Approximately three million small arms are circulating in Sudan and South Sudan. In the fourth edition of The Niles, our correspondents from both countries take a closer look: Where do the weapons come from? What societal role do they play? But most importantly: How many weapons are needed to establish peace and to ensure that the door on evil no longer has to be shut, as the above proverb suggests? A Darfuri fighter (photo), has a practical answer – a collection of talismans meant to protect him from bullets. But will it protect him from the person with his finger on the trigger? Albert Einstein, whose Theory of Relativity was proven in a 1952 experiment carried out in Sudan said: “The world will not be threatened by evil people rather by people who permit it.” Those words ring true here and will hopefully open another door and allow something good to slip in.
18 The Niles | Disarmament The guns beneath the beds by Akim Mugisa Across South Sudan guns remain stashed away in homesteads and cattle camps – despite an official push to encourage people to hand over their weapons. “I felt frightened … There was somebody pointing a gun at my head telling me not to look at him,” she said. “If I had something do to somewhere else, I would leave Juba.” The woman described how the two soldiers planned to rape her but she was saved by another soldier who appeared to be in charge of the group and who criticised his colleagues’ behaviour. She added that the disarmament exercise was a waste of time because many guns remain hidden until the soldiers leave again. Her downbeat assessment of the campaign was echoed by Geoffrey Duke, an official at the South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms. He said it remains unclear how many illegal guns were recovered during Juba’s disarmament, adding: “We have not seen a clear reduction of crimes because arms flow easily and re-armament is easy.” Information on forthcoming disarmaments is reportedly leaked to civilians by relatives within the forces carrying out the disarmament, giving locals ample time to hide any illegal firearms. Duke added that the nation’s weak security institutions fail to protect people, motivating them to acquire weapons to protect themselves. Soldiers’ delayed salary payments, combined with their easy access to arms stockpiles, encouraged many to sell guns to civilians for a profit, he said, adding that he saw no swift conclusion to South Sudan’s negative cycle of small arms and light weapons proliferation. Visualising (de-)militarisation I. Completed demobilisation and reintegration in Sudan Source: UNDP DDR, March 2013 *Khartoum, North Kordofan, Sennar, and White Nile 4346 Demobilised 1096 5442 Reintegrated 3635 4641 1006 BLUE NILE Over the past two years, voluntary and forceful disarmament campaigns have been rolled out in Unity, Lakes, Jonglei and Central Equatoria states, but with little success. In 2012, former Jonglei State governor and current Minister for Defence Kuol Manyang Juuk handed over his weapon to officials, kick-starting the disarmament campaign in the capital Bor. That campaign amassed over 10,000 guns, according to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) leadership. However, this accomplishment was marred by reports of human rights abuses including rape and torture by soldiers. Other hurdles have delayed the governments bid to recover small arms and light weapons from civilians who often obtained them during the civil war. Eye witnesses say, for example, that many people only handed over one or two guns, keeping hold of others they own. Disarmament campaigns in South Sudan have also been hampered by travel difficulties, especially during rainy seasons when many roads are impassable. Under the radar For this reason, the removal of illegal arms has been largely carried out in the dry season, a period characterised by cattle raiding and revenge attacks. This background of aggression and risk made it less likely for civilians to willingly handover arms. Communities denounced the initiative in Lakes and Unity states, accusing the government of disarming rival communities at different times, meaning that those who retained their weapons for longer were able to terrorize “defenceless” groups. There have also been reports of externally supplied arms being used to fight proxy wars, for example, with politicians re-arming their communities behind the back of governments. These acts have been blamed for fuelling armed rebellions, inter-communal violence and a spate of cattle raids frequently killing and injuring scores of people, as well as depriving many of their scant possessions. Linguistics Professor Patrick Otsudi blames illegal arms for undermining social, economic and political progress in the country. Security is compromised, he says, as criminal activities such as cattle raiding, revenge killings and armed robberies take centre stage, preventing people from moving freely and also discouraging muchneeded investment in the young country. “If I told you to go to Jonglei or Bentiu now, you will say it is not safe but if I tell you London, you will quickly ask me when the air ticket will be ready,” he says. He also warns against disarming the civil population while the respective national, state, and local governments are divided and sections of the national army are loyal to individuals, for instance, during the current crisis which has pitted soldiers loyal to rebel Riek Machar against those who support President Salva Kiir. Disarmament for only some Recurring rebellions and the emergence of