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Western Equatoria downplays outbreak of fresh rebellion

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February 3, 2015 (JUBA) – The government of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state said it would not tolerate its territory being used as a launching pad for any military activities aimed at destabilising the region.

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The map of Western Equatoria in red

“This is not part of our culture. We are a peaceful community. We discuss and air out our grievances in the public without resorting to armed confrontation,” Maridi county commissioner Wilson Thomas exclusively told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

Thomas has downplayed the significance of a new rebellion in the area, saying the security situation in the area remains under the full control of government forces.

“I think it is better not to call it a rebellion at this stage because as until now things are not yet clear, and as authorities we cannot begin to talk about it in the media, because these things are to do with security of the country,” he said.

The commissioner deferred questions concerning the rebellion to police and military spokespeople when asked about reports some government soldiers had pulled out of their units and whether the new group had established a base in the area.

It’s not the first time the county has come under attack since Thomas took office.
In December last year, unknown gunmen ambushed travelers on the Yei-Rumbek road, which branches to Maridi and Yambio.

According to Thomas, two travellers were detained last month after being forced to stop along the road and then taken into the forest, where it is alleged they were brutally tortured for two days while being questioned about their ethnic affiliation.

“We later had to mobilise the youth and the security forces to hunt for them (the travelers) and when the returned following the search, they came back and reported the killing of one person,” Thomas told Sudan Tribune, adding that the incident had caused widespread fear among villagers, with many choosing to relocate temporarily.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued on Monday, a copy of which was extended to Sudan Tribune, the community of greater Maridi denied any association with the rebel group and threatened to take action if they failed to disband.

“We the sons and daughters of Maridi county issue this statement in reaction to the statement by Mr Joseph Lasuba Wongo and all his accomplices who claimed credit and responsibilities for [a] criminal act [in] which two innocent civilians of Maridi county were killed on the 27 January 2015,” the statement reads in part.

The Maridi community condemned the attack, saying they are peace loving and law-abiding people.

“We consider such an attack as an act of barbarism and we are ready to see to it that Mr Lasuba and his accomplices pay dearly for such actions. We are ready to take Mr Lasuba and his accomplices head on,” the statement said.

The community has vowed to hunt down the perpetrators and hold them accountable for their actions, stressing that it would no longer tolerate violence or threats.

“We therefore condemn any act of violence against any son and daughter of Maridi and their properties. An attack on one is an attack on all,” the statement said.

(ST)

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  • 4 February 2015 12:25, by Mayom County Boy

    Equatoria are food lover .
    I fear they will not join Dr Riek machar rebellion
    because they are food lover .
    WHY NOT SINCE RIEK FORM IS OWN REBELLION ?
    Am sure they become late to join Dr Riek Machar rebellion .

    repondre message

    • 4 February 2015 14:38, by Muorcienggok

      How dare you reciprocate what truly you are to the equatorians On this planet Nuers are the ones known to be fools,food lovers, looters, traitors, destructors and tribalists. Equatorians are not food lovers but rather wise people,they don’t just bandwagon without critically analyzing things, they are abiding and peace loving citizens;they coexist with others. Author:wen Kucbeny wek.

      repondre message

    • 4 February 2015 15:49, by Hardlinner

      Mayom county savage. I’m not equatorians but i do support their position. Most of them know their individual right unlike nuer and some dinkas. They don’t want to get kill on expenses of greedy leaders. Who the fuck is kiir and riek to die for them?. Dinka and nuer please get life. Don’t loose your life for those greedy politicians, sorry thieves.

      repondre message

      • 4 February 2015 17:59, by Joseph Canada

        Kudos to you Mr. Hardliner. Now you are thinking. If all Dinka and Nuer and the rest of South Sudanese think like that, those two should have been left to shame. Unfortunately the Army also seems to have follen on the tribal lines thats what happen. The two have their kids Drank and studying and marrying in other Countries. Non of their relatives are taking bullets but those poor citizens do.

        repondre message

        • 5 February 2015 06:13, by Lotodo Awino Odug

          Thank people of Maridi, this response is encouraging, peace will let us move forward.

          repondre message

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