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UN experts call for prevention of ethnic cleansing in South Sudan

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November 30, 2016 (JUBA) - The world’s youngest country is on the brink of catastrophe, a three-member United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan warned at the end of a 10-day visit.

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Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, addresses a press conference in Juba on Friday 11, 2016 (UNMISS Photo)

“The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it,” the Commission chairperson, Yasmin Sooka warned Wednesday.

The official specifically cited disturbing indicators such as an increase in hate speech, a crackdown on the media and civil society, deepening divisions between the country’s 64 tribes, renewed recruitment in a country already awash with guns and the proliferation of armed groups aligned to both sides in armed conflict.

“There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard villagers saying they are ready to shed blood to get their land back,” said Sooka.

“Many told us it’s already reached a point of no return”, she added.

Ken Scott, a member of the commission, advocated for the urgency in the need to establish the hybrid court promised for South Sudan.

“Large parts of the country literally have no functioning courts and even the traditional reconciliation methods are now breaking down with the result that it’s a free for all”, he stated.

During their 10-day visit, the Commission reportedly met several displaced women in the Juba camp who were allegedly gang raped in the July attacks and have yet to receive adequate medical treatment for resulting complications, four months later.

“The scale of rape of women and girls perpetrated by all armed groups in South Sudan is utterly unacceptable and is frankly mind boggling,” stressed Sooka.

“Aid workers describe gang rape as so prevalent that it’s become ‘normal’ in this warped environment but what does that say about us that we accept this and thereby condemn these women to this unspeakable fate?” she added.

In Wau town, where ethnic tension remains high, civilians reportedly gave graphic accounts of how their husbands and children were robbed and murdered by soldiers from the army during violence in June in which at least 53 people were killed.

“The impact of this spreading violence is much more widespread and serious than earlier thought,” said Commissioner Godfrey Musila who visited the area.

Meanwhile, the three-member UN Commission of experts suggested a number of steps that is said the international community should take immediately to avert mass bloodshed. Among such measures, it said, is to expedite the immediate arrival of the 4,000 strong Regional Protection Force in South Sudan, ensure the force is not restricted only to the capital, freeze assets, enact targeted sanctions and implement an arms embargo.

(ST)

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  • 1 December 13:12, by Paul Ongee

    I think UN is talking about the IO forces trained in Sudan preparing to launch attacks on the positions of government forces along the border. UN apologized for the interception of weapons in Rumbek last time when its convoy was heavily loaded with weapons. They are supposed to support African leaders to solve their own problem such that there is no any war as seen in developed countries.

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    • 1 December 13:16, by Paul Ongee

      The problem with the West or developed countries is that they manufacture weapons for testing and using them in underdeveloped or developing countries as they call it. That’s why there are wars currently going on in the Middle East and African countries. The Third world in general is considered one of the best market places for the newly made weapons.

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      • 1 December 13:19, by Paul Ongee

        If there is no war at all, they create one or two in different developing countries only in the name of democracy, human rights, you name it. I don’t know why there are few millionaires; only 1% of the world/West population is fine-tuning the behavior of 99% while they behave de way they choose. Why religious bigotry, conflict of interest and control of resources are the order of the day?

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        • 1 December 13:38, by Paul Ongee

          Why wealth creation is not human right and democratic? Does human right apply only to the 1% rich people but not to the 99% of the world population? Does human right apply only to countries manufacturing weapons and nuclear bombs? Why does it apply only to rich nations but not poor nations? Why human rights do not advance poor nations to become G-7/8 and G-20? It sounds funny folks.

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          • 1 December 13:39, by Paul Ongee

            Had the very West been conversant enough with the political history of South Sudan and political record of whoever likes making coup d’etat in developing countries like Riek Machar since 1991, there would have never been bloodshed in the youngest country of the world. The implementation of CPA-2005 during the interim period (2005-2011) did not resolved all issues besides leadership style

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            • 1 December 13:40, by Paul Ongee

              The West stood firmly with the marginalized people of Sudan during the struggle until 2005, 2011 and up to now but something fishy started going on before the outstanding issues of CPA are finally resolved such that we come to the issue of rating leadership style in South Sudan. In the West, opinion poll or vote of confidence is always de case to gauge de performance of a leader, not coup plotter.

