The South Sudan Army (SPLA) Offensive in the Shilluk Kingdom amounts to War Crimes & Crimes against Humanity

Petition from Concerned Members of Chollo Community in the Diaspora

February 13, 2017

Mr. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General

We the undersigned concerned members of the Shilluk (Chollo) community in the Diaspora strongly condemn the Government of South Sudan for its deliberate attacks on civilians, hospitals and clinics, and camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Wau Shilluk, Kodok and Kuek of Upper Nile State in South Sudan.

In these recent attacks, the government of South Sudan and its foreign mercenary fighters occupied these towns, and deliberately targeted Chollo civilians and executed many simply because of their ethnicity.

We strongly condemn these wanton killings of innocent civilians whether they are taking place in the Chollo Kingdom or anywhere in South Sudan.

These ethnically-motivated killings by the Government of South Sudan has forced thousands of Chollo civilians to flee their homes in Wau Shilluk, Lelo, Detang, Bukieny, Pamath Owachi, Tonga, Panyikang, Kodok and Kuek.

The South Sudan tribal army (SPLA) along with its hired mercenaries has engaged in activities which have, at the very least, been bordering on genocide of a magnitude comparable to Rwanda and Srebrenica.

They have committed widespread ethnic cleansing of Chollo civilians and burned down their villages by perpetrating a deliberate and indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians, hospitals, clinics and camps inhabited by IDPs.

These actions are barbarous violations of International Humanitarian Law and are being carried out against the backdrop of stark warnings by numerous organizations, including the UN, of a looming genocide.

We therefore strongly urge the International Community to intervene immediately by launching an investigation and holding the government of South Sudan and its foreign military allies in this war accountable for their continuous mass atrocities committed in Shilluk land against innocent civilians.

We would like to appeal to humanitarian relief agencies to provide urgent medical aid to those innocent Chollo civilians all across the Shilluk Kingdom of Upper Nile states, who are in desperate need of humanitarian aid especially in and around the town of Kodhok.

Our sources have confirmed that Kodhok, which shelters thousands of IDPs was the latest target of Juba’s continuous indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment.

Humanitarian organizations are being prevented from reaching helpless and defenceless civilian populations so that they can provide much needed food and medicine.

Thousands of men, women and children are being murdered daily. And when they’re not being murdered, they are starving to death. The conditions of Chollo civilians who were forced out of different areas as a result of Juba’s scorched-earth campaign are horrible.

We are calling upon the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to condemn this criminal act by the Government of South Sudan and to stop the targeting of civilians and allow them to have access to humanitarian reliefs.

We urge the UN and the Human Rights Council to investigate this matter and to record all violations of International Human Rights Law, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed by the South Sudan Government against Chollo civilians in Upper Nile State to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.

The UNSC should impose targeted sanctions on South Sudanese officials who are involved in the war crimes and other gross crimes. South Sudan Government’s shelling and aerial bombardments of Chollo civilians using barrel bombs are crimes against humanity.

We, the Concerned members of the Chollo Community in the Diaspora appeal to IGAD, AU, US, UK, NORWAY, European Union and the international community at large to exert high-level political pressure on the South Sudanese government to force it to permanently stop the violence and bring peace to the region. We respectfully call upon the UN Security Council and the international community to do the following:

1. Condemn the crimes against humanity committed by the Government of South Sudan and its mercenaries who are bombing innocent Chollo civilians in Upper Nile State.

2. Provide protection and humanitarian aid for those civilians who are displaced and wounded.

3. Establish a no-fly zone in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan to prevent indiscriminate shelling and bombing of civilians in the Chollo Kingdom.

4. Bring to justice those perpetrators responsible for the deliberate killing and targeting of civilians.

5. Support efforts to bring about conflict resolution and peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict and firmly enforce the outcome for an enduring peace in South Sudan.

Thank you for hearing us out.

Yours Sincerely,

Signed by Concerned Members of Chollo Community in the Diaspora

1. George Akuey-USA
2. Peter Karol-USA
3. Jwothab Othow-USA
4. John Ojur Dennis – Malaysia
5. Paul Achot – UK
6. Paulo Kwajakwan – Australia
7. Shan Aba Nyakwol-USA
8. Omai Othow Dewin-USA
9. Yusus Ayuol Nawi-USA
10. Vivian Nyidhok- UK
11. Lucia Peter –USA
12. Chayo Nyawello- Canada
13. Aban Obwony-USA
14. Suzan Achol Joseph – UK
15. Ayul Michael – UK
16. Samuel Nyikang Adwok – Spain
17. Jeibeni Nyajwok- Canada
18. Catharine Yomon-USA
19. Kimàjowk Patrick Chol- Canada
20. Sabino Diok-Canada
21. William Lual-Canada
22. Kristina Peter Pagan- Canada
23. Phillip Deng – Canada
24. Ana James Aban-Canada
25. Domanic Ding-Canada
26. Linda Akoj-Canada
27. Micheal Dak- Canada
28. Samuel Otong-Canada
29. Cecilia Adong-Canada
30. Gano Laa-Canada
31. Konyajwok James-Canada
32. Nasir George-Canada
33. Simon Pagan Ajak-Sweden
34. Yoanes Nyago KaralAkol- Finland
35. Nyikang Akij Nejok-Denmark

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