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South Sudanese editor turn downs security summons over federalism

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July 4, 2014 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese editor said he would not respond to a summons by security officials over the federalism debate, raising fears of further tensions over the controversial matter.

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South Sudanese men read newspapers in Juba on 10 July 2011, the day after independence from Sudan (Source: Phil Moore / AFP)

“They asked me to go and see them on Wednesday but I did not go. If they want to arrest me, let them come. They will find me here. I am not going anywhere and I will not go to them,” Nhial Bol Akeen, the Citizen newspaper’s editor-in-chief, told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Akeen, a veteran journalist, said he was summoned by security operatives and asked to go with the heads of the different media houses currently operating in the country.

“They asked me to go with others but I told them point blank that I am responsible for others. If they want they can call them but I cannot take them,” he said.

On 2 July, however, the information ministry issued a statement clarifying that the government had not prevented the media or members of the public from openly debating on federalism and that such debates would help shape opinions for informed decision-making processes.

CALLS FOR FREE DEBATE

Meanwhile a senior government official warned that those opposed to the use of the word federalism will be held accountable should more violence break out in Greater Equatoria region.

“It was the same behavior and attitude of not accepting responsibility for the malaise of this country that led to the outbreak of the current senseless war in Greater Upper Nile,” said Lual Acuek Deng.

“I take this opportunity to appeal to our colleagues in the development policy forum community to reach out to all concerned, including the president of the Republic, to allow for free debate about the type of federalism that would suit the objective conditions of South Sudan,” added the former Sudanese minister for petroleum and energy.

ONE KILLED OVER FEDERALISM

South Sudanese security agents killed a person and injured another in Western Equatoria state after a dispute erupted over a federalism debate in Maridi county, located over 190km west Juba, officials told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

“I want to inform you that Security personnel shot dead a young man yesterday here in Maridi. Another one was also injured. There was no reason for shooting them. Their crime was speaking about federal system in a bar,” an area lawmaker said by phone.

The soldiers were allegedly offended by the discussions and demanded that those involved follow them to the military barracks, but the latter reportedly declined these orders.

“This angered the soldiers and it was during the process when the young men decided to leave where they were seated and run into different directions. The soldiers then started shooting at them, resulting into the death of one of them and another one was injured,” said the MP.

He said the situation in Maridi town had remained tense throughout Friday night, with very limited movements.

Charles Barnaba Kisanga, the state information minister, separately confirmed the incident, which reportedly caused panic among town residents and forced some of the people to flee their homes.

“Yes there was an incident yesterday at about 10:00pm but the situation is now under control. The county commissioner and the security forces are conducting [an] investigation to establish the facts,” Kisanga said.

“There are no details but the general view from the area is that the incident was over federalism debate. It created tension and people fled their homes but it is now calm. People have started returning to their homes,” he added.

State officials said security forces were yet to establish identities of those involved with several residents accusing government of doing very little to calm down such a precarious situation.

Critics also blamed the police of using clumsy tactics, such as mass roundups as a ploy to claim their presence in the area and free most of them; an approach they say breeds more resentment.

This was the first incident to occur after President Salva Kiir recently criticised politicians from Equatoria region for championing calls for federalism and that they were simply “set up” by former vice-president-turned rebel leader Riek Machar to “divide internal front”.

LIGHTING FIREBOX

Religious leaders called for calm and urged politicians to show leadership and allow free debate over the type and system of governance demanded by citizens instead of suppressing them.

“This is unfortunate development and I called on our people to exercise restraint. The politicians with their statements are lighting the firebox if they are not very, very careful. They need to show strong leadership and open up public debate so that people themselves discuss among themselves to be able to know the type of the governance system they want to be adopted,” said Episcopal Pastor Samuel Duku.

“Allowing public debate will also help the government to explain to the people an alternative system,” he added.

In May, Kiir told the country’s lawmakers that citizens be allowed to decide on the federal system of governance, which should not be imposed onto them. Debate on the matter has, however, attracted several controversies as the country grapples with its ongoing conflict.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 5 July 09:30, by Mayom County Boy

    I wish my fellows people who are in the goverment to crackdown every citizens ,anless they are respecting the ruling goverment.

