Category: Press Releases

Equatoria Diaspora Express Concerns on IGAD-led Khartoum Talks

Press Release, 4/AUG/2018;

Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora express serious concerns about the IGAD-led peace talks on South Sudan being held in Khartoum

The Equatorian community leaders in the Diaspora representing over 30 (thirty) South Sudanese tribes/ethnic groups, are seriously concerned about the direction of IGAD-led peace talks currently underway in Khartoum, Sudan.

The peace talks is characterised by the following:
(1) it is conducted under an environment of threats, and bribery;
(2) it is NOT INCLUSIVE in nature; and
(3) the proposed agreement on governance does not meet the aspiration of the people of South Sudan.

1. The host mediator (Sudan Government) has been accused of having used threats of deporting any party who refused to sign the permanent ceasefire agreement (Khartoum Agreement) from Khartoum to Juba; handing them to their enemy – the Government of South Sudan.
The same threats remains for those who refuse to sign the proposed agreement on governance, which is expected to be signed on the 5th August 2018.
The Equatorian leaders in the Diaspora condemn in the strongest possible terms the approach used by the mediator to force the parties who have genuine concerns not to sign the agreement because they believe it is fundamentally flawed and is unlikely to bring sustainable peace to the country.

2. The proposed Governance Agreement is neither inclusive nor fair. It is the design of the mediators that the proposed agreement benefits President Kiir and Dr Machar thus realising the reunification of SPLM/SPLA. The deal excluded all other opposition groups.
Various versions of the draft agreements produced during the negotiation process maintained the core Entebbe proposal, while the proposals of the opposition parties were ignored or very limited aspects of it were incorporated into the agreement, which did not make any material difference.

3. At its core, the agreement put forward by the mediators maintained the current failed system of government: it rewards corruption; ignores accountability to war crimes and crimes against humanity; and it entrances land occupation/grabbing by maintaining the disproportional share of governance at all levels.
The popular demand for federalism to commence from the start of the transitional period was undermined, while there are moves to legitimise the illegitimate 32 states through a dodgy referendum to be supervised by President Kiir who decreed them in the first place.

4. In conclusion, we are for a genuine, just and a sustainable peace agreement. We therefore call for:

a. Federalism to be instituted from the start of the transitional period. This shall be later enshrined in the permanent constitution.

b. Three regions/provinces as the basis of equitable planning (including resource allocation) and governance with substructures within them that safeguard the interest of all nationalities therein.

c. No threats must be made to any party in the peace negotiation so that any party who is not satisfied with any agreement is free to walk away and not be forced to sign it. The presence of international observers (UN, TROIKA, AU, and IGAD) is needed at the peace talks to ensure transparency and the right environment for negotiation.

d. An inclusive peace process that is mediated by a neutral host. The current mediators are all biased in favour of the Government and they have sought to accommodate Dr Riak with the post of First Vice President. The mediators ignored addressing the root causes of the conflict. A bad agreement is not only short-lived, but it costs lives too. Therefore, a bad agreement is not worth signing.

Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora:

Mr. Federico Vuni,
Chair, Equatoria Community Organisation in the UK
Mr. Juma Piri Piri
President, Federation of Equatoria Community Association in Australia Inc
Mr. Joseph Modi,
President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, Canada (ESSCA-Canada)

For correspondence: Mr. Federico Awi Vuni; Email: federicovuni58@gmail.com

Kiir Government Troops Violate Cease-fire Agreement in W.Bahr el Ghazal Region

PR, AUG/04/2018, SSN;

1. Although the signing of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities and the permanent ceasefire on June 2018, by all woring parties in the Republic of South Sudan, unfortunatly the Kiir Government troops intensified its ofensive in the Western Bahar El Ghazal WBG region and some parts of Equatorian region.

2. The agressions by the government troops in the WBG region raised a serious question about the benefit of the ceasefire agreement and the current peace negotiation in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, for search of lasting peace in the country. One may ask what is the government’s real intention of waging daily attacks on the positions of Lion Forces during on going peace negotaiton?

