Call Me a Coward

Posted: April 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Heskey Deng, Poems.

By Heskey Dzeng

I moved all around Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions

Hunting down really [an] enemy but not brother and sister [s]

I seen scores of corpses a years ago

As some died on my hand and others at encounter field

So that is enough; my eyes is suit

I cannot take gun at more

———–

Just call me a coward

My friends, colleagues and relatives were killed just to liberated you and I

And they did it, their blood cemented this Country, yep we got freedom two years ago

Now, I do not have friend, colleague and relative [s] to be kill again for sake of money and leadership and corruption

And I do not want to aim my gun on them

Just call me coward

I am not coward, but cowardice for love of lives

Desire for peace and stability

I do not want to be murderer/killer

I want to die in peace like my late dad and mum

————

Just call me coward

I am big, brave, heavy weighed man with 120 kg, I can lug RPG, hefty artillery like twelve and Ak47 all at one on my shoulder

I can even wrestle down Michael Sean, world super-power wrestler within second

I cannot even talk about Majok Jokriir [Jonglei] and Jeda [Equatoria], famous giant wrestler in South Sudan

I can bring trophy to South Sudan

Not trophy of bloodshed but trophy of peace

———-

Just call me a coward

I will not put on woman’s cloth

But remain as M or what you think

I will take refuge with woman, my wife and children

Soon I will desert you to butcher your tomorrow brother

And my wife would not get annoy, although women harrying at me

Coz she is mother of nation, mother of peace, not mother of bloodshed like your wife

————-

You can call me coward or woman but she will call real man

Simply I fought for freedom and I have won it

I have humanity; I am not fiend and bloodthirsty

I do not want to renew my life/soul with innocent bloods like Macharist, Peter Gatdet Yaak and Kiirist and more otherists

———-

Just call me coward

Though you call me woman, coward, stupid man, hyena and mores as you wish

It cannot needle me to take arm but vigor

And I will laugh at you

I do not care

———-

Just call me a coward

And if you give me a gun by force

I can shot you first

Then burn it

I just want peace and co-existence

Just call me a coward

——-

Heskey Dzeng @2014


By Reng’o Gyyw Reng’o, Addis Ababa

I wish to talk about Riek Machar’s hubris for power in South Sudan and how he wants to access the power. The “how” question, has been answered by the use of Nuer as the only mean for Riek to acquire power in South Sudan. The two have spoiled each other’s opportunities. The Nuer has spoiled opportunity for Riek and Riek’s failure every time spoils the image of the Nuer in the eyes of the South Sudanese.

Riek Machar attempts to seize power is ever diverted by the Nuer’s actions. First, in 1991 the coup against Dr. John Garang failed when the Nuer rose in support of their son Riek Machar, and in the process diverted their “revolutions” turned against the Dinka targets instead of the political leadership. This led to the Bor Massacre.

Again, Riek Machar challenged Salva Kiir’s leadership and when the Nuer soldiers in the presidential guards rose in support of Riek, it preempted the window of opportunity Riek had forged with a good number of non-Nuer politicians. The Non- Nuer colleagues of Riek would have canvassed nationwide support for him. This opportunity was again lost because the Nuer soldiers acted impulsively and diverted another opportunity for Riek Machar.

Peter Gatdet Yak and James Koang, two leaders who would act responsibly as national leaders, instead brought themselves down to the tribal level, created apprehensions in the minds of other tribes, when they declared their rebellions as revenges against the Nuer killings in Juba, of course which I think was true. The whole business became self-defence for other ethnicities. Riek’s opportunity was spoiled. Nuer defections from the army of South Sudan led to them being ostracized by the rest of communities. Riek lost support from the rest of communities. Hence he lost opportunity to access power.

Killings in Akobo, captured of Bor and killings, ethnic targets of non-Nuer in Bentiu at oil sites, Bentiu and Malakal towns made the Nuer’s revolutions senseless and ethnic in character. A leader with a national cause and moreover a community with a national cause would try its best to live above hatred and revenges, by even liberating and protecting those people who do not come from their own ethnic groups. Tit for tat, makes the national cause flees. Unless, the Nuer did not have the national cause as their agenda, their cause is trampled under revenges which is still ongoing.

While I condemn the target killings of Nuer in Juba and of recent in Bor, everything has become revenges against revenges. More target killings reported in Bentiu makes the whole thing visionless, directionless and unacceptable. The Nuer’s leaders and armed people are mobilizing other communities against them indirectly or directly. May I ask Riek Machar and the Nuer, was the real cause to avenge the Nuer killed by the Dinkas or national army or to liberate the country? I heard you talking about having ideological differences with Salva Kiir?

Don’t you think there is a big and clear gap between what you are pursuing and the actions of your ethnic soldiers. The Nuer, yes can conduct a revolutionary war on their own but not the way they have been doing it since 1991. You remember you were joined in 1991 by Dinkas such as Telar Riing Deng, Makeer Benjamin, Dhol Achuil, DengTiel Ayuel Kur, Dr. Achol Marial etc against John Garang, their own ethnic brother but when you and the Nuer launched the Bor Massacres, they redefected back to the Movement and rejoined John Garang. They said if the war was about the Nuer against the Dinka, then why should we be part of it?

