October 9, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has dispatched a high-level delegation to Yei state over the rising insecurity in the area south of the national capital, Juba, where roads have been blocked by armed local forces allied to the SPLM-In Opposition.
- President Salva Kiir addresses the nation from the State House on September 15, 2015, in Juba (Photo AFP/Charles Atiki Lomodong)
The delegation which flew into Yei by air on Saturday is tasked to find out the causes of the rising insecurity in the state and to come out with a way through which the situation can be addressed.
President Kiir, according to multiple presidential aides, has mandated the delegation led by former governor of Central Equatoria state, Clement Wani Konga, who is the current presidential advisor for special affairs with Daniel Awet Akot, presidential advisor on political affairs, to assess the security situation in the area, particularly the causes behind the targeted killings and massive displacement of civilians in the state, which has been blamed on government forces.
Also the area’s members of council of states, national parliament and security organs are among the delegates.
The delegation arrived Yei town, the administrative headquarters of the new state, on Saturday afternoon by air, just hours after commercial vehicles fell into ambush by gunmen, resulting in the death of up to 21 people. Several others fled into the bush while many others sustained injuries.
The identity of the group responsible for the attacks remains unclear. Government accuses dissident armed youth from the area allied to the former First Vice President Riek Machar of allegedly being responsible for the attacks and called for regional designation of the group as “terrorists.”
Yei State Information Minister, Stephen Lado Onesmo, confirmed the arrival of the delegation and said they are expected to hold a public rally on Monday after meeting with security organs, members of state parliament, religious leaders, and traditional leaders in Yei.
He said the purpose of the visit of the delegation to the area is to investigate the root causes of the ongoing violent conflict in order to find amicable approaches to the problem in the state and to take the grievances of the people of Yei to President Kiir.
The state government under the leadership of the former Yei County Commissioner, turned governor, David Lokonga Moses, said it prioritizes peaceful dialogue as a viable means to resolving the conflict.
They have been clashes between rival forces in Yei state with the opposition forces threatening to close all the roads in the state and attack towns.