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Humanitarian Appeal by Shilluk Community in Diaspora

To: H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General,
Office of the Secretary General of United Nations,
885 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017, USA
 
Press statement
Date: August 24, 2015

Subject:  The Forgotten Shilluk Civilians in Upper Nile State in South Sudan

Dear Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon:

August 28, 2015 (SSNA) -- We the undersigned members of the Shilluk community in Diaspora would like to draw your attention, the attention of the UN and the wider international community to the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the Shilluk Kingdom by the dictatorial regime of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrendous crimes and violations of international humanitarian law being committed against unarmed Shilluk civilians in the Upper Nile State of the Republic of South Sudan. We are deeply saddened by the continued devastation and denial of access of NGOs to provide food and medical supplies to the civilian population.

It is with considerable sadness that we write this letter to you, in the name of the thousands of defenseless, starving, sick and desperate Shilluk people in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan who are being bombarded daily by the ruthless regimes of President Kiir and Yuweri Museveni of Uganda who is shamefully actively supporting him on the ground. We are aware that you are fully informed and aware of the government of South Sudan’s recent decision to deny humanitarian access and aid to civilian populations who have been caught up in the conflict zones and of the deliberate bombardment of civilian populations, schools and hospitals in Chollo areas by the governments of South Sudan and Uganda.

We would like here to mention some of the most recent human rights violations in Shilluk areas. For instance, after the recent government recapture Malakal, the capital city of Upper Nile State, from the rebels in July 2015, it used Ugandan-led air bombardments and deliberately targeted the civilian population including hospitals and schools in the towns of Kodok and Owaci where aid organizations were assisting people in need, destroying hospitals, schools and houses and killing civilians including children, women and elderly. Entire Shilluk communities have been forced out from their ancestral homes by the repeated bombardments and they are nowliving under harsh conditions in the bush fearing for their lives. Many of these civilians are facing dire humanitarian situation such as a lack of food, medicine, sanitation and shelter from heavy rains and other elements. Again, in a separate incident in Kodok, a hospital run by International Committee of Red Cross was bombarded several times where approximately thirty patients lost their lives.  These barbaric incidents forced the Red Cross to withdraw from the area and left civilians vulnerable due to lack of health services. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross 12 civilians have been killed in Kodok as a result of bombing of the hospital and school by the government of South Sudan using Ugandan helicopter gunships.

On Saturday, July 18, 2015, a truck full of civilians’ mostly women and children was ambushed on the highway linking Malakal and Paloch by the so called Dongjol Dinka Militia supported by South Sudan’s government.  These civilians were on their way from Malakal to Paloch. The truck was travelling from Malakal and carrying goods and food aid for the IDPs at UNMISS in Paloch. The militias began shooting at the truck and killed two Shilluk civilians and dozens of others were wounded and brought to UNMISS health facilities in Malakal. On May 24, 2015, the combined forces of  the Padang Dinka SPLA of Akoka, Darfur forces and Blue Nile forces killed and wounded 28 Shilluk civilians near UNMISS outside Paloch. Many of the victims could not be recognized except for only three, identified as follows; Chan Charles Othow, Wilson Sabino Ayul, Ayual Ajak Adwong.   Again on May 25, 2015, about 30 Shilluk youth disappeared after they went to the town in Malakal and never return to UNMISS. Many assumed they may have been killed by the Padang Dinka SPLA.

In another recent incident, the killing of Shilluk civilians occurred on Sunday, July 26, 2015; when a Dinka counterinsurgency within SPLA government forces in Upper Nile State ambushed Shilluk civilians on the road between UNMISS at Malakal town and Makal village at about 8:00 pm at night. The civilians were coming from Wau Shilluk in search of food. Four people were found dead on Sunday morning and one person was wounded and has been treated in the hospital in UNMISS  compound.   Dinka SPLA forces continue to kill Chollo civilians and this is clearly an orchestrated ethnic cleansing which should be confronted by the international community.

