA-IO chief of staff Gatwech Dual.

I understand that there would be some people who would disagree with my article. But I am writing from experience as a graduate of Master Degree in the field of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. Some of the things that we are seeing today have long been foreseen especially on my posts on social media a way before they emerge. My observation forces me to admit that General Lul’s defection won’t be the last if we do not take a different strategy. 

I believe Addis Ababa is not a place for our leaders to live and this IGADD led peace talk is not viable either. South Sudan solution will be solved militarily. There are elements of Kiir who would never agree to our political demands such as holding those who started the war to account as well as the creation of a federalist republic where people have the ability to choose their representative.

While our leaders continue to look IGADD in the eye to bring some sort of divine intervention into bringing a breakthrough, our leaders are passionately constraining every avenue for victory by going through an impossible route to navigate.

According to my essays on violence in Uganda, particularly the LRA, Museveni is not stupid if you may think he is. Since taking power in 1986 from Milton Obote and Tito Okello, there were 13 different rebel movements who fought against him with LRA being the dominant.

He managed to crush them all although some were as strong as our one. How he crushed them was through the technique IGADD is now doing as bribery, cheap peace deals and isolation methods all of which Kiir is now trying to use. If this cycle continues, what you will see is a dissatisfaction of our support base as well as our fighters and the end result would be Kiir’s Victory.

I personally think that such a strategy is a betrayal to our young men who joined the resistance based on what happened to Nuer in Juba but we left them to fight with their heart with no adequate support or morale from their leader.

It is also a betrayal to our commanders who have abandoned the care of their families for the care of the entire Nuer as they are left with no support while their wives are suffering in UNMISS compounds and in the refugee camps.

Although Nuer in Diaspora have been contributing some money to help with the situation at home, I don’t think that we have been doing enough. Lul Might not have thought to re-join the government but the condition of his family might have been a factor. 

We should be specifying some goals into how we think we are going to win the hearts and minds of our young men as well as of our commanders. Our leaders should be prioritising what our plan B is apart from IGADD led peace process which is paralysed by Uganda and which will never bring peace to South Sudan as long as they remain determinant not to address what caused the conflict.

Pel K Chol is waiting graduation with a master degree in Macquarie University’s Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. He could be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Black and African: A Life That the World Could Care Less About

By Riang Yer Zuor Nyak

February 11, 2015 (SSNA) -- It now appears that human life is important when it belongs to certain class of people, or when it belongs to an individual coming from a certain racial group. It is a reality that cannot be mistaken, or a reality that none can deny.

As I write this piece, I have still to recover from the shock that came as a result of the African Union’s (AU) decision not to publicize the findings of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. What are they protecting, and for whose interest? Certainly, it is not South Sudanese interest. One can only be forced to think that IGAD and AU have suddenly realized and recalled the provisions of the Arusha Agreement, which stipulates that anyone found to have some responsibility for the violence that started in December of 2013 would not be allowed to occupy a public office in both the SPLM and the government.

Could it be that the report has condemned someone whom they want to occupy certain office(s)? Could it be that they are looking for an agreement whose content could prevail over the Arusha deal in case of any conflict before the release of the report? It shall never be known for sure.

 The World is Biased Against Africa

In following the more recent world events, one could make a conclusion that events per se are not necessary good or bad. It all depends on the person or group of people whom the event affects. It follows that if a horrendous or heinous act is committed or has happened to a non-black, non-African, it is an act against humanity and deserving of full condemnation by the rest of the humanity. But, if similar acts are committed against a black African or if a disastrous event happens to an African or a group of Africans, the world sees it as a normal thing that does not change anything as to how things should be seen and done. The following are some of the recent events supporting this contention: 

 Lampedusa Tragedy

The harrowing incident took place on October 3, 2013 when desperate Africans tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to escape grinding continental poverty in search for a better life in a foreign continent. Out of about 500 souls, only about 155 survived after the boat sank. It was not a big thing for the so-called African leaders and the rest of the world. It was only Italy that showed sympathy with the victims and their families, and because the tragedy happened in her waters, by declaring a period of national mourning for the dead. But, it was a tragedy that anyone who cared should have questioned the legitimacy and relevancy of the African governments when it comes to serving the Africans. Not even one of these attempted to ask the question: When will European migrants ever drown in the high seas trying to cross to Africa in search for a better life?

