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Survivors of Juba killings call for reconciliation

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February 17, 2014 (KAMPALA) - Survivors of the violence, which started in South Sudan’s capital, Juba triggering the current crisis shared with Sudan Tribune their experiences, calling for justice and reconciliation among the various communities.

Over 70,000 South Sudanese have been forced to flee the country in to neighbouring Uganda and other 700,000 displaced within the country as fighting spread to other areas since it began on December 15 last year.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) have documented widespread killings of Nuer civilians, mainly men by members of the South Sudan army (SPLA) in Juba, particularly during the first four days of the fighting with eyewitnesses and victims claiming soldiers and policemen conducted house-to-house searches for Nuer men in Juba.

The worst incident the human rights group discovered was a massacre of between 200 and 300 men in Gudele, a Juba surburd after they were reportedly rounded up and forced into an overcrowded room in a government building before being shot.

In the Ugandan capital, Kampala, Sudan Tribune spoke to a 30-year old survivor of the conflict, who asked not to be named for safety reasons.

He said he and seven of his relatives were allegedly taken by the SPLA to Gudele police station, where more than 300 Nuer men were reportedly being detained.

"When they started shooting, those people dying fell on me. These are the ones who protected me not to be killed because they were already dead and they fell on me", he said.

"That is why I survived on that, after they finish shooting they open the door”, he added.

The 30-year survivor also showed Sudan Tribune evidence that he was thrice shot on the hand and his right leg.

Despite his ordeal, however, David said that forgiveness was essential in order to prevent South Sudan from spiraling into a cycle of revenge along tribal lines.

Human Rights Watch have also documented the targeting and killing of civilians of Dinka ethnicity by opposition forces in other parts of the country during the conflict.

"If we still revenge and revenge, it will take the country to nowhere. But those who are responsible for these crimes must face justice because they could not [cause] loss lives of people and just simply came to normal life”, stressed the victim.

Simon Kai, another South Sudanese man displaced from Juba said he had lost eight of his cousins on the day the Gudele incident occurred.

He said that the unfortunate incident was caused by soldiers reacting to the political situation and siding either with President Salva Kiir’s government or his opponents within the ruling party (SPLM) led by his ex-deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer.

However, Kai, wondered why Nuer civilians had been targeted in Juba despite not being involved in the political dispute.

There must be acceptance from government, Kai said, rather than denying that civilians were targeted in the capital.

"This would be an important step towards peace", he said, adding "There will be no genuinely reconciliations without truth".

South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister Barnabas Marial Benjamin has admitted 100 soldiers have been detained for taking part in the alleged ethnically-targeted killings in Juba during the first days of the conflict.

"There is political reaction on particular soldiers through that such kind of killing, this is something is very hard to understand but what is very important is that there must be true reconciliation taking place, the perpetrators must be arrested genuinely must be brought to justice and the government must acknowledged they failed to control the whole situation", he added.

The conflict began following weeks of tension within the ruling party, with opponents to President Kiir, led Machar, becoming increasingly critical of his leadership.

Kiir’s opponents deny attempting to oust him in a coup and claim he used the infighting between the army to silence his critics within the ruling party.

(ST)

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  • 19 February 07:10, by Tong dut

    No, Kiir security force, Dinkas are still killing Nuer at night in juba,Dont come now wait,till Kiir will take refugee to Uganda.

    repondre message

    • 19 February 09:15, by chol

      That’s lies only rebels were killed in Juba,so stop propaganda.that what you get when look for fight.believing in Ngundeng FALSE prophecy will never take anywhere fools.

      repondre message

    • 19 February 19:21, by jubaone

      There can NEVER be any reconciliation unless the suspected jeng soldiers who massacred innocent Nuer civilians are brought to book. We urge all witnesses to give evidence so that some of these jeng benydits/bandits soldiers are sent to ICC. Finally Kiir as C-in-C of these soldiers must also face charges at the ICC. Still gathering evidence. Wait!

      repondre message

  • 19 February 07:17, by Tong dut

    Dinkas SPLA are now looting houses of Nuer at night looting all what are in their houses and selling their ploats with fake documents,so that they will never have place in Juba.
    To all Nuer don’t come now, wait till time will come. You are sudanese.I am a Dinka, but we hate the way life is now.

    repondre message

    • 19 February 07:35, by choldit

      I cant imagine what the messy fights that will happen btwn civilians abt the looted properties when we get back together. the plots of land is not a big deal because fools will buy now but where are they taking the land? the Nuer are south Sudanese they will come n get u there. It is stupid to buy land now!

      repondre message

  • 19 February 07:22, by Chol A.

    The said juba survivors used to speak area Nuer assumed that there massacre against them in juba while thousand of Dinka and Equatorian were too killed in this clash! Are you people think more important than other? You wags war n it always cost live! Is there any Dinka survivors in Beantiu and Malakal who can speak? You should stop crying because war is war and if start that is the price to pay

    repondre message

  • 19 February 08:36, by Ross

    Dear Chol A
    Dinka are there in Malakal, Nuer are not stupid enough to revenge. a Powerful man can not kill civilian, and if there are it is during war. it is good that truth is out so that reconciliation is made. if there is Dinka’s survival from certain place let him, her be known and should be worst of what he/she claimed than the whole situation will start cooling down.

    repondre message

    • 19 February 10:01, by michael coma

      Ross
      What about those who raped elderly women in Bor and killed them at the same time are they not powerful Nuers?Nuers looted UN compound last month in Bor and drunk everythings which is in liquid form until they drunk champoos.Your greediness has been proved by foreigners too.

      repondre message

  • 19 February 08:42, by Ross

    Dear all
    I believe that both leaders committed war crime, Nuer killed many Dinkas and also Dinkas killed many Nuers, but Dinkass intended from the begining to reached that step. Most Dinka run to other Countries after they planned this to ensure that lives of their families is safe. what happend is not a political dispute, it is a 1991 revenge taken through political way. as wetke confirmed.

    repondre message

  • 20 February 06:04, by Odingo

    You shut up your mouth Baranaba Marial. Whom are you trying to fool here? When Your uncle Kiir, Kuol, James Hoth Mai ordered the use of forces to kill Nuer Civilians,you knew it n didn’t stop it thinking that you will get a way with it. We have already known that you are a big liar. You denied the kiiling of Nuer Civilians by Dinka Kiir and Dinka Kuol.Its just a matter to end yr telling big lie

    repondre message

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