Reports from sources in affected  areas on the ground indicate that children, the elderly, and women are dying every day in Kodok, Wau Shilluk and many other areas in the Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile State due to lack of food and medicines. Furthermore, the government of South Sudan is continuing to prevent the NGOs, UN agencies and other aid groups from reaching civilians in the Shilluk land who have been affected by the conflict. Under the international humanitarian law and the laws of war, the South Sudanese government is obligated to allow and facilitate rapid and unrestricted passage of humanitarian relief to civilians who have been affected by the conflict.

We strongly call on UN, IGAD, the AU, the Troika countries and EU to bring more pressure to bear on the government of South Sudan and its partner in crime, the Ugandan government, to immediately stop all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments against the civilian population in the Shilluk areas of Upper Nile State, to stop preventing the NGOs  from delivering food aid to the civilians who have been trapped in the West bank of the Nile and for the Ugandan government to withdraw its forces from the area.  The Ugandan bombardment of civilian populations constitutes serious violation of international humanitarian law.

We urge the international community to act against the government of South Sudan and uphold the principles of international humanitarian law by ensuring humanitarian access andassistance to the civilian populations who have been affected by the conflict. In recent weeks the government of South Sudan has intensified its offensive against the rebels in the Upper Nile State and surrounding areas. In this fight against the rebels, the government of South Sudan is committing serious human right abuses, pursuing scorched earth policy and committing war crimes against unarmed civilian populations who are not party to this conflict. What is happening now in the Shilluk Kingdom is similar to what the same so called South Sudan army of the SPLA did in 2010 when they burned entire Chollo (Shilluk) villages, raped hundreds of women and girls and killed an untold number of civilians in Shilluk villages as reported in the following link: http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2010/12/201012237023933452.html

The UNMISS has moral obligation to fulfill its mandate to protect civilians in Malakal town and the entire Shilluk  Kingdom from the violence by ensuring that peacekeepers are deployed in larger numbers to Malakal town and other areas in Upper Nile state.  Despite the fact that Malakal is under control of the government of South Sudan, South Sudan’s government has failed its responsibility to protect the civilians in Malakal, Kodok, Owaci and Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State. UNMISS should provide more security to protect civilians anddisplaced people in its bases in Malakal and other areas in South Sudan.

What is happening in Upper Nile state is a crime against humanity whereby the killing of civilians continues and acts of terror, atrocities, destruction and looting of properties are committed by the very government forceswho are supposed to protect the civilians. Already many international observers are predicting horrific famine in South Sudan similar to the famine which occurred in 1988 where many lives were lost due to starvation. The following link provides an example of the desperate conditions of the civilians who have been trapped in the conflict in the Shilluk Kingdom in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan: http://www.france24.com/en/20150620-exclusive-south-sudan-fighting-displaced-nile-frontlines-malakal.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) the hospitals in Kodok that were catering for the vulnerable civilian population were left with serious shortages of doctors and medical personnel because ICRC staff could not safely access the area.  In its recent report, UNICEF indicated that most of Shilluk civilians on the West bank of the Nile River are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. This link is the latest example of desperate civilian situation of those trapped in the conflict in the Shilluk Kingdom. http://news.yahoo.com/south-sudan-thousands-risk-starvation-amid-nile-blockade-111838300.html.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Doctors without Borders also reported the dire situation of the civilians and appealed for urgent humanitarian relief. They and called on the government of South Sudan to allow unrestricted access to Malakal and surrounding areas so that aid agencies can provide urgent humanitarian assistance to thousands of people caught up in the violence in Upper Nile state. This is another Link to the reality of the situation:  https://www.msf.org.za/msf-publications/south-sudan-msf-calls-urgent-humanitarian-access-to-upper-nile-state

We are therefore urgently appealing to the UN and the international community to act and rescue civilians in the Shilluk Kingdom. The suffering of the civilian population in the Shilluk Kingdom continues to worsen due to continuing violence and lack of humanitarian assistance.  President Salva Kiir’s regime should know that under the UN Charter for member states, Article 56, they have a legal obligation to respect and ensure respect for human rights such as the rights to food, shelter and basic medical care for the civilian populations in the conflict.

