Machar’s Tribesmen In Diaspora Declare War On Uganda

this web geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>In a strong-worded statement issued on Tuesday morning, Mr Gatluk Chuol Reat, the President of Neur community of North America, accused Museveni of meddling in the internal affairs of Sudan.

After meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba on Monday, Museveni was quoted as saying: “We (regional countries) gave Riek Machar four days to respond and if he doesn’t, we shall have to go for him, all of us. That is what we agreed in Nairobi.”

Ugandans have been closely following the unfolding events in South Sudan where several of their countrymen have been trapped and others killed in the armed clashes sparked off by Machar’s failed coup in mid-December.

While some believe Museveni is unnecessarily dragging the country into another war, even without consent of Parliament, regional experts believe South Sudan’s stability is very crucial for Uganda’s economic development.

South Sudan is one of the biggest sources of foreign exchange for Uganda. The trade between the two countries is estimated at over 300 million U.S dollars.

An unstable Sudan would also give defeated LRA leader, Joseph Kony, morale and territory for remobilization and recruitment to destabilize Uganda.

Museveni also fears that Machar could forge an alliance with Sudan leader, Omar Bashir to defeat Kiir which would mark the beginning of the rise of Bashir in the Great Lakes politics.

Sudan has in recent years been struggling with escalating oil prices, shortage of foreign exchange, popular political protests and political wrangling within Bashir’s ruling party.

Bashir has also been battling a dangerous rebellion in the South.

With Machar controlling some sections of the oil fields, it is widely believed that he could quickly hand them over to Sudan in return for military support.

This is the least Museveni can tolerate, a reason he deployed some of Uganda’s finest, battle-hardened and guerrilla-experienced Special Forces crack units.

Some Ugandan war jets bombed Bor which was being controlled by Machar’s rebels before SPLA soldiers overrun the crucial town.

War declaration

In his statement today, Gatluk charged that Machar is in full control of Unity State and that “Makal will follow soon while we are preparing a major offensive and the remaining of 20 percent of Bor soon will fall.”

He added: “Our forces are now marching to Juba and soon we will defeat Yoweri Museveni in Uganda. We are calling upon LRA and allies to join and fight this war together; we are calling upon people’s army in African Central Republic, Eritrea Army and Sudan Army Forces to fight Yoweri and its allies. The fight now stands between the Nuer and Uganda.”

Gatluk accused Kiir of committing atrocities on the Neur community and also urged prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Machar with Kiir before the pair split

He further alleged that the assassination of Lt. Gen. Gatluak Gai on July, 23 2011, after signing a peace deal on July, 19, is “one indication that the Dinka leadership in Juba wants to eliminate Nuer’s figures one by one.”

He also noted that the policy of marginalizing the Nuer and other ethnic groups of the South is something that is done in a broad day light.

“Despite the fact that the Vice-president is a Nuer, marginalization and mistreatment of Nuer and other Southerners continued unabated. In most occasions, Dr. Riek Machar is not consulted by the President of South Sudan, Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir because he is being used as a symbol to mask Dinka’s policies of dominating South Sudan by treating other ethnic groups as second class citizens.”

Gatluk also pointed out that most institutions of the government of South Sudan are being dominated by Dinka tribe despite the fact that Dinka are only 25 percent of South Sudan population.

“Recently, President Salva Kiir appointed his own clansmen from his home town as Chief Justice of South Sudan Supreme Court and Chairman of the Bank of South Sudan. In 2009, the same Salva Kiir decided that oil refinery of the South will be built in his home state of Warrap instead in Unity State where oil comes from in order to take jobs to his state,” he added.

Gatluk also called for a rebellion “to reverse Dinka domination in South Sudan which has replaced old Sudan’s Arabism and Islamism,” adding “There is no solution for ongoing human rights abuses in South Sudan except through popular uprising.”

Peace talks

The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) last week announced that face-to-face talks by all stakeholders to the crisis in South Sudan will commence by December 31, 2013, calling on the government and the rebel groups to immediately cease hostilities.

The Government, prior to the visit of President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had accepted unconditional dialogue with the rebels led by Machar.

Machar, according to media reports, chose Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as the venue for the talks.

President Kiir and Museveni at State House, Entebbe in 2012

However, it was not clear if the IGAD member countries have made direct contact with Dr Riak Machar.

In a joint communiqué released by the IGAD heads of states in their 23rd extraordinary summit which was hold purposely on the crisis in South Sudan, the leaders warned that if the stakeholders didn’t cease from hostilities within four days from the date of the communiqué, “the summit will consider taking further measures against any party who will fail to adhere to the call”.

The summit requested the Government to undertake urgent measures in pursue of an all-inclusive dialogue including the status of the detainees in connection of their roles in the failed coup in accordance with the laws of the Republic of South Sudan.

Nevertheless, many countries have already expressed their support to the peaceful resolution of the political crisis in the country. The regional body, IGAD has taken the lead to mediate the talks.


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