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Monday, Nov 24th, 2014

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A militia group carries out targeted killings in Upper Nile; rebels accuse government of ‘complicity’

Addis Ababa, August 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- Early this week, a militia group calling itself Mabanese Defence Forces started ethnically based killings in the oil-rich Upper Nile State. The carnage left at least six people dead.

All the dead were humanitarian aid workers serving the needy people in and around Maban County, Upper Nile State.

At least six targeted killings were carried out on Monday and Tuesday by the militia faction; some employees were ambushed and at least one person was forced out of a car and shot to death by the group, according to humanitarian sources in Upper Nile.

The South Sudan News Agency has confirmed Gabriel Yien Gach as one of those killed. Gach was taken out of his employer’s car and shot to death by members of the Maban-based militia.

Mr. Gach, a Nuer by tribe, was working for the Norwegian aid agency, the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

Meanwhile, the South Sudanese rebels said they are aware of the existence of the Maban militia group which carried out the killings and that they are not surprised, adding that Juba has been training, financing, and arming the Mabanese Defence Forces for months.

“We are aware of the fact that the genocidal regime of Salva Kiir has been training, financing, and arming this group; only [uninformed] South Sudanese will disagree [with our intelligence finding]”, a senior rebel official who prefers anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media told the South Sudan News Agency.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) condemns the killings and raises concern about the operations of aid agencies in Maban County.

“Elements of this militia have been moving around the town, approaching offices of humanitarian organizations and asking if they have any Nuer employees”, the UN said in a press statement.

“Such crimes put the humanitarian operation in Maban at risk, jeopardizing the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children who count on aid organizations for their survival”, Toby Lanzer, the UN humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan Warns.

At least one million people have fled their homes and hundreds of thousands more fled to the neighboring countries, according to the United Nations (UN).

Peace negotiations between the warring factions have been ongoing in the Ethiopian capital—the talks lead to little or no success with fighting still raging.

Memorial of Dr. John Garang: The audacious life and his legacy

“Apart from values and ethics which I have tried to live by, the legacy I would like to leave behind is a very simple one-that I have always stood up for what I consider to be the right thing, and I have tried to be as fair and equitable as I could be.” By Ratan Tata

August 2, 2014 (SSNA) -- Every year we South Sudanese Americans who lives in the US participated in celebrating American national holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and Independence Day. This time, we Twic East community in the states are kindly inviting friends, South Sudanese from all walks of life to attend the Memorial of Dr. John Garang plus recognitions of other sons and daughters of Twic Community who have selfless sacrificed for many years. Few examples are: Akuot Atem, Arok Thon Arok, Bul Khooc, Ajang Duot, Adir Deng, and other citizens of ours. So we are also inviting natives of Twic East, Duk and Bor counties of Jonglei to come and celebrate the Memorial of Dr. Garang in late September.

In marking his memorial history, we will dedicate a tremendous amount of time to tout his audacious legacy, towering achievements, vision for new Sudan which culminated to Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005 that was translated to Independence of South Sudan in 2011 as well. We will also recognize on that day the accomplishment of those officers, men and women who fought bravely for South Sudanese freedom. Their sacrifices and commitment in the battlefields are still standing tall in our memories. We are proud that Dr. John Garang along with his fellow comrades has won the just war of liberation struggle to secure the independence of South Sudan in East Africa.

Therefore, as we are gearing up, preparing for big event; we wanted to inform the general public that we are heading to Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines is a wonderful place to visit, not that only; the Iowa itself is where Dr. John Garang achieved most of his high education goals from Iowa State University. Please just mark on your calendar- we have scheduled the Memorial of Dr. John Garang on September 27-28, 2014. With that in mind, we want you to stay tune and we will make you inform if new information become available.

On behalf of Twic East community in the United States and his team, President Wal Garang would love to welcome you in Des Moines. In his capacity as president of Twic East community in the states, Mr. Garang will send out letters of invitation to various leaders who are leading organizations to attend the celebration with recognition. We hope this message of historic significance will find you in good spirit.

Many thanks and we are looking forward to see you soon in Des Moines, Iowa

Twic East Community-USA:

President Wal Garang
Twiceastcommunity.org
contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SSHURSA condemns attempted assassination on the life of the Alliance’s leader Deng Athuai, Calls for Investigation

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release, 2 August 2014

SSHURSA condemns attempted assassination on the life of the Alliance’s leader Deng Athuai, calls for investiagtions and more protection of human rights defenders in South Sudan

August 2, 2014 (SSNA) -- The South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy (SSHURSA) condemns in strongest terms possible the attempted assassination on the life of Mr. Deng Athuai, the leader of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance who was shot at, on 1 August 2014 in South Sudanese capital; Juba. This is the second time that the life of the Alliance’s leader was put at death point. SSHURSA condemns such a cowardice act as retrogressive and a disturbing reminder of oppression and injustices under the olden days of the successive military regimes of Sudan.

“Though I was shocked and sad when somebody called and informed me about this fateful event on the life of my colleague Deng Athuai, but I was not surprised because I know that the state has been looking for any available opportunity to kill any outspoken civil society leader or human rights defender in South Sudan. So Deng Athuai was one of the first victims of such a darkest plan ’’ Stated Biel Boutros Biel, the Executive Director of SSHURSA and former Secretary General and Spokesperson of the Alliance who fled to exile since December 2013 and now lives in South Africa. Sincerely, one would expect such an act from a regime that does not tolerate divergent views even those constructive ones meant to improve its poor human rights records”. Biel added.

“The attempted assassination on the life of my colleague Deng Athuai can honestly be described in few words that ‘the Juba regime has done it again’. No one should believe that the government this time will ever bring any of its agents to justice. That was how they killed our colleague Isaiah Abraham and to date, no one has been held accountable despite the sanctimonious promises to bring the proclaimed arrested suspects to book; nothing” Biel again stated.

Despite continued failures by the government of South Sudan to bring human rights perpetrators to justice, SSHURSA sees it the state’s responsibility to curb abuses and therefore still calls on the government to immediately investigate the incident on the life of the Alliance’s leader and brings the real suspects to justice. SSHURSA appeals to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir to directly intervene in ensuring the protection of the civil society and human rights defenders in South Sudan.

SSHURSA also calls upon the South Sudan Human Rights Commission, the international community especially the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and other human rights groups to stand in solidarity with the human rights defenders in South Sudan and consistently push on the government to genuinely investigate such shocking incidents on the lives of the few voices who risk speaking out on human rights abuses. Finally, SSHURSA calls on all South Sudanese civil society leaders and human rights defenders wherever they are, to continue doing the good work and remain undeterred by such attempts on their lives. SSHURSA wishes the Alliance’s leader Mr. Deng Athuai quick recovery to continue with the good work.

For contact on this statement: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or about SSHURSA visit: www.sshursa.org.

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