May 22, 14 (BOR) –The caretaker governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, John Kong Nyuon, has accused the country’s political and military leaders of backwardness and breeding conflict.
- The caretaker governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, John Kong Nyuon, address the crowd at celebrations in Bor commemorating the national army on 22 May 2014 (ST)
Despite the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended more than a two decades-long civil war with Sudan and paved the way for the South’s secession in 2011, he said Jonglei had never been at peace and continued to witness conflict.
He said the majority of the state’s counties had virtually no infrastructure and the delivery of basic services remains well below expected standards.
“We are proud that the war that led to independence of South Sudan started here in [Jonglei capital] Bor, but we have never benefited from it since,” he said.
“Look at our state, in which state does the governor sit in the oldest structures built by colonial government centuries ago? This is our failure. Jonglei had never enjoyed [the] peace and development that others had,” he added.
Nyuon made the comments on Thursday at celebrations to commemorate the inception of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Jonglei.
The celebrations had been due to take place on 16 May, but were postponed by the state government due to security reasons.
Nyuon also cited the actions of Jonglei’s rebel and military leaders David Yau Yau, the late George Athor and General Tanginya as contributing to the downfall of the state by inciting rebellions that have killed thousands of civilians and displaced many more to foreign countries.
“We are the problem, whom do you want to come and lead you here in Jonglei? We were the first to start off the war against Khartoum and now we are the last,” he said.
- Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) attend commemorations in Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, on 22 May 2014 (ST)
Bor was the scene of fierce fighting after political tensions turned violent in the capital, Juba, in mid-December last year before spreading to other areas.
The violence has reignited tribal tensions across the country pitting government forces loyal to president Salva Kiir, who hails from the Dinka tribe, against rebels aligned with former vice-president Rike Machar, a Nuer.
However, Nyuon said the conflict “shouldn’t have gone that far”.
“The recent problem started in Juba as a small one, but when it reached Jonglei, it exploded in Bor,” he said. “Our people should have learned from the first experiences of Riek Machar of [the] 1990s.”
RESPECT UN AGENCIES
Nyuon has also called on local youths to treat UN agencies operating in Bor with the due respect.
Bor youths have been accused of attacking a UN camp last month, sheltering displaced people largely from the Nuer ethnic group. More than people were killed in the incident.
Ongoing security concerns in Bor have severely limited the movements of UN peacekeepers in the town.
“Let me tell you, the youth, you are creating problems to the government. What you are doing or what you are trying to do will bring problems to the government,” said Nyuon.
“The UN agencies came to help us, if you attempt to attack their cars or stone them, that is not good. Stop it now,” he added.