Sunday, August 23, 2015

South Sudanese Refugees Urge President Kiir to End War
August 20, 2015 (KAMPALA) – A group of South Sudanese refugees currently living in Uganda have expressed concerns that president Salva Kiir’s failure to sign last week’s peace deal could prolong the conflict.

Koang Gatwech, the chairman of the Nuer refugees at Kiryandongo resettlement camp in Uganda, urged president Kiir to take the lead in efforts to bring peace and stability in the young nation.

“The president should have been the first person to broker the deal than the rebel leader. He knew the consequences of war on the people, a good example is the current life being faced by internally displaced persons across the country,” he said.

Gatwech urged the international community not to sit back and only watch the untold suffering being meted onto the South Sudanese.

“It is time to say enough is enough for South Sudanese leaders to end the war,” stressed Gatwech.

President Kiir, on Monday, declined to ink the compromise peace deal brokered by regional mediators. The agreement was, however, signed by the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar and the representative of the country’s ex-political detainees, Pagan Amum.

“On behalf of four Nuer communities in the refugees’ camps in Uganda, I welcome the decision made by Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon for signing his part on IGAD-Plus proposal and comrade Pagan Amum Akech for showing his love to the people, to end senseless war,” stressed Gatwech.

Ruon Machar Turoal, the deputy chairman of Nuer refugees at the camp, criticised the international community’s for failing to abide by the 17 August deadline given for the warring parties to end the war.

“We welcome the inking of the document by the rebel leader, but our concern is on why the IGAD plus cannot act now. We want peace for us to return home. For how long will we stay in exile, we need something to be done by world leaders to end the crisis,” said Turoal.

Pastor Stephen Bar Joak, an elder in the community at the camp, urged the South Sudanese leaders to reconcile among themselves.

“We the Nuer Community and churches leaders need peace, forgiveness and reconciliation among our leaders for the sake of our people in South Sudan,” he said.

Joak urged Machar to reconcile with his defected generals, Peter Gatdet Yaka, Gathouth Gatkuoth, Gabriel Changson Chang, among others.

“We are urging the above generals to embrace peace and accept reconciliation with chairman Dr. Riek Machar,” he further explained.


Sarah Nyakume, a women representative at a United Nations camp in South Sudan, urged government to return to the negotiating table to end war.

“Life in the IDPs camps is becoming horrible,” she said, adding, “South Sudanese need peace for them to reunite and focus on development”.

Majok Yien, another IDP at the UN camp, said much as people cried for peace, government was unwilling to relieve them from their untold suffering.

“South Sudanese people are deeply divided. We are thinking of peace as the only chance in order to restore their unity,” he added.

Meanwhile Yien, called on the regional bloc (IGAD) to pressure President Salva Kiir into signing the peace deal in order to end the country’s 20-month old conflict.


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