Mabior Garang de Mabior
12 May, 2019
Attn: Open Letter to the Youth of South Sudan – On The “Kiir Must Go/Red Card Movement” and the Assassination of Hon. Aggrey Idri and Hon. Dong Samuel.
I salute all of you in the name of our historic struggle.
I would like to take a moment to honor the memories of our fallen Comrades, Hon. Dong Samuel and Hon. Aggrey Idri, who were brutally assassinated by the anti-people regime of President Salva Kiir. The revolution owes a debt to the families of these brave sons of our soil as it does to the children of countless men and women who have sacrificed themselves over several generations. It is unfortunate that the litmus test for a revolutionary is to be killed in cold blood by the enemy; to follow the struggle even to death. Our Comrades have proven themselves and their sacrifice shall go down in history. Those of us who have remained shall carry on this struggle to its logical conclusion; it is the best way to honor the memories of our martyrs. The assassination of Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri have shocked the nation. The loss of these gifted brothers is not just a loss to the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership, but a loss to their respective constituencies and to the Republic of South Sudan.
It is natural that the cold-blooded assassination of Comrades Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri would be felt beyond the political context, as these are Comrades who were highly respected in the communities they hail from. The involvement of rogue elements in the security apparatus of the Republic of Kenya should not make us lose sight of who the real killers are. I humbly appeal to the constituencies of our fallen Comrades not to take the law into their own hands and take revenge on innocent Kenyans working in our country. This will only tarnish the heroic sacrifices of our two beloved brothers. We should instead focus on achieving the objective for which they lost their precious lives; to ensure that this status quo is dismantled and that the era of the reign of President Salva Kiir is relegated to the dustbin of history, as it were. This is the best way we can avenge the assassination of our Comrades.
The indignation felt by the youth across the nation is valid. If we don’t end the regime’s power to murder us in cold blood, then they will finish us all. It is because we have not found the killers of Comrade Isiah Abraham that unknown gunmen continue to wreak havoc in our towns, and the regime has now been emboldened by our silence to the extent of using millions of our oil revenues to kidnap and illegally deport, then murder in cold blood. We must end the status quo that has normalized this kind of situation. We should however not allow our indignation to carry us into an emotionalist movement. The brutal manner in which the regime killed our two Comrades was intended as a terror tactic. These are not prisoners of war who were captured on the battle field. The only crime they committed was to make their opinion known on Facebook and with so many of us active on social media, any of us could be the next target.
I have learned through social media -as many of our countrymen and women have- that the youth of South Sudan are organizing a protest on the 16/05/2019,” The Red Card/Kiir Must Go Movement” as it has come to be known on social media. It seems everyone is confused about who is really organizing this protest and this is why we must be ever vigilant against any gimmicks by those on both sides of the political divide who would want to conspire in order to maintain the unbearable status quo. Our youth should be vigilant against the counter insurgency tactics of the regime, who are working overtime to derail the peace process- the only way we can restore the rule of law to our divided country.
I am not trying to undermine the efforts of those who are genuinely indignant. I am only warning against the possibility of infiltration by counter insurgency agents who would then direct the agenda of this valid movement and turn it into the catalyst to start a new war. Our youth should be objective driven and these objectives should be based on concrete realities. “Kiir Must Go” indeed, but “Kiir must Go” is not child’s play, it is deadly serious. The various revolutionary forces in the country have been struggling to achieve this objective since December 6 2013, when the SPLM Leaders held a press conference to challenge and expose the regime of President Salva Kiir through non-violent means. The resulting fiasco is now history.
Revolution is a science. The method of struggle in any revolution depends on historical, contemporary and other realities of the particular land in question. It is not based on personal morality. If we can revisit the genesis of the current struggle, the armed struggle being waged today in our country started as a non-violent movement. The SPLM leaders had planned to hold a peaceful rally to inform the people of South Sudan about the reasons for their failure to fulfil the promise of the liberation struggle. The response of the regime was the Juba Massacre, which targeted predominantly Nuer speaking peoples of South Sudan. This is well documented by the African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (commonly known as the Obasanjo Report). The consequent cycle of revenge killings and inter communal violence is what we are trying to bring to an end today.
The idea of peaceful demonstrations and the “Kiir Must Go/Red Card Movement”, while a great idea, does not reflect the objective realities of our land. During a civil war, the idea of civil society becomes irrelevant as there is no civility. The regime’s Minister of Information has informed those who want to demonstrate that “the regime has no rubber bullets to disperse crowds”; a chilling warning. The youth should not take this threat lightly. How long shall we continue to underestimate the brutality of a regime that murdered women and children in Juba in December 2013? A regime that has murdered countless journalists and activists in cold blood, including Comrades Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri? The organizers of this noble movement for fundamental change in our country should be fully aware that they will be met with extreme violence and brutality. Knowing this, we should not allow innocent youth to be used as cannon fodder for the sake of the leadership ambitions of a few.
What is the way forward?
In order to avoid the “Kiir Must Go/Red Card Movement” becoming a one-time event that is crushed by the regime and keep it alive until it achieves its objectives, the organizers must use a scientific approach to their struggle. The regime has done everything in their power to derail an Agreement that would fundamentally change our country and make “Kiir Go” in the least costly way. This is why instead of a suicide mission; the youth should turn the “Kiir Must Go/Red Card Movement” into a campaign of national mobilization to rally all our citizens behind the Revitalized Agreement the regime fears so much. If there has been no condemnation from the region, the AU, nor the UN about a massacre they themselves have documented, then our people should not expect that anyone will rescue us. It is only we the people of South Sudan who will solve our own problems. And this can be done by holding the government to account on the Agreement they have signed.
The regime is currently trying to circumvent the security arrangements of the Agreement in order to install a weak Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), which would be powerless to implement the much-needed reform agenda in the Agreement. The regime must not be allowed to focus attention only on power sharing, neglecting the security arrangements. This is essentially surrender.
The security arrangements will make or break the Agreement. They provide for the establishment of a national army – replacing the tribal army of the regime of President Salva Kiir – which would then protect the Agreement and ensure its implementation. I therefore appeal to the youth of South Sudan who are advocating for non-violent action to oust President Salva Kiir, to join the revolutionary forces in our country, so that together we can put sufficient pressure on the regime to implement the security arrangements. I call on our youth to rally behind the peace Agreement and join the SPLM/SPLA(IO). The People’s Movement has waged an armed struggle imposed on us and it has forced the regime to the negotiating table, forcing them to sign a negotiated settlement. It is only within this context that a successful non-violent struggle can be waged.
Those young people who fear being labelled terrorists for joining an armed struggle, should remember that the great Nelson Mandela was once labelled a terrorist, and was only removed from the US terror watch list in 2008. This is because him and his comrades in the ANC youth league were able to justify to the leadership of the ANC – which had been founded on the principles of “non-violence”- the need for armed struggle, after a peaceful demonstration turned into what is now infamously known as the Sharpeville massacre, where government forces killed 79 students in cold blood. It is better to be called a terrorist while fighting on the right side of history than to acquiesce to an anti-people regime.
It is true indeed that “Kiir Must Go” and that his continued stay in power is a “Red Card”. I would however like to reiterate that Revolution is a science-not guesswork-and we should not get caught up in emotions. We must remain vigilant against any attempts by the regime to derail this Agreement which has cost our citizens so much.
A Luta Continua!
Long Live the Sudanese Peoples!
Long Live the Intifada (Kiir Must Go/Red Card Movement)
Long Live the Vision of New Sudan!
Cpt. Mabior Garang de Mabior