3. Even before the signing of the perminant ceasefire, the government troops continued to attack the Lion Forces, an ally forces to the SPLA-IO, under the Comand of Dr. Riek Machar Deny. In which the Lion Forces managed several times to defend their positions, repulse the government troops and cause them heavy casualities. It has been documented that:

a. On 15 June 2018 the government troops attacked civilians in the liberated areas, under control of the Lion Forces in both Wadhelel and Baggari.

b. On 23 June 2018 the government troops attacked the Lion Forces positions in both Baggari and Mboro area.
c. On 26 June 2017 an attack by the government troops on civilians in Ongo Baggari and Ngisa, where governemtn troops killed, burned civilian houses, and looted their proparties.
d. On 27 June 2018 and July 6, 2018 the government troops initiated multiple attacks on Lion Forces position in the Ngo Khaki area, where they used heavy artilarlies to chase away Lion Forces, in order to rabe, kill, loot and destroy civilian properties.
e. On 9 June 2018 an attack by government troops in Mboro area, where they killed 3 civilians, including a pastor who has been serving in the local Church. In the same event the government troops arrested two (2) civilians, including Lewis Mabrouk. Currently, the two (2) arrested civilians have been transfared to new National Security building in Wau. And the list of violation by the government continued.

4. The answer to the above question of why the government intensifying its agresssion during the process of peace negotioation is that, by keeping violating the ceasefire agreement the government intent to gain more teritority from local tribes in WBG region.
The government wants to have larger control over the WBG region, in order to deny the local citizens any present, rights and therefore their demands for reform. These unsolicited firing incidents also allow them to push both the Lion Forces and the inhabitans into Central Africa border, in order to grab WBG lands.
We strongly condemn the constant violations of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, and the recent perminant ceasefire agreement signed on 27 June 2018. the Lion forces reserve their rights of self defence.

God bless the people of WBG and the people of South Sudan.

Hon. Dominic Ukelo
Former Governor of Wau State in Opposition and
Member of NLC SPLMA-IO
4 August 2018.

Arrest of Mr. Peter Ajak Biar, human rights activist: Release him NOW

OFPDP (Organization of Former Political Detainees and Prisoners)
South Sudan, 2 August 2018.

PRESS STATEMENT: RELEASE PETER AJAK BIAR NOW

We in the OFPDP learned with profound sadness the arrest of Mr Peter Ajak Biar, a non-violent
human rights activist, on the morning of Saturday 29, July 2018 in Juba while boarding a plane
for Aweil, in South Sudan.

Based on our experience as former detainees, Peter is now being held in a tiny room in solitary
confinement at the National Security Service detention centre at Jebel at the outskirt of Juba.

He is being denied access to his family and relatives as well to a lawyer of his choice.

We call upon President Kiir to immediately order the release of Peter Biar. In doing so he will
underscore the promise he made in June to the Ethiopian Prime Minster, in the presence of Dr
Riek Machar, that he would release all political detainees that month.

By releasing Peter he will also restore confidence in the present peace talks and agreements being undertaken in Khartoum.

We also call upon the President to order the release of the following detainees some of whom
have spent more than three years in detention without trial:

1 Nyero Anthony Kenyi
2 James Lual
3 Ladu James Paul
4 Ayume Peter Dada
5 Yahya Babu
6 Ahmed Abdallah
7 Ochaya Godfrey Severio
8 Tartizio Ociini
9 Peter Abderhaman Sule
10 Gen. Elias Lino
11 Aggrey Idri Ezbon
12 Samuel Luak Dong
13 William Endly
14 James Gadet

On Behalf of OFPDP; (Prof) Leonzio A. Onek

Call for release of detained Yei ex-Gov. Lokonga Moses: CPJ

JUL/30/2018, SSN; Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), call on national security service to release the ex–Yei governor Lokonga Moses from detention.

Tito Anthony, CPJ’s Executive Director, says any detained person has to either be taken to court or released immediately.

The problem is not arresting someone but the problem is illegally detaining someone without a proper court order and denying him access from both his lawyer and his family.

The detention of Hon. Lokonga has nothing to do with national security but it’s all about individuals who are mis-using their constitutional powers to get rid of Lokonga.

The constitution says all persons have the right to free and fair trial in a court of law, therefore he should be given his rights to free trial… that’s if there’s a case against him.

Hon. Lokonga Moses was working for the government since his appointment as a Governor and the fact that today he is removed from his position.

The national security personnel work is not to detain individuals but is to protect the country against external threat and anything that threaten our national security as a nation.

Citizens should be handled by police and arrested by police and be forwarded to the court but not national security arresting citizens.

Any individual in South Sudan or outside is not a threat until the investigation has proven that his or her activities are a threat to the country.

Hon. Lokonga’s family and his lawyer should be allowed to access him and visit him on daily basis.

I call on the current Yei Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Adil Anthony, to take an initiative to meet the national security to discuss the release of Hon. Lokonga Moses.

