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Malual Community Association in Diaspora Thanks and Congratulates Former Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth

Press Statement
From: Malual Community Association in the U.S., Canada, and Australia
Date: July 1, 2014

July 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Malual Community Association’s Technical Committee, Members, Elders, and its Religious Leaders are here to thank and congratulate Former Ambassador to the United States of America Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth for his bold and courageous decision to join SPLM/A-in Opposition-Resistance movement led by Former VP of f the Government of the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. Ambassador Gatkuoth declared joining the SPLM/A-in Opposition on June 30, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On the day of his declaration to the opposition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stand beside him were two great Generals from Greater Upper Nile, General Chaiyot Manyang Wur and Brigadier General Khor Chuol Giet. This was a historic movement for the Greater Malual Community, Upper Nile, and South Sudanese people in general who have been terrorized and victimized by President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s regime during the wake of South Sudan crisis.

The current crisis in South Sudan which President Salva Kiir himself instigated on December 15, 2013, by attempting to eliminates Dr. Riek Machar and his colleagues from South Sudan’s Political scene, was a lack of political will and a failure of leadership. As a result, it tragically plunged the whole country into state of chaos. By all counts, President Kiir miserably failed the country since he assumed the leadership of SPLM party and right upon by the time he led the self-government which its mandates brought by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 between the government in Khartoum and the SPLM/A. South Sudan gained her independence on July 9, 2011, as a result of overwhelming Referendum vote of 98% by South Sudanese people. The death of charismatic Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, left Salva Kiir Mayardit not knowing what he should do to transform the country politically, economically, and socially. His failure to transform the country as a result, decided to divide the country regionally and ethnically to continue hold on power in a form of a dictatorship.

Ezekiel Gatkuoth was detained for 130 days along with his SPLM Colleagues and Political Leaders, later known as G-11 with the exception of two home arrests and three leaders who escaped and ran for their dear lives. The G-11 and the other 5 members, namely Pagan Amum Okiech, Deng Alor Kuol, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe Ngai, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, Gen. Dr. Majak D’Agoot, Gen. Madut Biar Yel, Gen. Gier Chang Aluong, Governor Chol Tong Mayay, Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, and Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth together with Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Madame Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, Taban Deng Gai, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba and Alfred Lado Gore. The 12 detained were arrested a day after President Kiir ordered his presidential guards commander Marial Chanuong to disarmed Nuer presidential guards in the Tiger Battalion at Gudele Barrack. 

Ambassador Ezekiel Gatkuoth was detained together with his Comrades on December 16th 2013 a day after a false Coup D’état’ was announced by President Kiir, and they were remained in detention until April 24th, 2014. Later on, 7 were released on bail, and the 4 remained in detention were dragged to Kiir’s Kangaroo court, charged with treason and many other charges, all carrying a death sentence as it was announced on South Sudan National TV by the current Government of South Sudan spoke person and Minister of Information Micheal Makuei Lueth. When asked what is going to happen to the arrested? “The charges carrying Life in prison, or a death by hanging” said, minister Lueth.

As we know what we know now, the whole world denounced there was no Coup D’état’ attempted by the SPLM/A leaders. An estimated 10,000 killed in Juba and other affected areas now estimated to be 50,000 killed, and 1.5 million of people internally and externally displaced. The world and the regional leaders have tried their best to restore peace and stability in the country by approaching the two warring parties to come to the table and result their differences. On January 23, 2014, cessation of hostilities was signed. Another document was signed on May 9, 2014 by President Kiir himself and Dr. Machar the leader of the SPLM/A-in opposition. But, President Kiir still expanding the war, attacking opposition positions in a hope that he will get a better deal in the negotiation table. Expanding the war is delaying tactics for Kiir and his regime to continue waging war which he is not going to win militarily. Kiir and his regime thinking that they are waging the war against the SPLM/A-In-Opposition but he is killing innocent civilians who are not interested in his pursued of senseless war.

