To Salva Kiir: Donít Fuel Athorís Rebellion
By Dr. James Okuk
Many people would like to enjoy speculating and manufacturing rumors these days regarding the fresh military rebellion of the former SPLA General, Mr. George Athor. Some have been against and others for what this great man has done as a consequence of his self-defense against the GoSS and SPLM leaders who want to violate his democratic rights by force. This division is a sign that Southerners are not yet one nation to speak with one voluminous voice in the coming referendum (if it is going to take place de jure?). It has been known that disunity is a serious challenge to achieving common good and collective rights in public life of successful human societies. At least unity in diversity has been successful in advanced big nations because of their respect for the sense of direction with the rule of just laws. Resorting to the rule of law were justice is lacking has never thrived, surely.
Crushing Mr. Athor militarily and suspecting some Shilluk people of supporting him is not going to work at all. Letís avoid war and value peace!!! We have done it after Nasir Split when we dialogued it out in 2001 Ė 2002 to re-merge our splintered forces prior to CPA great achievement, we have done it again in Rumbek in 2004 when we put our house in order so that Dr. John Garang does not any longer carry the SPLM/A in his briefcase when he traveled (of course that briefcase got burnt in the crashed evil Ugandan Presidential Chopper leaving SPLM behind with the current continuous confusion), and we have done it in the Juba Declaration in 2006 when we dialogued it out with Paulino Matip, Ismail Kony, Clement Wani Konga and others in order to join and integrate our gallant forces for the defend of the Greater South Sudan and dignity of its people.
Unfortunately we failed to do it directly with Gabriel Tang-ginya, Tom El-Nour and few others though at least we managed to keep general peace with them (except for some few instances of clashes with them in 2007 and 2009) as they continued to pay their loyalties to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). What can prevent us at this moment to dialogue it out with Mr. Athor and others at this critical moment without showing our tired SPLA military muscles from the 22 civil war? None!!! Mr. Athor is one of us and he is capable of understanding our concerns as we consider his case too. He is not idiot as some people would like to portray him. He knows what he is doing and his demands are all reasonable for negotiation. He knows that the Sudanese and especially South Sudanese courts are a failure to waste time with because at the end of the day, most of the judges are SPLM supporters.
On Saturday and Sunday, 15th and 16th May, 2010 the SPLA went on rampage in the areas of the
Kingdom which lie on the western bank of the
Nile, beating children, youth, women and men of all ages mercilessly in the name of fake disarmament that has never been carried out honestly elsewhere in the South. These uniformed men had a list of youth and men they were directed to disarm in some villages, and when they failed to get hold of them, the supposed liberators of Southerners and protectors of the people of
Southern Sudan (the SPLA) turned brutal and wicked on the families of the alleged names. They left many innocent Shilluk civilian wounded and traumatized as they arrested others for more torture and intimidation. What a terrible ďArmy of South Sudan!Ē God come to our aid!!!
Surely, if the so-called GoSS and SPLM leaders are rational human beings who know what to learn from history as they were honestly advised online by Prof. John A. Akec of Juba University in his opinion article; ď
Doleib Hill Crisis: Lessons from HistoryĒ
James Chol De'Guin in his article; ď
Athor Crisis: Peace Must Always be Given a PriorityĒ,
these leaders should disciplined their army at this critical time not to mistreat the Shilluk or any other people of Southern Sudan. Alas!
What the SPLA has done in the Shilluk land, so far and so bad these days can, without much doubts, is adding fuel to the fire of Mr. Athorís rebellion. While the wise voices are calling for peaceful settlement of burning issues and erupting problems, the SPLA commanders are ordering force and violence even on the innocent civilian in the
Kingdom and suspected areas of Padang Dinka that harbour the courageous son, Mr. Athor. The SPLA has a loosed chain-of-command because of maintaining its bush system of commandersí headquarters. Any headquarter of a certain commander with a
SPLA force can order any operation without the knowledge of the C-in-C and even the General Chief of Staff. This has caused many blunders because any commander or officer can take some SPLA on offence for his selfish interest without the knowledge of his above bosses. This is a terrible and flawed system for an army of peace, especially when there is no punishment for those who have acted without orders from the highest above command.
I am from the Doleib Hill that has become identified these days with start of Mr. Athorís rebellion. I was born there and I donít miss to go there from time to time. I lost my nephew in that mutiny as he was trying to defend the SPLA by holding to a heavy machine gun that he is best at using, and refusing to join Mr. Athorís mutineers. But now the very SPLA that my nephew defended with blood and soul is turning its back on the Shilluk people by beating up brutally his grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and cousins he left behind as orphans of SPLA war on SPLA. What a lost sorrow from a contradictory bad SPLM rule!!! Had this young man and others accepted to join Athor, we would have not mourned for their gallant stand in defence of the very SPLA, which is mistreating the Shilluk people now! Please God have mercy on their souls; we missed them in vain!!!
