December 25, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - South Sudanese and Sudanese civil society and human right groups called on the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayadrit to release the detained political leaders of the ruling SPLM saying political dialogue can only end the ongoing crisis.
"We appeal to the President of the Republic of South Sudan to release, with immediate effect, all persons held for expressing political views critical of the government performance and to start, without conditions, a process of national reconciliation and political dialogue with such persons and with those who are currently under arms against the government" read a statement signed by 26 groups.
The defenders and activists, including former minister Luka Biong Deng of Kush organisation, and Suliman Baldo of Sudan Democracy First Group, said that “open and free dialogue” is "the only way to resolve the current political differences in South Sudan".
African, regional and international organisations are undertaking efforts to stop the fighting in the nascent nations. However, UNMISS sources confirmed that Ugandan air force took part in the assault carried out by SPLA forces loyal to president Kiir to recapture Bor from insurgents led by Gen. Peter Gatdet.
Below is the full text of the statement of Sudanese and South Sudanese Civil Society on the Conflict in South Sudan:
Geneva, Kampala, New York, Tuesday 24 December 2013
We, the undersigned, representatives of civil society organisations from Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan wish to express our deep concern about the military confrontations that erupted in the Republic of South Sudan on 15 and 16 December 2013. We are utterly disturbed that the violence, which started in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, has now spread to other parts of the country. This unexpected development threatens the foundation of the nascent nation and puts to jeopardy the safety and well-being of its citizens.
We wish to stress our conviction that violence and the destruction of lives and livelihoods serve no purpose and deepen the humanitarian and human rights challenges faced by the government and people of South Sudan. It is also our belief that open and free dialogue that yield a mutually accepted agreement reached through the informed opinion of all the concerned parties, constitute the only way to resolve the current political differences in South Sudan.
We appeal to the political leadership of the Republic of South Sudan to put the interest and aspirations of the populace for peaceful coexistence, progress, development and happiness as their prime objective and mission. This requires greater political sacrifices from all the conflicting parties in South Sudan and we are confident that all those concerned in that part of our country are bestowed with the necessary courage and wisdom to pursue such objectives.
We appeal to the President of the Republic of South Sudan to release, with immediate effect, all persons held for expressing political views critical of the government performance and to start, without conditions, a process of national reconciliation and political dialogue with such persons and with those who are currently under arms against the government.
We appeal to the Heads of State and Government members of the African Union, particularly members of the IGAD countries, to continue to place the situation in South Sudan as a top priority on their agendas and to consider rendering their good offices and personal intervention with the parties to the conflict in view of reaching a negotiated peaceful settlement of the on-going conflict.
We appeal to all States neighbour of the Republic of South Sudan to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs or to extend military or similar support to any party to the conflict or to take advantage of the situation for ulterior motives, but to play instead a role of promoting dialogue and reconciliation between the parties for a peaceful South Sudan.
We appeal to the humanitarian community to redouble their efforts in providing the necessary humanitarian assistance and make available basic materials needed by a growing number of civilians in different parts of the country.
We pay due tribute to all the victims of the on-going conflict, including UN staff and peacekeepers, who lost their lives on the line of duty.
1. Abdelbagi Jibril: Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
2. Dr. Abdelgabar Adam: Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA
3. Abdelmageed Haroun: HAND
4. Biel Botrous Biel: South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy
5. Bushra Gamar Hussein Rahma: South Kordofan Human Rights and
6. Faisal El-Bagir: Journalists for Human Rights (JHR-Sudan)
7. Dr. Farouk Mohamed Ibrahim: Sudanese Organisation for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms
8. Hafiz Mohamed Ismael: Justice Africa Sudan
9. Hala Alkarib: Regional Director, SIHA Network
10. Dr. Hamid El-Tigani Ali: Associate Professor, American University in Cairo
11. Jimmy Mulla: Voices for Sudan
12. Dr. Luka Biong Deng: Kush Inc.
13. Mahjoub Mohammed Salih: Editor-in-Chief, Al-Ayam Newspaper
14. Mohamed Abdalla El-Doma: Darfur Bar Association
15. Dr. M. Jalal Hashim: Sudanese Association for the Defence of Freedom of
Opinion and Conscience (SADFOC)
16. Nabil Adib Abdalla: Sudan Human Rights Monitor
17. Dr. Nada Mustafa Ali: Visiting Professor, Women and Gender Studies, Clark
18. Nasredeen Abdulbari: Columbia University
19. Niemat Ahmadai: Darfur Women Action Group
20. Osman Hummaida: African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies
21. Rashid Saeed Yagoub: Journalist , France
22. Shamsaddin Dawalbait: Project on Democratic Thought and Islamic Reform
23. Professor Sidiga Washi: Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women
24. Sabri Elshareef: Center for Democracy and Peace, New Jersey
25. Dr. Suliman Baldo: Sudan Democracy First Group
26. Suliman Hamid: Blue Nile Center For Justice and Human Rights
For media contacts:
1. Geneva: Abdelbagi Jibril: +41 79 737 97 49 and +41 76 360 95 26
2. Kampala: Biel Botrous Biel: +256 778 89 67 45
3. New York: Suliman Baldo: +1 646 467 37 24 ---