The government should abstain from this habit of arresting political figures and leaders if there isn’t anything that relates to their term when they were serving in office that they could be investigated and taken to constitutional court.

I urge the judicial service to pay a visit to all detention facilities in the country and order the release of those individuals that will be found to have no proper record and documentation that support their detention.

I call on national security and all organized security organs and military intelligence to not arrest anyone just because of an order from a minister or governor but the need to be the promoters of the law and arrest someone only if he commits a crime and his detention has be an order of the court of law.

Kind regards,

Tito Anthony | Executive Director
Centre for Peace and Justice
Head Office: Nakedde Road, Nsambya, Kampala – Uganda
Mobile / WhatsApp: +256705148269
Email Address: tito@centrepeacejustice.org | Skype: tito.anthony98 | Twitter : @CPJjuba
Web: https://www.centrepeacejustice.org | Facebook: Centre for Peace and Justice – “CPJ”
cid:image003.png@01D3D025.01D9BA90

Differences emerge as People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) rejects latest proposal

People’s Democratic Movement (PDM),
July 18, 2018, press@pdm-rss.org, UNITED KINGDOM,

Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance;
Mindful that Sudan Government’s mediation in Khartoum has repeatedly and persistently insisted on presenting its proposal for a bloated government as a purported agreement by all parties on “Outstanding Issues of Governance”, and with Salva Kiir as the President of a proposed revitalized TGONU based on ARCSS 2015, PDM would like to take this opportunity to inform the mediators and the public that:

1. Khartoum mediators proposal for “Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance” is not consistent with SSOA’s position as communicated to the mediators, and the statement issued by SSOA this week, rejects this latest proposal.

2. The proposal does not reflect the position of PDM which calls for adoption of Federal Governance during the transitional period, based on three (3) autonomous regions with their borders of the three provinces of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal as they stood on 1st January 1956.

3. The proposal does not reflect PDM people-centric position for power sharing between three federal regions on 33.33% for each region, and not allocation of power to political elites and their movements by a stroke of a pen.

There now seems to be a communication emanating from the mediation in Kharoum, quoting the Sudan Foreign Minister, Mohammed Eldirdiri, purporting that all the parties to the talks in Khartoum have agreed to their proposal on “Outstanding Issues of Governance.”

This could not be further from the truth and PDM wish to categorically refute this claim. As member of SSOA, neither PDM nor SSOA have reversed their expressed positions on the proposal, and have not endorsed it individually nor collectively as an alliance.

PDM as a member of SSOA has not given consent or authority to SSOA to sign the Khartoum Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance.

The communication from mediators in Khartoum that an agreement has been reached by all the parties is therefore misleading, inaccurate and not being factual.

Any member of SSOA who is so interested to sign the Khartoum Agreement on Outstanding issues should sign it on their own behalf individually and in the name of their own party or organization.

The interim Chair of SSOA, Mr. Gabriel Changson Chang, has no authority of SSOA to sign the Khartoum Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance on behalf of SSOA.

Dr. Hakim Dario
PDM Chair
press@pdm-rss.org

South Sudan community in Britain reject the Entebbe Proposal

Press Release,
South Sudan Communities in the United Kingdom, 13 July 2018;

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on his Independence speech solemnly decelerated his commitment to the New Nation and the world on the 9th July 2011 by the following statement “We have waited 56 years for this day. For many generations, we have been made to suffer, have been bombed, maimed, enslaved, discriminated against and treated worse than a refugee in our own country. Having been at the receiving end of injustice for so many decades, South Sudanese will not be aggressors or trouble makers. Independence is an opportunity for a new beginning of tolerance, love and unity.”

This year marks the 7th year of the independence, and the people of South Sudan have not seen the opportunity Mr. Mayardit vowed to bring. The New Nation instead has suffered a serious setback sliding into a civil war worse than the 20 years of South-North war we came out of.

While we the South Sudan Community in the United Kingdom thank the international community, AU, UN, the Troika (The United States of America, The United Kingdom and Norway) and IGAD for their untiring efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the current devastating conflict in the youngest nation.

Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned of how the mediation is proceeding. It has been reduced to a bilateral negotiation between President Kiir and the ex-Vice President Machar, which undermined the core principle of the HLRF of inclusivity and is simply focusing on power/responsibility sharing and rewarding the warlords and war criminals.

