WHY IS THERE NO SINGLE CHILD FROM NUER AND DINKA AMONG THE ‘3,000 YAU-YAU CHILD SOLDIERS’?
ONLY MURLE KIDS ARE FREED…!
Some day back, on April Fools’ Day (01-04-2015), this question came into play, and I termed it, “South Sudanese people, especially the relatives of the missing children, have been fooled?” How?
That day of international foolery is by nature a second birthday for sycophants and psychopaths. It is the D-Day of bootlickers, in which everything said and done by political leaders is accepted with the sense of the Gospel. For instance, when I questioned a big lie a year back, one of such characters wrote on my Facebook status this: FOOL! Now, I will repeat the same concern in another way and other words so that the readers to judge who the fool is, or who has been fooled here.
Having just argued with a political elder of my community about this hyped up release of ‘child soldiers’ by David Yau-Yau’s Cobra’s former rebel faction, I was tasked to find out why our people, educated ones alike, just assume and consume any news wholesale.
In March, this is what I read in one of the very many UNICEF’s press releases on the controversial child-soldier saga. “David Yau-Yau has released child soldiers, including a 9-year old girl.” Hundreds have been released by Yau-Yau’s cobra forces to UNICEF through the government’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDR). They are being reunified with their families and others taken to schools within Pibor areas by UNICEF. The agency is running expensive adverts in world media like Al Jazeera and BBC for funds to such war children.
This should remind one of the late 1990s scandal of ‘slave-buying’ from the northern Sudanese Arabs and the neighbouring Sudanese tribes to Northern Bahr al Ghazal and Warrap states. With similar humanitarian agency behind the deal in the name of CSI (Christian Solidarity International) busy raising funds to buy back southern Sudanese slave children to their freedom, the project turned out to be a hoax; or at least, to have been compromised by the end of the day. Some rebel commanders, local chiefs and cross-border merchants connived to mobilize, buy and resell the ‘slave children’ purportedly from their masters in the north. This, with its underlying truth having surfaced by the end of the deal, did not only cause great shame and embarrassment but also brought some commanders into conflict in that region. Those who are conversant with the story already must have known what and who I am talking about today (names withheld).
The enlightened ones from Bor and Nuer having come across this related story of demobilizing child soldiers, must be asking this big question: WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN OF BOR AND LOU NUER AMONG THE SAID 3,000 YAU-YAU’S WAR-CHILD SOLDIERS? The question may even extend to other affected neighbours like the Mundari, the Anyuak, the Jie and Kachipo (Suri) and as far as Taposa. Has the government ever asked the newly installed ‘Governor’ of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) this question?
Early last year in Addis Ababa, while on a youth lobbying mission for inclusivity of the civil society to IGAD-SPLM talks and release of political detainees, I raised the question of involvement in the then ongoing Yau-Kiir peace agreement, why the neighbouring communities, which are (have been) in social contacts and constant war with the Murle, are not included in the talks. To our disappointment, the group of church leaders, who were busy mediating between Yau-Yau and Kiir, most of whom come from the Equatorias, gave us their cold shoulders. With enough experience of the All-Jonglei Communities’ Peace Accord in 2012, which was disrupted by Yau-Yau himself, I knew the beneficiary of the Yau-Yau peace would be Salva Kiir and not the communities of Jonglei. Why Salva Kiir?
WHY I BLAME/D KIIR IN THE JONGLEI CRISIS (say ‘The Jonglei Kiirisis’): Since David Yau-Yau was given his passport and stamped ‘Exit’ at Juba International Airport in the wake of 2012, to go to Khartoum for God-knows reasons, he launched his war there and brought it down to Jonglei in the full watch of the government! Not until Dr. Riek Machar was forced into the bush with a bigger rebellion, Yau-Yau had been declared in October 2013 by Kiir’s government as an international terrorist, only to be hurriedly called back to Juba through Addis Ababa in January 2014 for reasons best known to Kiir and his ‘Kiiristians’ (his worshippers). A threadbare political game is being orchestrated but our Jonglei leaders and communities could see but swallow the glaring facts in exchange for goodies and personal securities. For instance, justice and accountability of the jonglei conflict were exchanged with political allegiance between Yau-Yau and Kiir, just the way it is being wished to be done in the current politico-tribal war between Riek and Kiir. Why do I mean here? Lest Yau-Yau were called in to Juba, he would join Riek Machar, a damning incident to Juba, given how he gave the government a big headache on his own!
