Nov 26. 2015(Nyamilepedia) — After months of searching and mourning the loss of five (5) BUDI intellectuals, murdered in cold blood by the government of South Sudan which has been known for waging war against innocent civilians, and in coordination with the Eastern Equatoria state government under the governorship of Mr. Lous Lobong Lojore, BUDI County Citizens, both in the Diaspora and in BUDI county, have finally stepped forward to express their grievances and to send a very strong condemnation to those who have perpetuated the act of murder against innocent young men. We are thank God for sparing and rescuing the life of one of the victim who had narrated the whole stories on this atrocious manslaughter.
The world need to know what exactly happened. Three boys from BUDI County in Eastern Equatoria State, Mr. Richard Lokeya (also Canadian Citizen), Dominic Lodai, and Carter Victor James were arrested on the night of August 15th 2015 in Kabong District of Uganda and by Ugandan People’s Defense Forces or UPDF.
You are reading the story of a surviving eye witness, Mr. Carter Victor James. Him and his two friends Mr. Richard Lokeya (also Canadian Citizen) and Dominic Lodai fled their home town, Chukudum, on August 12, 2015 after they have been constantly threatened by South Sudan’s security intelligence. They were accused of siding with the rebel movement group. After several warnings and advice from the family members telling the three boys to leave the country for the sake of their life, they indeed heed the advice of their families and friends and took off to seek asylum in the neighboring countries; Uganda or Kenya. The journey took two days by foot to the nearest border between South Sudan and Uganda. They made it safely to Ugandan border and succeeded to locate one of the known individual whom some of the BUDI county members have known him through business related events. The Ugandan friend offered them a room to rest for the night.
Within a short period of their stay in the compound, they heard very loud voices asking questions so harshly, “who are you, who are you?” Immediately, the whole compound was surrounded by Ugandan People Defense Force who invaded the house and demanding the three boys at a gun-point to lie down immediately. This caused a commotion within the home and other neighbors who were screaming and running to safety. The three boys were quickly subdued and hand-cuffed while severely beaten to submission.
As confirmed by Mr. Carter Victor James, Mr. Richard Lokeya was to proceed to Kenya after arriving Uganda and to fly back to Canada. On the same night of the arrest, the boys were taken to the military barrack headquarter where they were further interrogated, tortured and all of their belongings including cash Money, were all confiscated by the Ugandan People Defense force.
The following day, they were once again dragged onto a pick-up track and then driven to Gulu Military barrack where they were eventually handed over to the South Sudan Security Intelligence. According to Mr. Carter, the Uganda Security intelligence had documented the whole hand-over process to South Sudan Security Intelligence by photographing the entire operation and the individuals involved including the boys as prisoners.
On the 18th of August, 2015, the boys were once again transferred to Juba, the capital city of South Sudan where they were detained at a place called, White House. Here, they were joined with other inmates who were already subjected to all kinds of severe tortures. These includes, the pricking of the testicles, sprinkled with cold water, forced to sit on wooden chair which are designed with sharp pointed nails on top of the seat, hit hard on the head with the butt of an AK47, kicked on the ribs with military boots and forced onto the ground while being stepped on with boots. The whole atmosphere is just chaotic and screaming everywhere at the place called, White House, according to Mr. Carter.
The whole night, Mr. Carter lamented that he could hear inmates crying and dragged out of the room they were detained in and thrown onto the back of a pick-up truck like luggage. Immediately after that, the noise disappeared into the thin air and the darkness appears to have been used to cover the whole operations. According to Mr. Carter, the inmates were taken in a batch of what the pick-up truck could carry and straight to unknown location where they were finally executed.
In the long run, it was finally Mr. Carter’s and his two friends turn. They too were dragged out of their room, had their hands tied behind, blind-folded with a piece of cloth so they can’t see where they were taken to. As they were driven on the back of a pick-up truck, Mr. Carter said he couldn’t clearly see where the vehicle was heading. However, Mr. Carter’s blind-fold appears to have come off a little loose which gave him a slight glimpse of sight to see the direction in which the vehicle was being driven. All the vehicles traveling in convoy had their lights off and were headed towards a place called Rajaf near the River Nile. From here, Mr. Carter knew this was a final moment of their lives which has to come to an end. At the final destination where they were driven to the river side, they were once again dragged out of the back of the pick-up truck and thrown onto the ground like a sack of grain. They were forced onto the ground and one by one, Mr. Carter said he could hear a loud scream of his fellow friends, followed by fainted cry which indicates a final sound they could make before they were finally put to death.
