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Dr Riek Gai Kok’s dangerous political ambition

By James Gai Tot Deng

November 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- This is a piece of an opinion authored to bring to light how dangerous in the political arena is Dr Riek Gai Kok. For those of you who do not know him,,Riek Gai is the current Minister of Health in the cabinet of Salva Kiir( aka Kuethpiny Atem) and had served in many political posts when he was a diehard NCP cadre. The guy began as a Captain in the SPLA in-charge of medical supplies in Kapoeta soon after finishing his military training from the SPLA school of Political Ideologies and war strategies at Bonga in Ethiopia.

When the movement split into Nasir and Torit factions respectively, he joined the Nasir faction and rose rapidly to the rank of commander and was appointed to the NLC membership, the second highest decision making body after INEC in the Akobo Convention in 1994 .Those accelerated promotions were predicated on educational qualifications and most importantly against Justice John Luk who had a shaky working relationships with Dr Riek Machar. Riek Gai was reported to have had a hand in the arrest of John Luk in 1993-94.

He was among those who persuaded Dr Riek Machar, not with the best of intentions, to sign the political charter in 1997 with Khartoum Government which culminated in the conclusion of Khartoum peace agreement. Subsequent to that, he was appointed as a governor of Jonglei State and served two terms. When the Khartoum peace agreement was ratified by a Republican decree no 14, Dr Riek Machar formed UDSF, which became the political wing of SSDF as the South Sudan Defense Forces later became known. Behind the scene, Riek Gai, who is none the wiser, and given his natural lust for power, defected to the NCP and was appointed Deputy Secretary General.

Through wits and witches, he rose to become Deputy NCP Chairman and in-charge of Southern Sector. Riek Gai who is known for being a self-seeking politician with a sense of ego-centrism, fell out with many NCP leaders in the persons of Dr Nafie Ali Nafie and Ustaz Ali Osman as well as all the Southern politicians in the North. He was hated to death and he was spared only by Omer Al Bashir who, out of humane sympathy, made him to stay in the political hierarchy of NCP. He vehemently contributed in the falling out of Turabi and Omer Al Bashir. It is worth mentioning that he was siding with Turabi in the first place, but because of his betrayals and cowardice, he changed side to Omer Al Bashir and was the first to congratulate Omer Al Bashir when Turabi and his aides were thrown into Kober prison. He was crowned as one of the golden boys in the NCP epicenter to the extent that he was married off an Arab lady who later separated from him because of his being polygamous and inconsistency.

Riek Gai on several occasions used to utter political rhetorics that he would never coalesce with the Dinka under any circumstances and the author is today baffled to see the guy licking the boots of Salva and at one time seen addressing the Dinka in Rumbek in a broken Dinka language during the inauguration of Mayardit Women's hospital, a signal of allegiance to Salva and the Dinka.

With the signing of the CPA leading up to the Independence, he was brought to Juba by Dr Majak Agot, then the Deputy Director General of NISS in Khartoum to reconcile him with the SPLM leadership and most importantly Salva Kiir. Later on he stabbed in the back the same Majak who accommodated him in a very expensive Juba Regency Hotel behind John Garang International School where he is still residing up to now.

Being very good at manipulating people and a consummate liar by nature,he managed to infiltrate the Presidential camp using small boys around the President. The author has been informed that he was one of those who advised Salva Kiir to sack Riek Machar on false testimony that he has no popularity in the Nuer territory. It later turned out that the President was tempted by these power hungry and self-fish Nuer politicians and now regretting.  Riek Gai and company are responsible for the lives and properties lost because they misled the President through blackmailing and dishonest manipulations. I pray that the souls of the innocent Nuer massacred by the Dinka Gelweng on orders of Salva, do not forgive them to enjoy the flavours of life.

He is on record on several occasions that the Dinka are killed by the Nuer forgetting the fact that the killing of the Dinka where it happened was a reaction by the Nuer who had to avenge for the death of their beloved ones. Informed sources said that he was behind the sacking of Gen James Hoth and Maj.Gen Mac Paul respectively and that he is now advising the President to unify the two security bureaus and appoint only one Director-general who would definitely be the current DG of Internal Security Bureau.This is also a ploy by the same Riek Gai to sideline Maj.Gen Duoth Guet. The other intention of Riek Gai is to make sure that the Lou Nuer land is invaded by the Dinka militias. He was heard one time saying that there would be no peace in this country if the government does not occupy the Lou territory. He mistakenly thought he would win the trust and confidence of Salva when the Lou Nuer land is occupied by the Kiir’s militias. When Salva reached an agreement with Riek Machar on the power sharing matrix, he said it was a betrayal by Kiir for accepting to agree with Riek Machar.His calculation was that if Riek Machar comes back to Juba,he would not find a place in the government.There are rumours that the frequent stalling of the peace talks are his making.

