South Sudan: Government Began Evacuating Ethnic Dinka Population From Equatoria

A convoy of trucks carrying South Sudanese civilians(Photo: file)

A convoy of trucks carrying South Sudanese civilians(Photo: file)

Oct 30, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Following weeks of threats and intimidations between the Dinka and Equatorian community, Salva Kiir’s government has began evacuating Dinka nationals from Equatorian region.

According to government officials in Yei, a convoy of 10 Trucks and military escort that was initially sent from Juba began returning to the national capital on Thursday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the convoy was directed by president Salva Kiir and directly organized by the Minister of Finance, Hon Dhieu Dau, the Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong, Greater Bor community Chairman Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth who doubles as a Minister of Information and government spokesman among other officials from Dinka community.

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Speaking to Santino Bol Marol after his family boarded in Yei town, he blamed the government for taking too long to response to people’s demand.

“We are forced to leave Yei. We could have left in September but the government delayed to come to our rescues. All roads outside Yei town are blocked by rebels and it is not safe to exit with children and women in our hands” Marol, a residence of Yei, said.

Asked if the government made the right decision by evacuating citizens, Mary Yar Atem, a Dinka residence, said that the government was forced to response because people are being targeted on the roads.

“Yes, our people are killed on Juba-Yei road. The government could have rescue those lives. Now we cannot blame the government because this escort means more lives will be safe.” Mary said.

“If the Equatorians or rebels attack us, they will fight the army this time, not civilians any more. Those people are very ruthless, they killed children and women” She continued.

The plan to evacuate Dinka tribe from Equatoria came a few days after evacuation of Equatorian aid workers from South Sudan’s Northern town of Aweil by NGOs.

The officials claim that this was a timely response to ongoing threats and possible retaliations from the rivaling Communities after Equatorian aid workers were targeted in Aweil.

According to reports from Aweil, at least 42 Equatorian aid workers have been killed in Aweil and others are still missing after Juba broke the news of Dinka civilians being targeted on Juba-Yei road and Juba -Nimule road by disgruntled Equatorian armed youth groups.

“forty two International Organizations (INGOs) workers hailed from Equatoria region had been murdered in cold blood and five others are missing for almost a week kept in unknown place within Bahr Al Ghazal.” Said Nyarji Roman.

Akol Akol, one of INGOs members in Aweil, admitted that the move of targeting Equatorian workers in greater Bahr al ghazal region came after president Kiir accused the Equatorian Youth on Oct 19th of murdering Dinka civilians.

Asked if no soldiers, polices and national security were involved in targeting civilians, Akol said he cannot rule out.

“In this country, there is nothing done by civilians alone because they are not organized. There has to be a politician or soldiers involved. Looking at the incidents of Bor and Malakal, it involved senior government officials” Akol said

Akol was not alone. Both the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth and President Salva Kiir have threatened Equatorian leaders to tame their people or else the government will use massive force in Equatoria.

Briefing the SPLM leaders, President Kiir threatened Equatorian leaders that he will relocate his army headquarters to Yei to command troops in response to these attacks on main roads and against members of his community.

The evacuation of Ethnic Dinka leaves fear if General Salva Kiir will eventually relocate to Yei to fight the armed groups.

Similar evacuations are expected to follow in Nimule, Yambio, Torit and Maridi within the next two weeks.

Although Salva Kiir office has distanced itself from these evacuations, community advocates in the government, both politicians and military generals, are believed to be providing resources and facilitation.

This is the first time in South Sudan conflict that citizens are being relocated after the government failed to restore security. Many civilians including children, women and elderly have been killed in South Sudan conflict.

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