However, It is clear that Kiir’s government continues to deliberately cut off humanitarian assistance to  Chollo (Shilluk) civilian populations along the Nile, in particular on the west bank, including areas hosting large numbers of displaced persons in  Wau Shilluk, Kodok and Owaci. It is also clear that President Salva Kiir’s government is using food as a weapon of war to starving Shilluk civilians.  This is the worst human rights violation under international humanitarian law and the world must act to stop the killing of civilians and save lives.  South Sudan government and Ugandan warplanes continue to bomb civilians in the Shilluk Kingdom of Upper Nile State as we speak.

Your Excellency, your intervention to stop the continuing genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in South Sudan and humanitarian relief for the civilians affected by the conflict is urgently needed. Your Excellency, we believe your leadership can play a crucial role by putting pressure on the government of South Sudan to end its restriction of humanitarian aid for the people of the Shilluk Kingdom and to end the air bombardment against civilian populations.

In conclusion, we respectfully reiterate the following:

1. We urge your Excellency as Secretary General and executive head of the UN, to immediately establish a high-level inquiry and fact finding mission in affected areas with a view to thoroughly investigate these war crimes and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.  

2. We are appealing for urgent humanitarian relief for people in need in Shilluk Kingdom in South Sudan who have been affected by the senseless violence and ignored by the international community.

3. We are urging  the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to put pressure on the government of South Sudan to immediately end restriction of humanitarian aid and the provision of food and medicine to the civilian population who have been affected by the conflict.

4. We call upon the  IGAD-plus, the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to condemn these crimes against humanity and  bring more pressure on the government of South Sudan and its partner in crime the Ugandan government to immediately stop all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments against the civilian populations.

5. We urge  the IGAD-plus, the AU, the Troika countries,  the EU and the UN to directly engage in the current peace talks and  actively support efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the ongoing crisis and exert pressure on warring parties for an enduring peace in South Sudan.

With the warmest of regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Signed by the Chollo Community in Diaspora

USA
1. Mr. Michael Aban Kalkon
2. Mr. Othow Kur Awang
3. Mr. Jwothab Wanh Othow
4. Mr. Aban Pagan Othow
5. Mr. Otom Oluak Nyawello
6. Mr. Yusuf Apara Nawi
7. Mr. Chol Ocam Allan
8. Mrs. Lucia Peter Tug
9. Mrs. Teresa Nyaum Nawi
10. Mr. Oyot Samuel Ador
11.Mr. Bolis Agal
12. Mr. Charles Bartholomew Anyang
13. Mr. Ywomo Arop Byenyo
14. Mr. Augustine Afamet Ochoung
15. Mr. Okoth Omai Awak
16. Mr. Fabio Mathew Deng
17. Mr. Ongien Ojwok Ding
18. Mr. Omai Othow Ajak
19. Mr. Obwony Odhong Yowin
20. Mr. Sabit Okwagi
21. Mr. Francis Nyawello Chan
22. Mr. Lwanyo Padiet
23. Mr. Johnson Owaci Okwac Deng
24. Mr. Andrew Nijok BOL
25. Mr. Michael Yowdo
26. Mr. Peter Adieng Ding 
27. Mrs.  Kwach-Kwan Abwol
28. Mr.Lewis Dengangok
29.Mrs. Rita Saviro Ayik
30. Mr. Peter Opach
31.Mr. Emmnuel James Bol
32.Mr. Tyson Anny Laa
33.Miss. Niveen Anny Laa 
34. George Pagak Akuey
35. Olanyi Amum Lueth
36. Benino Aban
37. Michael Chol Tip
38. Silvio William
39. Mrs. Nyaban Kiir
40. Mrs. Veronica Mojwok Ajak
41. Mr. Chan Aba Nyakwol
42. Ms. Nyachagjwok Chan Aba
43. Anna Chan Aba
 
