It all started on December 15, 2013, a day many would never forget in the entire globe. Some called it a coup de data, some refer to it as a massacre, and some identified the patterns associated with genocidal act. However, the characteristics of the violent situation (e.g., the killing of innocent civilians) in Juba fundamentally proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was genocide.
The genocide as a term is defined as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation” (Wikipedia). The definition by itself is something none other than the victims of such violent situation would keep coming up with to ensure a global call or recognition of such inhumane act (gross crime) is recorded as Genocide. Although varying views significantly underestimated the magnitude of the systematic extermination of the Nuer Civilians in Juba, it is for sure has to be noted that the continued remembrance of the cemented blood of the innocents remain steadfastly memorable. The purpose of this editorial text is to rekindle the importance of the past, a nation torn apart by the blood of the innocents.
A Nation in Sorrow
You are weeping, I am weeping, and all are weeping. However, the deeply affected are those that are victimized the most. Remember, any individual person affected either lost a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a cousin, a wife, an uncle, an aunt, a grandpa, a grandma, and ultimately a friend. Imagine putting yourself into these people’s shoes, and feel the pain they have been going through for two and a half years? Imagine how deeply affected they are psychologically? What if you were the victimizer of such people or the victim of such violence?
Really, you either would be stunned by that or celebrate if you are a heartless who only enjoys the others’ demise.
What we mean by the “nation in sorrow,” is to truly and realistically walk you through the cry of a nation called South Sudan. Let take for example, the December 15, 2013, killing in Juba, the Jonglei killing of the innocent Nuer in the concentration camp, under the protection of the UNMIS, the murder of the UN aid worker in Malakal, the castration of the young boys, the gang rape used as a weapon of instilling fear, and most of all the cannibalistic act committed by the enemy of peace. Think about it! Think!
The Dead That Buried Their Dead
Should anyone say it was not genocide? The Nuer innocents have brutally suffered the most in the hand of a murderous brother. The north-south war had never reached such magnitude, for no example of a kind was ever seen by South Sudanese even when they were fighting against the Islamic regime in the North. All that people know was that there was a refugee camp in the capital Khartoum, and that men suspected to have joined the movement from the inside were facing systematic extermination.
Deeply confused enough, no one would say s/he can describe such situation such as the December 15, 2013, violence. A place where a child buried a dead mother before he would get killed, a father buried a child before he could follow, and most importantly the setting on fire of those innocents. What do you think about that?
The Concentration Camp
For two and a half years, the innocent Nuer civilians have gone through horrific circumstances in the UN protection of civilians site, while the murderous regime continue to enjoy the beauty of their suffering. The nakedness of them, the death that robbed them of their loved ones every single day, the starvation, the psychological impact, and unendowing agony of any kind pleasantly are to the murders’ amazement. Are these south Sudanese? Were the south Sudanese the ones doing this to their fellow brothers/sisters? Why would a leader dine while seeing his own children dying in the PoC? Is this a reasonable president, a president of all or a clandestine one?
The Continue Derailment of the Peace Accord
They acted like children, drunkards, mentally retarded, and most of all confused criminal of all kinds. The signing of the second CPA is a symbol of hope to the nation torn apart. But to them, it is a symbol of despair; despair in a sense because they see it differently. To them, it means the end time, it means they are not going to survive? But why killed civilians?
The compromised peace agreement is a fantastic one for the nation in this current tough time. Apparently, peace is an important thing needed to alleviate the suffering of the nation as a whole. Whether you like or not, the haunted memories are always shared. The pain by itself is something you will never escape if you tend not to comply with this peace.
The Disintegration of the Defunct Government
The mix messages resembling the like of delusional people interfere with political maneuvering and manipulative way of cheating each other into the problem. The divided house proves it true that the house is fragmented from the top to bottom. The group calling itself the Dinka fundamentalists are the ones with the iron fist, the ones calling themselves the leaders are the money looters and the rest are flowing with the win but bonded by the term Dinka. The rest of the South Sudanese politicians are none other than the money lovers who have no sympathy for the innocent victimized brothers/sisters. For example, the former Chief of Staff, James Hoth Mai, was one of the most powerful person in South Sudan, but did not do anything when his cousin Reath was killed thinking he could have been in power forever. What happened afterward?
The Foreseeable Future
The inevitable change is the South Sudan’s future to better, peaceful, and a prosperous country. The change echoed by the IO is an ultimatum, and only those that are well aware of what it is will eventually embrace it. However, we better consider change as part of any political failure in any government defunct beyond repair. The IO’s political objective is worth giving a try for the sake of rescuing the Republic of South Sudan.