How can Riek Gai, who has failed to manage even his own house, boasts that he is a responsible person who can rule others? He is nowadays confusing the public by whitewashing buildings in the JTH that he is vigorously working. The Public health Lab was built in 1974 and I wondered how the President could accept to be misled by officially opening it with a wide media coverage amid ululations by poor Equatorian nurses and hospital workers. Who would buy such lies from Riek Gai and the like minded?

It is now a public knowledge that Riek Gai is not on speaking terms with the caretaker Governor just because he wants to manipulate Dr Joseph Monytuil on how to run the State, something which has never been heard of. Their area of differences was because Monytuil refused to appoint some disgruntled and naive Unity State boys who are close to Riek Gai feeding him with lies and gossiping. The man is famous for favoring people with little educational backgrounds and who specialized in manufacturing lies and who are indeed sycophants and nincompoops. He has built a personality cult around himself consisting of a coterie of uneducated and semi-literate chaps and idiotic security informers. Riek Gai has no permanent friend because he is unprincipled especially when it is something to do with politics. The President must be careful of this tricky politician otherwise he will find himself in hell. Who would fail to believe that Riek Gai did not win the 2010 general election? He made it to the National Assembly through tricks and maneuvers by the Gadiang group which was headed by Kuol Manyang with the membership of Atem Garang, Malual Mabur, Philip Thon, Professor Lual Achuek Deng, Majak Agot and himself.He is not getting along with any of those mentioned who were in fact his saviors now because it a common knowledge that when the guy is having power, he becomes unfriendly.

His godfather Tellar Ring Takpiny Deng who was a conduit between him and the President has now been posted to Russia on an Ambassadorial job.The author wonders what is his plan B regarding how frequent he would be seeing the President?

When he was appointed to the Ministry of Health, there was a great hope things would go right but to the contrary what he is now doing does not live up to the expectations of the people. A case in point, that is, the appointment of the medical council which is consisting of Dinka and submissive Equatorians and denial of the rights (arrears) of the Hospital staff which led to the strike. It was nothing but an attempt to prove himself more capable than other ministers and for him to shine in the public eye especially to those who do not know him well because the guy is very good at worshipping masters.

The writer is a political commentator .He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What UNAMID Really Said About Their Investigation of Mass Sexual Assaults on Tabit: The internal report on what investigators found

By Eric Reeves

November 20, 2014 (SSNA) -- On November 12, 2014 Agence France-Presse reported exclusively on the real findings of the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) investigation of mass sexual violence at Tabit town, North Darfur.  This must be distinguished from the publicly released document of November 10 that concludes by saying of Tabit:

Village community leaders reiterated to UNAMID that they coexist peacefully with local military authorities in the area. The team also interviewed the local Sudanese Armed Forces Commander.

None of those interviewed confirmed that any incident of rape took place in Tabit on the day of that media report. The team neither found any evidence nor received any information regarding the media allegations during the period in question. (UNAMID press release, 10 November 2014)

Agence France-Presse did not release the entire document; it did, however, reach the appropriate conclusions: 

The report by the joint UN-AU mission in Darfur suggests that a visit by a team of monitors to the village of Tabit was carefully prepared by the Sudanese military to prevent witnesses from coming forward. During the team visit, there was a heavy presence of Sudanese soldiers who followed the monitors and recorded interviews with the villagers, according to the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) report obtained by AFP.