Britain
1. Dr. Joseph Kucburo Ajang
2. Mr. Obdiah Obenyi Aywok
3. Mr. Karlo Kwol Akol
4. Mr. Akic Adwok Lwaldeng
5. Mr. Okuc Peter Awol
6. Mr. Julius Hakim Deng
7. Mr. Peter Fashodo Ageng
8. Mr. Gabriel Gwang Ajang
9. Mr. Lam Arop Yor
10. Mr. Ojiango Abar Dingmejok
 
Canada
1. Mr. William Amum
2. Mr. Samuel Otong
3. Mr. Sabino Diok
4. Mr. Emmanuel Jimmy
5. Oyath Aromi
6. Mr. Emanuel.K. Ottor
7. Mrs. Liuca Adwak
8. Mr. Peter Ojwal
9. Mrs. Cecilia B. Adong
10. Mrs. Kiristine Pagan
11. William Goldiet
12. Paul Nyibek
13. Mark M. Mayott
14. Linda Akoj.
 
Australia
1. Mr. Paul J.Kwajakwan
2. Mrs.Assunta A.Ajang
3. Dr. Banydhuro S.Oyay
4. Mr. John D. Kuldite
5. Mrs. Lucia A.Ajang
6. Mr. Chol K.Afaj
7. Mrs. Rebecca Y.Okaj
8. Mr. Simon A.Landid
9. Mr. Simon Arop Okyij
10. Mrs. Lucia John Obwony
11. Mrs. Luciano Ador
12. Achol Simon Othom
13. Mr. Francis Akic Ajang Yowm
14. Oudriko Mayoum
15. Alia Gakug
16. Mr. Peter Deng
17. Mr. Mojwok Pasqualla Mayom
18. Mr. Aban M.Lwanyo
19. Mr. Bob A.Bwogo
20. Mr. Kudit Geil
21. Nyachan Akoch
22. Rita J.Along
23. Maria Awak Joseph
24. Mr. Ezekiel R.Arop
25. Suzy M.Aban
26. Tertizeo Pasquale Adyankor
27. Rebecca S. Oyay
28. Suzy A. Okony
29. Mr. John Deng
30. Mr. Peter Awu
31. Maria Awu
32. Mer Kwajakwan
34. Tito Kwajakwan
35. Mr. Philip Awu
36. Mr. Othow Kudit Chalker
37. Mr. Tipo Mel
38 .Mrs. Elizabeth Atilio
39. Ashwill Mayiik
40. Mr.PachaiyPathum A .Nyikako
41. Mr. Orito Olami Awu
42. Dodo Daniel Mongo
43. Vivian Akol Ajawin
44. Ayak Yor Kak Bol
45. Mr. Isaac Ayul Deng
46. Mr. Victor Kutker
47. Mr. Chol A.Otor Nyajwok
48. Mer Anthony Kuol
 
Other locations
1. Mr. Simon Pagan Obur Ajak - Sweden.
2. Mr. Nyawello Pakwan - U.A.E
3. Mr. David Karial - Egypt
4. Mr.Wialliam Odwol Najok - Germany
5. Dr. John Tito Tipo Adibo - Germany
6. Mr. Youdo Abodayi Shawich - Germany
7. Mr. Joseph Chol lual deng – The Netherland
8. Mr. ONYAW SABAH ELKHEIR ADOUR – Finland
9. Dr. John Ojur Dennis- Malaysia
10. Mrs.  Frieda Joshua Adieng –The Netherland
 