SUMMARY OF WHAT ENSUED: President Kiir, Presidential Guards House to House Search, and their Shout, “Kill the Nuer” war strategies.
For more than a century, Nuer people had lived in Juba peacefully with others communities. According to Nuer tradition, “values are embodied in words through which they influence behaviour”.
On December 15th, 2013 Nuer people were brutally attacked and killed by the Presidential Guards incited by the President Salva Kiir (Dinka). President Salva Kiir claimed that Dr. Riek Machar Teny (Nuer) was endangering his absolute power.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Commander in Chief of the SPLA, ordered Major General Marial Ciennoung, the commander of Tiger Battalion to leave the meeting venue in Nyakuron back to his Headquarters and to disarm all his troops. Marial went and implemented the orders.
There after, he ordered the Dinka elements rearmed. The ensuing argument between him and his deputy, a Nuer, attracted the attention of some Nuer soldiers who happened to be nearby. A fistfight ensued between the storekeeper and some Nuer soldiers.
The Nuer soldiers broke into the store and armed themselves. This was the trigger of the fighting in Juba. It was a fight between the elements of the same Tiger Battalion, which makes the Presidential Guards (Kiir’s Militias) that lasted from Sunday night till Monday afternoon. Tiger battalion are believed to be around 10,000 soldiers with Dinka mostly from Warrap and Lakes State making more than 70% of them.
After the Nuer guards and soldiers were no more in Juba, Presidential Guards (Kiir’s Militias) went on killing spree, massacring Nuer in public, police stations, bus stations etc. Most of them publicly shout: “Kill the Nuer.” The Presidential Guards broke into the home of Former Vice President, where many Nuer had gathered for safety. There they murdered more than 38 innocents civilians including Lam Chuol Thichuong and his younger brother Pal and burned Former Vice President’s homes to ash. In every corner in Juba City, corpses were discovered on street, blood covered the tile floors. That day, children as young as 10 months old were murdered, old people and expecting mothers brutally mutilated and then killed. Teenage girls, their mothers and grandmothers were raped and killed. Some of the Nuer men particularly government official were castrated before they were slain.
According to the Human Right Watch on December 16th around 8 p.m. witnesses said that at least two men opened fire into the room through windows on one side of the building, killing more than 400 people in the room. One survivor recounted:
When it got dark, they fired at everyone (in the room) through the open windows. The room was very bright with bullets, sounds of PKM, and the different sounds from an AK 47.
Several of the survivors said they survived only because they were shot early on, fell to the ground and then were protected by the bodies of others falling on top of them. The survivors consistently reported that after the shooting, security forces entered the room with torches. “They came and checked who was still alive. Those still breathing they shot again,” one survivor remembered. Three of the survivors fled the building during the night but other survivors stayed in the room. “I spent a whole day with the corpses,” one man described
When the slaughter finally subsided on December 18th, more than 20,000 thousands Nuer were massacred with in three days.
The Nuer community worldwide will commemorate the Two Year anniversary of Juba Nuer Massacre from December 15 – 23, 2014.
According to Evans-Pritchard a Social Anthropologist once narrated, “I found Nuer pride an increasing source of amazement” He characterizes the Nuer as an overwhelmingly proud people, who do not sell their labor
Nuer (Naath) are products of an egalitarian society which is both very democratic and sometimes violent. “But if they are approached without a suggestion of superiority they do not decline friendship, and in misfortune and sickness they show themselves kind and gentle. At such moments they permit themselves to show sympathy which their pride stifles at other times, for even when Nuer approve of one they cannot bear that one shall see it and are the more truculent to hide their friendliness . . . Their only test of character is whether one can stand up for oneself.”
In a matter of Three Days, Salva Kiir succeeded to erode the social capital that bounded together our people for centuries, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba wrote.
Speaking in Dinka in his hometown AKON, President Salva Kiir told his Dinka audiences, “This power which I have belongs to you. You fought and died for it and now some people want to snatch it from me… will you accept it?” “Aci ba gam” meaning we will not accept, shouted the people back.
It all started on December 15, 2013, a day many would never forget in the entire globe. Some called it a coup de data, some refer to it as a massacre, and some identified the patterns associated to genocidal act. However, the characteristics of the violent situation in Juba fundamentally (e.g., the killing of innocent civilians) proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was a genocide. Therefore, the enemy has accomplished his political and psychological objective by killing the innocent civilians
THE JUBA MASSACRE. A TWO YEAR ON. LEST WE FORGET.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES