September 30, 2016, Press Statement (For Immediate Release)
U.S. Double Standard!
Accusing or blaming the victim and condoning the barbaric actions of the perpetrator is not the right way to resolve the problems facing South Sudan. The comments from the U.S. State Department on Wednesday against the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) are very unfortunate and a double standard!
First, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) or its leadership is not “declaring war” on Salva Kiir’s government. We are rather resisting and defending ourselves against forces of Salva Kiir, who has declared war on us and has collapsed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
While Dr. Riek Machar returned to Juba in April this year with only 1,300 troops holding light weapons, hoping to fully implement the peace agreement without any violations, Salva Kiir instead lured him to Juba in order to assassinate him and to replace him with a stooge with whom to complaisantly destroy the peace agreement.
We thought the “outgoing” U.S. State Department should have instead held responsible President Salva Kiir for attempting to assassinate his peace partner and First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, at his presidential palace in Juba on Friday, July 8, 2016.
We thought that the U.S. State Department should have instead held Salva Kiir responsible for ordering his troops with tanks and helicopter gunships to attack the residence of Dr. Riek Machar in Juba on Sunday, July 10, 2016, thus renewing the civil war. Kiir’s forces dislodged the small number of the SPLA-IO forces in Juba and pursued Dr. Machar for 40 days in the bushes, attacking him on the ground and bombing him using the helicopter gunships into the Congolese side of the border.
We thought the U.S. State Department should have instead held Salva Kiir responsible for violating Articles 6.4 and 6.5 in the peace agreement when he unilaterally – using a handful bought SPLM/SPLA (IO) officials – replaced his peace partner and deputy with his friend, Taban Deng Gai, in order to cooperatively dismantle the provisions of the very August 2015 peace agreement which the U.S. representatives played part in brokering.
Unfortunately, the outgoing U.S. State Department has decided to condone Salva Kiir in his criminal actions, including the attack on the U.S. diplomats in Juba by his presidential guards right in front of his palace and the attack on U.S. citizens at Terrain Hotel in Juba, let alone the continued butchering of South Sudanese and raping of IDPs women by his regime. The UN leaked report has confirmed these.
U.S. went to war in Iraq in early 1990s with the claim that it went to free the people of Iraq from a dictator, Saddam Hussein, whom they forcefully removed from power for allegedly committing the atrocities against his people as similarly being committed by Salva Kiir in South Sudan. We are not however calling for the U.S. government to invade South Sudan in a similar fashion, but at least the current administration in Washington DC should have appreciated the internal call and efforts exerted by the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership to resist or nip in the bud the rising dictator and human right violator in South Sudan. This is by supporting the political and armed resistance in order to get rid of the dictator and achieve true peace and stability, democracy, justice and accountability and for development in the country to set a foundation.
We are surprised that the U.S. State Department has to the contrary condemned the call to resist the dictator who has violated the peace agreement and has made it to collapse and has continued with the offensive against the positions of the SPLM/SPLA (IO).
We call on the U.S. administration to understand the current situation in South Sudan and condemn the anti-peace actions of Salva Kiir. The U.S. should rather support the call by the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to “resuscitate” the peace agreement or else resist the dictator and “once and for all” free the people of South Sudan. An alternative armed resistance that will remove the dictator and free the people at last and save lives for generations to come is far better than a manipulated peace by that dictator who continues to kill endlessly using the name of peace he has not committed to and prolong the suffering of the people.
The SPLM/SPLA (IO) also supports the deployment of 4,000 additional third party force to South Sudan under the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to “temporarily” provide security and protection in the country.
We thank the U.S. Congress and particularly the Senate with its Committee on Foreign Relations, for condemning the actions of Salva Kiir.
James Gatdet Dak
Office of the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, SPLM/SPLA (IO)