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Western Equatoria governor calls for peaceful coexistence

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July 7, 2014 (JUBA) – The governor of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State called on Monday for peaceful coexistence among local communities in the area after violence erupted in Maridi town over the weekend resulting in the shooting death of one man.

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WES governor Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, pictured in his office on 24 January 2012, has called for peaceful coexistance among communities following rising tensions over federalism (ST)

The incident, which sparked widespread panic among residents, was reportedly triggered over what officials termed as a misunderstanding arising from ongoing debate in the country over federalism after local youth expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the central government and its handling of governance issues. Another man was also injured in the dispute.

In an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday, governor Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro described the incident as “unfortunate”, saying the government was working to ensure the culprits are held accountable.

He has called on communities to live together in peace and harmony and not to engage in divisive behaviour or violence.

“It was unfortunate that some lives were lost but we still call on our people to exhibit love, patience and let the matter be settled peacefully,” he said.

“It is time for our people to live together. The tribal [way of] thinking will not help us move forward. The country is now in crisis [and it is] not good [if] we divide ourselves,” he added.

A government delegation comprising of top level military officers and politicians from the region visited Maridi county following the incident where they held a series of meetings with local officials and residents in the area in an effort to calm tensions.

Bakosoro said the general security situation in the area was stable, saying people were now preparing for celebrations marking the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence from the north, from which it seceded in 2011 following a brutal civil war spanning more than two decades.

“The general security situation is OK. It is calm and normal,” he said. “The Maridi incident is a minor [issue] and is being addressed,” he added.

The violence in Maridi is the first deadly incident linked to the debate triggered by local discussion supporting calls advocating for the establishment of a federal system of governance.

The government was last week forced to deny claims it was attempting to muzzle public debate on federalism by censoring media reports.

Former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar has been a leading proponent for the introduction of a federal system, saying it would help promote diversity and a fairer distribution of resources.

However, president Salva Kiir has rejected the demands, saying restoring peace to the country should be the first priority.

Last month, the president criticised the people of Equatoria for championing demands for federalism, describing them as having been “set up” by Machar, allegedly to create internal divisions.

The remark before the nation’s parliament stoked tensions among those supportive of Machar’s calls and opponents to the system amid ongoing conflict and political instability in the country, which has been mired in violence since mid-December last year after a split emerged in the ruling SPLM.

Peace talks between the government and Machar’s rebel faction have so far failed to halt violence on the ground.

(ST)

- S. Sudan army subdues rising tensions in Western Equatoria

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  • 8 July 2014 09:44, by Angelo Achuil

    To me, this is a good leader. He speaks with vision and love for this country.

    repondre message

  • 8 July 2014 10:15, by Padiet Deng Alony

    said bakasoro

    “It is time for our people to live together. The tribal [way of] thinking will not help us move forward. The country is now in crisis [and it is] not good [if] we divide ourselves,” he added.

    President Salva was telling you that the first priority is to restore peace first then your so call federalism. now you are are feeling heat. if not careful your 3 states will no be like it is

    repondre message

  • 8 July 2014 11:34, by Raanchol

    Bakasoro or whatever hell u call yourself, we have told u again & again, that let peace be achieved first and u kept on barking @ us about your useless demand for federalism, now since u saw only two people shot dead, ur buttocks started trembling with fear, tell ur thugs in G.Equatoria to shut their dirty mouths or else, we take actions, nowadays, we act, no more talk, ..........period.

    repondre message

    • 9 July 2014 03:17, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Raanchol be careful in whatever you utter. Please note this land is not your village. Anyone with his/her ancestors born on it have a right to say what is fit to their society.
      Mark me note no one on earth is born brave, rich or poor but it is one finds after being born. Be proud of killing the innocents, your wages for that will be great later.

      repondre message

  • 8 July 2014 20:25, by Positive Thinker

    Can all those who are rejecting federalism give reasons why? And for those supporting it argued they need more power to the states, so that development reach the people at the grass roots. Current system is an impediment to development for power is in the hand of the president and he is abusing the power entrusted to him by the people.

    repondre message

  • 9 July 2014 02:20, by SPLA

    LET THE WAR BEGIN AND ALL TRIBES IN S.S. WILL FACE PRIMITIVE DINKAS AND WE SEE WHO WILL EMERGE VICTORS. WHERE WILL YOU GUYS RUN? YOUR GOVERNMENT’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. TIME TO JOIN THE WHITE ARMY AND WIPE DINKA FROM S.S. FOR GOOD.

    repondre message

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