April 17, 2017 (JUBA) -The South Sudanese political oppositions groups have called on the world leaders to admit that a genocide is taking place in the troubled country and to hold the government of President Salva Kiir accountable for its crimes
The call was made in a joint statement issued by six oppositions groups including the Sudan People Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement, former detainee (FDs), National Democratic Movement (NDM), People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) and the National Salvation Front (NAS).
The opposition groups accused president Salva Kiir of graves crime committed in the country since December 2013, when the army targeted Nuer in Juba and later continued to kill them in Greater Upper Niles, Equatoria, and Western Bahr el Ghazal regions.
“The unfolding genocide is a repeat of this same regime’s December 2013 Juba massacres of ethnic Nuer civilians, which resulted in reprehensible reprisal attacks against Dinka civilians in other parts of the country. This chain of events triggered the still on-going civil war that was imposed on the people barely two years after the country gained independence on 9th July 201,” the statement read.
The opposition groups pointed an accusing finger to the government army, SPLA and its allied militias known as the Mathiang Anyor saying they carried out cold-blood and execution of community members, Church leaders torturing and raping of civilians and mass dehumanising acts.
The opposition’s leaders are urging the world leaders to come out publicly and pronounced the genocides in South Sudan.
“We urge the region and the international community to urgently investigate, document, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of recent genocide in Wanduruba, Yei, Lainya, Pajok and Kajokeji in Equatoria, Wau in Bahr el-Ghazal, and in all of Upper Nile before appropriate courts or tribunals. All such targeted killings anywhere of innocent Dinka or non-Dinka civilians are reprehensible and inexcusable and should be subject to the same due legal process”.
The opposition urged the world leaders to come out with one voice to “recognise and condemn the genocidal actions of Kiir’s regime”. “Their continued silence and denial only emboldens, encourages and indeed rewards the perpetrators of the crime and punishes their victims,” they stressed.
“We, therefore, call upon the AU, the UN Secretary-General, and the UN Security Council to issue a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the unfolding genocide as a necessary first step to honour the victims and their families and signal a glimmer of hope for the future. President Salva Kiir and his regime must be forced to comply and to take full responsibility for their actions and crimes. Only then can a peaceful political process to end this unprecedented and untold suffering begin”, the statement concluded.
United Nations agencies say that 3 million South Sudanese have been uprooted by the violence, resulting in the hugely unprecedented displacement of populations from their homes, which is considered to be the biggest cross-border exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
UNMISS deputy head Moustapha Soumare, earlier this month called on South Sudanese to learn from the Rwandan experience and to not repeat a genocide that took place in Rwanda 23 years ago.
“As we gather here today we also remember the victims of the conflict in South Sudan. The senseless fighting over the past few years has left thousands of people dead and millions displaced. May the South Sudanese people and their leaders unite through courage and resolve, and resolve the fighting,” Mr Soumare said in an event to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
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