As a community among South Sudanese Communities, we call on all peace loving South Sudanese communities as a group or individually to take the example that was taken by our Former Ambassador to the United States, Comrade Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth to join brothers and sisters in the SPLM/A-in Opposition and join hands to denounce President Kiir and ask him to step aside and give peace a chance. For question or concern, please contact below contact persons.

Faithfully Submitted,

Malual Community Technical Committee:

Nyith Lul Bukjiok, Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
David Ruei Gatkuoth, Contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Moses H. Deng Lul, Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Daniel Bichiok Dup, Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Kuk Tong Yik Bol, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Ghey Christian Network for Peace & Unity
Joseph W. Khek, GCNPU Chair, Contact: Up on request

Nuer Youths Union in South Sudan: We honor and thank the outgoing head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Ms. Hilde Johnson

Press Release—For Immediate Release!

July 3, 2014 (SSNA) -- As her term end draws closer, just near here around the corner with only hours to go. We, the Nuer Youths Union (NUYU) in South Sudan would like, in this statement, to register our honor, thanks and appreciations to the outgoing UNSG’s special Representative in South Sudan, Hilde (aka Nyatehka) Johnson for the tremendous job well done. This statement will briefly centered on instrumental roles Hilde had played, before and after Independence, undeniably for the betterment of all South Sudanese people and how UNMISS under her impartial leadership saved the lives of Nuer Civilians after 15 Dec, 2013. This is our first farewell press statement in an honor to Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson. Saliently, to start with, Ms. Johnson actively and personally participated in processes led to the former Sudan’s Southern regional Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed on 9 January 2005, in Niavasha, Kenya.

We can brilliantly acknowledge that she, H. Frafjord Johnson in her capacity as Norwegian’s foreign Minister by then, was among the Southern Sudanese’s International—Western Helpers who exerted remarkable efforts on Khartoum in order to negotiate what South Sudanese people wanted. Indeed, she diligently as Norwegian official, in charge of foreign issues and other influential dignitaries from developed countries like UK, France, the US and Canada, had to midwife the CPA.  The today hijacked Republic of South Sudan as well, thereafter had to midwife by the same Western successful politicians including Hidle Johnson. This is memorable good thing Ms. Hilde Johnson had done to South Sudanese as a country. Again, when the UN’s Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon appointed her as his Special Representative in South Sudan on 8 July 2011, she also ethically started nursing the new born child “The Republic of South Sudan”. Ms. Johnson did not just nurse the Child and sat in the office idle.  She speedily, however, embarked on showing the new born Child leaders how  post independent or post—war traumatic obstacles could be purposely avoid.  All these were for South Sudanese people to preserve unity in diversity among different ethnic groups in the country. That is, literally, to mention Ms. Hilde Johnson had been a peace—broker and really done her part in seeing to it that South Sudan after independence become modern and progressive like any other countries in term of styles and peaceful. The UN and her personal advices on how to avoid this unspeakable present chaos could widely be heard in South Sudan.  These above sentences are the significant features which in brief manifested Johnson’s pivotal roles that she had played before and after CPA.  In the post Independent issues either and all those achievements she has been doing all along.

On 15 December 2013 South Sudan embroiled in a deadly political violent which caught our dismay, when it turned against one ethnic group.  The Nuer civilians brutally killed in Juba for an obscure reason.  In that first black days, started on Monday 16 Dec through 17, 18….20th Dec the innocent civilians who were stranded in their houses or just try to hide around unhide able suburbs of Juba city.  Where they were susceptible to death and lost thousands lives as a result of knowing nowhere to go or get safety. Most innocent Nuer elderly, children, women and civilians who lost their lives didn’t actually know where they could get safety in the first week of that indiscriminate conflict.  While those who knew UNMISS compounds had been block by well armed hunters.  How to reach UNMISS camps wasn’t only so difficult but also deadly routes. This is how Nuer could lose over 20,000 people to the national special organized forces. Hence, if there are to be survivors of Nuer civilians the world can see today in Juba UNMISS IDPs camps, Bor, Malakal, Bentiu as well as other areas, must be because of UNMISS, under Hidle Johnson who wasted no time but quickly took responsibility of protecting civilians.  When, Hildle swiftly instructed the UNMISS to open its doors for all civilians, the Nuer, who were being hunted like gazelles in the forest by those murders.