If the mistreated Shilluk young men and old men, even women who have been send out from their villages for hiding these days from the SPLA, cross the
Nile and Sobat rivers to join Mr. Athor, nobody should blame them for that option. These grieved Shilluk people may connect what the SPLA is doing to them now as the execution of the threats during the last April elections that if they fail to vote in the SPLM candidates, SPLA tanks and heavy guns would be seen chanting bad news in the
Kingdom. But the Shilluk people were courageous enough to resist and tell those SPLM candidates that it shall not be the first time for them to see tanks and heavy machine guns roaring on their villages because it has been done by the Jellaba enemy frequently, and that if the SPLA want to behave like Jellaba the people would know how to deal with them as enemy of peace and tranquility. The bushes of
South Sudan shall never reject peopleís resistance to the new enemy. It has been seen now that the bushes of
South Sudan never rejected Mr. Athor and it shall never reject those offended by the new enemy of the pople.
Indeed, the SPLM candidates lost the elections in the
Kingdom and the bad news from tanks and heavy guns have been heard in the
Nyikango (the founder of
Kingdom). I recalled what Urbano Tito wrote some months back that the purchased SPLA tanks from Ukraine would be turned against the people of Southern Sudan first before firing them to the Northern enemy. He was right in advance. With what Minister Michael Makeui, Governor Khuol Manyang and SPLA spokesman Kuol Diem have said, these tanks are already crushing the very people they are supposed to protect against external aggressors. Cry my beloved
It is the right of every human being and community to defend himself/herself/itself from oppressors in the best way possible. The SPLM and its partial army (the SPLA) have become oppressors in the South in replacement of NCP and SAF during the war time with
Khartoum. In agreement with the NCP they have rigged the elections shamefully and are ready to kill anyone who criticize and oppose their evil deeds. They are ready to kill Athor and his supporters. They are ready to kill the Shilluk people. But will they make it as they wish. Not at all because God will not allow it!!!
Nevertheless, I hope that those who have commanded the SPLA to do the evils they have done in the Shilluk Kingdom these days did not forget that when these peaceful people decide to react, they become even terrible than the devil in defence or offence. Even if few numbers of them join Gen. George Athor, it should be known what damage and defeat they could do to the enemy. Go and ask all the SPLA former successful commanders in the combats who had some few Shilluk men in their combat columns and they will tell you what these people of Nyikango can do when assigned a military mission.
***Some Conflict Resolution Recommendation to Mr. Salva Kiir:
1. Please Mr. Salva Kiir tell your men in the SPLA uniform to behave themselves when carrying out the so-called disarmament in the
Kingdom these days, otherwise if these silent warriors of the South decide to join Mr. Athor, Juba might turn out to be a very hot capital for you to enjoy your rigged elections victory. Donít think that because you have bribed some Shilluk chiefs with double-cabin Toyota Hilux these days you can mistreat and oppress their people as your rulership mood dictates you.
Donít push the Shilluk people to violence option against your bad rule. Leave the Shilluk people alone or else, donít regret the flashback of what your politicized army in
Southern Sudan is doing now. Order them to go back to their barracks before the situation goes out of control into additional military rebellion against your bad rule. Let your bad rule in the South collapse peacefully like that of President Jaafer Numeiry and Prime Minister Saddig El-Mahdi without a blood shed from resistance by the offended people!!! Donít insist that you are a Joshua of Southerners when most of them have lost confidence in your leadership style that had thrown their hopes to dogs.
2. Please Mr. Salva Kiir try to solve the creeping rebellion of your former General Mr. Athor and others peacefully without pushing the Shilluk people, especially the angry youth to join hand with them in a more rigorous military rebellion. Tell Mr. Kuol Manyang to step down from his contested rigged governorship victory and give him a ministerial post in the GoSS, or let him go home if he refuses this offer of reconciliation. Call Mr. Athor back as the deputy SPLA Chief of General Staff and merge his forces into the SPLA or
South Sudan police forces. Letís a neutral person agreeable to both Mr. Kuol Manyang and Mr. George Athor become the Governor of Jonglei State for the sake of saving precious human lives in the South. It is time of peace and there is no need for war now, honestly!
3. Please Mr. Salva Kiir donít ignore these two recommendations from my sincere self because these could save
South Sudan from uncertain destiny in the near and far future. Human life is short and we should not disgrace it when alive and lucky to have lived part of it in leadership privileges. It is very easy to repeat bad histories but hard to replicate good ones. The choice is yours as you may know the consequences of each of them.
Dr. James Okuk is a concerned citizen of the Independent
South Sudan in the waiting reachable at