The massacre in cold blood that took place in front of the Sudanese Military
Headquarters in Khartoum stunned the Sudanese people and the world at large.
As tensions mounted between the
Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the sit-inners, people expected in the
worst case scenario for the authorities to disperse the gathering using riot
Such methods usually involve the use of tear gas, water cannons, rubber
Bullets, and sticks. Alas! Instead, the sounds of gunfire broke the relative
quietness of the morning hours of Monday the 3rd. of June 2019, which was 29
days into the fasting of Ramadan.
Instantly, the screams of the injured
and those calling for help and ambulance service rose from the vicinity of the
sit-in before the Military headquarters. Many sit-inners exhibited courage and
bravery as they continued to carry their injured colleagues under gunfire.
Whoever issued the order to shoot to kill the sit-inners displayed the
highest degree of brutality and total disregard for human life.
We note that a few days before the incidence, General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo
( Hemedti ), the commander of the Rapid Support Force (RSF), emphasised
the need to call off the on-going sit-in and remove the barricades from the
Also, the video clip of this tragic incident that was shown on Aljazeera TV
revealed the attackers in the distinctive uniforms of the RSF.
Deposed President Omar Al Bashir formed the RSF from the infamous Janjaweed
Arab Militia that terrorized the non-Arab communities in Darfur over the past
In essence, the RSF is the Janjaweed
itself. Its leader, Hemedti, was a camel trader before becoming a Janjaweed
His rise in power was remarkable thanks to Ex-President Omar Al Bashir who
elevated him to the rank of Lt. General and opening the door for him to play a
The name Janjaweed has become familiar over the past decade or so
particularly whenever genocide is mentioned.
It gained notoriety following the
Darfur massacres where hundreds of thousands of civilians lost their lives in
wanton killings. They are accused of crimes against humanity, rape, forced
transfer of civilians, and torture.
Two of the Janjaweed leaders are indicted by the International Criminal
Court (ICC) at The Hague but haven’t been apprehended yet.
The ICC is seeking to prosecute the tribal leader Musa Hilal and the
Janjaweed commander Ali Khushayb for whom an arrest warrant has been issued.
Musa Hilal has worked closely with General Hemedti (his cousin) under President
Omar Al Bashir direct control. But a fall out between the President and Hemedti
on one side and Musa Hilal on the other led to Hemedti attacking Musa Hilal’s
stronghold in Mustariyha in Northern Darfur State with the total defeat of
Hilal’s forces. Musa Hilal ended up being flown in chains to Khartoum.
The analogy between the Janjaweed and Mathiang Anyoor involves many aspects
of their compositions and activities. They are both tribal militias formed from
one ethnicity in each case. The Janjaweed are members of the Arab nomadic
tribes that inhabit Darfur, North and West Kordofan. Some of the Janjaweed
members came from places as far as Chad, Mali, Cameroon, and Niger. As for the
Mathiang Anyoor, they hail from the Jieng ethnic group of Bahr Al Ghazal
particularly from Warrap and Northern Bahr Al Ghazal States.
The Janjaweed and the Mathiang Anyoor are both used to consolidate the power
of their respective Presidents and to crush any opposition against them.
Ex-President Omar Al Bashir was unsure of the loyalty of the Sudanese Armed
Forces (SAF) towards his regime; thus, he established the RSF and strengthened
it at the expense of the SAF.
In the case of President Kiir, he wouldn’t trust forces from other
ethnicities to back him up in implementing the policies that were laid down by
the Jieng Council of elders (JCE). There hasn’t been any recruitment into
the army nor the other security sectors from communities other than the Jieng
Those recruits (Mathiang Anyoor)
together with some units of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA) were
the ones used to execute the massacre of the Nuer Civilians in Juba on December
15, 2013. The horrific crimes committed by the Mathiang Anyoor in the greater Equatorial
States and Western Bahr Ghazal State are comparable to the heinous crimes
committed by the Janjaweed in Darfur.
At any rate, the policies of exclusivity and purging those purported to be
disloyal to the regime yielded a tribal army and security sector in South Sudan
under full control of President Kiir. Even at the time when he’s expected to
implement the so-called Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in
South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in spirit and letter – he travels to Warrap, his home
State to recruit yet another batch of thousands of Mathiang Anyoor militia. For
those who thought the R-ARCSS would lead to the establishment of a national
army, I would say; think again!
In Sudan, the above policies led to the RSF, seemingly assuming the role of
the SAF with full loyalty to President Al Bashir and the National Congress
Party (NCP). But underneath the portrayal of the RSF as a national institution
lies the ugly face of racial prejudices, persecution, and marginalization of
those from the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile area, and Darfur.
The fundamental question is; where would all these unwise policies lead the
two countries? Of course, the situation is rapidly changing in Sudan after the
fall of President Al Bashir. But the remanents of his regime are working day
and night to hijack the Sudanese People’s revolution and maintain the status
quo. The policies of marginalization of some communities and unequal wealth
sharing would not lead to unity and prosperity in Sudan. It would instead push
the disenfranchised communities to follow the same path that led to the
secession of South Sudan. The Sudanese revolution is probably the last chance
for Sudan to save itself from utter destruction and chaos.
It appears some influential politicians in South Sudan need to learn from
history lessons. South Sudan is a multiethnic and multicultural country. It can
only survive in a political system that ensures unity in diversity while
safeguarding the rights of all the communities no matter how small or large
they are. At present, South Sudan is a nation in evolution. It needs leadership
that builds bridges between communities while ensuring inclusivity and justice
for all the people. Well, the regime in Juba is doing just the contrary.
Topping the list of the world’s Failed States and the second position on the
list of the most corrupt countries on the planet seem not to bother President
Kiir and his clique.
I wonder whether they intentionally want South Sudan to falter as a nation.
This notion becomes relevant when you consider the Dinka Development Plan (DDP)
that was unearthed a few years ago. In their fantasy, which is full of tribal
chauvinism, the JCE envisaged the Jieng ruling South Sudan for 200 years under
Jieng culture. Well, well, well! How would they do it in the presence of the
other 63 ethnicities that have got cultures of their own?!
Even the colonialists never came up with such bizarre ideas. We know for a
fact that they did help one way or another in the promotion and preservation of
our cultures, including the Jieng Culture. For example, the colonialists are
the ones who transformed our languages, including the Jieng language from only
spoken languages into written ones. They never interfered with our cultural
heritage to any significant degree. One can conclude that the regime in Juba is
on a path that does not lead to nation building but instead to the dismantling
of its very foundations.