South Sudan: Small Arms Survey Responses To Apadang Dinka Letter

A team led by the then state minister of education Dr. John Antipas(centre from left) drafting a collaboration agreement with representatives from Free International University of Moldova (ULIM, December 1, 2007).

A team led by the then state minister of education Dr. John Antipas(centre from left) drafting a collaboration agreement with representatives from Free International University of Moldova (ULIM, December 1, 2007).

June 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Responding to a letter of Apandang Dinka authored and submitted by Hon. Dr. John Antipas in March this year, the Small Arms Survey welcomes the criticism but denies dishonest incrimination of the Padang Dinka community as alleged by the aggrieved community.

“We believe that, contrary to the assertions in your letter, the report has not ‘dishonestly incriminated Padang community’ and that it has no ‘specific blackmailing focus on the [Padang] people’. We therefore welcome the chance to address your concerns and would  like to take the opportunity to describe our work in South Sudan in greater detail.” Said Yodit Lemma, the Project Coordinator of SMall Arms Survey.

While refuting two accounts of allegations – Error of facts and Error of Omission – Small Arms Project reiterates their position as a “strictly non-partisan” research organization that provides accurate and empirical evidence to support informed dialogue.

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“We would also like to empha size that t he HSBA is strictly non partisan; by providing accurate, empirical evidence on South Sudan, it aims to support informed dialogue that is inclusive of multiple perspectives.” Reads part of their report.

The research project, however, is not shy to narrate how Salva Kiir’s 28 states contributed to chaos and how it became an obstacle to achieving a sustainable peace in the country.

“On 2 October 2015, the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, issued an administrative decree that divided South Sudan’s ten states into 28, plunging the country’s precarious peace process into chaos. While negotiations between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition (SPLM/A–IO) are ongoing, Kiir’s new map of South Sudan threatens to be an unsurpassable obstacle to achieving sustainable peace in the country.” Reads part of their response.

The Survey defends its HSBA reports that contrary to allegations, their reports were based on interviews provided by members of the Apadang Dinka and not “engineered” by the Shilluck community as alleged.

“The HSBA report was not ‘engineered’ by the Shilluk community. Indeed, the vast majority of the interviewees and sources used for the report in question come from the Padang Dinka community itself Your letter offers a series of examples of our alleged partiality towards the Shilluk community. We can distinguish between two sorts of objection that you make with reference to our report. You accuse us of errors of fact, such as reporting incidents or developments that did not occur; you also argue that we made errors of omission, and that our analysis was consequently skewed. We would like to reply to each of these sorts of claim in turn.” Small arms response.

In their response, the survey project has chategorically highlighted how Salva Kiir government used militia including Apadang militia to fight the war along ethnic lines.

The response letter unearthed how the Apandang Dinka militias were used to push Shilluck out of Malakal and off the east bank, and how the same militia displaced Nuer elites like Simon Kun Puoch, the former Governor of Upper Nile State and the Military Generals like Stephen Buay Rolnyang.

“This at tack [on the Malakal PoC] was not an isolated event, but part of a concerted campaign by the Padang Dinka military and political elite of Upper Nile to push the Shilluk off the east bank of the White Nile, which is contested by both groups, and to cement control of an area that is to be called Eastern Nile state, in line with Kiir’s decree.” Reads part of the 6-paged long response.

“In subsequent interviews with the HSBA, Padang Dinka militia commanders criticized Buay for his remarks. This is ample indication of the tension to which our report refers.” The Small Arms Response continued.

Read the full article here: Dear Dr. John Antipas

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