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, had this to say about the tragedy: "There is something fundamentally wrong in a world where people in need of protection have to resort to these perilous journeys. This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call. More effective international cooperation is required including a crack-down on traffickers and smugglers while protecting their victims. It shows how important it is for refugees to have legal channels to access territories where they can find protection." I agree with Guterres that there is something fundamentally wrong in this world. But, most of the blame should go to those Africans who claim to be African leaders. There is a reason why people take these types of journeys to the world outside of Africa. It is after they show that they care about Africans that the rest of the world will begin to care.

 South Sudan’s December 2013

Beginning from December 15, 2013, Salva Kiir went on a rampage, systematically targeting and killing unarmed innocent Nuer civilians on the basis of their tribal origin. This was after he had falsely accused his political rivals of mounting a coup against his failing regime. The estimate is as high as tens of thousands exterminated in days, not weeks.

The American government and the rest of the Western Europe have joined the IGAD and the AU in referring to Salva as a legitimately elected president. It does not happen anywhere that a government and a president under whose watch thousands of people get exterminated and still be referred to as legitimate. In the eyes of the African presidents, it is legitimate because a member of the club has committed the act. In the eyes of the American, Western European and Asian leaders, it is legitimate because they were lives of black Africans which were taken by Salva Kiir (a fellow black African president).

 Ebola in West Africa

In December 2013, an outbreak of e-bola virus started in Guinea and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. As of now, the number of deaths stands around 9,177 souls. It is the worst of its kind in history. Initially, the world saw it as an African affair. It was not until Americans, Europeans, and Asians were diagnosed with the virus that the virus started getting the attention that it deserved.

 Chibok, Nigeria

On the night of April 14-15, 2014, a group of armed men entered a secondary school in the town of Chibok in Nigeria and abducted more than 200 school girls. It later emerged that they were members of the Boko Haram Islamist group in that country. The issue was not initially taken seriously, both in Nigeria and outside. The first lady was even reported to have said that the abduction was a fake one by the supporters of the group. It was later on the 4th of May that the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, spoke publicly about the tragedy.

Even though it was clear that the abduction had taken place, world reaction (not even action) was very slow. It was mostly some concerned citizens in Western countries and Nigeria that took to the streets to dramatize the tragedy. The rest of the world was just either silent or making lukewarm reactions.

 Kiev, Ukraine

On February 18, 2014, a peaceful protest in Kiev’s Independence Square was attacked by a riot police, which used live bullets. The citizens were simply showcasing their desire for their country to join European Union.

At the end of the attack, around 200 protesters were killed. The response by the American and Western European governments was very quick. It was a condemnation of the Ukrainian government. John Kerry, the U. S. Secretary of State, declared, and rightly, that Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovic, was no longer legitimate for presiding over such a massacre. By February 22, pressure had mounted so high on the dictator that he had to leave the country and went into exile in Russia.

Charlie Hebdo in Paris

On January 7, 2015, two Islamists stormed Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, shooting and killing 11 people. Subsequently, more people were killed, bringing the total number of dead to 17. The French government reacted to the attack in the best way it could.

World leaders reacted immediately by ensuring that they were together with the French people in their fight against terrorism.

On January 11, 2015, President Hollande was joined by more than 40 world leaders in leading a rally attended by about 2 million people. It was one of the biggest shows of solidarity with a people unjustly victimized.

