Biggest Event of the Year
April 30, 2017
By Oyhath A.,
By all accounts, in my opinion, the joint South Sudanese Opposition press release, issued on April 17, 2017 by six south Sudanese groups opposed to Kiir’s regime, is the biggest event of the year as far as resistance to the dictatorial government in Juba is concerned. I mean, these South Sudanese opposition groups have been around for some time now. Some of them have existed since 2015 while others were born in the new year. What is new and very significant, though, is their coming together to jointly produce a press release, entitled South Sudan’s Joint Opposition Statement on Genocide. It is the first time different south Sudanese opposition groups have worked collaboratively to do something together. In this sense, April 17, 2017 is a special day, a day in which an important mile stone, a one-of-a kind action has been taken collaboratively in the course of the struggle of the people of South Sudan against a corrupt dictatorship that wants to turn the world’s new country into a kingdom dominated by one tribe.
The joint opposition press statement is a cause for hope for South Sudanese masses who have been marginalized and subjected to massive displaced, immense suffering, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We hope that the joint press statement signals the beginning of a road to a sustained collaboration and coordination between the South Sudanese opposition groups not just on the political front but also at the practical action in the field. We hope this collaborative effort between the opposition groups will ultimately lead to military alliance between them sooner than later.
The tribally dominated regime in Juba has proven to be not only corrupt and tyrannical, but also to be anti-peace. It has been violating the peace agreement and ceasefire every time, all times. It has been blocking humanitarian access to civilians in need in war affected areas in the country, in blatant defiance to UN and humanitarian agencies’ call to allow impeded humanitarian access to civilians caught up in conflict zones. In the latest IGAD meeting on South Sudan, the genocidal regime promised unilateral ceasefire, only to continue with planned and coordinated military offensives against opposition positons across the country. The regime is continuing to block all efforts to stop war and to bring peace to the country, so what is the opposition supposed today?
In the face SPLA intransigence, the different opposition groups must step up to the plate. They must act in self-defense and to protect the civilian population who have been the victim of rape, ethnic targeting, atrocities and all kinds of human rights violations. The regional and international communities have put their own national and regional interests first and chosen to do nothing even as ethnic cleansing and genocide unfolds and spread by the day in the new nation. The onus is now on the opposition groups to take the fight to the dictatorial regime to deny it further opportunity to ethnically target the civilian populations.
The silence of the international community
As always is the case, the “international community” only pays lip service when it comes to African problems. In an apolitical sense, the international community would mean the world community, the different countries and organizations working together selflessly for the welfare, human rights, democracy, equality, transparency and justice for all in all countries, including actions and policies to protect ethnic minorities from ethnic targeting and genocide. Unfortunately, the international community has been turned by design by some quarters into theoretically an amorphous term and practically a convenient tool in service of national, regional and international interests of certain world powers. Therefore, the international community is used nowadays as a code word to refer to, though seemingly vaguely, actions, policies and interests of certain powers which direct and benefit from the new international world order. Today the “international community” acts and intervenes only selectively in places and regions of the world with interests specific and vital to those powers. To give one example, while the “international community” was quick to act firmly, including militarily, to prevent ethnic targeting in certain parts of the world, it refused to intervene to help avert genocide in Rwanda in 1994. In a show of heartlessness and insensitivity to a human catastrophe, all the “international community” was willing to do in the face of Rwandan genocide was evacuate their embassy staff and expatriates from Rwanda.No wonder therefore that the international community is only paying lip service to the ethnic targeting and genocide unfolding today in South Sudan.
The need therefore for joint South Sudanese opposition action not only on the political front but also at the field, operational level cannot be overstated.
Oyhath A., is a concerned citizen and can be reached at oyhath@Hotmail.com
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