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    • 5 July 10:19, by Jubawe

      Mayom County Boy

      You can say any bad wish to Equatorian but soon Dinka will be regret, Government start feel the fire, last escape from Juba because he knew Equatorian start war No Dinka will stay in Juba. Soon Dinka will beg Equatirian for shelter, Now Dinka are living in fear all over greater Equatoria, Dinka start war without study the consequence, you Dinka touch fire with your own hand,

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      • 5 July 11:51, by Chol A.

        @Jubawe please let me assure you as citizen and brother of South Sudan, your words always based on hatred against present of Dinka in equatoria. If we fought war based on federalism you all claim Equatorian could either now in the hand of Joseph Konyi or Jalaba! So whether you like it or not no room for federalism now! Otherwise you will suck my dick if you try what so ever you may think though!

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      • 5 July 14:08, by Hardlinner

        Jubawe, this is the kind of mentality we do not need in south. What’d a logical thinkers and of dinka background feel about your comments. Firstly, I don’t support government ruled by active military personnel. Secondly I don’t oppose federation. Thirdly, i support the arresting of soldiers that killed innocern civilian because his views.Forthly, I don’t support kiir and riek stupidity.

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    • 5 July 16:42, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      South Sudan, government should implement the law over the media.
      The execution should be apply to all chief of any media and journalist who are over law and get life sentence as Egypt is playing.

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  • 5 July 10:09, by marie

    You people of Maridi this is not the time to run the UNMISS compound. If anyone intimidates you, mobolize the arrow boys and fight back. Everybody has a blood in them. When you fight them back they will also fear for their lives, but if you keep running, they will think they are super humans. Fear is the thing of the past. Revenge should be the language of the day. When people want barbarism,do so

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    • 5 July 10:34, by Force 1

      Jubawe and Marie
      Stop the internet fight; just do it real time; you remember December 16th 2013; this is not going to be about nuer this time only. Running your mouth on the net is one thing but doing it real time is another story!

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    • 5 July 10:51, by jijury

      Equatorians fight for your right otherwise Kiir and his kin men will finish you, your children in your land.

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  • 5 July 10:28, by Jubawe

    marie
    Nobody from Meridi run to UN compound, as you read the news nobody on the street not because they fear but they advice the civilian not to walk on the street due to tension, they are getting ready for any threat from Dinka solders, SPLA known how bad they will face there if they start the war in Western Equatoria, FYI upper Nile, Bentiu, Warrap & Bor are in tension of Fire soon war will star

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  • 5 July 10:56, by LOJUBA

    My Brothers, we Equatorian know very well that Dinkas are looking for the back and we very close towards every corner, we are ready to give our life & blood to cement G.Equatoria, but make sure no Dinka will excess in G.Equatoria Reqion.Day one will be for you when you started day two going to be 1 - 1 Day 3 , No Dinka will be in Equatoria Soil for ever and ever.

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  • 5 July 10:59, by LOJUBA

    God of Abraham, God of David and the Father of universe we Know you watch closely , we are sorry to commit our selves to face our Enemies who wants to colonize us, and its written it is not sin to defend your LAND and PEOPLE.
    Long Live Brave Black Scorpion , Long live Eqatoria.Amen

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    • 5 July 11:19, by Force 1

      Lojuba
      Enough with the prays; start the war and make sure you’re in it; stop pushing innocent people to be slaughtered in the same way it happened in December 16th 2013 here in Juba!

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      • 5 July 11:50, by Frak Cho

        Those fighting ill fight day and night and those drumming war over the internet or say social websites.Look at this saying "he who gossips to you about others also gossips to others about you". Religious and federalists, why do want to cross the river be4 you reach the river-bank? States are already there signifying federal system. Let’s talk peace instead of federalism.Website commentators-killer

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  • 5 July 12:24, by Black Africa

    I have been listening Dinka are disarming The Great Equatorians army forces, police forces and security agencies that will not help them, instead they are making things worse. If it was not Uganda Army Forces, The Nuer Warriors only would have taken Juba and if you asked the Dinka ? They know very well that the Uganda Arm Forces have saved and that is because of the Great Equatorians.