Accordingly, as they were ordered, UNMISS’s conventional forces took up their jobs by protecting vulnerable people. The UN civilians’ vehicles or buses were decisively and responsibly deployed to fetch any vulnerable civilian found stranded in Juba NINE main suburbs and other three states of Greater Upper Nile. In Juba alone within that very short time, over twenty thousand innocent Nuer people increasingly counted to have lost their lives. Therefore, that is why we can say, the survivors now in Juba UNMISS’s IDPs camps and elsewhere are still alive there because of Ms. Hidle Johnson.  For this obvious reason Ms. Hidle Frafjord Johnson has been (nicknamed) given a new name “Nyatehka” by this Union, the Nuer Youth Union (NUYU). “Nyatehka” in English literally translates as a “daughter—girl of peace or a lady whom managed to save the lives of people from what kills them”.  So, the first name, Hidle is changed and famously now known by the Nuer people she saved as Ms. Nyatehka  F.  Johnson. Thus, in any conversations about her, Ms. Johnson, you can hardly now hear them, the Nuer people, saying Hidle F. Johnson.  When referring to Hidle, we say Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson. Moreover, we are calling upon Ms. Frafjord Johnson to accept the new name given to her by our community, the Nuer. Frankly speaking, the NUYU is not all that happy to have Nyatehka Johnson changed as UNMISS mission head/leaves the country by 9 July 2014. It is only because UN is a global body with fixed rules and periodical term limit given; otherwise, NUYU and South Sudanese people would have requested Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s Secretary General to have Ms. Johnson’s term in office renewed as South Sudan UN mission head.  Shockingly, on 17 April in Bor’s UNMISS protection site over three hundreds (300) Nuer civilians in front of the world were murdered and slaughtered by the same organized forces.  We never call that an UNMISS’s total failure to protect vulnerable civilians but we termed it as one of the sitting megalomaniac leader’s circumvents.

In conclusion, we would like once more to reiterate our thanks and appreciations to UN Mission in South Sudan under the successful and impartial leadership of Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson for those splendid achievements.  We can also compliment all UN staffs for their being consistently cooperative to Nuer Civilians under UN protection sites.  Squarely, to the UN military forces battalions and police who have been valiantly protecting our families members, mothers and children in UN bases over the last six and half months, across the country. We also want, gladly, to extract from the bottom of our hearts, endless appreciations to reach all UN humanitarian Agencies and International Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) for having been relentlessly helping our community in relieving it from horrific situations of deadly diseases and starvation. We counted all these successes on Ms. Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson’s tenure in UNMISS’s top Office worth remain mandated if..!. We wish peace had returned to the country earlier, months ago, for we, the Nuer Youth Union (NUYU) would organize national farewell celebrations in an honor to the UNMISS’s outgoing Chief, H: E Ms.Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson in the National flat form.  Anyway, Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson can stay blessed!

Thank you very much.

Long Live Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan!
Long Live Ms. Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson!!
Long Live the UN Mission Leadership in the Republic of South Sudan!
Long Live Nuer Youth Union (NUYU)!

For contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth's Statement for Joining SPLM-in Opposition

Press Statement
June 30, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Addis Ababa, June 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudan became Independent on the 9th of July 2011. Millions of the people of the Republic of South Sudan and well-wishers celebrated the birth of the new nation. I was blessed to have witnessed both the hoisting of the flag in South Sudan (July 9th 2011) and in the United Nations Head Quarters in New York (July 14th 2011). This well earned sacrosanct Independence of the South Sudan was through millions of heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for a just cause in 1955 to 1972, the war of the Anya Nya One, 1975 to 1983, the war of Anya Nya Two and 1983 to 2005, the war of SPLM/A.

