By: Riaak de Baai
In an effort to cling into power in South Sudan, President Kiir is using his intelligent Chief, Akol Koor Kuch to manufacture and mastermind conflict among communities in the country. This is in the form of arming communities against themselves using state resources. For example, the leadership has long been using Murle to destabilise neighbouring states and across international boundary in Ethiopia, in an event it wants to shift attention from local politics to regional issues.
On more than one occasion recently, arms intended for Murle youth were confiscated in Juba following a deal by David Yau Yau, Akol Koor, Akot Lual and Tor Deng Mawein, Presidential Adviser on Decentralization (of crisis). Other similar projects of locking communities against each other include; Luo vs Dinka (Western Bahr-el-Ghazal state), Chollo Community vs Dinka Ngok (Upper Nile State), Aguok vs Apuk (Warrap state), Athoi vs Nyang (Lakes State), Madi vs Acholi (Eastern Equatoria state), Bari vs Mundari (Central Equatoria state), Mundari vs Dinka Bor (Jonglei state) and Dinka Aliab (Lakes state) among others.
Secondly, he recruits illiterate personnel into National Security service to intimidate, harass, detain, torture or even kill members of the public on unfounded accusations. He marginalizes the educated/professional members of the National Security service. For example, in order to get rid of Gen. Riny Tueny Mabior in the National Security system, they blindfolded him by appointing him as the Eastern Lakes state governor only to be relieved few months later. This is to advance dictatorial principles on the public using the unprofessional ones.
The reasons for locking communities against each other (themselves) are the following;
1. President Kiir has no strategy/strategies in place to fix the economy. As a result, he is using violence as a scapegoat for failing to fix the economy.
2. President Kiir has increasingly become unpopular. So without violence, peace would reign and elections would be organized. And because he is unpopular, he would lose elections if he intimidates the SPLM hierarchy to contest as the flag bearer. Therefore, he is engaging communities against themselves violently so that there is no peace and violence reigns – a good excuse for not conducting elections.
3. The accusations that Former Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong was against Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) are not true. In fact, President Kiir Security Chief, Akol Koor is against the agreement itself. He recently plotted for the assassination of the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai using National Security men to ambush his convoy while on a peace mission to Jonglei State. More than twenty of his guards were killed and the attackers were disguised as Mundari armed youth. The intention was to kill the vice President so that what happened in J1 in July 2016 between President Kiir guards and Riek Machar guards could repeat itself so that public attention is shifted towards new crisis instead of deteriorating economy.
4. The recent relief of the former Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong is to manufacture violence in peaceful areas of greater Bahr-el-Ghazal. The appointed Chief of staff, James Ajongo Mawut hails from the same Northern Bar-el-Ghazal state as Malong. So he would counter Malong using divide and rule policy and bring instability to the peaceful state. Secondly, in case Malong loyalists, Mathiang Anyoor resist the change, Ajongo would use state resources to demolish them and kill Malong influence in Northern Barh-el-Ghazal and the country as a whole because Kiir sees him as a threat to his throne. Thirdly, the reinstatement of the former SPLA-IO General, Dau Aturjong who rebelled because of Malong, into active SPLA list is to reinforce Kiir influence alongside unpopular Ajongo in Northern Barh-el-Ghazal. Dau Aturjong is expected to replace Gen. Santino Deng Wuol of Division 1 located in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal who is Malong loyalist.
5. The on-going peace initiative by a committee headed by vice president, Taban Deng Gai, between Dinka Bor and Murle is a waste of time. The reality is that, Taban is honest himself in bringing about lasting peace among these communities. The plan of Akol Koor is however different from the current peace processes. He influenced president Kiir to Dismiss Malong and Appoint Ajongo so that they would arm Murle youth and Mundari youth to destabilise Jonglei state. Akol Koor doesn’t want Taban Deng to be credited for bringing peace to this troubled region. They are only using Taban to pause the ongoing skirmishing between Bor youth and Murle youth so that it gives time to mobilize, organize and arm both Murle and Mundari youth by the New Chief of Staff, Ajongo Mawut. Alternatively, David Yau Yau would even be asked to rebel in order to command the youth and destabilize the region in the name of a New rebellion to engage the SPLA once again. For the meantime, phase 1 of the project is targeting Dinka Bor using two fronts of Mundari and Murle, Phase 2 is Dinka Aliab (using Mundari) and phase 3 is Lou Nuer (using Murle). It’s designed in a way that phase 1 would take about a year and phase 2 and 3 would commence simultaneously after a year.
6. The closure of all highways leading into and out of the state capital, Juba is not SPLA-IO tactic. In fact, it’s a tactical plan by Akol Koor using National Security agents to create insecurity on the highways. Following the weakening of the rebels in major fronts in greater Equatoria and greater Upper Nile, President Kiir has no any other excuse for instability in most parts of the country which his forces control, so Akol Koor manufacture these highway butchering, including the recent one along Bor-Juba road in which more than 40 innocent civilians were killed as a cover for all the mischiefs. It’s also a deterrent to those refugees/asylum seekers who would want to come back home.
7. In the midst of these crises, there are joint illegal projects booming between president Kiir and Akol Koor. There is illegal gold mining in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria state in which Governor Luis Lobong is the managing director of the project in the State. He recently recruited a militia to serve two purposes; (a) destabilize Eastern Equatoria and (b) reinforce Kiir and Akol in Juba to live-long the project in case their other projects don’t succeed. The same deal of illegal gold mining is taking place in Boma State, This is why there is a close relationship between David Yau Yau, Akol Koor, Akot Lual and Tor Deng Mawein. All the two rebellions of David Yau Yau were orchestrated in Juba to undermine the leadership of former Governor and Current Defense Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk so that they could mine gold illegally in Boma. The short reign of the former Boma state Governor, Baba Medan was sabotaged by Akol Koor, David Yau Yau, Ismail Konyi because he was on a front foot in bringing about long lasting peace in the region. This was against the interest of this click. So they frustrated him by arming Murle youth to attack neighbours. They would later replace him with Konyi, an active member of the same project.
8. Currently, President Kiir has no loyalty of the Army. He uses his close relatives, like Akol Koor and Tor Deng Mawein to protect him and engage the army in useless wars – some of them his own projects. That is, using the army to fight his own project war. For example, he recently ordered for the confrontation of Bor youth by the state army, when in fact, child abduction is president Kiir’s sponsored project.
In Conclusion, South Sudan is being held hostage by two men, President Kiir and his relative who serves as a security chief, Akol Koor Kuch. They manufacture violence to maintain power, acquire wealth by diverting State resources into their own coffers and sabotage any local or regional initiatives for peace and stability in the country.