Now, the eleven detainees were clearly your supporters against President Kiir. However, when your people overtook them in their support of you, they decided to keep aloof. They have refused to join you in the rebellions. And can I tell you and my people the Nuer, the eleven politicians refused not because your soldiers were and are Nuer but because of the nature of the destruction, killings and ethnic targetings in some places like Bor. Why killing in the church, mosques, mad people on the streets, hospital, the aged and children? Why?

I remember the words of an Old Gaawar man, Chuol who spoke during the Greater Upper Nile conference in Juba of recent, where he said, ” there is something unique with this blackman that makes him difference from the whiteman, the yellow man and the red man. This blackman easily forgives and easily forgets.” And Mzee Chuol added a question, ” what brought the Nuer to Bor?” To me, his message required soul-searching for a leader like you.

Like the 1991 group which had supported you, the recent groups were overtaken in support of you and not only that, they became secondary victims of your soldiers’ actions. Thus, they withdrew their support.

Unless, really your war is ethnic, which no one can help if it is, but if it is national in character and aims at rescuing all the South Sudanese, then the approach and methods are and have been wanting. You need not blame the South Sudanese for anything, you need to look inwards for mistakes. The Nuer have spoiled your opportunities. Advise them to stop killing their “enemies” for them to have wider support across the South Sudanese society.

And whenever you fail in your attempts, the Nuer as a community consequentially suffers because of those failures. The situation thus becomes a chicken and an egg issue between you Riek and the Nuer.

These are my observations. I am far away from both parties in the conflict.

South Sudan Will Never Die or Disintegrate

Posted: April 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

 ———

South Sudan will never disintegrate into

Small tribal administrative unit as you wish

Or as they say

But the unity of her people will shine forever

Long live the 64 tribes of South Sudan

———

South Sudan will never die as you wish

Or as they say

Only the killers and those who support violence will die

The rest will live on

Long live the 64 tribes of South Sudan


By Juliana Bol

It was a bit disturbing to hear news of our citizens in the IDP camps (where they are seeking protection and shelter) celebrating the recapture of Bentiu -in light of what this recapture actually occasioned.

200 civilians [allegedly] killed in a mosque. Non-Nuer civilians and foreign nationals targeted and killed. Nuer men and women in a hospital killed for not being supportive or rather celebratory over the rebel forces ‘success’. Hate speech broadcast on a local radio station, calling for the rape of women.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/hundreds-feared-dead-bentiu-massacres

Were we celebrating that a group of us now have to run and seek protection and shelter? Disturbingly, were the victims of this war celebrating the victimization of others? Are we seeing the creation of a ‘permanent victimhood’ that denies the existence of an equally victimized ‘other’? Historically this kind of moral ambiguity has been a prelude to victims becoming perpetrators whose actions, regardless of scale – they themselves perceive as warranted and a form of self-defense. This is a disturbing development.

In addition, does this mean that we have no empathy for those who are currently hiding in the bush and are not concerned when even more of us join them? The 800,000+ South Sudanese men, women and children whom we know are not in United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoC) camps, but we do not know where they are.

Also, what does it say about the international community, when we only condemn the actions of one group of actors, in this case the youths in Bor, and fail to equally condemn the actions of the actors in Bentiu? The international media widely reported the Bor massacre; international actors correctly condemned the actions of the youth involved. However, there has been a lack of condemnation of the actors in Bentiu, there has been no widespread calls for an investigation, despite that the Bentiu massacre took place in the same week as the Bor massacre.

Do the people of Bentiu not deserve equal consideration and if this is so, we should sincerely ask ourselves why. Because this makes us appear to be only quick to condemn actions that seemingly hold the government culpable (in this case in their failure to protect the IDPs) but then we remain silent on the need to hold the rebel army equally culpable. If this is the case, then we must question not only our partiality but also our humanity.

Lastly, perhaps we should be even more apprehensive when we hear reports of community youths reacting to this crisis with violence. Thus far, the communities of the affected have not engaged either the rebels or the SPLA, and have instead remained on the sidelines. About two weeks ago, there were reports of the Shilluk community mobilizing to form a community defense force (granted, this claim has since been retracted) and now we hear of youths in Bor attacking a group of the defenseless that they associate with the rebellion. I wrote an earlier article about the need to engage with the communities of the affected, in order to avoid an escalation of this kind of reaction. This needs to happen, sooner rather than later. We also need to begin to engage with the Nuer community – these are their sons and daughters – these actions cannot be culturally acceptable even if this were blood feud or retaliation.

This has been a horrible week for South Sudan. I reiterate that time is running out for us, we are on a precipice. Let us do all that we can to ensure that we do not fall into the abyss.

UNMISS Condemns Killing in Bentiu

Posted: April 22, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

 United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Media & Spokesperson Unit Communications & Public Information Office

PRESS RELEASE date 21 April 2014.

