The South Sudanese rebels of Thomas Cirillo Swaka of National Salvation Front (NAS), Gen. Paul Malong of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) and Gen. Pagan Amum of Real-Sudanese People Liberation Movement (R-SPLM) through a press release made by Amsterdam & Partners LLP revealed that they had retained the company.
I don’t know if the lawyers and representatives knows who they represent, as the statement is directly putting all blame for all the issues in South Sudan on President Salva Kiir. Surely, parts of the problems is his fault, but not all of them. Certainly, there are more actors and more heads involved, which these gentlemen knows. Because, they know they have history with the government and what it has done over the years.
Like for instance Gen. Paul Malong, who is known for: “Malong served as Chief of General Staff of the SPLA from April 23, 2014, to May 2017. In his former position as the Chief of General Staff, he expanded or extended the conflict in South Sudan through breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and breaches of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). As of early August 2016, Malong reportedly directed efforts to kill South Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar. Malong, knowingly countermanding President Salva Kiir’s orders, ordered the 10 July 2016 tank, helicopter gunship, and infantry assaults on Machar’s residence and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO)’s “Jebel” base. Malong personally oversaw efforts from SPLA headquarters to intercept Machar. As of early August 2016, Malong wanted the SPLA to attack Machar’s suspected position immediately and informed SPLA commanders that Machar was not to be taken alive. In addition, in early 2016 information indicates that Malong ordered SPLA units to prevent the transport of humanitarian supplies across the Nile River, where tens of thousands of civilians were facing hunger, claiming that food aid would be diverted from civilians to militia groups. As a result of Malong’s orders, food supplies were blocked from crossing the Nile for at least two weeks” (United Nations Security Council – Paul Malong).
Then you have Thomas Cirillo, who has done this: “To bolster positions in areas under their influence, NAS and affiliated armed groups/elements resorted to violence to compel civilian cooperation and to prevent communities from supporting the local administration. To this end, they engaged in targeted killings, including through beheading, as a deliberate strategy to terrorize local populations. SPLA-IO (RM) elements employed similar tactics to dissuade civilians from supporting NAS and affiliated armed groups/elements” (…) “In addition to the 50 civilians killed by organized armed opposition groups during clashes between September and December 2018, HRD documented 11 victims of targeted killings. In these cases, the victims were male and were killed after being captured at checkpoints, while traveling to farms or markets, or as they were returning to their villages. According to eyewitnesses and family members of the victims, most were killed while travelling without the alleged “authorization” delivered by these armed groups and were suspected of providing information or other support to the Government” (UNMISS – ‘CONFLICT-RELATED VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES IN CENTRAL EQUATORIA – September 2018—April 2019 (3 July 2019)).
Then there is the final man, Gen. Pagan Amum: “(SBU) Manoa claimed that the NCP wants Pagan Amum to be Minister of Cabinet Affairs in order to weaken the SPLM. He pointed out that although the NCP considers Amum to be pro-unity, originally Pagan Amum began his political activity as a member of “Anyanya-2,” a southern separatist movement in Khartoum” (Cablegate: Splm Ministers Sworn in, Pagan Amum Is Minister of Cabinet, 27.12.2007). “Cde Pagan, you would wish me dead as I am the only person who could expose you as a former terrorist (Hostage taker for ransom) and a communist who is hypocritically in bed with USA establishment. Cde Pagan, you also know that I am aware that Sudan Communist Party had recalled back all their card holding members including you. Of course no body knows other than me that you have been both running SPLM and Sudan Communist Party offices in Havanna – Cuba all the years you have been there. Beside the above, the most serious fundamental difference between me and you is that you believe in New Sudan and I am a simple Southern Sudanese Nationalist who fought hard and sacrificed my life for people of Southern Sudan to exercise the Right of Self Determination. In the last INC meeting, I proposed frankly to the INC in your presence the need to abolish the position of a Secretary General in the SPLM because I clearly detected Stalinism rapidly sprouting in you and must be nipped in the bud before it is too late. Cde Pagan, you positively identified the leadership inheritance syndrome in the Chairman and took advantage of it” (Aleu Ayieny Ale – You Remind Me Comrade Pagan, 06.07.2015).
Surely, Robert Amsterdam, the attorney retained should know this. That even as they are in opposition. They are not the cleanest crew. These are not the angels on the side-lines, which he can white-wash and prepare to walk in the halls of fame. This are warlords, these are people with a reputation and history, which cannot be forgotten. No matter how bad the government is too. Because, they have to answer for their own misgivings and trouble created, in civil war, during cease-fire and so-on.
Even if Amsterdam says this: “The people of South Sudan have been subjected to a series of systemic human rights violations by the current administration and its security services for years; something which the new nation may not recover from for a whole generation or more,” said Robert Amsterdam” (…)“According to Mr. Amsterdam, “to date, no justice has been delivered to the many victims of this long-running conflict, which we argue was instigated by Mr. Salva Kiir himself in December 2013.” (Amsterdam, 21.10.2019). Which is true in a way, he should know whom he represents, and what they have done in power. As well as in opposition and they continue to do so. These people are not peace speaking monks, but generals, soldiers and warriors in a long-term battle. Therefore, he should know that the stories might be twisted to fit their prerogative. Peace.