CC:
Mr. Barrack Obama- President of the United States of America
Mr. David Cameron- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Mr. Tony Abbott - Prime Minister of Australia
Mr. Stephen Harper- Prime Minister of Canada
Mrs. Jens Stoltenberg- Prime Minister of Norway
Mr. Omar Hassan Al Bashir- President of Republic of Sudan
Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn- Prime Minister of Ethiopia & IGAD Chairman
Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker-President of the European Union
Mrs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – President of African Union

Speech: The Role of South Sudanese Youth in Liberation Struggles and Peacebuilding in South Sudan

By Biel Boutros Biel
Chief Guest
 
A key note address at South Sudan Youth Empowerment Conference in Uganda
Organised by Fangak Youth Foundation-South Sudan at Wonder world Hotel
22 August 2015
Kampala, Uganda

INTRODUCTION

Kampala, August 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- Fellow citizens and friends, I greet you in the name of our country-South Sudan. Our country was born out of decades of liberation struggles by our forefathers, our fathers and ourselves. Fellow youth, today, we owe our existence to the blood poured by our fallen comrades. As our national anthem rightly states so, the blood of our departed comrades has cemented our national foundation.

I tend to note from outset that struggle for freedom is not yet over in South Sudan. In the evening of 19 August 2015, we lost a youth member in person of Moi Peter Julius who was a journalist working with the New Nation English Newspaper in South Sudan. He was gunned down by unknown gunmen in capital Juba. The death of journalist Moi is a great loss not only to his family, media fraternity but also to the South Sudanese youth community, the entire South Sudan and all those who cherish values of free society including free press and expression.

Moi was a voice of the people that has been silenced. May we vow for a minute in his honour and that of Western Equatoria State Legislative Assembly who was murdered on 21 August 2015. May we stand up to ask the Almighty God to rest their souls in peace and comfort their families.

It is not in dispute, that our independence was brought through bullet, blood and ballot. Congratulations to you all for having materialised the dream of an independent state! Yes we made it together and may we thank and congratulate each other for the efforts each of us has made to have an independent South Sudanese state (turn to greet each other and congratulate him or her for contributions one has made in different ways)

Fellow citizens and friends, it should be recalled that many of our fellow country men and women have had no opportunity to survive the brutal civil wars of liberation but we who are here tonight, should thank God for making us witnesses to the fruits of our struggles.

It is my considered belief that our coming together today signifies our strong desire to move forward as young people with one heart and one spirit.

I therefore, thank the organisers and the leadership of Fangak Youth Foundation for inviting me to this important conference to speak on the role of South Sudanese Youth in the liberation struggles and peacebuilding in South Sudan. I will pick key areas to share with you.

DEFINITION OF A YOUTH:

Who qualifies to be called a youth or at what age to what age is a person known to be a youth?

Different scholars and institutions have provided various definitions of who a youth is but there is no consensus in definition even under international law.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for statistical consistency across regions, defines a youth as a person between the ages of 15 to 24 years.

The African Youth Charter defines a youth as a person between the ages 15 to 35 years.

Various countries define a youth based on their national laws (Constitutions or specific legislation).

The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011(TCSS 2011) is silent in defining who a youth is. However, the general notion from Old Sudan seemingly carried forward to the independent South Sudan has been that a youth is a person between the ages of 18 to 45 years but I have not found any record to confirm the claim. It seems a mindset calculation. The TCSS 2011 never mentions much about youth except briefly under article 40 which tips on institutional national policies towards youth.

What all these various definitions however, point to concurrently is that, a youth is a person at growing and energetic development stage, physically and emotionally.

My central argument is not about the definition of a youth but of the role the youth played during the liberation struggles of South Sudan and what they can do today to build peace in South Sudan.

In every society, youth constitutes a backbone of that society. The liberation struggles by black South Africans and a few moderate whites against apartheid policy of racial discrimination were championed by the youth groups. The youth constituted political and armed liberation force.