We for the above stated reasons reject the Entebbe Proposal as it is none but a repetition of the so-called IGAD’s Bridging Proposal which was met with overwhelming rejection by all patriotic South Sudanese because it ignores the root causes of the conflict.

We strongly believe that some members of the mediation team are trying to bulldoze an agreement to legitimize the illegitimate, diabolical, ethnocentric, unpopular and failed Kiir’s regime.

We hereby again repeat our call for the mediation responsibility to be passed to the African Union supported by the UN and the Troika.

We also call upon the Troika and international community to review their support to a failing IGAD mediation.

Signed by leaders of South Sudan Communities in UK representing (the Equatoria region more than 30 ethnic/tribal groups), Western Bahr El Ghazal State (Fertit) more than 8 ethnic/tribal groups, and the Shilluk/Chollo Community.

Federico Vuni
Chair
Equatorian Community in the UK

Karlo Kwol Akol
Representative
Chollo (Shilluk) Community in the UK

Peter Gaere
For Western Bahr El Ghazal (Fertit) Community in the UK

For contact: Federico Vuni federicovuni58@gmail.com

IGAD Latest summit bans Machar from ever returning to South Sudan

21/JUNE/2018, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA;
The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 32nd
Extra-Ordinary Summit on 21st June 2018, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government and discussed the situation in the Republic of South Sudan.

The Assembly was attended by Presidents of Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Kiir of South Sudan, of Sudan; and Mr. Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda.

The Summit was also attended by H.E Amb. Mahboub Maalim, the Executive Secretary of IGAD; H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; H.E Festus G. Mogae, the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); H.E Dr. Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan. The opening session was also attended by H.E Hanna Tetteh, Lead Facilitator of the HLRF; the SRSG to South Sudan and Head of UNMISS; the UNSG Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan; the Co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IGAD-IPF); the representatives of the Troika on South Sudan (US, UK, Norway); representatives of the IGAD Plus, and the representative of China.

The opening session was also attended by the Chairperson of SPLM/AIO,
heads/representatives of South Sudan Opposition Alliance, Former Detainees and Other Political Parties.

After considering the report of the Council, IGAD Special Envoy, and
statements made by the Chairperson of JMEC, the representatives of
partner countries and organizations, and considering interventions
made by the Heads of State and Government, the Assembly issued the
following communiqué.

The Assembly:
1. Recalls the mandate entrusted to the IGAD Council of Ministers on
June 12, 2017 at its 31st Extra-Ordinary Session authorizing the
Council “to urgently convene a High Level Revitalization Forum
(HLRF) of the parties to the ARCSS including estranged groups to
discuss concrete measures, to restore permanent ceasefire, to full
implementation of the Peace Agreement and to develop a
revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule
towards democratic election at the end of the Transition Period”;

2. Recalls also the communiqués of the IGAD Council of Ministers
issued since June 2017 on South Sudan and the recommendations
made thereof;

3. Takes note of the statement by the Chairperson of the IGAD
Assembly and the HLRF Progress Report of the IGAD Special Envoy
for South Sudan as well as the statement by the Chairperson of the
Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC);

4. Affirms that the HLRF has been successfully conducted and that it
has been an inclusive process that enabled all Parties to the
Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of
South Sudan (ARCSS), including the estranged groups and other
South Sudanese Stakeholders, Faith-Based Groups, Civil Society
Organizations, women and youth to participate in the process;

5. Welcomes the face-to-face talks held on 20th June 2018 between
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny under the
auspices of the IGAD Chairperson, H.E Dr Abiy Ahmed Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Encourages the two leaders to work together and mobilize the people of South Sudan to end the conflict;

6. Recognizes that as a result of the HLRF process, the Agreement on
the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access (CoHA) was signed by all Parties and Stakeholders on December 21st, 2017. The Summit considers this as an achievement
upon which a Permanent Ceasefire shall be based;

7. Urges all the parties to ensure unimpeded humanitarian corridors
and access, and guarantee safety of humanitarian workers;

8. Commends the South Sudanese Parties and Stakeholders for making significant progress in the revitalization process; and calls upon them to make further compromises and expeditiously conclude the process;

9. Mandates President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to facilitate a second
round of face–to-face discussion between President Salva Kiir
Mayardit and Dr Riek Machar Teny within two weeks to build on the
Addis Ababa face-to-face talks to:

a. discuss and resolve the outstanding issues on governance and security arrangements including measures proposed in the revised Bridging Proposal of the IGAD Council of Ministers; and

b. discuss measures to be taken to rehabilitate the South Sudanese economy through bilateral cooperation between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan.