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  • 5 July 12:42, by Black Africa

    Cont.
    The Kiir Dinka regime is playing with fire. The Great Equatorians people are ready for the war, but our leaders are stopping us right now . This time, I would like the Dinka that are in Kenya and Uganda to know that their life will not be safe either because they don’t like Dinka you too. This time the attack on Dinka will be everywhere and people know you from their ugly face.

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    • 5 July 12:59, by Chol A.

      Black Africa, try on and good luck but friend you are assuming the risk that might affecting innocent Equatorian who never know what federalism mean to them! Just like innocent Nuer who are now suffering due to Riekbaai assumption of his risk against Dinka. So never mind beat your dram of war and it well heard and Dinka are aware of it. Good luck with your mission against Dinka.

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      • 5 July 13:30, by Black Africa

        @ Chol A.
        I am not against Dinka tribe and most of my friends are from Dinka tribe but what they are doing right now on the ground in my homeland, I can’t take it anymore.

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    • 5 July 15:48, by Rommel

      Black Africa:

      This kind of rhetoric is the reason that South Sudan is in the state that it is. You really shouldn’t treat the Dinka as a monolith. The Dinka of ’Greater Upper Nile’ are hostile to Salva Kiir, as are the Agar, Ciec, Atuot, Gok and the Aliap. The journalist in question is a Dinka. The journalist that the regime murdered in 2012, was a Dinka.

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      • 5 July 15:55, by Rommel

        When Riek defected in the 90s and committed massacres against Dinka communities in khorfulus, Pariang, Abiemnom, Twic-east, Duk and Bor, the Dinka united behind a leadership that they believed in and forced out Riek’s forces from their lands. We then took the war to the lands of the Nuer; our counterattacks penetrated deep into Uror, Akobo, Nyirol, Yuai and Ayod in 1991-2.

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        • 5 July 15:58, by Rommel

          Don’t threaten us. We can endure extreme hardship. We contributed the most divisions and martyrs during the war with Khartoum. We endured being the primary target of Khartoum’s war designs and military campaigns. We can endure [as we have before] losing well over a million people for a cause that we believe in. We have confronted infinitely stronger, smarter and more numerous enemies.

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          • 5 July 16:00, by Rommel

            Is Kuol Manyang Ugandan? Or do you suppose that he was Ugandan when Dinka soldiers under his command defeated Riek’s troops in a large battle at Gut-Makur, a village just outside Mongalla. Riek’s forces were then defeated at Wuor Baar. Our forces then entered Dinka territory at Gem, defeated all opposing forces in Nuer territory at Kuac Deng...

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            • 5 July 16:03, by Rommel

              . With Riek’s forces experiencing defeat after being pursued, hounded and cut down as far as Uror, Akobo, Nyirol, Yuai and Ayod. Were the Ugandans present when all of this was happening? We don’t believe in this wretched ’government’. The Dinka have not even taken this war seriously. We haven’t joined the army in sufficient numbers. Attack us as a whole and that will all change very quickly.

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              • 5 July 16:09, by Rommel

                I am not opposed to federalism. I want every tribe to be treated as an equal in South Sudan. The Luo [’Jurchol’], Jie, Burun, Kachipo, Bongo, Uduk, Avokoya, Pajulu, Lango, Kuku and many others, should be as well represented as the Dinka at the National level, regardless of size. This would engender harmony, stability and prosperity.

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                • 5 July 16:53, by Rommel

                  We need more States in South Sudan. States like Lakes State, Jonglei, Upper Nile State and Unity State need to be dismantled. The Dinka counties of the aforementioned States be allowed to be States in their own right. I don’t want complaints from other tribes. We should all be allowed to manage our own affairs and thus be responsible for whatever happens in our own States.

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  • 5 July 12:56, by Black Africa

    Cont.
    Now the number one enemy of the people of South Sudan is Dinka tribe. We the sixty-three tribes, if we get rid of Dinka out of South Sudan there will be peace and if failed to do so that means we will not have peace in our country. So I am calling for the sixty-three to attack Dinka people everywhere and we have organized with Kenya and Uganda people do the same thing, if the war started.

