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
Collo Community Council, Khartoum
5 April 2018