UNMISS condemns targeted killings of hundreds of foreign and South Sudanese civilians in Bentiu

UNMISS strongly condemns the targeted killings of civilians based on their ethnic origins and nationality in Bentiu. UNMISS also strongly condemns the use of Radio Bentiu FM by some individuals associated with the opposition to broadcast hate speech. While some SPLA in Opposition commanders did broadcast messages calling for unity and an end to tribalism, others broadcast hate messages declaring that certain ethnic groups should not stay in Bentiu and even
calling on men from one community to commit vengeful sexual violence against women from another community.

UNMISS Human Rights investigators have confirmed that when SPLA in Opposition forces captured Bentiu on 15 and 16 April, they searched a number of places where hundreds of South Sudanese and foreign civilians had taken refuge and killed hundreds of the civilians after determining their ethnicity or nationality. “These atrocities must be fully investigated and the perpetrators and their commanders shall be held accountable”, said the Officer in Charge of UNMISS, Raisedon Zenenga, who also reminded the parties of their respective obligations to protect civilians and called on them to immediately stop the targeting of innocent, unarmed civilians, and to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement they signed in January.

At Bentiu Hospital, on 15 April, several Nuer men, women and children were killed for hiding and declining to join other Nuers who had gone out to cheer the SPLA in Opposition forces as they entered the town. Individuals from other South Sudanese communities, as well as Darfuris, were specifically targeted and killed at the hospital. On the same day, the SPLA in Opposition forces entered the Kali-Ballee Mosque where civilians had taken shelter, separated individuals of certain nationalities and ethnic groups and escorted them to safety, while the others were killed. More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded at the Mosque. At the Catholic church and at the vacated WFP compound, SPLA in Opposition soldiers similarly asked civilians who had
taken refuge there to identify their ethnic origins and nationalities and proceeded to target and kill several individuals.

Between 15 and 17 April, UNMISS extracted hundreds of civilians who were facing threats of violence in several places in Bentiu and Rubkona where they had taken refuge. Over 500 civilians, including many wounded, were extracted from the Bentiu Hospital and other places, while thousands were escorted as they walked to the UNMISS base. The Mission is currently protecting over 12,000 civilians in its base.

For further information or media enquiries,

Acting Spokesperson: Joseph Contreras – contrerasj@un.org +211 912 1788 39

 

No One is an Enemy in South Sudan

Posted: April 22, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

—–

They and we

Who are killing themselves

Are the children of the same mother

No one is an enemy in South Sudan

——

They and we

Who call themselves Opposition and the Government today

Will sit, eat together tomorrow whether you love or hate it

Because we will not separate like South and North

Why shouldn’t we stop killing now?

No one is an enemy in South Sudan

——

They and we

Have shown to one another and world that

We are not women but men

We are not cowards but brave and warriors

Why should we stop killing now?

No one is enemy in South Sudan

——-

He is your brother even if he greets ‘’maale’’

He is your sister even if she says ‘’ aluel’’

They are your people even if they speaks 64 languages

No one is an enemy in South Sudan


By Dr. Bior Kwer Bior

When Gadet and his defecting army descended on Bor and maimed the unarmed civilians, this barbarism was invariably excused on the ground that the Nuers were avenging the death of their people who were allegedly slaughtered in Juba. Then the Lou Nuer white army came and killed the churchgoers, the patients on their hospital beds, and a score of other UNARMED civilians, and that too was excused on the ground of vengeance on the killings in Juba. The SPLM-7 didn’t raise a condemning voice, and nobody accused the Lou Nuer politicians in the government of instigating the violence. The 700+ Bor civilians killed will never get justice; their killing didn’t bother anybody’s conscience, not even in the highly conscientious UN circle.

When the unfortunate incident happened in Bor, which was largely provoked by the UNMISS’s lack of effective mechanisms to disperse a crowd, I see a change of attitudes. All of a sudden, the killing of UNARMED civilians constitutes war crime, and the SPLM-7 came out loudly looking for someone to hang. There are insinuations, especially from the DISGRUNTLED group, that the happening was somehow instigated by the Dinka Bor intellectuals in the government. This is presupposing, quite absurdly, that those people on the ground, the ones whose relatives were maimed by those rebels masquerading as IDPs in the UNMISS compound, aren’t pissed off about the fact that the killing of their relatives has virtually been swept under the rug of political expediency.

This war is messy, and I think nobody doubts this. More of these unfortunate incidents will continue to characterize our people’s troubled co-existence unless something drastic is done to speedily bring this war to an end. But if we’re going to be picky on the atrocities to condemn, we’ll keep missing the point, and justice will continue to elude us. We need to get our asses off this Orwellian world in which we believe, without a shred of qualm, that all unarmed civilians are important but some unarmed civilians are more important than others.

It would be more just if the people who are now bent out of shape by the Bor incident come out in pull force and condemn the killings which took place in Bor, Bentiu, and Malakal in which the Nuer armed youth attacked and butchered unarmed civilian from the other ethnic groups. These incidents ought to be collectively investigated so that justice is served equally.

If we don’t do this, then we are still sleeping and we will surely be jolted off this prolonged bout of sleep by the loudest bell of the unfortunate Rwandanization of our country.