In South Africa’s example, most of the youth groups under students’ leadership organised peaceful protests and their courage against injustice attracted numerous massacres of youth members as was in the 1976 Soweto Massacre by security apparatus of the white minority government. In a sense, the African National Congress (ANC) which led the South Africa’s liberation struggles was a Movement of energetic and determined youth.

FOR OUR CASE AS SOUTH SUDANESE YOUTH, WE NEED TO REMIND OURSELVES AND ASK AS OF WHAT POSITIVE IMPACT HAS THE ROLE OF YOUTH BEEN FELT IN SOUTH SUDAN?

We can assess this by looking at significant milestones that outline role of youth in the liberation struggles of South Sudan:

  • First liberation movement 1955-1972: It was the youth that mobilised the conscience of South Sudanese citizens. The youth joined Anya Anya Movement in large numbers.
  • Second liberation movements 1975-2005 under Anya Nya II and later SPLA/M: The fighting forces were members of youth.
  • Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005: It was the youth that carried out sensitisation of the contents of the CPA.
  • Referendum period and the role of youth: civil society groups constituting of youth members carried out significant mobilisation that informed the conscience of the citizens to vote wisely and the efforts of sensitisation by the youth resulted in the vote for a separate state. It should be noted that youth constituted a sizable voting force during the referendum.

It is imperative to note that most of the youth members died in the liberation wars. Most of the parents of these youth members have been left without children today but their children’s blood brought South Sudan.

TODAY, WE NEED TO ASK: WHAT INSTANCES HAS THE ROLE OF YOUTH BEEN RECOGNISED IN SOUTH SUDAN?

As I noted earlier on, there is nothing celebratory about youth in our legislation. The Constitution is silent and the youth have been pushed to the usual rhetoric of being leaders of tomorrow. You know what the South Sudanese musician Silver X has stated in his song: ‘-----tomorrow bi tomon de---‘.

The youth have great hopes that in an independent South Sudan, their potentials would be developed however, today, the youth energy has been wasted by the so called ‘elders’ or ‘leaders’.

The majority of conscientious South Sudanese youth has been dumped into state of manipulation.

Instead of developing the youth potentials, the elders are using the youth for:

  • Wars caused by poor foreign policies, dictatorship, selfishness and greed for power.
  • Political maneouvres where the youth have been reduced to singing praises for leaders whose cardinal objective is to enrich themselves while keeping the youth at the dustbin of history.
  • Tribal politics that misuses talents of youth by offering them useless doctrine courted in divisive language of ‘we’ and ‘them’
  • The educated, enlightened and politically conscious youth members are regarded anti-South Sudan, thus have been isolated and with some killed (Isaiah Abraham and others).
  • They are made to live in poverty and mere fit to be incited to engage in hopeless tribal games such as cattle raiding and tribally incited conflicts to protect the few who continue to loot the nation.
  • The youth members despite the skills and education they have acquired yet majority of the youth remains dangling in garbage of unemployment.

The situation in which the youth members are living today in South Sudan remains regrettably unacceptable given the efforts the youth have done to bring South Sudan independence through their blood.

The world would not come to an end if a youth member becomes a president of South Sudan today, or a Minister of Education, or Justice or head of Anti-Corruption or Human Rights Commission or Speaker of Parliament etc. In any case, most of the educated youth members have what it takes in understanding the modern world than the so called ‘elders’ most of whom does not read much information about South Sudan leave alone the affairs of the world that dog the dispensations of the 21st century. The irony or the paradoxical narratives are self-explanatory and cannot be emphasised.

Despite all these loopholes in the national policies towards youth, it is no point to lose hope in utilising the youth potentials in ensuring free, peaceful and reconciled South Sudan. We must thus ask a question:

WHAT ROLE CAN YOUTH PLAY IN PEACEBUILDING IN SOUTH SUDAN?

For purposes of clarity, I need to pose a question:

What is peacebuilding?

