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General Peter Gatdet Warns Juba, Says he is Fighting for Freedom

Bor, December 22, 2013 (SSNA) -- South Sudan’s General Peter Gatdet Yak who recently announced his rebellion against the government, says his decision to fight against Juba is the right choice. 

The defected powerful General controls Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.

“I want South Sudanese to know that my force is not rebel. I am fighting for the freedom of the people of South Sudan under the dictatorial leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s Warrap Bandits, who fight on tribal bases”, General Peter Gatdet said in a telephone interview.

The reference to Warrap by Gen. Gatdet indicates that he is linking presidential guards who killed innocent civilians in Juba to Warrap State—a state where Salva Kiir comes from.

“If Kiir wants to attack my forces, let him do it, but, I assure you he [Kiir] will regret and not only that, he will get a lesson of a life time”, Gatdet warns.

Gen. Gadet said that Salva Kiir had arrested Key SPLM Leadership elements in the Capital Juba, and destroyed their houses and murdering innocent Nuer people just because they are from the Nuer ethnic group. He says his force is basically fighting to protect the mission and vision of the country’s main stream party SPLM that signed the 2005 lasting peace with Khartoum government which brought about freedom to the people of the new nation. Gatdet also questions Kiir’s leadership in many ways.

“A leader who doesn’t tolerate serious challenges within the leadership is not a leader but tyrant. You don’t kill people on tribal lines and at the same time claim to be a leader for all people”, says the General.

Political differences within the South Sudan’s ruling party, the SPLM, have been going on since 2012 and shrunken in July this year.

Most senior members of the SPLM disagree with Kiir’s rule saying the party’s chairman abandons the principles of the party.

On December 14, senior party members pulled out of meeting of the National Liberation Council (NLC), labeling the process as “undemocratic”.

“Salva kiir arrested his ruling party colleagues for no reason at all. The only cause he arrested them is because he wants to rule South Sudan without anyone challenging him, he [Kiir] also killed Nuer simply because they are Nuer”, Gen. Gatdet added.

General Peter Gatdet also said that the community of nations will now understand what exactly Kiir stands for.

'”The international community and the Human Rights advocates will now understand that Salva Kiir has been and continues to be behind the killing[s] of innocent civilians including those cases in Jonglei State”, Gen. Gatdet said.

General Peter Gatdet also condemns the Uganda’s authority for bombing his forces and declines to give further statement in regards to the bombing carried out by the Ugandan government. But, warns that “any mercenary who is willing to back up Kiir will be dealt with and crashed very badly—a direct reference to the Ugandan president’s military support to Kiir.

Fighting broke out in Juba on December 15 after disagreement between units of presidential guards, but Kiir claims that a “coup” was ordered by his political rivals.

The Way Forward to Peaceful Settlement in the Current Situation in South Sudan

To: Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
United Nations, New York, NY 10017

December 21, 2013

Re: The way forward to peaceful settlement in the current situation in South Sudan

December 21, 2013 (SSNA) -- We, the concerned citizens of the Republic of South Sudan in the United States, have been moved by the discouraging and unfolding development in Juba, South Sudan. The current war in South Sudan is not a military coup per se but a problem triggered by the disarmament of Nuer ethnic group within the Presidential Republican Guards. As concerned citizens in the Diaspora, we have presented the following points as the way forward to a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

1. In order to give cordial space for peaceful negotiation, the two sides in the conflict must cease hostility immediately and stop beating drums of war.

2. All the political detainees must be released and be handed over to a neutral organization such African Union for their safety. Meanwhile these political detainees are under the government’s detention in unknown locations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) should be allowed to assess their safety and health; this will then be a testimony to the public that the detainees are well kept and protected.

3. We urge the international community such as UN, EU, AU, IGAD, the Arab League and Human Rights agencies to act decisively and empower the neutral governments to mediate the warring parties and find a long-term solution to the senseless conflict.

4. Although the president of the Republic of Uganda president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is the current chair of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), he is illegitimate negotiator because he has already opted to take side. Museveni’s biasness to the conflict discredits him to be a key player in the peace negotiation between president Salva Kiir and his rival former VP Dr Riek Machar.

5. Organized crimes have been committed against Nuer ethnic group in Juba. We, the concerned citizens, have disputed the government’s estimation that only 500 people were killed. It is a baseless and misleading assumption that is contrary to the facts on the ground. The exact figure is twice the provided number of unarmed civilians killed in Juba as the result of selective killing by presidential security unit. We would like to inform the World that more civilians have been killed and the killing is still taking place as we are writing this statement.

6. We, the concerned citizens, are calling upon the United Nations to evacuate civilians trapped in the UN compound in Juba, airlift them to their respective states or anywhere that is safer for them. Even though the United Nations Missions in South Sudan (UNMISS) is doing a good job by protecting the civil population in its compound, their lives still under imminent threat.

