Opinion by Salva Mathok Gengdit
Tuesday July 7, 2020
The initiative taken by H.E president Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit in forming the committee chaired by The Vice President H.E Dr. James Wani Igga is a milestone decision to address Greater Jonglei’s crisis, although the issue may not be necessarily about the ranks or political positions.
By 2011, H. E the president declared a total disarmament in Jonglei State (communities of Bor, Nuer-Lou and Murle). That disarmament was well planned and fully supported by UNMISS and other Humanitarian organizations including Civil society groups and the youth.
The former SPLA by that disarmament did their mission successfully because the army and other organized forces who conducted that operation were committed with high discipline and moral plus experienced commanders who were commanding those forces. The disarmament ended successfully without bloodshed.
The worst part, we failed to address the reasons why we launched the disarmament such that we exploit the success and maintain it and that is why so-called militias reversed that success or achievement.
Today, I see things differently that H.E Dr. James wani Igga with his committee members should not laugh that they will strike the peace deal in Greater Jonglei easily, let them look into composition of militias fighting today and their armament that they have.
The communities of Nuer-Lou, Dinka-Bor and Murle are now in the battlefield in Murle land facing each other. Bor community are peaceful as I know, maybe conditions or situation might have frustrated and forced them and move to Murle area.
In 2012, Lou Nuer invaded Murle area in thousands and Dr. Riek Machar who is now the first Vice president went to Pibor and convinced Nuer youth to return and end the fight.
In 2016, Bor community invaded Murle area to end the war of aggression, but later they accepted the call of HE President Salva Kiir Mayardit and turned to home.
Today, my question is, “Will Dr.James Wani Igga do such appeals as a part of disengagement of sections fighting? Will both President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the FirstVice President Dr. Riek Machar do the same appeal that they did before or will they request a force to disengage the fighting forces to have a sort of ceasefire? Will Dr. James Wani give a chance for war since the stage reached in Greater Jonglei have both military and political threats?
According to my personal analysis to the general situation, flying rumors says; organized forces and senior government officials are being accused of have been involved even allegations are labelled against Bahr El Gazal community of supporting Murle. Allegations also says, Pibor airspace is being use for evacuation of casualties by unknown aircrafts. This needs security elements to verify and clear up those rumors.
I know the three sections fighting, Lou-Nuer, Murle and Bor communities, none of them will win that war but will cause massive displacement follows by sufferings of our people and cause security risk if not addressed well and considering time factor to stop it. There is a great need for three communities to come up and sit to embrace peace.
Many people asked me, what made Bor and Lou-Nuer unite and moved jointly to invade Murle land? Where is 1991 and 2013 white army invasion of Bor land? In my little research, “it seem that Bor and Lou-Nuer each left to Murle area by their own but not under one command”, this need to be verified by the security elements.
Last but not the least, my personal advice to Dr. James Wani Igga with his team is; “Jonglei peace initiative tasked to them by H. E the president should be planned well on how to tackle it otherwise wasting limited resources by ending up with failure will be a setback.
May God bless South Sudan and bring civilians who are fighting among themselves together!!
One people, one Nation!!!
The writer is R-TGoNU National MP, Former Deputy Army Chief of General staff, Former Deputy Minister of interior and the Acting Apuk Community Chairperson in Juba,
He can be reached via +211925571888.