"The behavior and responses of interviewees indicated an environment of fear and intimidation," said the report on the Sunday visit. "Some of the sub-teams had to ask the military personnel to stop following them and also asked them to allow the conduction of interviews in some privacy," it added. The report quoted a villager in Tabit who said the soldiers had told the community "not to provide information to UNAMID" and that "reportedly a committee was formed to interact" with the fact-finding mission. (AFP, 12 November 2014 | http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-military-sought-intimidate-during-mass-rape-probe-200354793.html)

The document, in its entirety, has been leaked further and appears below.  Khartoum is reportedly furious at the leak from within UNAMID and understandably so.  The disparity between what was said publicly seemed to end the "Tabit issue" and obviate any further investigation; what is reported privately in the document below makes clear this is not so.  The document should also give considerable pause to anyone who has credited the report commissioned by Ban Ki-moon that exonerates UNAMID's cover-ups and failures to notify appropriate personnel of evidence of atrocity crimes.  Even so the report found at least five instances in which UNAMID did not report or report adequately on such crimes.  To which the Secretary General found it sufficient to issue a statement through his spokesman declaring:

A review, initiated by the Secretary-General, was conducted into recent allegations that the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) intentionally sought to cover up crimes against civilians and peacekeepers. The Review Team examined all the material related to 16 incidents, which were the basis of these allegations. It also interviewed former and current staff in UNAMID and at UN Headquarters. The Review Team did not find any evidence to support these allegations.  (Statement attributable to the spokesman for the Secretary-General, 29 October 2014)

But in fact what was released shows that UNAMID, on a number of occasions, deliberately withheld critical information from the UN and UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. This recent UN report on UNAMID's performance—coming in the waking of authoritative accusations of malfeasance, negligence, and mendacity by Aicha Elbasri, former UNAMID spokeswoman—has not been released publicly, but Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy has posted the text in connection with his current analysis of the findings; Lynch broke the original story in Foreign Policy in which Ms. Elbasri's account of UNAMID's deliberate under-reporting and non-reporting of serious crimes was presented in very considerable and persuasive detail.

The UNAMID press release concerning Tabit also does not comport well with what Radio Dabanga reported the following day:

A delegation of five members of the Coordination Committee of Refugees and Displaced Persons in Darfur had also visited the village: “We just returned from Tabit on Friday [November 7] with a delegation, after two days of investigation. There we met 60 women and girls, we looked into their eyes while they told us they were raped by soldiers from 8 pm [on Friday, October 31] until 5:00am [on Saturday, November 1]. (Radio Dabanga [Tabit] 11 November 2014; full text of this crucial dispatch appears at https://www.radiodabanga.org/node/83429)

More importantly, the public press release by UNAMID gives no sense of what investigators actually encountered at Tabit—that was clearly to have remained an internal matter.  This in itself is merely an extension of the Mission's reflexive defensiveness in the face of continuing failures to protect civilians or to investigate atrocity crimes targeting civilians.

Here is the internal UNAMID document in its entirety as I have received it today (20 November 2014):

African Union                                                                                  United Nations

                                                        UNAMID

 Tabit Integrated Field Mission

09/11/2014

I. Introduction

On 3 November 2014, Radio Dabanga reported that “More than 200 women and girls were collectively raped in their village on Friday 31 October 2014 evening, reportedly by Sudanese soldiers belonging to a military garrison south of El Fasher in North Darfur. 80 of the victims were schoolgirls, 105 were unmarried girls. The other victims were married women. The residents of Tabit have not been able yet to transfer the wounded to other towns or medical centers.

The number of women allegedly raped in Tabit was quite high. Sexual violence in Darfur, since the start of conflict (2003), is a key issue. However, it can be said that since the early days of conflict, allegation of such massive rapes were not received. This allegation was a serious cause of concern for UNAMID as well as for international community because even during the intense fighting between GoS forces and SLA/MM and JEM in December 2010 and January 2011, such violations were not reported. The Rapid Support Force (RSF) activities in South and North Darfur created a lot of concerns and allegations of violations were raised. However, even during RSF actions, such heinous and massive allegations were not received.

These concerns led to a UNAMID verification attempt via Shangil Tobaya team-site on 4 November 2014. This verification field mission was denied access outside Tabit by GoS military on the pretext of not obtaining permission from GoS authorities.

On 05 November 2014, SN organized a joint visit to Zam Zam IDPs camp including HRS, RoL, Humanitarian Section, Child Protection Unit, CAS and UNPoL. The purpose of the visit was to verify the information received that there were new arrivals in the camp from Tabit area, following an alleged mass rape of about 200 girls which may have occurred in that area. The team interacted with the Omda of Tabit Mr. ADAM and the Chief of Omdas of Zam Zam Mr. ALI ISHAG. According to them, there is no new arrivals in the camp and the situation is normal.

