Urgent Appeal to prevent possible genocide in Sudan & South Sudan
By Keluel Agook
The International Community (UN), the European Union & the African union should intervene to stop the planned 6th genocide in Sudan against the black race as the peace agreement between the rebel groups and the government is un-implementable. On the other hands, a need for swift intervention to abate deadly communal violence in South Sudan which poising a way far for a genocide among communities at the grassroots is required.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) is an instrument of international law that codified for the first time the crime of genocide. The Genocide Convention was the first human rights the treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1948 and signified the international community’s commitment to ‘never again’ after the atrocities committed during the Second World War. Its adoption marked a crucial step towards the development of international human rights and international criminal law as we know it today. According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is a crime that can take place both in time of war as well as in the time of peace. The definition of the crime of genocide as set out in the Convention has been widely adopted at both national and international levels, including in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Importantly, the Convention establishes on State Parties the obligation to take measures to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide, including by enacting relevant legislation and punishing perpetrators, “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals” (Article IV). That obligation in addition to the prohibition not to commit genocide, have been considered as norms of international customary law and therefore, binding on all States, whether or not they have ratified the Genocide Convention. The Genocide Convention has been ratified or acceded to by 152 States (as of July 2019). Other 42 United Nations Member States have yet to do so. From those, 19 are from Africa, 17 from Asia and 6 from America. Check the map below for details.
States’ obligations under the Genocide Convention include but are limited to: Obligation not to commit genocide (Article I as interpreted by the ICJ), Obligation to prevent genocide (Article I) which, according to the ICJ, has an extraterritorial scope; Obligation to punish genocide (Article I); Obligation to enact the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention (Article V); Obligation to ensure that effective penalties are provided for persons found guilty of criminal conduct according to the Convention (Article V); Obligation to try persons charged with genocide in a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by an international penal tribunal with accepted jurisdiction (Article VI); Obligation to grant extradition when genocide charges are involved, in accordance with laws and treaties in force (Article VII), particularly related to the protection granted by international human rights law prohibiting refoulment where there is a real risk of flagrant human rights violations in the receiving State. Every year on 9 December, the United Nations marks the adoption of the Genocide Convention, which is also the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and the Prevention of this Crime.
Genocide in Sudan
I have put together the brief overview above to highlight the international community role and responsibility to prevent the genocide of any kind thereof. However, it is good to expose the deadly personalities behind the failure of the Sudan peace agreement and continued plans for genocide. First, Mohamed Daglo, known as Hemedti the man whose militia has committed more crimes against humanity since the time of Basher rule until leading up to the deadly killing of protestors before the military headquarters in 2019. As the popular uprising got to hold and basher was no more, Hemedti became the Vice President. As the Sudan transitional government planned to have talks with rebels in a bit to bring peaceful settlement they opted to have Sudan Peace Process under the Salva Kiir administration to mediate the talks. Though this move was vehemently criticised by many activists nationally and regionally since South Sudan was also at war with itself and couldn’t qualify for a mediation role thereby but it is to be marked that it was the beginning of Sudan’s peace process failure. Currently, the so-called peace agreement is at the crossroads as Hemedti colluded with Salva Kiir to ensure the sidelining of the SPLM-N for him to consolidate power in Khartoum and to ensure the deadly elimination of oppositions to finish off the signed agreement. Hemedti having Salva Kiir wrapped around his finger currently is a prime deal to be in firm control of both Sudan and South Sudan (quoted).
The Sudan 6th genocide in Darfur to wipe out at least 300,000 in IDP camps and then laying the groundwork to eliminate blacks in Nuba and Blue Nile has already started. The massacre at two IDP camps in Geneina already sparked while 15,000 civilians are still holed up in Chad barely surviving, while thousands are trapped in Geneina town by Janjaweed not allowing food or supplies in. It appears they are starving them to death. The international media is banned from accessing any information from Geneina (local reports, 2021).
Tut Gatluak known as Tut Kew get connected and hold of President Bashir in 1980’s after Basher was wounded in the battle of 1989 and remained in a critical condition. Tut’s mother took Bashir under good care and healed him. Bashir wanted to return the favour and asked her what he could do to assist her after he took power. Bashir invited Mom & Tut to his palace and Tut stayed with Bashir until 2014. Tut controlled SAF militias from Khartoum to protect the oil in Unity state (Dar Petroleum). Tut came to Kiir in 2014 as the Nuer-IO alternative to Machar. Tut developed a relationship that Kiir appointed him as Security Advisor. Tut went and talked to Bashir and tried to try and stop supporting the IO. Bashir accepted to support Kiir. Bashir came to Juba several times. The metric agreement was signed in 2012 but wasn’t working. After Tut brought Bashir to Juba, it made things go well, so it won trust from Kiir. In 2015, the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed. Machar came back to Juba. After 3 months, war broke out again. Tut pressured Bashir to stop supporting Machar of which Bashir accepted with reservations. Tut managed to influence other countries (with his Nuer-Bashir influence in Ethiopia as a threshold to IGAD) to cut off the IO. That’s when Machar was detained in South Africa. IGAD handed power to Bashir to be the mediator of peace talks between IO and J-1. Now Tut has gained the full trust of Kiir. So Kiir appointed Tut to then become the chief mediator to Khartoum for the upcoming peace talks with the Sudanese resistances. Tut again went to Bashir so that Bashir should achieve peace in the South and the South would help achieve peace in Sudan. By that time Sudan was going into a political and economic crisis in 2018. South Sudan provided financial assistance to Sudan. Bashir talked to IGAD to take Machar out of detention in South Africa and bring him to Khartoum. Bashir told Machar if you don’t sign peace, will remove all support from the IO. The South Sudan peace agreement of 2015 was revitalized by Bashir in September of 2018. The second grantor with Bashir was Museveni. Machar went back to Juba accompanied by Bashir. President Kiir again reappointed Tut to mediate peace talks to Sudan between Khartoum and all the rebel groups. The demonstrations began in Dec 2018. Kiir did not support the revolution and supported Bashir. Already Hemedti has made ties with Tut because they both control militias (Tut in Unity state and Hemedti Janjaweed-RSF). Tut went to Al-Burhan, Hemedti and Hamdok on Kiir’s behalf to start the Juba Peace talks. Tut called all the rebels to sit alone and prepare for the talks. Tut was getting desperate to achieve peace because of the refusals of Abdel Wahid Mohammed Nur and Adam Alhilu to participate and he didn’t want to let down his friends Hemedti and Al-Burhan. Tut bought a house for Hemedti in Juba. In turn, Hemedti got a wife for Tut and a home in Khartoum. Interests have deeply grown. The severe economic crisis in Khartoum currently, is a time bomb for Sudan (quoted). Despite all this, Tut had been a long term Basher’s Chief-Blackmailer. During the war of the SPLA/M with Bashir’s regime in Khartoum Tut was killing and buying influential rebel leaders left and right to weaken the rebels’ cause and get peace talks between the govt and revolt stall. Additionally, Tut was against the idea of South Sudan independence and worked very hard to destroy the referendum efforts but God couldn’t agree anymore.