Different scholars including former United Nations Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali have defined Peacebuilding as to refer to diverse efforts to prevent conflict or measures to prevent relapsing into more violent situations.

Simply put, peacebuilding is a process that aims at addressing root causes of the conflict and attempts to bring to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence the belligerent parties.

Although the main actor could the government that represents the state yet other non-state actors such as civil society and other community groups which include the youth can play significant role in peacebuilding.

SOUTH SUDAN TODAY:

We must be humble enough to accept that our country today is at a stage of extreme violence, extreme violations of human rights, complete disappearance of rule of law, greed for power heightened by tribalism, greed for quick wealth which has never been worked but obtained at the expense of the public.

All the above evils and more, for avoidance of doubts, are the making of the so called ‘our leaders’ or ‘experienced elders.’ What experience do these guys have? Experienced in violence and increment of tribal hatred? I leave the judgment to you!

As a result, youth members have fallen prey of the political divides and failure of required people’s democratic governance.

I tend to think that the youth cannot go on as mere glorifying recipients or singing choir of this or that oyee! You have been singing this insensitive melody since 2005, what has it brought to youth? Nothing but blood and disunity with incited enmity.

AS WE HOPE FOR PEACE TO COME BACK TO OUR BELOVED COUNTRY, THE YOUTH CAN PLAY SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN PEACEBUILDING AND THE FOLLOWING OF THE YOUTH’S ROLES CANNOT GO UNMENTIONED:

  • Condemning the tendency of the leaders’ refusal of peace in preference of violence.
  • Speaking out against the evils that have thrown South Sudanese to civil war that has turned a brother against brother, sister against sister and led the country into furnace.
  • Protecting human rights of all people including the minority and disadvantaged groups.
  • Rising up in a peaceful manner to challenge any tendency of any leader to defile the constitution and relapse South Sudan to situation of no rule of law and anarchy.
  • Uniting to condemn any use of state power or security apparatus by any leader against any sector South Sudan’s population.
  • Opposing peacefully corruption, tribalism, clique ruling and other evils which are aimed at adoring individual leaders rather than building institutions that serve all nationalities of South Sudan.
  • Advocating for a system of governance that allows peaceful coexistence of a diverse society like South Sudan’s.
  • Getting education especially those who heavens open opportunity to study.
  • Learning basic principles of human rights: dignity of each human person, right to life, personal integrity where youth members refuse to be compromised regardless of their economic status.
  • Standing with the oppressed not on tribal basis.
  • Rising up peacefully to challenge any wrong laws or prevent them from being passed into laws to only be used later to destabilise the country.
  • Learning to understand the grievances of others and devise ways forward on the basis of national interest for all.
  • Opening up to discussion on fears and stereotypes about each other.

CONCLUSION:

Fellow citizens and members of my generation, as we struggle to change a South Sudanese world of organised dictatorship and tribal mindset, it is prudent to remain hopefully focused on what unites than what divides us. We must rise up above the era of personality cult adoration. We must stand up above the tribal sentiments and egocentric approaches to national issues.

If an act of injustice is done to one group, or one rural woman, or a minority group by the tyrants at the realm of power, we must say no and rise up in defence of the oppressed. For certain, violence cannot be our first reaction but our ‘peaceful no’ to injustice should be the response until, like the South African youth, we remain with the last resort.

In order to build South Sudan of hope, peace, unity of purpose in diversity, equality and equitable citizenship, let’s unite to work for peace and never to condone the evil work and plans of our indecisive uncles when their cardinal plans are anchored on the destruction of South Sudan through divide and rule.

We must desist from rhetorical stereotypes of ourselves but embrace our common diversity as a people.

The tendency of generalising   all Dinka as corrupt, arrogant and dictators, or all Nuer being termed  as power greed or warlike or calling a madi or Otuho as coward, or regarding Mundari as backward etc, all must stop,  for they are the names and evils against which South Sudanese sacrificed millions of lives for.