UNAMID SN then intensified its engagement with GoS authorities in El-Fasher to gain access to Tabit via El-Fasher route. The access was achieved on 9 November 2014.

II.   Particulars

Date: 9 November 2014Coordinates of Tabit: (N 13018’00” E 25005’00”)

Distance: About 48/50 km (Vehicle speedometer reading, end and start: 77679 – 77622 = 57. The vehicle was used for moving inside the town; also came to town after departure to conduct interview with SAF commander).

Time: The field mission arrived in Tabit at 1316 hours, left at 1618 hours 

Population: The number of population is not certain. Different estimates provided by different interlocutors. The maximum was about 7/8 thousands individuals.

Tribes: Not exact numbers or figures. But it was mentioned that Fur (Basinga), Tama and Tunjur are the main tribes. 

III.  Methodology of information collection

The UNAMID field mission was an integrated type; 18 representatives from different sections/units participated in the mission; most of the team was from Sector North with some from HQ.

Due to shortage of time, as well as the issue of GoS curfew after 1600 hours, the team was divided into sub-teams to facilitate wide reach and to obtain higher quantity of interviews. It was decided to seek out and conduct interviews with citizens, students, native administrators, females, persons present in Tabit market, students and other groups. It was also decided to attempt to trace the family, which was allegedly detained by SAF and also to meet with the SAF commander in the end of field interviews.

The interviews were conducted in group as well as isolation format. Attempts were made to conduct the interview in confidential setting but it was not always possible. The sub-teams introduced themselves and the explained the purpose and objective of the mission; consent were sought before the interviews and the interviewees were given time to ask question or pose comments.

Beside access issue, significant challenges were faced on the ground during verification exercise. The SAF personnel were present in sizable numbers – in uniform and civil clothing – in Tabit. They followed the sub-teams during the verification exercise. Some of the sub-teams reported the interviews being captured on recording devices (mobile phone) by the SAF members. The behavior and responses of interviewees indicated an environment of fear and intimidation. Some of the sub-teams had to ask the military personnel to stop following them and also asked them to allow the conduction of interviews in some privacy.

The integrated mission was launched suddenly. A short debriefing was done but the lack of time to properly organize created logistical and substantive challenges. The format or types of interviewing tools were not finalized. An agreed set of questions were not developed and deployed. Each sub-team had to rely on their own previous experience and expertise to find the information required.

The issue of GoS curfew after 1600 hours on the movement of UNAMID convoys also limited the time available at the verification site.

IV.  Consolidated Assessment

The sub-teams attempted verification in different parts of Tabit town. A consolidated assessment of the situation, issues and events are as follows:

Security

            • The overall security situation was observed to be okay.

            • The area is under robust control of GoS military forces.

Environment during mission

 

            • During the verification exercise, there were a high number of military personnel, in civil clothing and in uniform present in the Tabit village.

             • The sub-teams also observed a small number of adult population (male and females) available in the town. It was informed that a lot of people go out to farms in the morning but compared to the SAF personnel numbers present, the low number of town people was quite conspicuous.

            • The public was shy to openly discuss the allegation of mass rape in Tabit. An environment of fear and silence prevailed. A number of interviewees refused to interact or responded that they were unaware of the incident.

            • One of the professional (teacher) in Tabit informed UNAMID that SAF had previously informed community not to provide information to UNAMID forthcoming field mission. Reportedly a committee was formed to interact with UNAMID field mission.

• The military personnel attempted to follow each sub-team and to remain present during interviews. There were complaints of recording and picture taking of the sub-teams during interviews by military personnel.

            • One sub-team observed that local population consider SAF to be the lesser evil as compared to SLA forces. The improved economic conditions in Tabit (good fertile land, Qatar developmental projects, etc.) may also influence locals not cooperate frankly with UNAMID field mission.

      Mass rape 

Most of the persons interviewed denied the allegation of mass rape. However, one sub- team was informed about 15 illegitimate pregnancies in the town.The incident of an affair between a local girl and a military solider was widely reported with some discrepancies.

The disappearance of SAF soldier was also widely reported.The detention and interrogation by SAF of the family of the girl including the girl was generally reported. Though there are important discrepancies about the number of people detained as well as the length and location of this detention.

V. Recommendations

Integrated Field Mission

            • In the future to avoid delays in the reaching areas that need verification, UNAMID flight as means of transport is highly recommended to ensure timely protection of civilians.

