July 30, 2015(Nyamilepedia) – In the latest escalation of tension between Salva Kiir’s government and people of Western Equatoria, the leader of “Arrow-Boys”, an equatorian civil defense, which has been battling the Lord Resistance Army(LRA) for years at South Sudan’s western borders, warns the regime to immediately released over 30 youth who were arrested by the government troops in Maridi last week.
Cdr Charles Gbadegbare, who identifies himself as the commander of Arrow-Boys in Maridi County, Western Equatoria State of South Sudan, believes that Hon. Peter Bashir Gbendi, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is responsible for the arrest and killing of innocent civilians in the area, which has now raged on for nearly two months.
Speaking to our editorial team from Addis Ababa, Charles Gbadegbare discussed the issue of cattle keepers and intimidation of the people in Western Equatoria State, specially in Maridi.
Because of the insecurity in his state, Gbadegbare, now identifies himself as a “freedom fighter” and threatens to “wage war of dignity for the people of Equatoria”.
According to residents, tension remains high in Western Equatoria between the local populations and pastoralists from Greater Bhar el Ghazal following a series of incidents in Maridi, Madi land and other parts of Equatoria in which a government troop from Juba has been accused of taking side.
Although the leader of arrow-boys can’t identify the youth that were arrested by commandos last week as members of his group, he believes that 36 youths and senior persons from Maridi county remain in detentions in Juba.
The Arrow-Boys call on the deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Bashir Gbandi, to secure the release of the accused youth.
The Equatorian youth group calls on the international Community and the region to isolate the “self-imposed government of Salva Kiir” for failing to protect but turn to intimidate and kill civil populations.
Charles further urges the people of Equatoria to take up arms for what he describes as “war of dignity and restore the glory of Equatorians so that they will be well represented and respected in the forthcoming National Transitional Government.”
The Arrow-Boys commander objects the IGAD proposal and calls on the sons of Equatoria to reject it because it does not recognize the share of Equatorians in the power ratio.
Cdr. Gbadegbare warned that Equatoria is a strategic region in South Sudan and it would bring down the current regime “if Equatorians unite and stand for their rights instead of allowing one ethnic group to marginalize them on their own land”.
Cdr. Charles calls on the sons of Equatoria, who are serving in Salva Kiir military service, to stop “serving a dictator, who do not values the lives of innocent equatorians”.