From Bor Community in USA
We, the members of Bor Community (Dinka Bor) in the United States are extremely saddened and outraged by the inhumane and indiscriminate massacre of our unarmed civilians by Dr. Riek Machar’s Nuer militia, the “white army” in Bor, Jonglei State in South Sudan. We condemned in the strongest term possible the destruction of properties and the extrajudicial executions of our unarmed civil population in Bortown and the entire Bor County. The pain caused by such heinous act is deep and the scars will last long beyond this humanitarian crisis.
The innocent people of Bor County were not involve in the political feud that transpired on December 15th, 2013 in the nation’s capital Juba between the President of the Republic General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar Teny. There is nobody from this community contending for the presidency and obviously there’s no justification for Dr. Riek Machar’s premeditated criminal actions against our civilians.
Yet on December 17, 2013, Dr. Machar loyal forces led by Major Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak stormed into Bortown and started killing innocent civilians indiscriminately. Civilians murdered mercilessly in the churches and others burned alive in their own homes. Patients who were too sick to evacuate when the rebels returned to Bor in late December, 2013 were killed in cold blood in their hospital beds in Bor hospital by Riek Machar’s rebels.
Those who were lucky to make it out of Bor to seek safe haven on the west bank of River Nile or hide in the marsh land of Bor County were followed and killed by the rebels in cold blood. For instant, on 01/06/2014 the rebels followed civilians into their hiding place in the marsh land of Jalle and Baidit Payams where they killed 6 people and looted over 500 heads of cattle. On 01/16/2014, the rebels crossed River Nile to Magok and Nyinhom cattle camps and started shooting indiscriminately at innocent civilians comprised of children, women and elderly in which 13 people were killed.
On 01/18/2014, Chief Apolo Pach Agar from Anyidi Payam in Bor County was killed with several civilians comprised of elders, women and children in Mareng, 35 miles east of Jonglei State capital Bor.
The actual human cost is unknown at the moment and local authorities are working hard to collect the data and will soon unveil the statistical number of those who dead during this senseless war.
But recent data released by the government officials from Greater Bor who visited Bor after it was recaptured by the government on January 18th, 2014, estimated that over 2,500 civilians were killed in the city of Bor alone. Full statistical facts will be made available when the final data becomes available from the office of Bor County’s Commissioner Dr. Agot Alier Leek.
The rebels also looted and burned down the city of Bor and the surrounding villages comprises of Kolnyang, Anyidi, Makuach, Baidit and Jalle payams into ashes. The economic damages in term of properties, goods and other personal belongings caused by Riek Machar’s rebels could range from hundreds of millions of dollars to a billion. Bor was not built by the government; it was built by the citizens with their own resources, So, Riek Machar must be hold accountable for the economic damages that occurred under his directives in Bor.
The accounts of Riek’s destructions in Bor dated back to his 1991 rebellion against the movement led by then SPLA-M’s leader Dr. Garang de Mabior. Riek Machar unleashed the young untrained Nuer tribesmen to attack and destroyed everything in Bor. The methodology was to weaken the then commander in-chief of the SPLM/A Dr. Garang de Mabior. Civilian were murdered in cold blood, women were raped, children and women were abducted, millions of livestock stolen and properties maliciously burn down to ashes.
There was nothing left in the villages to eat and evidently no shelters. Medical attention was beyond reach for those who sustained injuries; hence an imminent death. Birds and predatory animals preyed upon those who emerged from hiding. Over 10,000 civilians were killed in Greater Bor area by Riek’s forces in 1991. The customary practice of burial was a thing of a past because death was everywhere.
Those who survived the horror in Bor packed and took to unknown foreign jungles. Countless number of women, children, and olds died while trekking to various locations in the Greater Equatoria and Bhar-el-Ghazel regions of South Sudan.
Those who survived a month or two long of trekking to displace camps became victims to some foreign diseases. Majority of the civilians knew nothing about diseases such as cholera, tapeworm, and hookworm among several other bizarre diseases. Thousands upon thousands died from those foreign diseases due to lack of medical attentions in those localities. Starvation and hunger claimed their share.
Let history note that when Riek’s forces attack Bor in 1991, every capable male from Bor community was gone to the frontline fighting a just cause of freedom and prosperity against Khartoum regime. Some folks may feel guilty and attempt to denigrate this historical fact by offering counter argument that all South Sudanese fought and died during the liberation struggle but not all contributions were the same.
Bor community proudly values the contributions of every South Sudanese citizen during the liberation struggle. Our community is in no position to judge history. However, when the national struggle (SPLA-M) started in Bor in 1983, a major military recruitment was carried out in Greater Bor; every capable male was recruited and sent to a military training camp (Bilpam) in Ethiopia.
