By Wang Jinub
Dear Fellow South Sudanese,
September 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- If we are honest and truthful to find lasting and durable solutions to our problems, we must look at the genesis or root causes of our problems. Is tribalism the problem or bad governance in South Sudan? Can all problems be blamed on one individual or few among us? What are our roles in these crises? Can we afford to simply lineup behind our tribesmen and women or behind the truth? What is happening to us and our country is reversible if we look in to our souls, hearts, and hold to account those responsible in order for the world and friends to help us get out of this current mess or else, we are in it for very long time. As we look for solutions to current human atrocities and our collective future, we must examine and find the genesis of the problem to begin with; otherwise, we will be kidding ourselves with quick fixes while we ignore the reality, which has the potential to resurface eventually. I would like to point to the 1991 incident where innocent Bor civilians were unfortunately caught up in the political disagreement and lost their lives. The same can be said about the event in 1985 where innocent Gaajak Nuer were massacred in the name of being supporters of Anya Anya 2 Separatist Movement who were fighting for the independence of South Sudan. In addition, the same happened to the innocent Bul Nuer of Mayom County from 1986- 1991 for alleged support of Separatists in the said locality.
By looking at the above mentioned major human atrocities during the struggle, can we afford to relive those dark moments in our collective journey for a bright future today or we should look on to the future in order to create and build a place called home for us and generations to come? If we are honest and sincere in our quest for peace and unity among ourselves and seek to build a prosperous nation for all, we must acknowledge our shortcomings and apologize where we may have hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally as Dr. Riek Machar did for the 1991 incident where civilians lost their lives.
Dr. Riek Machar is a hero in my humble opinion given the fact that he was able to reconcile himself with the truth, which demonstrates maturity and leadership qualities. However, his acknowledgement of the need for reconciliation and healing was not well received by many including the majority in his own tribe, the Nuer given the brutalities committed under the Late Chairman Dr. John Garang and his Deputy Salva Kiir against the Bul and Gaajak Nuer people in the name of being supporters of Separatists fighting for the cause of South Sudanese freedom.
Given the destruction and human atrocities experienced during the struggle, what we need is for us to reconcile and forgive given the fact that we were all oppressed. However, what happened in Juba, South Sudan on December 15, 2013 and currently going on throughout the country was deliberately, intentionally planned, and executed to silence the voices of freedom longing for inclusiveness in terms of development and justice where no one is above the law. Since 2005 to present, President Kiir has been leading South Sudan and as such, regardless of his endless blame game, he bears the greatest responsibility for what happened to us and our new nation given the fact that the “BUCK” stops with him as the leader. He is responsible for the downfall of the South Sudanese society. President Kiir must take the fatherhood role if he is going to be remembered by all as one of the founding fathers of South Sudan in our history or else, he will be remembered as an opportunist who happened to be at the right place at the right time when the Late and Founding Father of SPLM/A Dr. John Garang met his untimely death in a plane crash in 2005. President Kiir can save himself some grace from South Sudanese if he steps down so that the truth can be found regarding the current mess or people will remember him as a leader who ruined the lives of his own people and is responsible for the destruction of livelihood and future of his country. I am aware that some blame Dr. Riek Machar but I see him as the only person mitigating the chaos by taking charge and positively channeling the anger of those whose loved ones were intentionally massacred in Juba and beyond to find peaceful solution to our problems.
As you sit and ponder about helping to bring about peaceful solutions and accountability for the innocent South Sudanese, please consider the following in order for real peace to be achieved in South Sudan given the tribal dimension this senseless conflict has taken. Here are some reasons why President Salva Kiir should not remain as the President of South Sudan if IGAD and the World want to help bring peace to South Sudan and her innocent civilians. The crimes committed under his leadership are irreversible because the legitimacy claim of being democratically elected is outweighed by the magnitude and gravity of the current events witnessed thus far. Below are some major points that reasonable and peace makers can put in to consideration as we look for solution and help bring peace to the suffering South Sudanese both internally and externally.
1. President Kiir has failed South Sudan and her citizens by presiding over rampant corruption from 2005 to present with no real accountability.
2. President Kiir designed self-serving transitional constitution where all powers are in the hand of one man, himself.
3. President Kiir failed to allow meaningful reforms within the party and the government in order for democratic principles to take root in South Sudan.
4. President Kiir recruited, trained, financed, and armed tribal militias who were responsible for ethnic cleansing or Genocide of the Nuer tribe and other South Sudanese with identical Nuer cultural marks where over 20,000 innocent women, children, elderly, and young men have been massacred in a house- to -house search from December 15, 2013 and beyond.
5. President Kiir falsely accused his political opponents of staging a coup, which has been proven baseless by his own, appointed court and Chief of Military intelligence.
6. President Kiir hired professional mercenaries to kill his own citizens utilizing banned weapons like Cluster Bombs in Jonglei State where innocent women and children were among the dead and the UN in South Sudan has proved this.
Now, by looking at all of these failures, can South Sudanese afford six (6) more months of President Kiir given the carnage? If the world cares about humanity and the people of South Sudan, as they claim, can such a leader be allowed to continue to rule under such circumstances?
As a native-born South Sudanese, President Kiir has lost the legitimacy to govern and the world need to help the voices of reason to call for peaceful transfer of power from President Kiir before more bloodshed in South Sudan. President Kiir needs to take responsibility for his actions, which have brought down a beautiful nation like South Sudan.
My fellow South Sudanese, this imposed conflict is not ending any time soon and you and I have a role to play to bring to an end this meaningless cruelty against the innocent with accountability for crimes committed thus far. Being silent can only mean one thing, you either agree or disagree but remember that our collective future depend on your participation and mine. I believe that we must work and support those who pursue real peace not those playing blame-games in the name of peace while they have different intentions as demonstrated by recent IGAD brokered signed protocol where status quo was preserved. We must not relent from seeking truth and justice for those who perished at no fault of their own and for the love of our nation and citizens; we must double our efforts.
With love of thy nation and optimism