In conclusion, which is not the end of the debate, now that we have learned the political games going on in relations to Jonglei State in particular, and South Sudan in general, in the hand of the kleptocrats in Juba, it is upon the current leaders, both youth and elders, to watch the glaring facts being washed down the drains of history at their own risks.
The glaring facts begin and end with this question, again: WHERE ARE THE THOUSANDS OF BOR AND NUER CHILDREN AMONG THE THEN ABDUCTED AND NOW ABDICATED CHILD SOLDIERS IN MURLE LAND? Can somebody share this with UNICEF?
The public was thrown into an uproar when the president issued an order (Presidential Decree No. 17/2015) yesterday to send packing back all cattle keepers of other states from the three states of Equatoria. Historically, this smacks of the early 80s Kokora drive. With the country being chunked up under Salva Kiir into ‘Greater-somethings’, with previously elected leaders being referenced as ‘sons’ or ‘daughters’ of this or that community, and with the spirit of ‘us’ and ‘them’ rampantly eating into our nation building process, it takes no rocket science for a normal citizen to predict where South Sudan is before 2020, if all this power-wrangling hullabaloo is left to run our nation amok.
Secondly, and most importantly, this blind call for the returnees (both pastoralists and IDPs) to just go, ‘beh talimat’ (by orders) back to their homelands, without assessing the level of what made them flee their homes (county) makes no difference between the one who displaces and that who forces them back. For example, the decree on April 08, 2015 for Bor pastoralists to drive, or be driven, back to their homes coincided with the raiding of cattle in Jalle Payam, for the umpteenth time! Nobody talks about that in the government circles. Another embarrassing incident to the government is the capturing of an SPLA (Government soldier) of Murle origin in Kolnyang village in an attempt to do what nobody knows, raises a big concern, if not scare. I know the government beneficiaries will twist the story of this young man (in picture) in a way that benefits them alone at the expense of the communities. This case, like other incidences that we raised to our own risk in 2012, will go down the drain of negligence, call it intimidation, without explanation. The vulnerable and helpless villages fight, die, mourns and complains to no avail. It was wise for the president to first order David Yau-Yau, whose bodyguard (or one of his soldiers) was caught (according tot he locals) in one of these numerous raids as seen in this picture, to stop his soldiers from attacking civilians, before forcing the fleeing civilians back to Bor to be attacked as usual.
My first Facebook post, which attracted hundreds of reactions yesterday, equates the president (blatant decree issuer) with the raider, Yau-Yau and his unsalaried gangs, whose soldiers are wreaking havoc in the villages. This is how I put it, and will always put it…unless the government puts security before ‘development wishes’, nothing will stop wanton death in our communities.
“VERY KIIRITICAL DEKIIREE…!
All the cowboys and their cows from Bor, Pibor and Terekeka, EXCEPT THE COWBOYS FROM LURI, must move away from Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!
‘…Ashan inu they cause problem’!
‘…And for that matter, this is unbecoming!’
NB: Blindly issuing an opposite of a decree the same afternoon Jalle (Bor) cattle camp and villages were attacked and raided by Murle, taking away several heads of cattle according to the commissioner. Maybe Yau-Yau requested his friend, President Kiir, to supply his Jonglei market with more cows from the survivors hiding in the Equatorias…!
QUESTION AFTER THE DECREE WAS READ ON SSTV:
…And Finally, this is one of the pictures (with me and some Murle returnees being reunified with their families) during my/our campaign for disarmament, followed by peace, reconciliation, reunification of the abductees, in Jonglei State, which was interrupted with our civil society group’s killing and scaring, in 2012. This activity cost my group all the four top leaders, except me and John Aborcup, who fled into exile. Don’t ask me to explain here why it became our crime to do this! Just as I am not asking who he or she that is comfortably mobilizing, demobilizing, disarming and reintegrating only the Murle children without raising the question from the other side, like we did in 2012.
In case you would want to read more about our 2012 activities around Jonglei, click this link: http://www.thejongleijongleur.wordpress.com