Still listening to what is going on around him; Mr. Carter said his blind-fold was still loose and it allowed him to see what is going on. He could see people moving and dragging something on ground and then followed by a loud splash of water signifying people bodies were pushed down the slope of the river bank and into the fast running water of River Nile. It was finally Mr. Carter’s turn when he felt a very hard kick to his ribs, a gun’s butt hit on his head when he felt unconscious and felt onto the ground. He said he could still feel someone had grabbed him by the neck and going for his throat then he was twisted so hard that he couldn’t see anything anymore. In the same manner, he was dragged on the ground, pushed down the slope of the river bank and into the fast running water of the River Nile.
As the water continued to carry all the bodies down the stream, Mr. Carter said it was a miracle when he found himself on top of the water after a few seconds of being pulled deep down into the river bottom. This is where he was able to gasp for some air and continued to struggle and swim with the water current. According to Mr. Carter, the torn out trouser he was wearing had helped acted as sailing support that aided his body to stay afloat on the running water. With the blind-fold cloth still tied to his head, Mr. Carter was still able to see despite the darkness of the night and at least the available light of the moonlight. Continuing with the struggle to stay on top of the water, Mr. Carter found himself bumped onto the side of the river bank where he held onto an offshore grass. With his hands still tied behind, he managed to fully restore enough air to his lungs and regain some consciousness. The whole of this operation was conducted in absolute silence and without a sound of a gun, Mr. Carter said.
While at the river bank, and far from the distance where they were pushed into the water, Mr. Carter managed to pull himself off the riverbank, untie the rope on his feet and walked to a nearby unidentified NGO compound. He showed up and called for help at the front main entrance. Luckily, someone answered and escorted him to the inside of the compound. As he was being helped and while questioned of what happened, Mr. Carter narrated to them that he was attacked by some bandits in city who beat him up, tied his hands behind throw him into the River Nile to die. Mr. Carter confirm that he twisted the story in order to divert any suspicion so as not to be construed for running away from government authorities. He knew if he told the NGO personnel the truth, he could risk being caught captured and killed. The NGO personnel offered to report the matter to the police, but Mr. Carter declined and assuring them that he will go and report the matter to at the police station himself. Mr. Carter was offered a room in the compound and early in the morning he was permitted to leave. He managed to maneuver his way back to the city center without being caught. With all the bruises and injuries still sustained, he said he was not in a very stable condition. Mr. Carter after arriving at the city centre managed to locate one of his friend’s house who helped treat his injuries and offered a room for him to rest for a day. This is where Mr. Carter plan his escape out of Juba city. He made it safely to one of the East African Countries. This where we had located and had him narrate the whole story. The story was narrated to a group of Didinga Intellectuals around the world through telephone teleconference meeting.
Similar and Separate Killing Incidence
On another separate incidence of kidnapping, arrest and torture in Chukudum town (BUDI County Headquarters) and within the same month of August, 2015, by the government of South Sudan Security Intelligence, Mr. Clement Lochio Lomornana (Gurtong News Journalist), and two brothers, Mr. Amin Venansio and Nailo Venansio were also killed. The three boys were taken to undisclosed location and killed after a few days of their detention. Their bodies were later found in the bush around Camp 15 town of Eastern Equatoria State.
Before all this killing had taken place, the family members had tried everything to locate the three boys whom they believed might have been taken to a maximum imprisonment in Torit (Capital City of Eastern Equatoria State), Kapoeta (Headquaters of Kapoeta County) or Juba (Capital City of the republic of South Sudan). The family made several calls to state prison and in an attempt to locate the three boys, still no one was able to give them a clear answer of their whereabouts. Everyone they were able to talk to said, “they don’t know”. Even the BUDI County Commissioner who was involved from the day when the three boys arrested, and was all along in coordinating with state government, also denied that he was not aware of any arrest made and that he doesn’t the know the whereabouts of the three boys.
The governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Mr. Lous Lobong Lojore also denied and declined to even give comments on the matter when interviewed by the journalists in Torit. The Eastern Equatoria Minister of information and broadcasting Mark Akio Ukinbul was also quoted denying that he no knowledge of such arrest. That “his government doesn’t know about the journalist missing” and said he can’t comment about him at the moment.” He said in an interview with the Nation Mirror journalist.
We are now also fully aware that the demise in which the Five BUDI County intellectuals had to undergo was well coordinated right from the County, State and National level. This was after one of the Nation Mirror News Journalist also interviewed and quoted the BUDI County Commissioner, Mr. Felix Makuja who is now trying to contradict himself by denying the whereabouts of the three boys. He was quoted saying;
“The three will preliminarily be investigated in the county then referred to Torit for further investigation and possibly to Juba” he said.
“You know it has been an unfortunate moment but we are still investigating the case and I cannot tell you about what they have been doing. We want to send this special message to those who may be planning to join the wrong way to know that we are vigilant and to turn away from such acts”.
In a separate strong statement made by the government in the Opposition, South Sudan government arrested six hundred (600) prisoners of war and on the night of August 22, 2015 and decided to execute them all. All this happened before the signing of the IGAD Plus compromise peace agreement.
It’s now also very clear that the government of South Sudan worked in collaboration with Uganda government by mandating the Ugandan Security Intelligence to arrest any south Sudanese whom they have blacklisted as member of the rebel movement.
BUDI intellectuals in Diaspora; United States of America, Canada, Unite Kingdom, and in the neighboring countries; Kenya and Uganda and the people of BUDI county, had express their grave concern over the continuous killing of innocent people of BUDI County. BUDI intellectuals are now made aware that the state and the national government are behind all the rampant killings conducted on the soil of BUDI County. This is a gross human right violation which is tantamount to nothing but deliberate act of ethnic cleansing design to silence the vulnerable ethnic minorities. We the people of BUDI County have had enough of this intimidation and the government of South Sudan should be ashame of turning against the people that have hosted the rebellion movement (Sudan people liberation Army/Movement SPLM) for decades. Without BUDI kindness and general hospitality, the movement would have never thrived or succeeded and until when peace agreement was signed in 2005 which lead to South Sudan Independence in 2011.
The people of BUDI are no longer safe, protected and cared for by the government of South Sudan. The people of BUDI County had lost trust in the government of south Sudan. The people of BUDI County felt abandoned and left to toil through hardship and all kinds of insecurity conditions in the county. We feel that this government serves no purpose to the people of BUDI County. We feel marginalized and constantly threatened in our own country.
We vehemently condemn this heinous act and deemed the current government is not acting in the best interest of the people of BUDI County. BUDI intellectuals world-wide and the people of BUDI County are now united and more than ever before, under one voice to fight and protect the lives of BUDI people. We will continue to tell the world that our own government is killing us and trying to wipe us off the map of South Sudan.
In conclusion, we would like reiterate to the government of South Sudan that the people of BUDI County are peace-loving people. They have no desire to join and fight in the current ongoing senseless war perpetuated by those who want to dictate and oppressed the vulnerable communities. The people of BUDI will not continue to be intimidated, murdered in cold blood and silenced for trying to speak for their rights. Please understand here that, the people of BUDI County have a long history of survival without government’s services. The government of South Sudan continued to alienate and deprive our people services by blocking NGOs from accessing the county to provide the needed community services. We are aware that the current regime have no desire in providing basic public services, improve road infrastructure, build schools and health care centres. We now believe that the state and the national representatives have no desire to serve or lead BUDI people in good faith but serve their masters who provide them their monthly pay cheque.
We would therefore like the whole world to know that the story you have just read is part of the continuous murderous regime in south Sudan whose purpose is to advance the suffering of the people of south Sudan; especially the powerless ethnic minorities at the mercy of the dictators in south Sudan.
Articled submitted by Richard E. on behalf of Budi Community. To reach the authors:firstname.lastname@example.org
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