South Sudan rebels blame Tonj fighting on government
August 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan holdout opposition group has blamed the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the deadly fighting which took place in Tonj last week.
Last week, deadly fighting broke out between a disarmament forces form the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) and armed civilians. The fighting killed over 150 people including almost 50 servicemen and over 100 civilians.
In a statement on Monday, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Dr. Hakim Dario condemned the fighting and blamed the government for trying to disarm civilians who are not protected.
“The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) unreservedly condemns the recent SSPDF war on communities in Warrap State and Tonj areas of Greater Bahr al Ghazal, in which hundreds of civilians and SSPDF forces were reportedly killed in raging battles of communities’ disarmament who the illegitimate incumbent Juba Government armed in the first place,” the statement said.
“In defiance of the Transitional Constitution 2011 and the law, President Salva Kiir recruited Mathiang Anyor and Dut-Ku Beny Dinka militia forces from his state of Warrap and Tonj areas in return for a free armament of Dinka civilians and community groups in the lead up to the Juba massacre of Nuer civilians in 2013.
“These community groups, who were heavily armed by the Government and Generals in SSPDF, became the source of quick recruitment to maintain Kiir in power in Juba by armed ethnic militia in the guise of National Security armed forces (NSS), operating outside of the rule of law.
“The scale of fighting and the loss of lives is staggering and continuing, coming in quick succession to the more recent invasion of the Murle in GPAA by the combined heavily armed tribal armies of Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor, while the SSPDF and Kiir’ Juba regime watched on without moving an inch to intervene and prevent the threat of genocide against the Murle.
“It is alarming that armed community groups seem to be more powerful than the distant Juba city-state, and the enduring “executioner”, the NSS Akol Kur, at the behest of President Salva Kiir, continues to kill and scuttle the flawed revitalized peace.
“PDM urges the TROIKA and IGAD countries, the UN and AU to support a change government based on the three regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al-Ghazal, and which puts the people first and charts a peoples’ driven constitution-making process for state formation.
“The world cannot watch the violence and gross human rights abuses and violations in South Sudan in silence and doing absolutely nothing to avert the looming chaos if the Juba city-state government is permitted to continue ruling dictatorship and impunity of the tribal “gun-class” SPLM elites in South Sudan.
“PDM urgently calls upon regional and International Relief agencies to provide needed humanitarian assistance to displaced civilians in the war-affected areas, and Media giving coverage to the world on the unfolding chaos, tragedy, atrocious Human Rights violations and unabated threat of genocide in the GPAA.
“Meanwhile PDM appeals to all people of goodwill to use their influence to raise alarm and contribute in any way possible to help alleviate the suffering of innocent women, children, and the elderly who are devastated and uprooted by the raging wars in South Sudan.”