The Union of Greater Upper Nile States (UGUNS) Inc
August 14th, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — We, the leadership of The Union of Greater Upper Nile States (UGUNS) in Australia, hereby first and foremost expressed our heartfelt condolence to the families who have lost their loved one as result of the tragic war in South Sudan.
Lest we forgot them!
The UGUNS is an organisation established to represent the voice of the nationalities base in the Greater Upper Nile Region with vision to transform the nature of Greater Upper Nile States socially, economically, and become a prosperous, viable region through peace and sustainable development outcomes. To achieve this vision we need to denounce tribalism and increase social cohesion among the tribes, share heritages, cultures and resources for the betterment of the region and for South Sudan as whole.
UGUNS is cognizant and conscious of the suffering of the people of Greater Upper Nile Region caused by intensified fighting and the consistent targeting and tragic killing of innocence people in the region and across the country. Therefore, we call upon the leaderships of H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, The President of the Republic of South Sudan and H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, former Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, the current Chairperson of Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – in opposition (SPLM/A – IO) to show leadership by acting nimbly to cease fighting and end the suffering of South Sudanese by embracing the IGAD-Plus Proposed Compromise Agreement. Refusal to sign or not to commit to this peace proposal would indicate that you don’t represent the interest of South Sudanese as a whole. The need for a ceasefire and permanent peace agreement is long overdue. Think of this, if your constituencies are displaced, their inhabitants destroyed and starving, then, what are you representing? Who will you govern?
Consequently, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member States and the International Communities are now carrying the burden of refugees crossing the border and increased pressure to meet their humanity’s needs. Something must be done and this is the right time to start doing just that. We strongly believe that there is no other alternative peace proposal better than this that will comprehensively accommodate and contextualised all grievances caused by this war through a well organised transitional process as articulated in the proposal. Last month, the Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) reported that “Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) offensive swept through southern Unity state, razing villages, killing civilians, taking cattle, and abducting women” http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/facts-figures/south-sudan/conflict-of-2013-14/the-conflict-in-unity.html#c1690. These are tragic human right violations which should not be condoned, but address sooner than later.
UGUNS is concerned that failure to recognise and prevent such inhumane activities that are now taking place will give chance to the above mentioned disorganise forces to continue to torture and kill civilian, or even destroy the future in Greater Upper Nile Region because their motives appeared to have been influenced by tribal hatred and revenge. The countries bordering South Sudan, particularly the Greater Upper Nile Region shall recognise that the stability of Greater Upper Nile Region is paramount for the stability of South Sudan and for the Horn of Africa as well.
The Proposed Compromise Agreement set a road map for a sustainable peace in South Sudan, and could potentially improve the security and economic trade in the region. Therefore, IGAD shall practice what it pledges. The signing of the Proposed Compromise Agreement will be a good beginning to see what IGAD represents and where it wants to be. A report on “the regionalisation of the South Sudanese crisis” by Institute of Security Studies (ISS) in June 2015 revealed that IGAD member States “competition could plunge the region into crisis” http://reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/regionalisation-south-sudanese-crisis-east-africa-report-issue-4-june-2015. The UGUNS believes that East Africa has the potential to emerge as a centre for business and development, but only if and when the leaders are concerned about the welfare of their citizens, invest in human development, respect the rule of law, promote education and health advancement driven by an effective leadership with clear political will.
The UGUNS urges all parties that participate in this war to put their grievances aside and regard the interest and the future of our nation and its people first; cooperate, support and sign the Proposed Compromise Agreement by IGAD-Plus. We also appreciate the UN Security Council decision to increase the number of UN peace keepers in South Sudan and to extend UNMISS mandate in South Sudan so as to protect civilians and prevent the mass killing happening in Juba and in other parts of the country.
The war has triggered a huge humanitarian crisis across the country, especially in Greater Upper Nile Region where properties were looted and destroyed; Aid organizations are not able to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected areas due to restriction and insecurity in those areas. A report on humanitarian situation in South Sudan by the Integrated food security Phase Classification (IPC) in May 2015 revealed that “about 4.6 million people [in South Sudan] will face severe food insecurity by July 2015, especially in the Greater Upper Nile [and] most parts of the Greater Bahrel Ghazal” http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IPC_South%20Sudan_April2015_Communication%20Summary-1.pdf.
The IGAD-Plus have attempted in numerous ways to stop the war, nevertheless, the present of Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF) in South Sudan land is jeopardizing the effectiveness of the peace process, and will continue undermines the implementation of the TGoNU currently proposed. Why? Simply because the decision taken by Uganda to take side in the current conflict of South Sudan. This decision is:
- A contributing factor to the mass displacement of people and killing that is happening across the region in South Sudan.
- Providing no room for peace talks and will only increase insecurity in the country.
- Undermining the delivery of humanitarian services to the affected areas.
- Undermining the neutrality and integrity of IGAD to spearhead the peace talk and bring a sustainable peace in South Sudan.
Finally, the UGUNS is hereby declaring it support and commend the signing of the current Proposed Compromise Agreement and call upon the IGAD-Plus to urge the worrying parties to:
- Sign and implement the IGAD proposed compromise agreement in totality.
- Support the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) as proposed.
- Support the publication of the Africa Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry Report on South Sudan conflict. This will give insight and inform the future work of the HCSS with better understanding on the nature and the contributing factors of the conflict of South Sudan.
- Allow UN and UNMISS to repatriate IDPs currently held hostage at various UNMISS camps in Juba and across the country to the location of their choice of residency. It is true that their livelihood is deteriorating in those camps, especially their health.
- Stop target killing of civilian and stop inciting tribal hatred among the communities.
- Allow the Human Right Watch organizations to gather relevant evident and investigate the ongoing tribal killing.
- Allow media access and freedom to report event across the country.
- Advise Uganda government to withdraw its forces from South Sudan.
We thank you for your cooperation.
For further inquiry, please don’t hesitate to contact the UGUNS leadership as listed below by using the email provided below firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peter Pal
- James Wastino
The Dupty Chairperson
- Jeffah Thabach
The Secretary for Planning and Development