            • Delay of UNAMID fact finding mission to Tabit is due to the late government permission for UNAMID to access the area a trend that resulted in disappearing of material evidence. Thus, it is highly recommended that UNAMID should be able to move freely and as soon as possible to the affected areas without hindrance from the government authorities as SOFA stated.

              [The document as I received it was a text with numbers indicating footnotes; there were no footnotes, however, and so the numbers have been removed.  Nothing else in format or content has been altered in any way—ER.]

Appendix One: Below are the five instances cited in the publicly released report on UNAMID commissioned by Ban Ki-moon after serious allegations of failures to report on atrocity crimes.  Ban Ki-moon in reaching his preposterous conclusion ("The Review Team did not find any evidence to support these allegations") evidently sees a distinction between "covering up" and deliberately "not reporting."  UN-speak at its worst…

[1]  Tawilla (North Darfur): UNAMID failed to share with DPKO a copy of the verification report on the attacks, rapes and looting at four villages in Tawilla by pro-Government forces. As a consequence and while the initial incident was brought to the attention of the Security Council, the verified findings were neither brought to the attention of Council members nor included in the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council. [all emphases have been added—ER]

[2]  Kushina (North Darfur): In reporting an aggressive overflight by two Government attack helicopters, UNAMID did not report to UNHQ the verbal threat by the Government to bomb/attack the convoy from the air or mention that it was carrying an arms expert from the Panel of Experts on the Sudan. Full disclosure of the incident only came to the knowledge of the Security Council through an incident report from the Panel of Experts.

[3]  Hashaba (North Darfur): There was reasonable evidence, including as reported internally within UNAMID, that members of the Border Guards were involved in this attack and went on to commit crimes and human rights abuses. This was not reported by UNAMID to UNHQ nor was there ever a public statement issued condemning the criminal action.

[4]  Sigili (North Darfur)UNAMID chose not to report to UNHQ the threat by PDF members to identify and kill Zaghawas travelling in a UNAMID convoy carrying two Zaghawa villagers. The patrol returned to base only after the PDF searched the UN vehicles and began aggressive questioning of Sudanese national staff of UNAMID. The Mission reported the patrol as being aborted due to time lost at a check point, making it unable to fulfill its mission.

[5]  Muhajeria Team Sit (South Darfur)There was considerable evidence and reason to believe that the fatal attack on this Team Site was carried out by pro-Government forces. A military investigation, the report of an integrated mission and the report by the Panel of Experts on the Sudan all confirm this. Although there were two attacks that night, only the second and fatal attack was ever reported publicly. DPKO described the attackers as “unidentified assailants” due to lack of certainty in the identity and affiliation of the assailants. The Government agreed to investigate, but after more than a year justice has still not been done.

Eric Reeves' book-length study of greater Sudan (Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 - 2012; www.CompromisingWithEvil.org; review commentary at: http://wp.me/p45rOG-15S)

Late Honourable Cecilia, a victim of SPLM policies of settlement and orphanisation

By Elhag Paul

November 20, 2014 (SSNA) -- The long list of murdered Equatorians by the SPLM system continues to get longer day by day. The latest victim is Cecilia Oba Tito, a young, intelligent and promising leader of Equatoria. Cecilia hails from Morsak village near Yei. She was born in 1974 to late Tito Towongo and Araba of Kakwa tribe. From 1981 to 1987 Cecilia attended Kagelu primary school after which she went to Yei Girl’s Secondary School. 

However, due to the war at the time Cecilia relocated to Uganda in 1991 where she continued with her secondary school education at Nyangilia secondary school in West Nile district. After completing her secondary education in 1994 she proceeded to do a one year course in 1996 at Nsameji National Institute where she graduated with a certificate in social development.  

Armed with her qualifications Cecilia returned to South Sudan and did a lot of community work promoting human development in former Yei district. In 2005 Cecilia served as a minister in Central Equatoria government. From 2008 to 2013 Cecilia went to South Africa for further studies where she graduated with a master’s degree. On her return home, she was elected as the first female mayor of Yei town. http://southsudantoday.net/default/2014/07/29/through-intricate-corridors-to-power-a-story-of-yei-mayor-cecilia-oba/

Painfully, Cecilia’s life was cut short to advance the Jieng expansionist policy of settlement and orphanisation in Equatoria.

