Time for accountability in South Sudan

Category: Commentary
Published on Tuesday, 03 November 2009 16:14
Written by Mayen Garang, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.,newsudanvision.com
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The continuous killings of innocent people in Jonglei State demand an answer.  All the murderers always come from a known county.  Earlier in March, a group of gunmen from Murle of Pibor carried out an attack on Lou Nuer village killing scores of people.  In the same month Lou Nuer attacked the Murle killing hundreds of people. In May, Lou Nuer went and burned into ashes the village inhabited by Nuer Jikany.

About 40 people were killed. In August, Murle slaughtered over 100 people in Akoba, a town belonging to Lou Nuer. Instead of Lou Nuer mourning their loved ones, they attacked Baping, a Dinka village in Twic East county killing 6 people. In August alone, Lou Nuer attacked Dinka of Wernyol twice, killing more than 60 people. A few days ago, Lou Nuer again massacred over 70 people in a Dinka town of Duk Padiet.

Do the attackers who terrorize the people in Jonglei have representatives in all level of government? The answer is yes, probably.

All these organized murders could not take place without the knowledge of the members of parliament and county commissioners and administrators. There is no way such frequent crimes could be organized in a constituency without the knowledge of the people in charge of leadership. Such leaders either abet or are part of the murders. People in leadership have a duty to ensure and execute the rule of law, equally and independently under the constitution. In this case of Jonglei insecurity, leaders whose people kill innocent people must accept their failure and resign their positions.

The leaders should know and fulfill their responsibility to ensure all their people live in harmony with societal laws. The leaders should punish people who break the law, instead of ignoring them or actively participating. The leaders who failed to keep their people from committing atrocities should pay the price of failing to enforce the law. Restoring the rule of law is not the task of the governor alone. It is the mandatory duty of ever man and woman in public positions. Leadership can’t just take the benefits of their position; they must take the responsibility and accountability of that position also. Just as any ordinary person was accountable to the chief, every person in government must be accountable to the people through the governor under the constitution.

When the leaders have failed, the governor must:

1) remove the failed leaders

2) trail the attackers through the governmental system. That is to say hold the MP or commissioner accountable for failure

Removal of the bad leaders may add to the turmoil in the region. However, until everyone recognizes the importance of law in the system, giving in to those threats will have much negative percussion. It is time for the ordinary people to restrain from following leaders who advocate killing of innocent people and stick to those who promote peace regardless of where they come from in the region. Leaders on the other hand, must learn how to respect human life. It is disheartening to see butchered of thousand of Bor Dinka in 1991 style repeated. When people are killed leaders will always try to justify the killing because they assume that no one will bring them to justice. If I have time, I would ask the Mps whose people are killed, but kept silent.

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