THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
Republic South Sudan
PDM PRESS STATEMENT – 25 October 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The United People’s Democratic Movement (UPDM) is appalled by and unreservedly condemn the
irresponsible and alarming inflammatory rhetoric by President Salva Kiir in his speech addressed to his Party Officials at the Freedom Hall in Juba on the 19th October 2016, where he:
- Blatantly confirmed bias recruitment of his ethnic Dinka tribe into the national military personnel.
- Personally threatened a declaration of war against the people of Equatoria, thus inciting ethnic hatred and legitimising the ethnically targeted killings already prevalent in the country.
- Publicly admitted to derailing ARCISS for trivial reasons, despite appending his signature to the document and on several occasions paradoxically committing to ensure its smooth implementation.
President Salva Kiir’s divisive ethnic tendencies, policies and systematic efforts to derail ARCISS are clearly documented in the UN report that investigated the July 2016 violence between military personnel under his command and that of Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. The July 2016 incident not only led to atrocities against innocent civilians, including the 217 rape cases recorded by the UN between the 8th and the 25th July 2016 alone, but it also widened the war front in Western Bahr El Ghazal state and Equatoria region leading to increased harassment, rape, torture, and killing of innocent civilians. It also undisputedly legitimised the ‘unknown gunman’ phenomenon operating across the country.
It is worth noting that of late, ethnic youth groups are circulating warnings and retaliatory warnings against other ethnic groups in Bahr El Ghazal and Equatoria. There is reason to believe that more localised armed groups are springing up across the country, faced with no other option but to protect their communities from the ongoing harassment, rape and killings condoned by the government of President Salva Kiir.
In the face of all these, UPDM believes the situation in South Sudan is quickly sliding into a fully-fledged genocide if not immediately addressed, and therefore calls upon JMEC, IGAD, TROIKA and friends of South Sudan to urgently intervene and:
- To categorically condemn and reprimand the incitement to violence against Equatorians by President Salva Kiir’s latest speech to his Party Officials in Juba on the 19th October 2016.
- To further denounce the President’s public admission to intentionally derail ARCISS given that his party is a major partner to it, and to strongly reaffirm the commitment of the International Community to revive ARCISS and ensure it is implemented in letter and spirit.
- To accelerate the establishment of the ‘war crimes tribunal’ as agreed in ARCISS, so as to bring the perpetrators of this conflict and spoilers of peace to account, and reverse the current dangerous trend that may lead to genocide.
- To review the coverage, capacity and resources available to the UN protection force in South Sudan, in light of these developments, and expedite the deployment of the additional 4,000 UN protection force, mindful that for every day that this important ‘commitment to protect’ is delayed, more innocent lives are lost with impunity.
The international community is in a position to immediately stop the crisis and senseless killings in South Sudan and we thus appeal to their responsibility towards humanity, to intervene urgently and effectively.
As things stand, we call on JMEC, IGAD, TROIKA and the UNSC to move towards a different structure of transitional governance to be entrusted with the implementation of ARCISS. The structure should seek to exclude current spoilers who have lost legitimacy to represent the people of South Sudan, and rather involve emerging leaders and technocrats who are not only representative of the diversity in South Sudan but include abled, trusted and committed South Sudanese.
CC.: JMEC, IGAD, TROIKA, UNSC
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