The cycle of recruitment continued throughout the civil war struggle. And as the civil war against Khartoum regime took toll on most families in Bor, Dr.Riek Machar’s militia forces came and put lockers on those doors by murdering little children, old and women and took their possessions.
The year 1991, was a great setback for the movement but the pain was greatly felt within the borders of greater Bor community as well as many other localities within the greater upper Nile region.
Dr. Riek Machar called his 1991 rebellion a struggle against dictatorial leadership of Dr. Garang de Mabior. The irony was that, people were in the middle of a surging civil war against Sudan government; those periods were not marked by the ballots but by bullets. Riek Machar once again repeated the same historical course in 2013; he recruited and directed his young tribesmen to Bor and murdered the survivors of his 1991 massacre.
And he did it again without remorse; old and children murdered in cold blood, women raped and properties burned down to ashes.
We urge the government of South Sudan and the international community to resolve the country’s political differences and restore peace among the people. The international community must also rise to the cause of human protection and hold this culprit (Riek Machar) accountable for the atrocities he committed both in 1991 and recently in 2013 and 2014.
The gross human right violations committed under his directives are no different from those for which the Ugandan rebel’s leader Joseph Kony was indicted for by the ICC. What has transpired in South Sudan also mirrored the incident of ethnic violence that occurred during the 2008 Kenyan presidential elections.
The international outburst was enormous and the suspected involvement of national leaders was promptly investigated. The current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are now being pursued by the ICC, whether they will be exonerated or not that decision is up to the court.
Moreover, the former President of the Republic of Sudan, Omar Bashir along with some of his top officials were also indicted and are being pursued by the ICC for suspected involvements in the gross human right violations committed in Darfur by the Janjaweed in their watch. We hope our people will be afforded the same level of justice by the international community and the world’s court, unless there is some sort of hypocrisy on the side of international criminal tribune and united nation security council.
We urge the world bodies to keep their words and act promptly on this issue. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer, who was in Bor over the weekend of December 21st through 22nd, 2013 told the BBC News Services that he had witnessed “some of the most horrible things that one can imagine”. Mr. Lanzer added that, “People…were being lined up and executed in a summary fashion.”
Also the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma characterized the killings of the Dinka Bor in Bor as “a war crime”. The world bodies must act and they need to act soon.
We urge the government of the Republic of South Sudan led by Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the international community to meet the following demands as soon as possible:
1) We demand that the UNMIS installation in Bor be relocated outside of Bor County immediately. It is clear that the personnel from the UNMIS compound in Bor have shown totally biased in this conflict toward our local population and our people can’t bear their present in Bor.
Instead of acting as a neutral party in this conflict, the UNMIS allows it resources to be used by the rebels to hunt down our people and kill them in cold blood. We also believe that UNMIS is harboring armed rebels in its compound in Bor and that in itself is a security threat to our people. If only the military uniforms were found outside the UNMIS compound when the rebels were finally defeated in Bor, then where did the weapons go? The answer is simple: the rebels either have them in the compound or the UNMIS knows where they are.
2) We ask the government of the Republic of South Sudan to provide security in all the five payams of Bor County so that the survivors of this senseless war would find relative peace and sense of security when they return to their homes.
3) We call upon the international communities namely the African Union, the United States of America, EU, Great Britain and the United Nations Security Council to hold Dr. Riek Machar and his Nuer militia accountable for crime against humanity, war crimes and genocide that was premeditated and deliberately executed against the people of Bor County in Jonglei State, South Sudan.
For the second time in history, international community cannot afford to turn a blind on Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s criminal actions against Bor civil populations; he must face justice. Dr. Machar didn’t answer for the 1991 Bor Massacre which he later admits in 2012 at Rebecca Nyadeng de Mabior’s house in Juba, South Sudan. For the sake of the victims who were malicious killed in this conflict, we demand that the international community should act and move very swiftly by collecting the evidences and refer Dr. Riek Machar teny and his field Generals to the ICC this year.
4) We urge the government of South Sudan to re-examine the question of co-existence between the people of Bor and Lou Nuer and Gaweer after this conflict. Our people have had enough of these senseless provocations and lack of civility in the State of Jonglei. We call on the president of the republic General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the National Legislative Assembly to device a methodology that will bring relative peace to our people.
5) We call on the humanitarian agencies led by the UN Humanitarian Division and other people of good will to provide humanitarian assistants to our people during this time of dire need.
Prepared by the office of:
Bor County, USA
Signed by: Daniel Mabior Achiek, Charman Bor County, USA