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    • 5 July 14:26, by Hardlinner

      Black, you don’tknow the gravity of what you are talking about?. Firstly dinka have close associates number more than the population of equatoria. All the lou family whether in greater equatoria, greater upper nile or greater bahr el ghazal support dinkas. Even nuer will never side with you against extermination of dinka because they know after dinka it would be them.

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    • 5 July 15:06, by Emporio

      @Black African

      I think you brain is going numb hatred against dinka will not give you what you claim is your land wagging war to chase dinka out of your land just a dream stack in every equatorion head tell me where is in history equatorion fight against any one,goodluck misskeen

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  • 5 July 15:53, by Bolong

    Kokora caused war between South and Northern Sudan, but this time should not be a big problem of Dinka. The Dinka has shown to the entire world that they are capable to liberates themselves and have a nation. Now, Do Dinka understand what in their Southern brothers minds?. Federalism will include the Nubba mountains, Blue Nile, Darfur, Eastern Sudan, and the Arabs states of Northern and Central of

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  • 5 July 16:06, by Bolong

    Con. Sudan, and the all entire Sudan will have a lasting peace, come on, let’s do it. Dinka for greater Sudan Federations.

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  • 5 July 16:11, by Black Africa

    @Hardlinener,
    Nobody like Dinka, You know that very well better that me. We the Great Equatorians are the only people who treat Dinka like human being in South Sudan that’s why the left their land and came to our land for their security. And if you have travel to countries like Kenya, Uganda ,Ethiopia and Egypt during the war time, if you are from South Sudan they will treat you well except Dinka

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  • 5 July 16:35, by Black Africa

    @Emporio
    Who were the first people who went to the bush? Was it not Equatorians, if you can remember anyone one. And if you can remember during the war time Dinka land under the Bashir’s regime, but our land was not under Bashir’s regime except Juba. And if you know Idi Amin, he is from Great Equautoria. They are more if want you me to lists them to you, let me know.

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    • 5 July 17:00, by Rommel

      Black Africa:

      Equatoria has never been free from the control of the North. You’re talking of 1955, right? Do you really think that 1955 was the first time that people fought the Arabs!? The people of Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile have been at war with the various Arab tribes for hundreds of years.

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  • 5 July 17:14, by Black Africa

    @ Rommel
    You seem wise and civilized person base on most of your comments that’s why I don’t want to disagree with you.

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  • 5 July 17:16, by Black Africa

    Correction.
    you seem to be wise

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  • 5 July 17:30, by Knight In Shining Armor

    There are people denying that there was indeed mass-killing of Nuer on December 2013 in Juba. But here we are, people coming out openly to confess their barbaric action against Nuer. These confessions are enough to take Kiir to ICC after he is booted out of Juba.

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  • 5 July 17:41, by Knight In Shining Armor

    Cont. It is good that the rest of tribes in South Sudan know what Dinka really intended to do to them. some of you are so stupid not to understand survival theory. you have big mouth for no good reason. when Riak smoked you out of great upper Nile in 1991, where did you run to take refugee? was it not equatorian who saved you?

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  • 5 July 17:54, by Bolong

    Black Africa, there is no problem my dear, feel free, you think that no body like the Dinkas! but the God almighty Father who created the Dinkas has a blessing on the Dinkas that no one can take it away. Sorry, let’s talk peace.

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  • 5 July 19:29, by Black Africa

    @Bolong
    I am sorry if I have hurt your feeling, I didn’t mean that way but what the Dinka are doing in Juba is not acceptable. They started so let fire burn. Live free or die.

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    • 7 July 14:36, by Martin

      Black Africa, I reminding you that Dinka tribe is huge and no tribe in South Sudan can threat it through violent or war. Please let not teach hostility among our tribes. Let us take South Sudan as our TRIBE. In addition there is no perfect union of certain tribes against one tribe. Moreover God punishes those who are evil in hearts.

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  • 5 July 20:04, by Bolong

    Black Africa, call for it, you will get it.

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