BY ANDREW OLWENY.
Dec 3, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- Witch hunting by the South Sudan government has intensified in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State, despite the signing of a Compromise Peace Agreement that was expected to end the conflict.
With indefinitely postponed “end-of-war” IGAD-Summit and delayed arrival of the advanced team of the SPLA-IO, Juba has redoubled its harassment of those it suspects of being or having ties with SPLA-IO (Rebels) in Equatoria region.
Using both harsh silencing and dubbed sideline talks with the arrow boys in the region, the government has continued to deploy troops and displace civilians in both Western and Eastern Equatoria states.
Duku Justin, a local Citizen in Moli stated: “Will someone tell Mr. Kiir and the JCE that since the signing of the peace deal, there is now no Rebels lead by SPLA-IO in South Sudan! Being an SPLA-IO soldier or being affiliated with SPLA-IO is not a crime nor illegal given the peace deal! Therefore Juba must stop witch hunting, arresting, torturing and killing those it suspects of being members of the SPLA-IO otherwise Juba then remains at war and has not honored the compromise peace deal.”
In Magwi and Abara, Panyakwara, SPLA-Juba is making life impossible, news arriving from Magwi shows people are tense and the government seems poised to strike anytime.
In Moli, Andru, A woman who brews local bears for incomes to feed her 6 children all underage was arrested and beaten until she vomited blood for having as clients those suspected to be members of the SPLA-IO.
According to Duku the SPLA soliders should expect the woman to check the background of her clients.
“When you have a legal product to sell, do common citizens have to check background of their clients before they can sell anything to them? Again here why would this Mother of Six be subjected to tortures to the point of vomiting blood simply for selling alcohol to those whom the government should not witch-hunt in the first place. Haven’t Juba sign the peace deal and shall implement it?” The Citizens continue to ask intelligent questions.
In Pageri, Four businessmen, Lemi Joseph Anthonio, Izard James Anthonio, Tiodi Robert and Emma Nelson, where arrested and tortured to obtain forced confessions after being accused of being or supporting the SPLA-IO!
A lady who gave her name as Goni, asked, ” is the peace being implemented, Mr. Kiir? If it is then why tortured those you have signed peace with, even if these civilians you arrested from their homes and business place where true soldiers of SPLA-IO? Don’t you think by behaving this way you are actually recruiting more followers for the SPLA-IO?”
Of these accused, two are brothers. While everyone else has been released after days of severe tortures, per the report, Lemi Joseph Antonio is still in the hands of SPLA-Juba stationed in Pageri and beaten terribly and in a critical condition to the point at one point the soldiers had to take Lemi for treatment in Nimule Hospital from his beatings.
We at South Sudan liberty News Appeal to IGAD-Plus, if we are going to implement this compromise peace deal then Kiir must also declare cessations of hostilities towards Civilians not just against SPLA-IO, but must abide by his words.
No more tortures and no more witch hunting! Again we agree with the assertions above, there is no longer SPLA-IO rebels because in Signing the peace deals Kiir must accept the realizations that South Sudan is now a nation with TWO separate Armies until out of the two armies, leaders put together a truly national men and women that shall uphold their constitutional mandate of protecting Civilians instead of hunting, torturing and killing them! Until then, Juba must stop witch hunting and IGAD-plus must not fail in its duties as a party in the peace deal and must enforce civilian protections and the peace deal.
If there is truly peace deal then there is truly no SPLA-IO Rebels thus the witch hunting must STOP.
ANDREW OLWENY is a South Sudanese journalist reporting from within South Sudan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org