Charles Barnaba Kisanga,
Jan 08, 2016 (Nyamilepedia) —- I want to congratulate the President of Republic of South Sudan for showing commitment and going ahead with implementing the compromise Peace Agreement based on the Agreement to resolve Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
I also wish well with the fact that SPLM Convention went on and finished with good resolutions of peace yesterday. However I was surprised to hear that my name was being mentioned many times by the President with connection to the insecurity happening in Equatoria due to attitude of SPLA. According to Press reports, the SPLM Chairman and President of the Republic singled out my name as the one to stop the war in WES and other parts of Equatoria. This surprises me Mr President because I’m not the one making war, but the SPLA soldiers are. We made public announcement that we observe the ceasefire (cessation of hostilities) reached with SPLM-IO. Further Mr President knows exactly the grievances of Equatoria about marginalization and mistreatment in the Government and this has not been addressed. These are genuine complains:
- The mistreatment and undermining of the Equatoria in your Government where we are not treated as equal partners in South Sudan are to blame for the eruption of violence. It is known that Equatorians look like foreigners’ in South Sudan who are only allowed certain jobs prescribed by law. For example we have SPLA in WES and in most of Equatoria and these soldiers are 90% from are one ethnic group with no locals in them, leading to the people to believe that such army is an army of occupation and repression and as such they are considered as hostile forces with no good relationship with the local communities. The local population have an SPLA Army in which the people have never seen a General from their tribe except other ethnic groups and hence people suspect these are occupying forces. We have thousands of capable men from all other tribes who can make a uniform army for South Sudan but choosing marginalization and exclusion makes peaceful co-existence impracticable.
- The Arrow Boys stated well, we were a kingdom previously who know our leaders through the noble families and it is not right for the President to impose bad leaders on us. It does work and the President has been at odds with Equatoria especially WES because of SPLM ideology of choosing unpopular leaders and imposing them on the people. These self-made leaders though pretending to be good to the Government or SPLM or President can never deliver popularity and supporters to the President any way. It is one of the ideology that need to be changed to rebuild a credible system of Government in South Sudan.
- The other aggravated grievance is the creation of 28 states and though we said if there is need for more states then Equatoria deserves more because when you take look at the sizes of the new sates of Twic, Gokrial, Aweil East, and Aweil compared to the size of so called Gbudue state which combines Tambura and Yambio, it clearly shows that the creation of 18 more states is to ensure tribal domination over Equatoria otherwise our MP suggested 24 states for Equatoria alone or else we maintain the status quo of 10 states.
Hence, whenever there are grievances and serious shortcomings it is the duty of Head of state to address them instead of resorting to blames against those who are protesting the bad things being done to them. Our message has been very clear to the President and General Public. We are for peace, equality and justice in our country. This country needs to become a progressive civilised country but it cannot happen when at same time injustice and mistreatment by the SPLA continues.
During New Year’s Day the President pledged General Amnesty and called on all those carrying guns to return and cooperate to achieve peace. But the next day his soldiers in WES led by unpopular Major General Patrick Zamoi decreed war and slaughter of the population. They decreed full scale war from 2nd January 2016 and the war is continuing and our fighters are only responding in self-defense. Unpopular leaders are the ones afraid of peace because they do not like to see genuine popular leaders go in. They have even gone as far as arresting and murdering our boys in cold blood and yesteryear lot of mourning was taking place all over Yambio after the murder of some 8 Youth who were detained unlawfully for the past few weeks. These group of 8 detained youth were taken to different places around Saura (seven miles from Yambio) and killed to make the impression that the 8 were killed in action. All these eight bodies dumped around Saura were from those detained weeks back and there was no any fighting in the area since our fighters withdraw to avoid civilian casualties on the 3rd January 2016. We have identified 2 bodies so far and they are: late Yoanns Cosmas and late Emmanuel.
As such the prevalence of the peace in our areas is at the door of the President because he is the one to order his SPLA soldiers to stop the killing and to leave the towns according to the terms of the Peace Agreement and also to stop harassment and provoking civilians. There is really need to create conducive atmosphere so that dialogue can overcome hostilities.
Lt Gen Eng. Charles Barnaba Kisanga is the Chairman of SSPPF and Commander-in-Chief of Arrow Boys. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
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