Phow State Civil Society Organizations
To: All media outlets. In the name of Almighty God, God of Peace and Mercy;
South Sudan embroiled itself into civil war in mid Dec 2013. As a result of that political and armed conflict, thousands of innocent civilians have so far lost their dear lives. Millions others more are already displaced now SUFFERING internally in the country as IDPs and in neighboring countries as Refugees.
We, Phow State’s Civil Society Organization groups, would therefore like to seize this golden opportunity today to express our views and voices on South Sudan current disturbing political situation. We need peace to return to South Sudan!!
It has now been almost five years since January 2014 when IGAD took regional initiative to mediate peace talks first between the two main warring parties in order to bring about peaceful settlement in South Sudan. But all in vain!
Today, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Peace talks between the opposition coalition and Juba government are still ongoing through IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum on ACRISS. We are really optimistic that these latter talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be fruitful. As we call for peace in the country we also urge the region and the world to decisively act on the below narrated issues which in our views are some of obstacles preventing peace from happening. Let’s be brief, precise and straight to the points.
First, Phow State’s Civil Society Groups condemn the following in the strongest terms possible:
1. The acts of South Sudan Peace obstructers and violators who are continuing attacking amidst peace Revitalization e.g. the recent Sobat, Nasir, & Yei River States attacks.
2. The act of Kenya Government who kidnapped and deported James Gatdet, Aggrey Idir, Dong Samuel and Marko Lokidor and then handed them over to South Sudan Government in Juba.
3. Unlawful, tribal and politically-motivated verdict of James Gatdet Dak death sentence announced on Monday 12 of Feb 2018.
4. The meaningless and irrational political confinement of Dr. Riek Machar Teny in South Africa.
Second, we support the regional and International Community in the following:
1. Continuous initiatives to bring about lasting peace to South Sudan through ongoing High Level Revitalization Forum on ACRSS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2. Recent America’s Arms restrictions sanctions, EU and other sanctions on South Sudan government.
3. We support and encourage any other country in the world to do the same.
Third and finally, we the entire population of Phow State Civil Society Organizations demands:
1. The regional and International Community to decisively mount punitive measures on South Sudan Peace obstructors and violators. The world should step up measures to end impunity in South Sudan.
2. Unconditional and immediate Release of Dr. Riek Machar Teny from detention in Pretoria, South Africa. Dr. Machar is an influential popular leader whose presence is badly needed for successful peace process in South Sudan.
3. IGAD to stand up and find out the actual whereabouts of Agrery Idiri, Dong Luak and Marko Lokidor who were arrested and deported back to Juba, South Sudan, by Kenya Government. We want to know whether or not, they are already killed or still alive and in the hands of Nairobi or Juba? We will expect from IGAD an urgent public feedback on this issue or push for those four men immediate release. Phow State alone recently released fifteen (15) prisoners of war to ICRC and then ICRC handed them over to Juba government as stipulated in CoH agreement signed on 21 Dec 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
4. Therefore, on the same token, let the other side or Juba unconditionally release as well from its custody the opposition prisoners of war, those detained or arrested for reasons related to this conflict and all political prisoners including James Gatdet Dak, Mako Lokidor, Dong Samuel and so on and so forth.
5. All parties to the conflicts which are concluding the HLRF second phase in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to immediately agree and sign peace for South Sudanese people.
6. We also call upon the region and UN Security Council to immediately impose Arms Embargo sanctions on South Sudan and on all individuals peace abstractors and violators.
Because peace will to come without imposing arms embargo or individual sanctions on South Sudan to stop unnecessary buying and bringing in of deadly weapons which are being used against the civil population across South Sudan.
Peter Gatkuoth Nuar
Phow State’s Civil Society Organizations
• Troika (United Kingdom, the United States of America and Norway)