December 15th 2013 will always be in the history of the new nation as the darkest spot. The President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit dragged the new nation into a war by recruiting, arming, and directing the Presidential Unit (Tiger Battalion), mainly from his home area, to disarm the Nuer component of the unit.  I am innocent. I have never, or any of my colleagues in anyway ever plotted a coup to overthrow Salva Kiir government. The war broke out and Kiir directed his part of the unit to slaughter the Nuer in the unit and around Juba. This move triggered the current war imposed on all of us starting with his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, whom Kiir wanted to assassinate. Former VP Dr. Riek Machar Teny ran for his life and all the G11 were detained using a false accusation such as an attempted coup d'etat. This false alleged coup triggered the massacre in Juba, and subsequently many innocent lives lost in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and many places. My dear people the Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, and many other innocent lives from other communities were lost because of this senseless war. My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

To set the record straight, we the December 6th 2013 Political Leaders (G11), namely Pagan Amum Okiech, Deng Alor Kuol, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe Ngai, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, Gen. Dr. Majak D’Agoot, Gen. Madut Biar Yel, Gen. Gier Chang Aluong, Governor Chol Tong Mayay, Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, and Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth together with Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Madame Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, Taban Deng Gai, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba and Alfred Lado Gore - who had a press conference in Juba were and are united on the issues of “critical reforms” in the SPLM and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan using peaceful means. It was President Kiir who introduced violence into this   in -house SPLM Political struggle. The war, which was imposed on all of us by Kiir, separated the group on the fateful night of December 15th 2013. The G11 (former detainees) were detained, and Dr. Riek Machar Teny and others escaped and ran for their dear lives. Because of the imposed war by Kiir, Dr. Riek and his group waged a war of resistance for survival. All of the mentioned leaders above the  “reformists group” will continue to work together to end this imposed war peacefully.

I was detained with my Comrades on December 16th 2013 until April 24th 2014 and we were taken to court, charged with treason and many other charges, all carrying a death sentence. I have spent 130 days in prison. This ordeal of solitary confinement led me not to be bitter toward anybody but to think through and increased my resolve to work for a new beginning in South Sudan.

The new beginning is a new South Sudan where I would want to see “ the war to stop, and have a South Sudan free from ethnic politics and embrace all the critical reforms including institutionalization of a federal system  ”. This South Sudan will only come if “a new leadership emerges, peace with justice and accountability is realized, genuine reconciliation is launched, development to affected areas is implemented and a federal system (where resources are devolved to states and local levels instead of concentrating the resources to the Central government) is achieved”. This is going to realize the dream of our Late Leader and Hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior, which stated “taking towns to villages”.

Now I have decided to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army under the Leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the SPLM and Commander In Chief of the SPLA, and work for peace and reaffirming my commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict as it was stated by the agreement of May 9th 2014 by the two Principals which says “no military solution to the current conflict in South Sudan”. The war has devastated and divided our communities. The healing and reconciliation is needed within our communities. Other countries such as Rwanda went through genocide like South Sudan and they reconciled and I am sure we will reconcile as communities.

I am sure the best way for South Sudan to heal and come together we must reach out. Changing the nature of the State and political dialogue requires major change in attitude and changes in political leadership. One has to relate to the region and to the rest of the world. We are not living on an island – as such we have to reach out to our neighbors and our friends in other parts of the world – from America to Norway to China and India.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Rachel Nyahok Gatkuoth, kids (Duop, Nyamal and Nyewech), my entire family, best friends and well wishers, regional leaders, international community leaders and the entire leadership of the SPLM/A for standing with me and working for my release during my ordeal in Prison where I was basically on “death row”.

Thank you and God bless South Sudan, Africa and the world.

Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Former Ambassador to USA/UN, Former Detainees (the last 4) and Member of the SPLM National Liberation Council.

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