Feb 20, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- On Thursday evening and until Friday morning, the Protection of Civilians sites (PoCs) sites in Malakal came under heavy attack from heavily armed Dinka militiamen backed by the government soldiers, Koat Gatkuoth, SPLMM-IO chairperson in Ethiopia explained in an email he sent to Nyamilepedia on Saturday morning.
“The office of SPLM-IO Chapter in Ethiopia learned about the ongoing slaughter of unarmed civilians of Nuer and Chollo ethnic groups who sought refuge in Protection of Cicilians (PoC) sites guarded by UNMISS protection force in Malakal,” said Koat.
More than 47,000 civilians from Nuer and Chollo seeking protection in UNMISS base in Malakal were displaced in their locations after the government soldiers stormed UNMISS shooting civilians indiscriminately.
The latest report reveals that over 95 people were wounded, most of them with gun shots, 30 feared dead, a survivor of the skirmish said the figures could be higher than what has been revealed.
“I have seen children burn alive” said a frightened eyewitness who chose to be anonymous due to fear of his personal security.
The entire camps of Nuer and Chollo were burnt to ash, properties were looted by the attackers. The civilians in the ordeal couldn’t understand as to why the Government is killing unarmed civilians, some hold the opinion that the killers could come back and finish them all as the UNMISS Protection Force failed to protect them.
“President Salva Kiir has poured enough blood but it seems he is not going to get satisfied his thirst for more blood any time soon, we are just civilians who have nothing to do with the politics of South Sudan,” anonymous eyewitness angrily stated.
The attack on civilians in PoC in South Sudan is not the first time since the current war broke out in 2013. In April 2014, armed militiamen from Dinka backed by government stormed the UNMISS in Bor, capital of Jonglie, living many dead and dozens wounded, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the incident. It seems from the outset that what UN is capable of doing is to condemn the preventable tragic incident after it happens, not the protect lives.
The same UN condemned the Malakal incident after its refusal to protect the dying civilians in the arms government soldiers on Thursday.
The news of civilians attack in Malakal sent shockwaves not only to the members SPLM-IO in Ethiopia but to all South Sudanese communities across Ethiopia, making it more painful especially when the UN protection soldiers were watching people being randomly shot.
“We have enough evidence that the forces of GRSS disguised as Apadang Dinka youths have committed this war criminal act. It’s very unfortunate that Salva Kiir has chosen the path of war over peace even if the SPLM-IO gave up a lot of ground for the interest of peace.” Koak continued.
Peace at odds, and the implementation of the August Agreement at difficult stage. UK offered to transport the SPLM/A-IO troops to Juba. South Sudanese still in confusion on terms of the agreement especially the sticking issue of 28 states. Joined Monitoring and Evaluation Committee called for the suspension of the implementation 28 states but Kiir sticks to his guns.
“This is a tragic offense against humanity, the UN could intervene and rescue lives. But to the contrary, they were just watch them shot to death, the loss of lives added to the number we had already had over this period of two years. Kiir continues to act with impunity, he has been killing South Sudanese since 2006 to date, and the worst of all the Genocide he committed on the Nuer tribe in door to door killing and street to street execution carried out by his current army chief in Juba from 16-19 December 2013.”
This recent incident is so disturbing because it happens in the time when South Sudanese hope for peace to prevail and wish for quick return to their homes if the Transitional Government of National Unity is finally formed and implemented.
This report is compiled by Elbow Chuol, Nyamilepedia Correspondent for Ethiopia and South Sudan.