militia groups in several parts of the country have also derailed disarmament efforts, not least because they continue to supply arms to some communities. Juba, the national capital, witnessed door to door and roadblock searches for illegal guns over the last months. Although there has not been the extent of human rights abuses inflicted on citizens elsewhere, especially in Jonglei, neither locals nor analysts see the disarmament campaign as a success. One Juba resident, who declined to be identified, is haunted by one night in late March when she was robbed of 500 South Sudanese Pounds (about US$ 165) and a cellular phone. Her attackers, she says, were the same soldiers who had searched her neighbour’s house for guns two days earlier. Solving conflict, the old fashioned way by Joseph Nashion South Sudanese community elders believe that traditional mediation could bridge divisions between groups and end the current fighting. Alfonse Lolinga Michael, an elder who heads the Acholi community, described how conflicts are traditionally solved by gathering chiefs from conflict areas, who sit together to pin down the causes of fighting. They would then forge a solution to the dispute – ending death and displacement. “In past conflicts between Madi and Acholi, tribal chiefs would summon elders and chiefs and hear from both sides what can be done so that peace prevails,” the 58-year-old from Yambio says. This technique resolved many conflicts, he remarks, adding that the solution had to be in the interest of both sides. To seal the deal, the two parties always shake hands before going home. If problems arise after the agreement both sides are asked to prepare food and a local drink (known as Kpate). Then everyone eats together and meets for a traditional dance, including peace songs. People from the two communities hug one another. “If anybody wanted to marry, this would be the right time to choose a woman of your choice,” Lolinga says, a move that tightens links between various groups. “The woman chosen at such a time is like an agreement paper, meaning the two sides never break the deal they agreed on.” He added that traditional mediation could ease the current “madness”, referring to the widespread fighting, often between Dinkas and Nuers, that has killed thousands since December 15, last year. “Even if we continue to fight for a hundred years, we are not going to gain anything,” warns Lolinga, who works as Finance Administrator at the State Ministry of Health. According to Lolinga the government should act solely as a facilitator, giving the two parties an open space to discuss their conflicts. This approach, he says, should be used to end the ongoing crisis. “Let the chiefs get together to share their concerns, let them be the ones to compromise... We can’t continue to kill ourselves.” 20,229 30,276 5701 4080 24,309 14,759 799 II. Reintegration options in South Sudan Source: The Republic of South Sudan DDR Commission (RSSDDRC) Vocational Training 10% Agriculture 29% 12,359 631 6500 4365 5975 3734 2400 4037 36,251 23,765 19,728 Male Female Male Female Livestock 6% Education 1% Govt. Job 0% SOUTH KORDOFAN CENTRAL SECTOR* TOTAL 54% Small Business
III. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Ressort | The Niles 19 Source: World Peace Foundation Number of generals and flag officers The Niles is a publication of MiCT 250,000 200,000 704 USA People on SPLA payroll 745 South Sudan 887 Russia Chief Editor: Sven Recker Design: Gunnar Bauer Managing Editor: Dirk Spilker Editors: Leila Bendra, Roman Deckert, Dominik Lehnert, Jess Smee Language Editors: Rose-Anne Clermont, Mohamed Sami al Habbal, Marketa Hulpachova Contributors: Adam Mohamed Ahmad, Abdalhady Alhag, Hassan Berkia, Charlton Doki, Hassan Faroog, Stella Gaetano, Fatima Ghazali, Mahir Abu Goukh, Mohamed Hilaly, Hamid Ibrahim, Jok Madut Jok, Friedrich Landenberger, Atem Simon Mabior, Francis Michael, Akim Mugisa, Esther Muwombi, Joseph Nashion, Hannington Ochan, Osman Shinger 150,000 100,000 Pictures: p.1 Albert González Farran - UNAMID, p. 5 Getty Images (photo-montage by Gunnar Bauer & Sven Recker), p.8 Hamid Ibrahim, p. 9 Hannington Ochan, p. 10 Esther Muwombi, p. 11 Hassan Faroog / Joseph Nashion, p. 14/15 Tim Freccia, p.23 Leni Riefenstahl 50,000 0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 IV. Comparative defense spending, East Africa as % Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Source: World Bank data sets Illustrations / Infographics: all Gunnar Bauer except for p. 12/13 by Khalid Albaih p. 20/21 by Hassan Mussa (special thanks to Pascal Polar Gallery / Brussels) Violence & Resources Map p. 6/7 by Gunnar Bauer & Roman Deckert Translation: Syrian European Documentation Center (SEDC), Robin Moger (Short stories) 10 8 6 Sudan South Sudan Ethiopia Kenya Uganda Special thanks to Jasmin Sauer (dance-step-adviser) Printed in Berlin, Juba & Khartoum The publication The Niles is produced by Media in Cooperation & Transition (MiCT) with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the German Federal Foreign Office or MiCT. 4 2 0 Contact: Media in Cooperation and Transition Dirk Spilker, email@example.com Brunnenstrasse 9 10119 Berlin, Germany Phone +49 (0) 30 484 93 02 0 www.mict-international.org 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2014, all rights reserved. V. 2011 Public expenditures in South Sudan in South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) Source: World Peace Foundation 3,000,000,000 2,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 Security Health Education