Dec 16th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —— Gathered at the Faith Lutheran Church in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, South Sudanese Communities and friends came together to commemorate the 5th December 15th in remembrance of their loved ones who were killed in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan over the last 5 years.
The South Sudanese, who were mostly from the Nuer ethnic group, vividly remember how their loved ones were targeted and killed by the autocratic regime of president Salva Kiir, who is from the Dinka tribe, the largest ethnic group in the country and main rival to the Nuer tribe.
Encouraging the congregation, one elderly mother, who narrowly survived a massacre in Malakal, the capital of the Upper Nile State, in December 2013 narrates how they were chased into the bush by a government militia that took control of the city following the fighting in the capital, Juba, on December 15, 20013.
“All of a sudden I lost my consciousness, I could not recall where I was. At first it felt as if I was still in my compound in Malakal but when the sun began to rise the next morning, I found myself in the wilderness. I was in the bush far away from home, I couldn’t recall how I arrived there.” The elderly mother said.
She further narrated how she spent days in the bush and walked many miles to safety, however, despite that she lost many relatives and friends, she calls on South Sudanese to forge forgiveness among themselves and calls for justice and accountability.
Reiterating similar message, the SPLM(IO) Chapter leader, Mr. Mabor Kong, played a video clip of the Bor Massacre, which features the Bor Community Chairman and the National Minister of Information and Government spokesman, Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth, in April 2014.
Mr. Mabor calls for forgiveness, justice and accountability warning that unless justice is served the dark history may repeat itself.
Briefing the mourners, the SPLM-IO Coordinator of the Province of British Columbia, Mr. Peal Jok, said it is unfortunate that the South Sudanese now have to mourn every December 15 when they should be celebrating the Christmas season with the rest of the world.
The BC Coordinator strongly stressed that Mr. Kiir does not deserve to be called a “president” anymore.
“It is even a shame to call him[Kiir] a president. He is not my president and so I believe he is not your president too.” Peal Jok said.
“A president is supposed to protect all lives regardless of their tribes or political affiliation. Kiir failed is mandate and therefore he has failed his duties as a president” He continued.
Encouraging the congregation with a reading from the scripture of Luke 13:1-5, the invited guest, Pastor Geoff Cortright, elaborates how important is it to take “action” [justice and accountability] against the perpetrators to heal the wounds and reconcile the communities.
Like many Canadian, Pastor Geoff did not get to know about South Sudan conflict until recently when he searched online to understand the depth of South Sudan conflict. He couldn’t believe how Canadian government and world’s supper power like the USA did almost nothing to prevent another Rwanda-like conflict from escalating to what it is today.
Latest reports indicate that South Sudan conflict has cost over 400, 000 lives and displaced more than 4 million people to IDPs and refugees camps. Another 6 million people need humanitarian assistance as the divided government spends all the oil revenues on funding the war.
Similar prayers were held in other parts of Canada, United States, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.