Upper Nile Times on 10/11/2014 reported the murder of Cecilia under the heading ‘Mayor Hon Cecilia Aba Tito dragged and gunned down over a plot of land.’ http://upperniletimes.net/south-sudan/hot-topics/mayor-hon-cecilia-aba-tito-dragged-and-gunned-down-over-a-plot-of-land/   The motive for the crime could not have been clearer. Equatorians have suffered and endured the most degrading and humiliating treatment from SPLM over the issue of their land. To put this in context, it is important to go back to the recent history of the SPLM/A.

Right from the inception of this monstrous organisation in 1983, as argued elsewhere, the SPLM/A was formed with the aim to conquer and subjugate Equatoria. The rebellion of Bor which was a product of corruption was seized on by the Jieng as a means to avenge Kokora. Kokora itself was a reaction of the Equatorians to the unruly behaviour of the Jieng under the leadership of Abel Alier in the regional government of South Sudan during the reign of General Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri in the late 1970s. Please see ‘Fudging the issue – President Kiir and Corruption in RSS’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/fudging-the-issue-president-kiir-and-corruption-in-rss and Jacob Lupai’s articles on the subject in South Sudan Nation and South Sudan News Agency websites.

When SPLM/A ventured into Equatoria  it treated the people brutally as if they were not South Sudanese brothers and sisters. It killed more people and raped more women and young girls than at any time in the entire history of South Sudan. From early 1990s, ironically it was common to hear people in Equatoria preferring the Arabs to the Jieng because of the rampant atrocities meted on the people.

During the war, the Jieng soldiers routinely displaced Equatorians from their homes in their villages under gun point. This continued until 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was concluded. After the CPA land grab became the order of the day with Equatorians frequently murdered without any accountability, for example, the disappearance of engineer John Lewis. Often, the Jieng boldly and promptly declare their intention to settle all over Equatoria. They refer to Equatoria as a Jieng colony. 

A certain Deng Ajak on 13th August 2014 had this to say to a certain Ben Tombe: “ Ben Tombe, let me remind you slaves don’t talk like that to the masters. Dog without tooth? You are colonized remember? Is it dog without tooth that colonized you or us Dinka, the hero tribe in South Sudan? Just for your information colonization is not over yet. Does of you who don’t want to respect our right to colonize will very soon have no where to put their heads. We colonized Bari Speakers, Zande, Kakua, Madi, Taposa, Acholi, Lotuka and every single tribe in Equatoria and Western Bahar el Ghazal. We will continue to neutralize you people until you diminished. It is true you people are not humans. You don’t have the right, we do. Clement Wani Konga is misleading you today, but if we want tomorrow he will disappear. He talked about no one will sit on the heads of Equatorian, do you people really are human? do you think you have any home left? There is not Equatorian family which have never given birth to a Dinga. If Gay is to be legalized today, all Equatorian men will marry to Dinga men. Even today almost all the servants in Dinga homes every where in the country are Equatorians too. You feel ashamed Ben Tombe.” Please see the comments on this article, ‘Angry Security Council visiting Nairobi for South Sudan sanctions talk’ http://www.southsudannation.com/angry-security-council-visiting-nairobi-for-s-sudan-sanctions-talks/

Indeed they are in every nook and cranny of Equatoria with their cattle terrorising the locals to realise this objective. Nobody in Equatoria is against the Jieng coming to live in Equatoria, but this needs to be done through the right channel following the law of the land and not through thuggery and abuse of state power.

Now, Cecilia, a promising daughter of Equatoria has become a victim of this heinous policy of the Jieng. But the murder of Cecilia must not be seen from this angle only as it also fulfils another horrendous policy of the Jieng which is to render Equatoria leaderless: orphanisation.

As already pointed out, the Jieng desperately want to control Equatoria and its people and this goes back to the first Anyanya war of liberation. From 1983 Dr John Garang cleverly adopted the undeclared policy of destroying Equatorian leaders in order for the Jieng to prevail. Equatoria had to be made an orphan for the Jieng to control it.

The literature on social control and domination posits that for any powerful group to exercise their power in order to have control over any other group depends on their ability to render the targeted group leaderless. Without this, it is almost impossible to succeed in colonising any people. This is why the imperialists and colonialists in the yester century destroyed indigenous leaders in their colonies and replaced them with handpicked leaders honed to serve their interest.

