Kiir and Machar’s Forces are Committing War Crimes; Where is the ICC?

President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar

By Haji Nsereko Mutumba

The recent outbreak of fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and his Vice President Dr. Riek Machar in Juba has left hundreds of people including women and children dead.

The mainstream media and social media platforms are full of images of dead bodies being buried in mass graves. If these images portray the real situation on ground in South Sudan, treatment then this is a massacre happening and to my surprise, abortion the international media and the world leaders including those in Africa seem to be turning a blind eye.

All I am hearing are messages of sympathy to France following yesterday’s attack by a man in a truck that left about 84 people dead in the French city of Nice. I condemn this barbaric attack on France and I stand with the French people.

I however believe that South Sudanese lives also matter.

The killing and destruction that has been happening in South Sudan since December 2013 are equally deplorable and tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Thousands of people have been killed since the conflict erupted in December 2013 after a power struggle between Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and Kiir, from the dominant Dinka group. The fighting has increasingly followed ethnic lines, unsettling an already volatile and new nation.

Many of the 11 million South Sudanese have been driven to the brink of starvation and two million people have fled their homes, often to our own country Uganda.

This is worse compared to the so called Darfur genocide. Surprisingly, the so called human rights bodies and western leaders who claim to be defending champions of human rights are silently watching and probably cheering; yet the same people were so quick to incriminate President Omar Al Bashir over
Darfur without concrete evidence as it is the case for South Sudan.

Why are the two former war lords Riek and Kiir not being referred to the ICC? Someone has to account for the millions of people who have been killed, raped, maimed, displaced and tortured.

Why are the two former war lords Riek and Kiir not being referred to the ICC yet their crimes seem to
be worse than those allegedly committed in Darfur?

Are our friends in the West playing double standards as usual or is it Islamophobia at play? Could it be that South Sudanese lives do not matter or because the two rivals are both western allies?

If the west can go to extent of criticizing governments of countries like Uganda, South Africa and Rwanda for merely refusing to arrest Al Bashir, how can they be so insensitive and blind to the day light crimes happening now in South Sudan?
Whatever the case, those behind the mass killings and rights abuses in South Sudan must not go unpunished regardless of who they are or which bloc they belong to.


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