As genocide unfolds in South Sudan, much of the world looks away
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7th April 2017
In one of the gravest crimes of the 21st century, President Salva Kiir and his regime are wiping out non-dinka communities through ethnically targeted massacres in Greater Upper Nile, Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal regions. The unfolding genocide is a repeat of this same regime’s December 2013 Juba massacres of ethnic Nuer civilians, which resulted in reprehensible reprisal attacks against dinka civilians in other parts of the country. This chain of events triggered the still on-going civil war that was imposed on the people barely two years after the country gained independence on 9th July 2011.
By definition, genocide is a state-devised plan to annihilate, in whole or in part, minority communities. Kiir’s regime, with direct participation of the SPLA1 army and state-sponsored Mathyiang Anyor militia, are carrying out cold-blooded and calculated executions of community and church leaders, torturing and raping civilians and carrying out other dehumanizing acts. The intention is to violently expel women, children and the elderly from their homes and villages or exterminate them completely. This odious scourge policy is unprecedented in scale and has serious ramifications for the survival of South Sudan as a country, and peace and security of the region.
As a result of the ongoing massacres by Salva Kiir’s regime, the United Nation reported that 3 million South Sudanese have been uprooted by the violence, resulting in hugely unprecedented displacement of populations from their homes, which is considered to be the biggest cross-border exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.2 In addition, Kiir’s regime’s policy of “actively blocking and preventing aid access and using food as a weapon of war3, has engineered widespread regime-made famine in the country.
As this murderous campaign unfolds, the Region and the broader international community, for the most part, has stood by, excused the aggressor and justified the inaction of the world on the intransigence of the perpetrator. This impunity and inaction by the world, continue under the wrong assumption that such acquiescence will earn the trust and hence entice the cooperation of Juba to behave in a more civilized fashion, has only fueled the genocide.
Emboldened by the sense of no consequences for their actions and transgressions, President Kiir and his regime have gone on rampage killing and destroying the country in total disregard for international law.
A commendable exception to this apparent conspiracy of silence is the honest and accurate assessment by Hon. Priti Patel, British Secretary for International Development who, while in Kampala – Uganda on 12th April 2017, said that “There are massacres taking place, people’s throats are being slit … villages are being burnt out, there’s a scorched-earth policy, … it is tribal, it is absolutely tribal, so on that basis it is genocide.” This frank admission follows similar conclusion reached in the report of Mr. Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser to UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide.
We urge other world leaders to similarly recognize and condemn the genocidal actions of Kiir’s regime; their continued silence and denial only emboldens, encourages and indeed rewards the perpetrators of the crime and punishes their victims. We urge the region and the international community to urgently investigate, document, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of recent genocide in Wanduruba, Yei, Lainya, Pajok and Kajokeji in Equatoria, Wau in Bahr el-Ghazal, and in all of Upper Nile before appropriate courts or tribunals. All such targeted killings anywhere of innocent dinkas or non-dinaka civilians are reprehensible and inexcusable and should be subject to the same due legal process.
The Region and broader international community has a moral and legal obligation to prevent genocide and cooperate in prosecuting the perpetrators. We therefore call upon the AU, the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to issue a full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the unfolding genocide as a necessary first step to honor the victims and their families and signal a glimmer of hope for the future. President Salva Kiir and his regime must be forced to comply and to take full responsibility for their actions and crimes. Only then can a peaceful political process to end this unprecedented and untold suffering begin.
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM – IO)
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – SPLM Leaders (FDs) The National Democratic Movement (NDM)
The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)
The South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) The National Salvation Front (NAS)
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