Home | News    Friday 22 February 2013

Amnesty report on Wau killings “exaggerated”, says minister


February 21, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan has dismissed a report from a human rights campaign group claiming tensions are spiralling in its Western Bahr El Ghazal state, following a series of arrests by the state authorities and a security clampdown on civilians in the aftermath of last year’s violent clashes.

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South Sudan’s minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin

In a report released on Thursday, Amnesty International (AI) says at least 24 people died and more than 60 were injured after security forces clashed with demonstrators protesting the relocation of Wau county headquarters to Bagari, about 19kms away.

“On 8 and 9 December 2012, security forces killed 11 people following roadblocks and protests in Wau town”, the report reads in part.

However, South Sudan’s information and broadcasting minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, has described the report as “untrue”, adding that its contents clearly show the campaign group “is behind time”.

“That is not true. What Amnesty International is saying is devoid of the situation on the ground. I would invite them to come and see what is actually being done”, Marial said by phone on Thursday.

AI’s Africa director, Netsanet Belay, said the authorities’ failure “to ensure proper investigations into the events in Wau county in December 2012 has allowed tensions to mount.”

However, Marial said both the national and state government had formed an investigation committee to look into what happened in Wau.

“Investigations are going on and the legal structures will go ahead and punish those who will have been found to have contravened the law,” he said.

He accused Amnesty of working towards “stirring up” fights and further conflict between the various ethnic groups in the state.

Since the unrest in December, Amnesty says scores of people deemed to be opposed to the policies of the state government have been arrested and accused of instigating the protests in addition to their alleged involvement in events in the lead up to the demonstrations. Around 13 people were detained 12 February.

With trials due to take place this week, Amnesty has expressed concern that “no members of the security forces have been held to account for shooting and killing protesters”.

“Those responsible for unlawful killings, including the security forces responsible for killing protesters, must promptly be held to account.”

It added, “These arbitrary arrests contravene the law in South Sudan. Many of the detainees were initially held for up to two months, without being questioned about any offence they are alleged to have committed, with no access to a lawyer and with no arrest warrant ever being shown,” added Belay.

However, Marial says the report is largely “exaggerated” and contrary to the actual facts on the ground.

“This is [a] democratic government, whereby you cannot arrest people without an arrest warrant. Our investigation is covering everybody, including the security forces and if they are innocent, then they will be released,” he said.


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  • 22 February 2013 09:04, by james Manyuol

    fuck amnesty report. why are they not talking about innocent civilians been killed by protesters. instead the blaming the authories of jail these criminal who cause the problem. If civilians expressing their right they should not carry matchete(panga)or any weapons.

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    • 22 February 2013 09:23, by Paul Chadrack

      President Kiir and his entourage will end up being indicted by ICC sooner than later.the way they are bebaving is not acceptable in this modern world.

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      • 22 February 2013 11:07, by Tong dut

        That is how kiir the killer do his work,that governor was not changed, since he reduced the number of wau civilians.

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        • 22 February 2013 12:58, by EES Kingmaker

          Tong Dut
          The problem is not the removal Governor WBGS and putting exact figures. It is bumpier relations between and among its citizens since 1980s. Remove the Governor and expect no better solutions to current situation.

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    • 22 February 2013 10:16, by Junta

      Mr. James Manyuol
      Please be realistic not tribaly biased! What Amnesty said was the actual truth!Let me remind you that the claim by state authority that innocent Dinkas were Killed in Farjalla was a framed evidence/planted! The State authority actually took some prisoners from Rumbek killed them and took them to Farjall in order to add tribal dimension and incite Dinkas against Balanda Period!!!

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    • 22 February 2013 19:13, by SPLM- DC Hardliner

      land grabing mentality of Dinka tribemen in various parts of South Sudan is a known motive. when ever it is being resisted, then they call on their tribal army (SPLA) to intimidate and Kill innocent citizens. remember what happened in Komiru (Juba), yei, Nimule, Wau, etc. the days of Dinka superiority complex are numbered.

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  • 22 February 2013 09:23, by master

    "this democratic government"
    Marial said
    you don’t feel shame full about what you said
    don’t be a parrot

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    • 22 February 2013 09:31, by Turism

      Master, minister marial has no problem since he just a gov’t spoke person, don’t put any blame pliz.

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    • 22 February 2013 09:38, by mysavanna

      Yes this is a true Democratic Government, just like Saddam’s, Bashir’s, Asaad’s, Gadaffi and Mubarak’s. It’s an inherited form of Democracy. Amnesty International is really shocked to see that the same people who were just until recently accussing Khartoum’s regeme are committing a replica of Khartoum’s human right’s violations. Killing an innocent journalist is that Democracy?

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      • 22 February 2013 12:38, by EES Kingmaker

        The Amnesty International can sometimes be tracherous and an instigating whistleblower, even about too much dust on sea site.

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    • 22 February 2013 12:26, by EES Kingmaker

      Relax and compare what he said with Bashir’s heinous crimes when he massacred of tens of thousands of innocent Darfuris and where Bashir and his cohort reduced it to 9,000 people, leave lone millions butchered in South Sudan by Arab-manned genocide since 1820s. Is there anything to come by and put them on similar plate?

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  • 22 February 2013 09:28, by Turism

    Where have amnesty international have been before allowing killing of more than 25 civilians and many uncountable injurried by demonstrators that refuse the relocation of wau to bagari and lastly they believe, amnesty international shuold looks into this issue seriosly to find out the routes cause of killing last year dec 2012.

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  • 22 February 2013 12:44, by Guandong

    Our own government doesn’t care about its own ppl while the AI n international organization are the one to care. what type of this lawless government? I am calling upon all citizens of this country to remain calm for moment but let us work hard to overrun this bad government during election.

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    • 22 February 2013 13:19, by master

      really you believe you can change current regime through poll box!
      you are funny
      kiir will be there till he lying in his grave
      if kiir only vote for him self he will win
      look for other way

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      • 22 February 2013 14:57, by Nuer Empire

        Mastier:What the gayic organism called Bashir?

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      • 23 February 2013 12:07, by EES Kingmaker

        President Kiir is a founding father of the newest nation. He may be a dictator as many founding leaders take longer time to stablize their nations. This depends on his correct reading of the situation. Bashir is not a founding leader. He came to power by force of arms and massacred his own people. What reward do you think he will reap from his heinous deeds? We know all where he will end!!

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  • 22 February 2013 14:34, by Jojo

    What AI is reporting is true. If we need to exercise true democracy, let our government admit to the truth. The reports are being collected from the relatives of those who were killed.
    The best word to come from our government is to says, ’we are late’ in rescuing the innocent people who are being killed.

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  • 22 February 2013 17:12, by Wed-wau

    I have questions for James Manyuol and Turism: do you guys see anyone in video clip holding machetes? Is there any evidences of 26 dinka ‘s people killed by Balanda? Dinka slave called Rizik Zachariah claim on SSTV that had evidences he going to released to the public; where are those evidences?

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  • 22 February 2013 18:40, by Jong Anthony

    everybody knows what the amnesty aim at when its talk about the killing of demonstrators while excluding the great number of innocent civilians killed by those gang who were opposed to what shall help citizens in the area
    this report is 100% false
    all knows

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  • 22 February 2013 21:00, by South Sudan Secret services

    Dear Minister,they move is supper

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