January 23, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued an order on Wednesday asking immediate return of the three governors of greater Upper Nile region after fleeing conflict.
- South Sudanese army soldiers sit on a pick up truck during a patrol in Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Harrison Ngethi)
The order, according to the state owned South Sudan television, asked the governors of the three states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei to immediately return to their respected areas after fleeing the conflict in which thousands of people, mostly innocent women and children have been killed.
The same presidential order, asked the three governors to conduct damage assessment and analysis in the areas affected by the fighting and report back their findings within a period not exceeding 30 days effective from the day he issued the order of immediate return.
Lual Bol Kuan, spokesperson for business community in South Sudan said the conflict had crippled all the commercial activities and free movement in the greater Upper Nile region.
"The president is right to order return of the governors to their respected states because they are the ones to conduct the assessment of the level of damage by this conflict,” said Kuan, adding that this decision shows Kiir’s "deep concern" about the people affected by this meaningless war.
He expressed readiness of the business community in the country to assist the government in the assessment and delivery of essential commodities to the affected areas as soon as possible.
“Together with the government and officials in the affected areas, I assure our people of the readiness of the business community to assist in the conduct of damage assessment and needed analysis, as instructed by the president so that we can deliver essential services to our people,” Kuan told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
Several areas in greater Upper Nile, the hardest hit region in the country by the conflict, have remained without essential services since the violence erupted in December 2013.
UN agencies estimate that thousands have been killed, while several homes and key infrastructures and installations have been severely damaged, reducing state capitals in the region to” rubbles”, according to president Salva Kiir’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny.
"The level of destruction and atrocities committed by the rebels in the three state capitals is immeasurable. They (rebels) have committed all types of the atrocities,” Ateny told reporters at news conference on Wednesday.
Said that president Kiir appealed to everyone to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities as they work to bring the areas affected by the conflict to normality.
He pointed out that government has asked all the relevant institutions to quickly assist in the conduct of the needs assessment and respond as quick as possible.
"Rehabilitation efforts will be undertaken for key infrastructures that have been severely damaged as our forces restoring law and order in the affected areas," he emphasised.