7. Once again, we call upon the peace loving nations and well wishers globally not to turn blind eye on current situation in South Sudan, and as a reminder, the international community failure to act in 1994 Rwanda genocide should not be allowed to repeat itself in the Republic of South Sudan.

=============================End======================

Contact:

Riek Gach Gatluak - (615) 491 0294
Pal Gatkuoth Deng - (507) 467 8974
Gatluak Pal Chuol - (507) 476 8192

CC:

Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Chairman of African Union (AU).

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
 
U.S State Department 2401 E. Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20522-0112
 
International Committee of the Red Cross
Address: 19 Avenue de la paix CH 1202 Geneva
 
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Union
EU Headquarters
European Union
Rue de la Loi 130, 1049
City of Brussels, Belgium
Phone Number: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11

Massacre of Nuer Civilians at the Hands of President Kiir’s Militia

Press Release for immediate publication

Arizona, December 21, 2013 (SSNA) -- We the sons and daughters of the Nuer community in Arizona, denounce in the strongest terms possible, the recent ongoing massacre of the Nuer civilians in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, in the aftermath of the recent military clashes that have ensued on the night of December 15, 2013. We believe that President Salva Kiir’s press announcement that the recent fighting among his Presidential Guards was an attempted coup, and his blaming of it on soldiers loyal to his former V.P., Dr. Riek Machar coupled with his utterances of a divisive and inflammatory rhetoric as well as his immediate declaration of curfew in the town and his unleashing of his tribal militia army to the streets, wreaking havoc in the town; killing and looting neighborhoods, have set the stage for a grisly massacre of helpless unarmed Nuer civilians in Juba.

According to reliable sources, a group of mainly Dinka soldiers from the Presidential Guards who are dubbed ‘the president’s tribal militia,’[for having been formed by the president himself exclusively from his Dinka tribe; without the knowledge and approval of the top army echelons] took advantage of the fighting in Juba, in what appeared to have been a well-orchestrated plan to settle old political and ethnic scores in the murky political environment in South Sudan, and began a door-to-door mopping operations in which they have engaged on a clear targeted-killings of Nuer residents of the town.

This militia army went on a witch hunt of unarmed Nuer civilians in their homes and they have summarily executed many children and women as well as men in cold blood simply because they happen to be from the Nuer tribe. These troops’ modus operandi was to enter a house and ask its occupants if they are Nuer upon which they shoot them on the spot. As a result, many Nuer families have lost their dear ones in this heinous killing. According to some eye witnesses accounts, some Nuer men were ran over by tanks and there were instances in which tanks were rolled on houses reducing them to rubbles and killing innocent lives.

We believe that this systematic massacre of Nuer civilians in Juba were being committed under orders and directions of the President himself since his militia army operates under his direct command. These wanton killings of unarmed Nuer civilians began on the 15th of December 2013 and are continuing unabated until today. Contrary to Government figures, It’s believed that the death toll from this ethnic cleansing have reached thousands of deaths. Those Nuer civilians who have escaped the wrath of death by this marauding Dinka militia, fled to the U.N. compound in Juba for safety; brazing harsh climatic conditions with hardly any provision of basic services such as water and food. In this juncture, we call on the UNMISS to ensure it implement its mandate to protect civilians in Juba and other flashpoint areas in the country.

In the light of the above mentioned facts and atrocities committed against innocent unarmed Nuers in Juba, we the concerned sons and daughters of the Nuer community in Arizona, hold president Kiir responsible for the gruesome acts of murder of our kith and kin in the aftermath of the fabricated coup attempt; in the hands of his tribal militia army. We believe that the president have clearly failed to show leadership by sanctioning and condoning such criminal and barbaric acts towards the Nuer civilians. Therefore, we request that the president be held responsible and to stand trial for his crimes of inciting and perpetuating violence and for crimes against humanity including sponsoring of ethnic cleansing through state machinery against innocent unarmed Nuer civilians.

Due to the lack of competent and creditable court system in South Sudan, we urge the United Nations Security Council, the EU, the AU, and the U.S. Govt. and Britain, to exert efforts to bring President Salva Kiir to trial in a neutral country preferably in the International Criminal Court [ICC] based in Hague.

We appeal to all the people of good will and all the friendly nations of the world as well as all the human rights organizations, to exert their efforts to ensure that president Kiir is brought to justice and to answer for his crimes.

President Kiir has failed to bring peace and democracy and good governance to the country and above all he has failed to unite the country as evidenced in his recent dictatorial tendencies. Therefore, we urge the U.N., EU, AU, and the U.S. and Britain, to bring pressure to bear on president kiir to resign from power in order to return the country back to normalcy, and for South Sudan to establish rule of law and democracy through transparent and fair elections.

Signed by: Nuer Community in Arizona

Cc:

The White House
UN General Secretary
US Senator John McCain
The European Union
The African Union
The International Criminal Court of Justice
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
International Crisis Group
World Media Houses

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