Nasir Declaration was a well calculated move to destroy the Nuer tribe
Simon R. Gatluak,
April 11, 2010
History will remember John Garang as one of the rare visionary leaders ever existed in
South Sudan in particular. His calls for total liberation for the whole
Sudan transformed the nation and it people for a better future. Majority of Sudanese understood this visionary leader for their positive response to fight and sacrifices themselves for the cause of liberation.
Though most of the foot soldiers were from the South, significant numbers from various part of the
Sudan conjugated the movement under John Garang and fought for the liberation cause. With enough man power and secure source of weapons, most Sudanese believed that the defeat of
Khartoum regime was imminent.
These believe was shattered by the fateful move that took place some nineteen years ago within the SPLA/M led by John Garang. The administration of John Garang did not only transform the Sudanese for a better future, but has transformed most Southern Sudanese tribes from years of marginalization and sense of inferiority. With this big expectations of freedom and equality, thousands voluntarily poured to the SPLA/M as fighters in which the advantages gained by most Southern Sudanese tribes outweigh the disadvantages.
Despite 99.9% illiteracy in the South, John Garang had manage to organizes these illiterates people and became one of the best fighting force ever in the story of the South and Sudan in general. The war was deadly, however, with strong training of why people have to die; these wisely oriented villagers wage a successful war until some SPLA/M commanders halted this march toward
It was at this time of perceived victory, when some high ranking SPLA/M officers made an announcement on August 28/1991 that John Garang was captured and they took over the leadership of SPLA/M. The destruction which this popularly known as Nasir declaration brought to the movement is not what the current article will expose here; it is here to express the despair, suffering, hopelessness, and mass destruction that were brought upon one tribe by this split in the SPLA/M. The most devastated tribe was the Nuer whose land was the seat of this new faction and were all assumed as part of that newly formed faction.
Prior to Nasir declaration, John Garang brought millions of weapons which includes anti, aircraft, anti, tank, and others uncountable deadly artilleries and light automatic weapons. Strict Laws of holding any of this weapons and bullets were instituted and misusing them a part from the intended mission was punishable by death. Great care was taken by all the holders of this weapons and desire of firing them only toward the enemy was the mission of all SPL/M soldiers, officers, and all villagers that were not part of the organized forces.
These laws were, however, broken loose in all the controlled areas of the Nasir faction which resulted into the state of anarchy. It should be noticed that the Nuer people contributed physically to the SPLA/M in large numbers. Because of this, John Garang awarded thier contribution by offering trainings and commissioned hundreds of SPLA/M officers from the Nuer tribe. Most of these officers were deployed at the time of the split in the Nuerland to maintain laws and orders.
This brought conducive and prolong stability throughout the Nuerland, which was experienced by all the Sudanese especially Southern Sudanese that were stationed in the Nuerland. It was at this time of peace, development, and popular support of SPLA/M in the Nuerland when the split took place. As a result, most of these officers and soldiers were eliminated in the chaos that came after the birth of Nasir faction.
The defection has no justification which was later confirmed by the leaders of the coup; and explicitly described it as the work of the enemy and should not have happened. With the fear of the Nuer tribe, the enemies realized that SPLA/M has only few months to liberate the whole
Sudan. The sense of fear and worries was intensifies by how SPLA/M was deeply rooted among the Nuers who had a record of nothing to fear among all Southern Sudanese tribes. This compelled the enemies to use all means possible to destroy this tribe in order to impede the victory of SPLA/M.
For this to materialized, the influences of the enemies led some SPLA/M officers to contrives dissatisfactions with the movementís leadership and eventually managed to rebel with millions of weapons that were intended for the liberation of the marginalized Sudanese. With no clear mission, where to go, and what to do with millions of weapons
and soldiers in their domination, internal war exploded among the forces and thousands die as the result of this war where majority if not all were from the Nuer tribe.
Most well known officers and soldiers that were trained by John Garang and called living sacrifices or liberators perished in this confusion. This war went on for a number of years all over the Nuerland which was the seat of the Nasir faction. The chaos was uncontrollable which subsequently resulted into the destruction of more than 90% of Nuer officers and soldiers; and the very few that remained had to ran back to SPLA/M for their dear lives. This voluntary returns saved some important figures who were also at risk of losing their lives at the hand of self-claimed leaders. Today most of these officers if not all, owed much appreciation to John Garang administration for accommodating them back to the SPLA/M rank and file.
The force of confusion was not only confined to the warring armies; it had extended to the villagers as well. Nuer villagers who were the back bone of the movement obtained some of these deadly weapons and became invaders to their fellow Nuer sub tribes with the determination of killing them all. Heavy artilleries and other deadly arms which fall into the hands of the villagers were only used to bombard other villages with effects of mass displacement, hunger, diseases, and great lost of lives from these conflicts. As a consequence, some clans are completely alienated and this has left a lasting animosity among all the Nuer clans and sub-tribes at this time. This intense hatreds of each other has left the land insecure which scared foreigns to conduct any business or investment in the Nuerland today.
There is no term that could describe the magnitude of the Nuer suffering at the hands of those gullible coup leaders. Their rationale thinking is of course no question as all aware that they are among the worldís top academies. Their acts were intentional upon the Nuer in which we should only categorize it as an intellectual system of committing genocide.
The system was well carried out and it has left the Nuer with no choice rather to accept it; and finally defined that era as
Recess instead of Nasir declaration. As we look back to the horrors of those years, it would be clear to all that the Nuer people were and still the most devastated tribe than any other tribes in Southern Sudan; and if there is any demand of apology, the Nuer qualify to do it.
With the length of time and disappearance of Nasir faction, some folks have been trying to justify the revulsions of that era despite its visible and immense destruction of the Nuer land and people. George Santayana put it and I quote ďthose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat itĒ Praising that era today as it appeared in some corners, would only encourages its architects to forgot it effects and repeat it. In all accounts, there is no sane human beings will ever delight and forgot thousands of Nuer who die from internal war, disease, hunger, thirst, and despair brought upon them by that defection from the SPLA/M.
Sudan is now at the stage of reconciliation, all atrocities of war should have no place in the mind of peace loving Sudanese as well as the Nuer people. However, the architects of that era are still in political confusion. It would be wise for the remnants of the Nuer tribe not to fall into the future temptation of those indecisive leaders in case of any wind of change. It is time for those remnants to know that, the split itself was a mistake, it is a mistake, will remain a mistake, and should remain condemn by the Nuer of today and the Nuer of tomorrow.
Simon R. Gatluak