The SPLM has consistently since its birth worked to destroy Equatoria leadership. In the bush, capable Equatorians were not recognised and promoted in the forces even when they have all the necessary qualifications. Deliberately, they were kept in the rank and file to be led by illiterate and incapable Jieng officers such as the likes of President Salva Kiir. Those whom they could not control whether in the forces or civilians were brutally murdered. For example, Peter Kidi, Luka Kpakaciro, Col. Martin Kejivura, John Nambu, Didinga chief, Acholi chief, Madi chiefs and so on. Prominent Equatorian leaders like Bishop Paride Taban and late Dr Samson Kwaje were slapped literally by Kuol Manyang Juok and others for no good reason but to humiliate them in front of their people reducing them to nothing. These acts in themselves not only erode authority but have a huge psychological effect in how these respectable people would view themselves and in turn how others view them. This was deliberately done to make Equatorians feel helpless in order to submit to Jieng.

From 2005 the SPLM targeted the would-be future leaders of Equatoria and they set out to kill them. For example, the Equatorian police officers murdered in Yambio, the doctor murdered in Yei, the two new graduates from Makerere murdered in Maridi over the issue of federalism recently and now Cecilia. The common factor in all these cases is that these eliminated young lives possessed acumen and have demonstrated promising leadership skills and qualities. In addition, all those cases have not been investigated and allowed to fizzle out with the killers roaming the streets in contempt of the people. No accountability and no justice.

The destruction of these Equatorians would have been future leaders is met by constant training and promotion of young Jieng to positions of power. The ministry of education discriminatively sends young Jieng abroad for training using state resources while obstructing the other tribes from receiving the same service. The purpose is Jieng investment in education to build future leadership capability that will allow them to dominate South Sudan for generations to come. Their formula is: kill the skilled Equatorians and replace the same with Jieng and over time Equatoria will be properly subjugated and settled.

The impact of these evil Jieng policies if not stopped will have grave consequences for Equatoria in less than two decades from now. The immediate consequence which is seen now is that they have almost succeeded to decide who can lead Equatoria and not who Equatorinas want as their leaders of choice. So, in a sense the Jieng have taken the power of decision from the Equatorians which means Equatorians basically are subjects. Here the red light should be flashing to any concerned Equatoria to think of the future.

The relentless killing of skilled Equatorian persons and prospective leaders without corresponding training to replace the lost would-be-leaders due to: 1) deliberate marginalisation in education, 2) pauperisation – the inability to afford educational fees, means that there is a constant reduction of talents and skills in Equatoria. The net effect will be the re-stratification of South Sudan social groups with Equatoria turned into an underclass, a group without leaders and educated people to protect the community and their lands. Should the Jieng succeed in this policy, it will directly feed into their settlement plan because powerless people without leaders can not protect themselves and their land such as the case of the Aborigines in Australia and the Indians in the Americas. 

Given the danger facing Equatoria now, SPLM/A needs to be stopped. The key to halting this deadly plan lies with Equatorians and it is a simple one. First Equatorians need to desert the SPLM to deal a mortal blow to the Jieng power base in South Sudan. Secondly, they need to follow their true leaders who no doubt have plans to stir the whole country away from the ongoing catastrophe.

Though the murder of Cecilia might have been done by few people from the ‘born to rule’ for their personal gain, the force behind its implementation comes from a policy that advances the interest of an entire group: settlement and orphanisation of Equatoria. The whole Jieng ethnic group benefits from this barbarism in terms of depleting skilled Equatorian people and also in terrorising the people to deepen control over Equatoria which surely constitutes an aggression on Equatoria.

Cecilia’s murder is not only a political homicide case, but it is also a case of violence against women. Men in South Sudan generally are uncomfortable with women leading them or women in position of authority. The fact that the accepted policy that women must occupy twenty five percent of positions across the board in South Sudan government has not been implemented is due to the male-centric attitude that have long permeated the South Sudanese society.

The suffering of women, especially Equatorian women under the SPLM system is heart breaking. The Jieng are taking liberties with Equatorian women simply to humiliate them.  For example, working Equatorian women are daily subjected to threats of sackings and unemployment if they refuse to have intimate time with the illiterate ‘born to rule’ placed as their bosses. Other women, especially the morally principled ones face threats of death. The Jieng have gone as far as to design something called IIB which means interview in bed. If a woman applies for a job, she is likely to be subjected to this degrading and humiliating process.

