Hopelessness in Juba camps as South Sudan marks two years of brutal war

Daily Nation: DEC/16/2015, SSN;

In Summary
*Two years later after civil war broke out in South Sudan more than 185,000 people are still sheltering inside UN camps across the country, still too frightened to leave.
*In Juba, many of those in the camps are from the country’s second biggest ethnic group, the Nuer, who were among the first to be targeted as troops loyal to President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, fought it out with those allied to his ousted deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer.
*UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month warned that the broken ceasefire and failure to meet deadlines cast doubt on the parties’ commitment to the peace process.
*An African Union report – which listed a string of abuses, including forced cannibalism and dismemberment – gave little credence to Kiir’s claim that the war was a coup plot, and included testimony that ethnic violence had been planned.

They came for a night fleeing fighting, hammering on the gates of the United Nations base as gunmen rampaged through South Sudan’s capital killing and looting.

Two years later, more than 185,000 people are sheltering inside UN camps across the country, still too frightened to leave.

“There is no freedom,” said Bong Kubuong, 39, a father of three and one of the 27,000 people living inside two camps in Juba, miserable but safe from a war marked by atrocities, including ethnic massacres, gang rapes and accusations of forced cannibalism.

“We stay here with the hope that one day things will change,” he said, describing how he spends days walking in circles around the camp fence.

“You can stroll around within the camp parameter but without getting out because you can be killed.”

ETHNIC VIOLENCE

In Juba, many of those in the camps are from the country’s second biggest ethnic group, the Nuer, who were among the first to be targeted as troops loyal to President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, fought it out with those allied to his ousted deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer.

“They were looking from door to door and when they found you are a Nuer, they would kill you,” said Deng Diang Chuol, sitting in the crowded camp in Juba, remembering how the war began on December 15, 2013.

Officially there is peace after an August deal – at least the eighth ceasefire agreed upon.

But fighting and active recruitment of armies of child soldiers continues.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month warned that the broken ceasefire and failure to meet deadlines cast doubt on the parties’ commitment to the peace process.

Both sides are accused of having perpetrated ethnic massacres, recruited and killed children and carried out widespread rape, torture and displacement of populations to “cleanse” areas of their opponents.

“By this time, we expected to be out of the camp but we cannot do that because we are afraid,” said 37-year-old Chuol who lives in the camp with his son.

“Our hopes are slim. This is a peace agreement on paper. There is no indication of implementation.”

LACK OF POLITICAL WILL

The army and rebels have repeatedly accused each other of breaking the internationally-brokered ceasefire, and the key deadline last month for Machar to return to Juba was missed.

“What has been put down on paper can only be a reality when leaders show political will to implement the deal and stop subjecting innocent South Sudanese to suffering,” said Edmund Yakani, a Juba activist.

Some estimate that 50,000 have been killed, including reports of children tossed into fires, but no record has been kept.

Civil war began when Kiir accused Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the poverty-stricken country along ethnic lines.

An African Union report – which listed a string of abuses, including forced cannibalism and dismemberment – gave little credence to Kiir’s claim that the war was a coup plot, and included testimony that ethnic violence had been planned.

About 2.3 million people have since fled their homes. END

5 Comments

  1. Beek says:

    Why hopelessness while they are brave Nuer who never fear like GunsDeng.

  2. wau nar says:

    yes yes yes that is correct accountability must be there.

  3. Gatdarwich says:

    Beek and Wau Nar,

    The mightiest NaathNation in the UNMISS camps are recuperating and will and shall boldly marched out when time permits.

  4. Francis mangok says:

    Dear South Sudanese,

    God is preparing the 3 brothers kingdom, but one of these 3 brother is going to lost a person who delay the kingdom to come in South Sudan. These 3 brothers are decendant of Cush kingdom. Praise our God in heaven, the God of Cush Kingdom.Thank you and God bless South Sudan.

  5. Amum Machar says:

    Did Taban Deng go to Juba for peace or damage the existing relationships, elimination against the lives coextends of his neighboring Padang Jieeng who have had been facing the unbearable human suffering, disaster?

    By: Amum de Machar U.S.A, Jan / 13/2016/ SSN;

    Taban Deng’s first speech as well ignorance of President Kiir on the Padang many major issues might take new nation to complains, doubts, scrutiny of old scares, social conflicts, war again with its neighboring communities. As Padang know other groups didn’t formed rebellion to occupied lands, and to let his Nuer brothers and Shulluk to be used against them, or create the greater mistrust between President’s administration and Dr. Riek’s rebellion for changes that Bor needed and the country is now facing! According to Taban Deng’s first address speech in Juba after 21 months in exile witnessed the frustrations and regrets! It is obvious that it has furious Padang Jieeng communities to the point that they wanted some solutions regarding all the burning issues raised, and the President’s to tended turned requests to dish during IGAD peace partners and before? Currently, the community and its leaders have condemned the speech in angry tone, and any move or plans against the will, controlling Jieeng Dinka of Padang lives is intimidation of peace agreement, security that partners have struggled to bring back. In addition, it would be considered as out of South Sudan laws, and will always be a violation of human rights, sharing of power in national unity government and others equal of opportunities. There are greater evidences that demonstrated negligence of offering higher positions for Padang Jieeng officials in Kiir administration! This is a indication considered by others groups as lack of education and political experiences, a issues that Padang leaders will continues to evaluate and address for attention. With Padang strengths, commitment, confidents and love for the country’s stability peace and harmony as well as sharing of resources and equal of opportunities, such speech and ignorance of President truly raised fears, mistrust on the peace! It raised major concerned and doubts on the sides of Padang Jieeng supporting country’s stability. Even though, everything about peace is being signed without any involvement of some legitimate members of Padang Jieeng, Padang hold its breath and hope for peace to come for all Southerners Sudanese ‘ hearts so that the world witness again that country can and will always handle its crisis with the trust of its people and loving peace partners. However, the fundamental question where ambiguous and leaders predominates without the hearts of recognizing the intrest of other groups, it appears that there are three great deal areas of differences between the SPLM party, SPLAIO, and President’s supporters whether Padang Jieeng is going to remained loyal to the main stream or keep silence, give three biggest elephants and the party green light because they have been too honest to support a chance to implement peace, restore security and move rapidly to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, maintained label of trust, renew the solidarity among southerners, move forward with clear one vision while building up the required relationship and collaborations as well unity and cooperation to empower new nation its strong economics.

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