We must claim our rightful place in our society today not the claims of tomorrow. We must be a force to reckon with in quest for free and united nation.

We must be respectful of each other and fight collectively against any common enemy of peace whose objective is to tribally incite the youth that Gatluak, or Monyluak or Oduho or Warnyang etc is nobody. He or she who says so, that is the enemy comrades! Fellow youth, we must build a nation that embraces all of our diversities.

Like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr, we must have an ideal if need be, which we are prepared to die for.

Comrades; may the inspirations of our national heroes such as Joseph Oduho, Dr John Garang de Mabior, Samuel Gai Tut, William Nyuon Bany, William Chuol Deng, Bernardino Mou, Majier Gai, Vicent Kuany Latjor, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Isaiah Abraham and their colleagues guide our conscience and efforts toward building a peaceful, free and democratic South Sudan.

Fellow citizens and friends, no matter the waves and tides which blow us oftentimes, yet we must always pick up ourselves and sail through the roaring waters, for that part of the world called South Sudan, we must always be proud of belonging to.

Let’s unite as young people and challenge anyone among us or elders who do not value our common humanity. We must support those who treat as equal citizens the people of Raja to borders of Gambeila and from Nimule to Renk.

Thank you comrades, God bless you all, God bless South Sudan and with God, we shall overcome.


[1] LLM(University of Pretoria), South Africa, LLB(Hons)(Busoga University), Dip. in Law(Law Development Centre), Dip. in Journalism (International Institute of Business and Media Studies). Uganda. Columbia University’s 2013 Human Rights Advocate and former Co-chair of National Human Rights Forum with the chair of Human Rights Commission. Biel is currently the Executive Director of South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy(SSHURSA),  a nongovernmental human rights organisation monitoring human rights and training general public on human rights, rule of law, constitution, transitional justice and peacebuilding in South Sudan (www.sshursa.org). E-mails: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SSHURSA condemns murder of Journalist Moi Peter Julius

Press Statement: 20 August 2015

August 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) condemns in strong terms possible the killing of New Nation Newspaper Journalist Moi Peter Julius that occurred on 19 August 2015 in Juba, South Sudan. Such act of killing a voice of the people is barbaric and against the very heart of humanity.

On behalf of my colleagues in Human Rights Society and on my own behalf, I send our heartfelt condolences to the family of fallen people’s voice Moi.  We share this deep loss with the family for this is not only a great loss for Moi’s relatives and parents but for the nation and sad day like 5 December 2012 when Isaiah Abraham was gunned down by unknown gunmen whom the state has failed to reveal those killers up to this day.

It is deeply regrettable that the murder of Journalist Moi has come just a few days after President Salva Kiir allegedly said that ‘he would kill journalists’ against his government. These words have been attributed to President Kiir by different sources and to date neither the President nor his press secretary has disputed the allegations. In our view, this was direct incitement to kill journalists indirectly by any person who is willing to implement President’s words.

We call upon President Kiir to always reserve his words on whatever he says especially on issues that are so sensitive to be lamented by his person and such matters including those concerning the lives of individuals or people. As a head of state, his words have very serious consequences which may be negative or positive.

The government should equally explain whether the statements which president Kiir has said could not be imputed on the death of Journalist Moi.

As we mourn journalist Moi, we strongly call upon the government to investigate the death of Journalist Moi and bring perpetrators to justice though several calls have been made to government before and bear no results on similar cases such as the assassination of Isaiah Abraham and disappearance of other persons including engineer John Louis and civil society leaders.

We urge the international community to continue standing with South Sudanese journalist and call upon entire media fraternity to stand together at such trying times. Losing one is a blow to all persons who have humanity at heart and regrettable loss to South Sudan especially such a young man who spoke out for this who could not speak for themselves.

Signed by:

Biel Boutros Biel, Executive Director
SSHURSA

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