Today is 28 of August; a day in 1991of which “self determination” for the people of South Sudan was emboldened and declared as the centerpiece and supreme objective of the liberation struggle in the Sudan. There is no better time than acknowledging objective achieved. Thanks to the SPLM/SPLA’s braved and able “Political –Military High Command” officers, Dr. Lam Ajawin, Gordon Koang Chuol and Dr. Riek Machar Teny who made self determination for the people of South Sudan the supreme objective to die for 25 years ago.
Back to the main focus of this piece! On July 8th, 2016, Dr. Riek Machar survived another well coordinated and planned assassination attempt on his life. This was one of the 3rd major assassination attempts on his life.
The July 8th assassination attempt compared to other attempts was lethal. Dr. Machar himself escaped death narrowly. But, unfortunately, the assassins managed to kill close relatives including, Machar’s son and the entire 37 strong fleet body guards. May be their souls rest in peace for ultimate sacrifice! On December 15, 2013, the same enemy killed 39 of Dr. Machar’s body guards and some close relatives residing in Machar’s residence. In both instances, Machar’s homes were bombed to ground, evidence of determined beast ran wild.
However, the assassination attempt in 2013 was given recourse. This unfulfilled melioration can be attributed to a pending proposed hybrid court inked in the Compromised Peace Agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on August 17th, 2015. The hybrid court and other provisions in the agreement led to Dr. Machar’s returned to Juba on April 26, 2016, despite stiff warnings from well wishes, reasoning that the move was too risky.
These advices were presented both in print and in close knot private discussions between Machar and aides. Some of us cautioned Machar and cohort that the whole process was a drum up trick to decapitate his options. Such sentiments were supported by stark evidence by President Kiir’s regime’s intransigence toward implementing the agreement. It was established that Salva Kiir and cohort were playing fox and after all none committal to the peace agreement.
Despite all warning signs, Dr. Machar gave-in to the region and the international community and against all odds trusted them because of some undisclosed assurances made behind closed doors. Also, I should say, this is also coupled with Machar’s hard-mindedness driven by supreme ego of nationalism and humanistic convictions. Sadly, in less than three months upon Machar’s return to Juba, hell got loose as predicted. Dr. Machar was cheated and narrowly escaped death in a wheelchair.
Therefore, at this point, one would ask where the region and the international community were when Machar and commanders were being hunt down. To our dismay, the region and the international community have turned jubilant spectators as Machar dodge barrel bombs and Israel made machine guns. The region and the international community continued to stay aloof and only were involved in unhelpful and lazy diplomacy while the assassins were busy and thereof jubilant that the hunted was in their reach and doomed.
As a result they killed his son, close relatives and the entire fleet of 37 men strong. In disguise, in less than a week, President Salva Kiir called on Machar to report to Juba in 48 hours or risk replacement. Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir himself has given a tall military order to bring back Dr. Machar’s head “dead or alive.”
Then, the Transitional Government of National Unity of which Dr. Machar was part of and the cabinets ministers Machar nominated were aborted. In earnest President Salva Kiir installed his preferred choice among the SPLM/A-IO’s defected assassination co-conspirators. At this juncture, it’s imperative to stress that Salva Kiir was convinced Dr. Machar’s head would be by his desk before July ends dead or alive.
Against all odds, on August 17, 2016, Dr. Machar, his wife Madam Angelina Teny and close protection unit were extracted by the United Nations Force from the South Sudan and DRC’s border. Uncensored report indicated that President Salva Kiir and assassins were devastated and couldn’t believe the hunted survived the countrywide manhunt both by air and ground force.
An inside operative revealed that this technical “task to kill” was assigned to the U.S.A trained Americans mercenaries (Black Water) and the Uganda Special Force hired by the regime. Remarkably all efforts successfully failed but Dr. Machar’s condition during the extraction was revealing to say the least.
So far, a friendly country has chipped in and bestowed Machar a helping hand. Now, Dr. Machar is now recuperating and the world is waiting for his next move. Despite Machar’s incredible ordeals, the region and the USA appeared insensitive to what happened to the SPLM/A-IO and its leader.
It’s revealing that the region and the international community don’t care about the welfare of the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to the letter and spirit. The region and the international community don’t care why Dr. Machar and his men in uniform were attacked, humiliated and killed. The region and the international community don’t care and don’t want to know why Dr. Machar narrowly escaped death and ended up in the DRC. The region and the international community don’t give a damn about the peace agreement was being violated by President Salva Kiir before their watchful eyes. And above all, the United States don’t why local are being kills based on ethnicities while American humanitarian workers in South Sudan were rape by Salva Kiir’s forces in Juba.
This is where I have a major problem. Why I wrote this comment before Dr. Machar brief the media, South Sudanese, the region and the international community on his next move, the way forward and how he narrowly escaped death.
Dr. Machar, the region and the international community must know these:
I. There is no better and bitter enemy than a man who killed your son and close relatives not one but twice;
II. There is no better and bitter enemies than men who destroyed one’s nationhood and people, their crime, their tribe;
III. There is not better and bitter enemies than men who destroyed one’s livelihood in disguise of tribal interest;
IV. There is no better and bitter enemy than a man who destroyed one’s properties, your community and nation solely for distorted self -interest;
V. There is no better and bitter enemies than men and people who castrated boys from your community, abducted girls, raped women and girls and killed them after rape;
VI. There is no better and bitter enemies than men and government who ordered soldiers to rape women and girls in lieu of their salary;
VII. There is no better and bitter enemies than men and government who burned alive elderly and children based on their ethnicity;
VIII. There is no better and bitter enemies than men and government who force one’s people to live as IDPs in their own country;
IX. And there is no better and bitter enemy than a man who killed your mother, her crime, is her tribe;
If these crimes are nothing and no profound reasons to fight for in the eye and mind of whomever, then I must confess that life in itself is not worth living. But, I believe there is one rare human being out there, who held the convictions that one has a right to life and such a core principle ought to be respected and protected.
Therefore, this is paramount and it’s time to act. Dr. Machar must STOP behaving like Christ. It’s time to reach out, even though it means dinning with the evils in human cloth.
There are no better times and worse devils than the crimes committed against the people of South Sudan by President Salva Kiir
J. Nguen is a South Sudanese analyst and political commentator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.