Re: Mukaya Community in Diaspora’s statement over violence in Central Equatoria
April 25, 2020 (SSNA) — Reports emerging from the ground in Mukaya Payam ( former county of the defunct Yei River State) that a large number of the government of South Sudan forces also known as SSDF swarmed the area two days ago beating and inhumanly torturing anybody on sight, following an ultimatum the government issued for the population in Mukaya to leave their ancestral lands in three days window or face the consequences. In a panic, the innocent civilians ran away from their ancestral land of Mukaya empty-handed leaving behind everything including food items, clothing, live stocks, and any other basic life necessities. Most of the escaping innocent civilians including children, women, and the elderly are now reported to have arrived and camped at the outskirts of Yei city, over four thousand of them – camped at the IDP camp called Gezira; dehydrated and tired without food, clean drinking water or shelter. While others, in their thousands, are still roaming the bushes finding their way to safety.
It is unfortunate that in the middle of a pandemic, the government of South Sudan chose to create a humanitarian crisis situation by forcedly displacing its own citizens from their ancestral land in the pretext that it is preparing the ground to launch an attack on the hideouts of the rebel fighters belonging to the National Salvation Front/Army (NAS) of Gen. Thomas C. Swaka who are believed to be active in Mukaya.
This irresponsible act by the government amounts to a violation of the Social Distancing Order issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the Front line strategy in combating the COVID-19 Pandemic. This risk the spread of the Coronavirus among the displaced population of Mukaya who are now packed together without food, drinking water, shelter, and worst of all without any medical amenities, such as the most needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which is the only means to fight/prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This act by the government of South Sudan also contravenes against the government’s own lockdown order which it issued and is implementing it throughout the country. These acts amount to the government’s amount to the violation of the Human Rights of the people of Mukaya, particularly at this time that the whole world is facing a humanitarian catastrophe.
Therefore, we the sons and daughters of Mukaya in the Diaspora are disheartened and dismayed by this inconsiderate, irresponsible, and inhuman act by the government of South Sudan, in creating such unwarranted humanitarian crisis situation for our people, by forcedly displacing them from their ancestral lands, and thus subjecting them to the danger of possible outbreak and unhindered spread of the coronavirus pandemic, while on the other hand, leaving the displaced population at the open without any humanitarian assistance in the form of shelter, water, food, medicine, and any other needed basic daily life necessities.
We the sons and daughters of Mukaya in the Diaspora condemn such acts by the government of South Sudan in any possible strongest terms, the displacement of our people from their ancestral lands that led to the uncalled for the humanitarian situation our people are being subjected to and leaving them on the open to the mercy of the COVID-19 Pandemic coronavirus.
We appeal to the international community – under the United Nations- particularly the World Health Organization (WHO), the TROIKA countries, and the regional bloc – IGAD to come to the rescue of the people of Mukaya from the recklessness of their own government. We demand that the government halts its so-called military operations in Mukaya and allows the people to return to their homes immediately to avoid any humanitarian disaster from the ensuing pandemic and hence help the world in the fight against the coronavirus. The Mukaya people are safer at their ancestral home from the coronavirus than at their displacements.”
Signed: Mukaya Community in Diaspora