By Mekonen Tefere
Addis Ababa, May 5, 2015 (SSNA) -- Peace Ambassador Gatwech Koak Nyuon who was speaking at special invitation from one of the Ethiopian Church on Sunday, May 3, 15, told the Ethiopian congregations that he is very worried about the refugees’ status who are currently residing in Lietchuor Camp near Gambella, Ethiopia. He mentioned that the current manmade crisis in South Sudan victimized elderly people, women and children in particular.
“Elderly people, women and children did not choose to come to Refugee Camps but were directly forced by a manmade calamity and fled the war for their safety. Therefore, warring factions must refrain from attacking each other’s and focus on finding a solution on the table,” Gatwech said.
Eye Radio quoted US Secretary of State in an interview in Kenyan Capital Nairobi on Monday, May 4, 15. “In very practical terms, I announce today that we are putting five million dollars into the effort to develop a justice and accountability system for what is happening in South Sudan,” said Kerry.
Opposition Military Leadership claims that they have been closely monitoring the Government’s forces matching toward Jonglie State in order to attack Greater Akobo of Lou Nuer with target assault on Yuai and Akobo Counties.
Peace Ambassador Gatwech warns the warring factions to respect Humanitarian Laws, civilians and NGOs’ vicinity from any attack.
“NGOs are independent entities which support neither party in this crisis, you must respect them!” He added that innocent civilians should not be targeted because who ever win this senseless war either by bullets or peace would still need civilians to stand with him. Gatwech directly referring to both President Salva Kiir and Machar whose forces had been fighting since December 2013.
The report published by some media last week stated that the host communities in Lietchuor are cautious or not in favor for refugees to be relocated from Lietchuor to Jewi, just 18kms away from Gambella Town. The refusal by host community is connected with benefit.
Peace Ambassador appreciated the roles played by Ethiopian Government and UN for protection and assistance they have been providing to the refugees. He dismissed that host community has nothing to do with refugees’ affairs and insisted that the UN is tirelessly working on survey to set the new Camp before the relocation kick-off. Therefore refugees need to be happy for the new home.
“We are in a very bad situation, we need to be relocated to any dry place, and we don’t need to be in a wet Camp like last year.” A Junior School’s Teacher said on the phone from Lietchuor.
Martha Nyamach Gatluak who is pregnant said that she is worried because the very first rain that rained on May 2, 2015 had destroyed her tents.
“During the rain, there was water all over my tent.” She said.
Two days ago Peace Ambassador wrote on his social media, stated “UN should start relocating refugees who are currently in Lietchuor to Jewi as planned since the refugees are nearly to flood soon.” He further added that it’s good to rain in South Sudan for citizens to start planting some crops and it’s also good for civilians’ vicinity to be mud so that warring factions have difficulty to attack each other’s.
Many refugees give-up and declare that if the UN will not relocate them to another place they would rather surrender themselves to the enemy back in South Sudan.
Meanwhile Peace Ambassador urged the warring faction to consider the negotiation as the best option for the sake of innocent citizens who are facing the cultural shock, diseases and trauma in the Camps. He appeals to the IGAD, TRIOKA and other blocks to push for peace so that civilians are saved from death.
Gatwech also extended his condolences message on recent killing of Ethiopians by ISIS in Libya and Yemen as well as xenophobia of South Africans on Ethiopian brothers last weeks.
“I ask your kindness to accept my deep condolences on our innocent brothers and sisters who had been directly targeted by enemy of peace in Libya, Yemen and South Africa. For you are the cornerstone of Africa…I recommend that you remain united as true Africans and fight the enemy of peace together with peace lovers.” Gatwech added that he is so pleased for Ethiopian culture for they are fearful to Heavenly God.