By Kuir ë Garang
March 15, 2014 (SSNA) -- The case of the remaining four political detainees accused of plotting to remove President Kiir in the unsupportable claim of ‘coup attempt’ is going to take South Sudan to a new low. This is a mockery of the country and our judicial system. The world has laughed at us more than enough and we are giving it another reason to laugh even louder. The accused, Dr. MajakD’Agoot, Mr. Pagan Amum, Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, appeared in court in Juba on March 11, 2014 to hear the charges against them. The charges include the follow:
However, those who advise President Kiir and those who encourage him to take the four men to trial don’t care about the image of the country. As long as they fatten their bank accounts and hit back at the people they don’t like, then all is good. They care neither about the dying innocent civilians nor do they care about the impending descend of the country into Somalia-like warlordism.
Mocking the President
No one has enough humility and courage to tell the president that the coup attempt claim is not sustainable. People who care about this country would tell President Kiir the truth in order for peace to come to South Sudan. Our people have suffered more than enough for this senseless war to drag on for longer than necessary.
The world that helped us achieve independence has no reason to hate us. We just didn’t give them enough evidence to classify the incident of December 15th, 2013 as a failed coup attempt. Honor is in knowing when to say ‘I was wrong!” Honor is in knowing when to let things go for the sake of the people!
What happened on March 11, 2014 in Juba is a clear mockery of President Kiir. Whoever believes the trial should go on is mocking the president of South Sudan. The president appears like a mindless despot among his reasonable Peers.
The likes of the imbecilic YoweriK. Museveni wouldn’t care about what’d embarrass our president. Museveni, like RiekMachar, is a man intoxicated by power and the feeling of being the strong man in the region. The mere feeling that he’d fall into insignificance makes him mad. Fortunately, he’s getting old!
Why would Museveni allow UPDF to announce the capture of Jonglei State capital, Bor, as a victory of UPDF instead of SPLA? If Museveni respected South Sudan and President Kiir, he’d have severely reprimanded the irresponsible general. UPDF was only doing a favor to President Kiir not liberating South Sudan.
South Sudanese government officials and the people involved in this sham trial, like Museveni, want to reflect South Sudan in a very bad light. They are mocking President Kiir and embarrassing South Sudan in the eyes of the world.
Selling the ‘Coup Attempt’ claim
Where in the world does a nation waste development money in a vain diplomatic mission to convince the world that a ‘coup attempt’ happened? If the available or presented evidence can’t convince the world to see it for what the government claims, then sticking with the unsupportable gives the world an image that is a disservice to the country.
Other nations are not kids or imbeciles to be hoodwinked. A responsible government would just give the world the evidence it has. It’s up to the world to rationalize it given the evidence they’d been presented with. Trying to convince the world is an act of desperation and incompetence: an unpatriotic mess.
The government is isolating South Sudan. The officials have turned their backs on our allies for no reason. The government is also projecting the county as a nation of those who don’t care about facts. This is going to cost South Sudan a great deal and further destroy the prospects of a prosperous South Sudan that’s respected the world over. What this government is doing is unpatriotic and treasonous. This is a government that doesn’t care about South Sudan.
They’ve not only allowed the rebels to destroy the country, they’ve also hired killer mercenaries to come and kill South Sudanese citizens. A government that hires paid mercenaries is an unpatriotic government. A government that pays foreign soldiers and doesn’t pay its own army is an unpatriotic government committing treason against the state. A government that pays foreign soldiers more than twice the salary of its own army with exorbitant benefit package is an unpatriotic government.
The President and his cabinet are convinced that what happened on December 15, 2013 is a ‘failed coup attempt’ and those being tried executed that ‘treasonous act.’ If the government defied the world powers that have centuries of intelligence gathering and data processing then it’s inconceivable it’ll listen to anyone who says something contrary to the official message. These world powers have declared that there is no enough evidence to declare the incident in question a coup attempt. Sadly, the government of South Sudan stuck to its position. This is a disastrous Mugabism.
Will the government swallow a bitter pill if the court finds out that there’s no evidence to convict the accused? Will the prosecutor be brave enough and competent enough to declare that they can’t prove the ‘coup claim?’ This is highly unlikely.
First, the judges were selected by the government that’s already decided its position. And this selection wasn’t in any way screened for any possible conflict of interest. So the judges, prosecution and the government are one and the same! How do you expect a fair trial in such a case? A-not-guilty verdict would be like insulting the government. It’d mark a turning point if a-not-guilty verdict is arrived at. Going against what the president and the government hold dear would earn our judicial system respect of independence.
However, that’ll never happen given what we know about Pagan Amum’s case against the president.
If a press conference and a press release, all constitutionally allowed actions, are used as evidence in a court of law then you know this is a kangaroo court. If a prosecutor tells the court that a recording, which was obtained illegally without any constitutional provision that allows it and the panel of judges doesn’t question its legality then you know this is a Kangaroo court. A respectable panel of judges would have questioned the legality and admissibility of the recording on the first day of hearing.
The defense will raise this question but will the judges see it that way? We’ll wait and see!
Bizarrely, the minister of information and the government spokesperson, Honorable Michael MakueiLueth, has already ruled on behalf of the government that the accused ‘should be hanged by the neck until they die’ and that the accused are not ‘political detainees’ but ‘criminals.’
If the government is already interfering in the judicial process then how do you expect a fair trial? The government has already home-brewed the verdict. It’s only putting this trial as a PR show to hoodwink the world.
Did anyone expect the government to select a panel of judges that’d rule against its position? The judges should have been subjected to a screening process to ascertain their independence and squeeze them for any conflict of interest!
Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.infoor follow him on twitter @kuirthiy.