Is extrajudicial killing the solution to Gogrial communal conflict?

Posted: April 18, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Is extrajudicial killing a solution to Gogrial communal conflict: The existence of the state of emergency and disarmament should be a solution not a problem

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Nairobi, Kenya

April 18, 2018 (SSB) — As the country continues to struggle with insecurity, the communal conflict persist and becomes a threat to the stability as it continues to spread a cross the country. The unique example of these communal conflicts or violence is found in Gogrial state. The continuance and repetitive violence between Aguok and Apuk communities and to some extend Kuac community involved.

This recurring scenario forced the national government to declared the state of emergency, paving the way for the government to dispatch troops to the state for disarmament. As the disarmament continues, some days ago, the report of rampant killing of civilians in Gogrial state in the name of being criminals by disarmament forces emerged.Whether allegations or truth, there is no smoke without fire. With the efforts underway by state government to try and control the situation, we believe this worrying trends of human rights violation that has just emerged would be minimize. We appeal to the state authority to investigate and make the findings public for the public to understand the circumstances that led to that unfortunate incident.

The communal violence in Gogrial is an old fashion that we are all aware and any attempt to contain it is welcome. When the communal war broke out almost ten years that has been characterized by off and on, there has never been stability in the area.

However, thing turn little bit normal when Hon.Victor Atem Atem was appointed as governor of the state. His appointments brought hope to many people from Gogrial who believe in his leadership style and his capacity having been a former commissioner of former Gogrial East where he contributed immensely in the communal violence resolution in the past, people think his appointment brought dream of peaceful Gogrial closer.

Till to date people still hold the same hope. Since he came to the state, the level of violence has drastically reduced though still there are some skirmishes, attack and theft of the cattle here and there; the situation seems uncomparison to the time before he arrived in the state.

However, with unconfirmed circulation rumors that Mr. governor is being misadvised and misled the unwanted situation is likely to repeat itself again. As a concern citizen, and like any one else we encourage him to excuse himself from the manacle of tribal nature of our state’s politics as he continues with his good deed. He is a man of his word and we appreciate the way he handled the situation and we encourage him to continue with the same spirit.

As mistakes happen and no human being who is free from mistakes, these mistakes have to be adjust on the way. Beside that, one thing has come to people attention in the last few day ago that has to be corrected, the killing committed against the civilian in the name of the state of emergency.

For some of us who believe in rule of law as the only way for South Sudan, we were left stranded with many questions lingering in our minds to whether that is the South Sudan we fought for and continue to depend from renegades. Whether extrajudicial killing is a solution to Gogrial state communal conflict or any other communal conflict? The answer is big no, the extrajudicial is adding to our problems instead of resolving them. The existence of the state of emergency and disarmament should be a solution not a problem.

In every country including South Sudan there are three arms of government, the judiciary, legislature and executive. These arms of the government work together in harmony though there is level of independency. The reason why these three arms of government exist is to make sure all the national activities are over seen by them effectively to prevent over-lapsing of the duties in government circle.

In their designated duties, judiciary take over the legal duty, legislature take legislation part, that is the formulation of the laws; the executive led by the president ascend them into law and implement them. That means all these institutions have the same powers and they should be given same treatment. They should be respect equally and no any of them should be superior than others. At the end of the day, they work to accomplish one objective, the national cohesion, protection of lives and properties and over all maintain peace and tranquility in the country.

To maintain the peace is one of the mains objectives of any government and it existence, but that should not be done in expenses of the poor people live. The executive take over of judicial roles that led to extrajudicial killing in Gogrial state is unfortunate and deserve strongest condemnation possible. The argument might be that, those kill are criminals and they deserve that punishment; but for that conclusion to be reached the investigation has to be done.

If some one is found to be culpable of the counts that he has been accused or lay against them of then, they should be taken to any competence court of law and the court in it findings will decide to whether the accusation are correct or incorrect. When they are found guilty or innocent the same court will decide whether to sentence the accused or quit them.

In any country or organization where the rule of law exist or being practice and respected; every accused is believe to be innocent till proof guilty in court of law. In the absent of that the matter become extrajudicial, and any punish outside court is believe to be extrajudicial killing regardless of the level of crime.

In that sense, it means the judiciary has been denied its primary duty to try people and sentence them when found guilty. Any extrajudicial killing is a threat to every South Sudan citizen, whether victim a victim today or not; your turn will surely come. As famous civil right leader Martin Luther king Jr, said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”; therefore, any injustice happening in any corner of the country is a threat to justice in any corner of the country and deserve condemnation. We don’t need to wait till the day we become victim to talk; we have to talk right now.

As we recognize the governor efforts to tame the crime in Gogrial state we equally call upon him to do his duties with due diligent of respecting human rights. Not all the people that have been killed in operation were criminals some fall victim of collective punishment and we should get ride of that precarious situation where citizens become a victim of a system that was designed to help them not to harm them.

Other concern citizens and I appealed to all the parties involve to refrain themselves from violating the civil population rights and concentrate only on their sole objective of bringing the trouble makers to book by arresting them and take them to the court. The court as the legally bound institution, which has been authorized to adjudicate in disputed matters, is the only body to punish them based on evidences.

Finally, as citizen of this state I appeal to the authorities and politicians in the state not to politicize this crucial exercise, the disarmament process. To forces involve in disbarment process the state of emergency and disarmament should not be use as a mask to hide behind and perpetuate atrocities and violate human rights. Inflicting more pain on already hopeless population is not a solution but adding more trouble into fragile situation.

To the people of Gogrial state, when are we going to pronounce the word enough? We killed ourselves, made many atrocities against ourselves; is it not time to come to our senses, sit down and come up with permanent solution to our own caused problems. I wish and hope that people should be abided by the rule of law all the time.

The author is a concern South Sudanese national living in Nairobi Kenya and can be reach through: Email address:


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