And based on local reports from Malakal Town that since SPLA are killing arrested civilians on daily bases at former SAF HQs, then probably these detainees are not alive as of dated.
At this stage, we would want to state this in the most unequivocal terms that we regret and condemn the killings of the deceased paramount chief and those who were with him, and extend our condolences to their families, friends and relatives. However we must say that it is also extremely important that the right procedures are followed in such cases if the culprits are ever to be brought to justice.
Again, it must be crystal clear to everyone that USSP as a political party has no particular interest to speak on behalf of the SPLM-DC of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin; however, as a south Sudanese political party we have every obligation to protect any disadvantaged group in South Sudan. As we address the Chollo community’s concerns, we are also keen enough to see that justice is done for all.
Should it be suspected that the murder of the late chief was political motivated, it should be remembered that similar political attacks on citizens’ lives with resultant sad deaths have already happened in many parts of south Sudan and still continue to happen, yet no such mindless reactions were seen from the side of the SPLM led authorities. Yambio is one such a town where senior police officers lost their lives while on duty. Again a senior lady politician was also savagely murdered and her body left for display in the town’s street. Still in Yambio town, not too long, school children were showered with live-bullets by none but the official SPLA soldiers. Again of recent, an intelligence officer was murdered in Jonglei. All these are dreadful deaths that the same authorities remain reluctant to tackle head-on, and continue to drag their feet on them.
At this time the citizens of Upper Nile state, and especially so the Chollo community feel intensely victimised on purpose and they attribute the current insecurity in the state to SPLM’s failures to secure enough parliamentary seats from the state. Obviously, what is largely seen by many in the Chollo community as an act of revenge has been even made worse by the ill-timed disarmament campaigns being carried out by what they resent as predominantly Dinka SPLA soldiers? This last campaign has even targeted the Chollo Kingdom headquarters in Fachoda with premeditated determination even to disarm the Kings body-guards – are issues better revised as they are too volatile for this stage of our history.
There are already countless reports of unexplained disappearances, arbitrary arrests, tortures, mistreatment, harassment, gang rapes, etc….within the town of Malakal and its rural communities. Besides, the latest reports talk of Chollo (Shilluk) villages being looted and burned down by the SPLA.
Under all circumstances the politically motivated and maliciously planned arrest of the members of the SSLA and the Upper Nile state assemblies remains condemned in its strongest terms. As the issue at hand doesn’t real stand isolated as such, a purely tribal and political vengeance can be clearly seen in display. Otherwise, how on earth can the SPLM-led GoSS allow itself to treat this particular case as if the Chollo Kingdom and Community are all but inseparable from SPLM-DC, and deserve to be punished for the latter’s political victories in the state?
Above all it is worth clarifying that even the blood relatives of the deceased Chollo paramount chief have come out openly saying that they don’t press charges against the arrested SPLM-DC MPs nor the SPLM-DC political party, and are distancing themselves from what they see as a malignant anti-Chollo campaign being championed by the GoSS Interior Minister, Brigadier Gier Chuang Aloung.
We call upon the international community and all those commissioned to observe Human Rights abuses, to use their positions to immediately exert pressure on the GoSS. The leadership in the semi-autonomous south Sudan must never be given the wrong signal that they can be allowed to cut corners in addressing issues which are central to human rights and the rule of law, and get away with impunity. Random arrest of political opponents to cover-up what is otherwise a purely criminal act is one thing that should not be tolerated.
The GoSS should immediately revise its approach in this case and cases to come if it is to avert possible tribal antagonism. Senior government officials must observe proper procedures, and the exclusively SPLM dominated SSLA must stop being a mere rubber stamp to everything that the executive presents, especially pertaining to the kangaroo style and unjustifiable lifting of immunities.
The deceased paramount chief and those who died with him deserve justice, as do the SPLM-DC MPs, and the countless members of the Chollo community who found themselves helpless victims of a set up where anyone who choose not to say "Oyeeee", is supposed not to say anything.