10. Decides also that H.E Omar Hassan Al-Bashir shall inform H.E
Uhuru Kenyatta the outcome of the discussion between the parties;

11. Decides further that President Uhuru Kenyatta will facilitate a third round of face-to-face discussion between President Salva Kiir
Mayardit and Dr Riek Machar Teny in Nairobi to facilitate the
revitalization process and report the outcome and way forward to the upcoming Ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government;

12. Instructs the IGAD Council of Ministers to give guidance to Special Envoy for South Sudan on the remaining tasks to finalize the IGAD bridging proposal at the sideline of the 33rd African Union Summit to be held in Noukacheut, Mauritania;

13. Decides that the SPLM/A-IO leader H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny be
free to leave the Republic of South Africa to any country of his
choice except the IGAD region; and that he shall be allowed to
enter into and exit from Sudan and Kenya for the duration of the
peace process; also decides to deliberate on his final status at
the upcoming Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly;

14. Condemns in the strongest terms the repeated violations of the
CoHA by the parties as reported by the Ceasefire Transitional
Security Arrangement Mechanism (CTSAMM) and JMEC; Decides that the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of Kenya shall further investigate the violation reports submitted by CTSAMM and JMEC and report to the next Summit the appropriate targeted punitive measures to be taken;

15. Expresses its appreciation to the Chairperson and members of the IGAD Council of Ministers, the Special Envoy for South Sudan, the High-Level Facilitators, the Chairpersons of JMEC and CTSAMM, and the HLRF taskforce for their assistance to the South Sudanese parties and stakeholders in their endeavor to revitalize the ARCSS;

16. Expresses also its appreciation for the steadfast support and
solidarity extended to IGAD by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary General of the United Nations, and calls upon them to continue to stand firmly behind IGAD in the final stages of the revitalization process and its implementation;

17. Expresses further its gratitude to the international community; in particular, the European Union, IGAD Partners Forum, Troika (USA,
UK, Norway) and China for their political support and financial assistance rendered in support of the revitalization process and calls upon them to continue their support in the finalization of the
HLRF process; and urges them to remain seized of the peace process and implementation of its outcome.

18. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Done on the 21st day of June 2018
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Statement by South Sudanese Community Leaders in the UK on IGAD Peace Talks

To:
H.E President Paul Kagame, Chairperson of the African Union
The President, UN Security Council
IGAD-Plus, C/o H.E Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of
Ethiopia
TROIKA (US, UK, and Norway)
H.E. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

05th June 2018
The South Sudanese community leaders in the UK, representing (the Equatoria region more
than 30 ethnic/tribal groups, Western Bahar el Gazal State (Fertit) more than 8 ethnic/tribal
groups and the Shiluk/Chollo) have received the “Bridging Proposal” by IGAD following the
recently concluded phase of High Level Revitalisation Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We express our deepest disappointment of the proposal, as it does not reflect the interest of the people of South Sudan in achieving a just and sustainable peace in the country.

The IGAD’s Bridging Proposal ignored the root causes to the conflict in South Sudan.

After carefully analysing the proposal, we have concluded that IGAD ignored the views of the other parties, which it initially requested them to consult with the people.

To our surprise, the proposal had mainly reflected the views of the Government of South Sudan and it ignored the voice of the suffering people of South Sudan.

Therefore, we call upon the international community and people of goodwill to stand with the
people of South Sudan rather than the Government, which is the cause of the people’s suffering.

The above stated proposal by IGAD, has reinforced the lack of trust we have in its ability to mediate the conflict in South Sudan in order to realise a sustainable peace.

Hence, we call upon IGAD to pass the responsibility for the mediation of the conflict to the African Union, the United Nations and the Troika (The United States of America, The United Kingdom and Norway).

We also call upon the TROIKA and the international community to review its support to IGAD in relation to the peace process in South Sudan.

We request the inclusion of the diaspora in future peace talks, as we feel that our views which
we intent to channel into the peace process were not taken into account.

** Federico Awi Vuni — Chair, Equatorian Community in the UK.

** Karlo Kwol Akol, Representative, Chollo (Shilluk) Community in the UK.

** Peter Gaere, For Western Bahar El Gazal (Fertit) Community in the UK.

For correspondence: Mr. Federico Awi Vuni; Email: federicovuni58@gmail.com

IGAD to take action against violators of cessation of hostilities (COHA)

MAY/22/2018; Statement of the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the Convening of an Extraordinary Session of the Council

The Council of Ministers of IGAD recalls the Communique of its 61st Extraordinary Session held in Addis Ababa on 26 March 2018, whereby it decided to take the necessary measures against violators of the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access Agreement (COHA) signed on 21 December 2017, to halt the conflict in South Sudan.