Racism

Racism is an institution that does not have a particular headquarters or office in any particular country. Nevertheless, it lives. It appears that it is mostly practiced against the black race, or Africans to be specific. It is practiced either by action or omission. The examples above indicate that when an act of barbarity is committed against black or African people, it is taken as business as usual. But when a similar act, or even less in severity, is committed against white race, it becomes an outrageous act that must bring the ‘civilized’ world together to mourn and condemn.

In South Sudan, Salva Kiir murdered 20,000 souls in Juba beginning from December 15, 2013 and on. Yet, the American government and Western allies recognize him as a legitimately elected president. The same American government, in the person of John Kerry, condemned Victor Yanukovic and declared him illegitimate for presiding over the killings of 200 white souls. How does one explain such a glaring inconsistency in judging the two murderers?

In the case of Charlie Hebdo, the world basically merged on Paris to show their outrage resulting from the killings of the 17 French citizens. This same world had failed to merge on Juba when the 20,000 innocent black South Sudanese were savagely murdered by none other than their own government; this same world had failed to merge on Chibok when more than 200 young girls were abducted by an Islamist group that is not any different from the Islamists who carried out the attacks on Charlie Hebdo; this same world had failed to merge on the Italian island of Lampedusa when about 300 black Africans painfully drowned.

As to the ravages of the Ebola, the world leaders might use the excuse of health reasons for not merging on the three most affected West African countries to show solidarity with the people. But, their initial responses were clearly telling.

Concluding Remark

An African is left alone in his/her dark world. What goes on in that dark world is none of anyone’s business outside the Continent. His/her life is that which is expected to go any time, prematurely or maturely. Therefore when its destruction comes, the world sees it as normal, and, therefore, not the kind that other human beings can bother themselves with.

The problem is that some disrespectful American, European or Asian leaders, sometimes, shamelessly come out in public to make statements that they intend to be taken as showing solidarity with fellow human beings inhabiting the land that we call Africa when disaster struck. But, reality is that their statements and actions are not based on humanitarian grounds. They are in pursuit of non-African interests to be gained at the expense of the African. This is why they always stand with the one in power when a problem erupts—the person who has the power to grant them those interests in shady, under-the-table deals.

The so-called African leaders are not, really, leaders. They are robbers and murderers who see their positions as cards to loot and maim Africa as they wish, covering their selfish partnerships in criminal actions or omissions with the idea of sovereignty. Their difference with former colonial agents is that the current looters and murderers are biologically and racially black and Africans.

The AU’s decision to indefinitely postpone the publication of the report on South Sudan atrocities goes in agreement with the IGAD’s attempt to force the people of South Sudan to reach an agreement with the government without addressing the root causes of the problem. It is an inactive of their aversion to justice. Their main, and most important issue, is to see a government of national unity led by the “incumbent” president. It is apparent that presidency is more important than people. We, Africans, get it backward.

As things stand right now, there is still a state-inspired violence going on; life is no longer a right; people are being killed by the state security organs. A culture of impunity is acutely entrenched. These things demand that people should be held accountable for their contribution to these unfortunate destructions. It had been hoped that the AU Commission’s report who pave the way in resolving the current war by exposing who did what at the outbreak of the war and who has continued to do what after the war had broken out. It is after this that reconciliation, healing and forgiveness could start.

Now, who could reconcile with whom? Who could forgive who, and for which specific act (acts)? And without reconciliation, healing and forgiveness, how could these warring parties peacefully co-exist in a government of national unity without having addressed and resolved what took them to war in the first place?

IGAD and the AU must begin to stop their insensitive arrogance and start to recognize the compelling need to publicize the findings of the report before any peace deal is signed. Otherwise, any forced deal will only be a postponement of the violence to another time in the near future.

The world outside of Africa, for the sake of humanity and justice, must place enough pressure on the IGAD and the AU—enough to force them to do the right thing, publication of the report and addressing the root causes of the war. Otherwise, they should just admit that they are racists and indifferent when it comes to Africa going down the drain.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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