Now, the agreement of South Sudan (2018) and the Sudan 2020) have gone unimplemented without any significant impact on the grounds and as required by their provisions. No implementation and Hemedti and Tut continued blackmailing the revolt groups to finally destroy those agreements. Currently Tut with some generals in Juba have created militia (South Sudan Rapid Support Force) in Unity State Upper Nile region Mayom County in Particular. These dark forces are meant to perpetuate genocide at the grassroots and disrupt the peace anytime. Civilians continued to be heavily armed in South Sudan and those arms go way out from the govt military stores. Hence, govt armed the civilians to keep paving instability in favour of elites interest to continue governing. Despite all this, human rights and opposition activists continued to be hunt-down in the East African region as reported by many international human rights groups (Frontline Defenders). Frankly speaking, no peace agreement to hold anymore, it remains a prank.
The UN-Security Council should immediately res-approve the presence of the UN-Peace Keeping forces in Darfur to protect the civilians.
The UN and International Human Rights groups should intervene to carry out an effective assessment about alleged genocide in Darfur to inform the authorities on the consequences and provide measures to prevent the genocide. The Sudan Govt should adhere to its resolutions.
*Communal Violence in South Sudan:
The Government of South Sudan should immediately relieve Tut Gatluak Manime (Tut Kew) and dissolve all his formed militia groups across the country to stop the looming genocide at the grassroots particularly in Unity and elsewhere.
The NGOs and civil society start initiating the early warning mechanisms to avoid the escalation of the genocide among the communities.
Immediate establishment of the hybrid courts for South Sudan and implementation of Chapter V fully to create a conducive atmosphere for the repatriation of the refugees and the IDPs. The Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps are due to be shutdown definitely by the Government of Kenya on 30th June 2021 as already expressed by the authorities. However, this is a serious matter. Where will the South Sudanese victims (refugees) go since no genuine implementation of a peace agreement made to aid healing and reconciliation for a safer return and compensation?
Alternatively, the African Union, the United Nations should pressure President Salva Kiir to step aside to allow peace and stability progress in the Country.
Keluel Agook is a South Sudanese Human Rights Activist (2019-2021) and Executive Director of My Rights My future based in Africa. Civil Society Activist (2009-2018), had published several articles for human rights advocacy on various national and international media, authored the book entitled “the New South Sudan” samples published in December 2019, Secretary-General of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance (2015-2018), Assistant Co-Chair of the South Sudan Human Rights Forum (2015-2018), member of the General Assembly of the International Conference on Great Lakes Regional Civil Society Forum (ICGLR, 2016-2018) based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, member of South Sudan Transitional Justice monthly forum (2016-2018), member of the Human Rights Universal Periodic Review-Working Group (2015-2019), member of the Exiled Human Rights Defenders Working Group (2019), Programme Coordinator of the Youth United Against Tribalism Organization (2009-2019), member of South Sudan Youth Civil Society Coalition (2014-2018), member of the Food Security Cluster at the World Food Programme (Humanitarian NGOs Board, 2016-2020…), CSO delegate to the South Sudan IGAD-led Peace-Talks (ARCiSS), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, participated as a lobbyist (2014-2015), member of the Civil Society Working Group on the Security laws Review(2016-2017), member of the Southern Sudanese Referendum Taskforce(2009-2011), member of the Abyei CSO referendum taskforce(October 2012). Served as County Supervisor for South Sudan Referendum Commission (Juba County Referendum Polling Centres, 2011), Supervisor for the World Health Organization (WHO) on Mass Measles Campaign (Treatment Outreach Centres) in Wau, South Sudan (2005), Chair of the Catholic University of South Sudan Newsletter Editorial Board, Juba (2012-2013), Chair of the Students for the Independence of South Sudan (SISS, 2011), Youth Focal The person for the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR, 2014-2015), member of the South Sudan Youth for Separation(2010-2011), Founding member of South Sudan National Youth Union in 2010, Juba and a councillor (2015-2018, alas, resigned in November 2018), Founding member of the South Sudan General Students’ Union (2010), Founding member and councillor of the Lakes State Youth Union in Juba (LSYU, 2012-2015), Founding member and Deputy Chair of the Rumbek Youth Union in Juba (RUMYU, 2011-2013). He can be reached via Email: email@example.com