In this regard, CTSAMM and JMEC have submitted reports concerning the repeated and serious violations of COHA, which calls for urgent and appropriate action against the perpetrators.

Therefore, the Chairperson of the Council has decided to convene an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers to consider the punitive measures that should be taken against violators of the COHA. Furthermore, the Council will consider two more items namely:- the Report of the Chairperson on the shuttle diplomacy undertaken to the Parties in South Sudan in accordance with its Communique of 26 March 2018, as well as the Report of the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan.

22 May 2018

Addis Ababa

With best regards,

Abdullahi Busuri
Program Manager
Information and Documentation Sectiion
phone: +25321312723
mobile: +25377187679
web: www.igad.int

Press Release to Collo people: Your survival under threat

Press Release to Collo people wherever they may be;

Collo people have always been in the frontline in various issues relating to land. Based on the banks of River Nile, Collo bore the brunt of different invaders’ wars starting with the Europeans through to the Turks before Sudan’s independence.

After independence, Collo was instrumental in the two liberation struggles that resulted in the Addis Ababa (1972) and Naivasha (2015) peace agreements respectively.

In spite of being in that difficult/strategic position with limited military power, Collo people have always remained patriotic in defense of the Southern Sudan.

It is with pride and pleasure that we state clearly that Collo people have never betrayed the people of South Sudan nor did they forge any alliance with a foreign force against the South.

However, in spite of the apparently rare bravery and patriotism, Collo people’s reward from the neighboring tribes and their usually dominated governments in the South were conspiracy, betrayal, discrimination, killing, land grabbing etc.

Sadly, Collo people have become weak and divided resulting in their ancestral lands being annexed to Dinka Padang.

Not only that but Collo children have been fighting and killing each other on instructions from outside the tribe. Currently their towns and villages are occupied by other tribes and hostile government troops.

Consequently Collo has become the largest group in displacement and refuge.

The negative impact of these factors is obvious on Collo people wherever they are found. The one-time brave and proud people of Nyikango have now been reduced to anonymous, uncounted and non-respected population.

The tribes who, in the past, used to think hard about how best to approach Collo on important issues, use boastful and sometimes threatening language these days.

Some wise sons and daughters of Collo have seen this deplorable situation their people are living in and decided that a solution should be found soonest.

Collo armed groups are now discussing and indeed have gone a long way in bridging the wide gap between themselves. They are working on how to put the sad past away and look into the future for the benefit and survival of Collo nation.

As said the talks are advancing and are expected to reach a happy deal soon.

Because there are no secrets in this global village in which we live today, this genuine endeavor by Collo forces have reached the ears of the enemies.

This caused them sleepless nights until they came up with a counter measure that they think will abort the peace efforts of Collo groups.

A Dinka-Collo meeting was quickly manufactured and convened in Juba last week. The carton gathering announced total peace between Dinka Padang and Collo people.

This process is no more than a feeble attempt of distraction as peace cannot come when Collo lands remain occupied. Other more serious methods are being employed to keep Collo divided and at conflict with each other.

Yes, a few Collo who are weak in principles, and therefore, do not feel the suffering of their people, will no doubt join these plots and help the enemies in trying to completely destroy our great Collo nation.

These elements are already spreading anti-unity propaganda amongst Collo in Greater Khartoum. However, we trust the bulk of Collo faithful and are warning them to be alert and watchful about the activities and actions of the opportunists in our midst.

We should not allow them the chance to mislead the innocent and the vulnerable ones in our society.

This is one thing all concerned Collo should be doing these days until the enemy realizes that Collo people, how poor they may be, cannot accept to be exploited in any way.

Furthermore, we think it a duty for all credible Collo to support, encourage and pray for the peace effort being exerted by the armed groups mentioned earlier on.

That initiative should be made to succeed by all means. Our survival hinges on it as it is seen as unity of purpose that should be followed to its logical conclusion.

The famous slogan goes as follows: United we stand; divided we fall.

May God Almighty bless the efforts of all those working for the unity and survival of Collo people.

Long live the great Collo people.
Downfall to conspirators and opportunists

Samson Oyay Awin
Chairman,
Collo Community Council, Khartoum
5 April 2018