The worse case scenario which people do not want to talk about due to shame is the forceful rape of mothers in front of their husbands and children by Jieng soldiers. This happens frequently in Equatoria. The victims need to speak out about these crimes to remove any shame or stigma attached to it. Keeping quiet allows the assailants to continue with their crimes without the prospect of accountability. Equatorians need to support such families as a duty to help them recover from their traumas.

The gruesome murder of Cecilia symbolises two things. First, the intense hate towards women. For if it was not the case why did the murderers abuse the body of the late? Cecilia being an Equatorian, intelligent and a woman combined all the elements hated by the the Jieng. The brutal murder is to send a message to all Equatorian women that they either submit or they face the consequences.

Secondly, Cecilia is a symbol of resistance. Her personal fight to protect her property is one of the cases that make the millions of cases of land grab in Equatoria. Therefore, she is the embodiment of Equatoria’s struggle against the Jieng policy of land grab and forceful settlement. As a woman, that must have come across to her murders as an affront.  

Thirdly, even if Equatorians are members of the ruling party the SPLM, they are not protected. If they stand up to the system they will be kidnapped and murdered like Cecilia. They are only there to be used to advance Jieng’s interest and once they are not needed they will unceremoniously be disposed of. 

Sadly, no prominent woman has come out openly to condemn the gruesome murder of Cecilia. Even Rebecca Nyandeng who masquerades as a leader has failed to advance the cause of sisterhood. Indeed, tribalism has taken deep root in South Sudan. Were Cecilia to be a Jieng, the media, Jieng Council of Elders and the Jieng SPLM machine would have been roaring with its loudest voice condemning the barbarity of the crime and asking for justice. But since it the Jieng machine operating its well laid out policies of settlements and oprhanisation, it goes eerily quiet.

Will Cecilia get justice? Not easy to answer given the pattern of similar crimes committed against Equatoria. However, justice may come to all the victims of SPLM’s policies through other means in the future.  Ryszard Kapuscinski in his book, ‘Shah of the Shahs’ shines some light on such means. Here, he argues:

“It is authority that provokes revolutions. Certainly, it does not do so consciously. Yet its style of life and way of ruling finally become a provocation. This occurs when a feeling of impunity takes root among the elite. We are allowed anything, we can do anything. This is a delusion, but it rests on a certain rational foundation. For a while it does indeed look as if they can do whatever they want. Scandal after scandal and illegality after illegality go unpunished. The people remain silent, patient, wary. They are afraid and do not yet feel their own strength. At the same time, they keep a detailed account of the wrongs, which at one particular moment are to be added up. The choice of that moment is the greatest riddle known to history. Why did it happen on that day, and not on another?   Why did this event, and not some other, bring it about? After all, the government was indulging in even worse excesses only yesterday, and there was no reaction at all. “What have I done?” asks the ruler, at a loss. “What has possessed them all of a sudden?” This is what he has done. He has abused the patience of the people.” (Kapuscinski 1985, p105 Kindle version)

Kapuscinski wrote his book in the mid 1980s to tell about his experience of the Iranian revolution of late 1970s. But the above quote since then has been vindicated in Tunisia, Burkina Faso and many other places. Nobody expected a radical change in Tunisia and Burkina Faso at the time. It came as a complete surprise to the Tunisian and Burkinabe rulers with Mohamed Bouazizi setting himself on fire in a market and the Burkinabe masses setting the parliament on fire. The rest is history. While the Jieng terror machine concentrates on its war with Riek, the real problems are in Juba. It demise will come from within and not without. For three decades they have abused and terrorised the people.   Their main weapon: fear, is losing its power to subjugate. Soon or later they will be seen fleeing with their system in tatters. It is then that true accountability for their excesses will be appropriately addressed.

Finally, as Cecilia is a victim of a long practised policies of SPLM/A to promote Jieng settlement and orphanisation in Equatoria, it is absolutely important for Equatoria to not let Cecilia’s death be just another statistic. Cecilia stood up against both policies in her life. She never shied away from leading and she personally fought the land grabbers though she lost her life. Cecilia should be kept alive by Equatoria government naming a road in each of the Central Equatoria major towns and also by naming a land mark building in Juba in her name. This should ensure that the murderers’ intent to destroy her comes to naught.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. 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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