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              • 1 December 13:41, by Paul Ongee

                However the case may be, the issue of Khartoum-backed militia groups started right after the formation of the popular movement (SPLM/A) led by Dr. John Garang de Mabior in 1983. The issue of Darfur (2003-present) and SPLM-N has been the basis of argument to Omer Al-Bashir whose leadership performance has never been questioned or rated but Salva Kiir struggled to keep Junubin united as....

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                • 1 December 13:45, by Paul Ongee

                  ...Dr. John Garang did in the bush. The West should have continued supporting the leadership of President Salva Kiir until 2015 because general election was scheduled to take place. Although the would-be presidential candidates running their campaigns on different platforms, voters would first consider rating the performance of leadership style of President SKM before casting their ballots.

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                  • 1 December 13:46, by Paul Ongee

                    The remaining questions were "Would the presidential candidates come from the same party (SPLM) or different parties?" In South Sudan where the country has just emerged from war, "Should one campaign for the Chairmanship of the party (SPLM) first as Riek Machar did before revealing his intention to run for president of the country or NLC to elect?" If NLC failed to meet, should one make a coup?

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                    • 1 December 13:48, by Paul Ongee

                      Why some members of the NLC were not patient enough to consider where the country (South Sudan) has come from first, united nationalistically and patriotically or not? If yes or no, election season was already approaching where Junubin will make a choice - to elect a new leader who will first keep Junubin united in spirit and move the country forward for the next generation.

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                      • 1 December 13:48, by Paul Ongee

                        Making a coup d’etat or staging a rebellion will only fuel disunity and create more tribalism --- the African disease that needs to be healed. The Bible has mentioned the 12 tribes of Israel but now they call themselves Israelis, not tribes again. In South Sudan such tribal mentality will disappear only when we become nationalistic and patriotic enough to reject tribalism and disunity.

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                        • 1 December 13:50, by Paul Ongee

                          The claim by some IO leaders/supporters blindly following Riek Machar’s political ideology that the August peace agreement of 2015 has failed is totally wrong. They claim so because they see Riek Machar as the only South Sudanese son who holds a PhD compared to President Salva Kiir’s education. They look at but don’t see the real political record of Riek Machar.

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                          • 1 December 13:52, by Paul Ongee

                            Now the Government has identified cantonment sites for the IO sympathizers and supporters in Equatoria region where the senseless war of Riek Machar never took place when Bor, Bentiu and Malakal have been changing hands before the gallant SPLA forces finally recaptured them from the rebels. They’re supporters because they never participated in the fight in the (3) towns.

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                            • 1 December 13:54, by Paul Ongee

                              The real OI forces who fought in the (3) towns know themselves because most them were SPLA soldiers and the militia who were integrated into SPLA and stationed in the respective towns. Equatoria and Bahr El-Ghazal regions were peaceful. So how can US or UN claim that there were IO forces in the two regions? The "white army" of Lou-Nuer who were used by Riek Machar since 1991 refused to come.

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                              • 1 December 13:56, by Paul Ongee

                                The claim of intensification of violence in Equatoria region is false unless those IO sympathizers and supporters continue to destabilize the region as massive robbery witnessed on Juba-Nimule Highway, Juba-Yei, Juba-Torit and Juba-Magwi-Pajok roads, using hit-and-run strategy to rob, loot, kill and rape. With de failure to pay dem in US dollars as he promised, I believe most of dem will report to

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                                • 1 December 13:57, by Paul Ongee

                                  Those who report to the sites will be screened and trained combat skills because some of them want to be in the army. But those who want to remain highway and road robbers will be dealt with. And the good time for dealing with them is this upcoming dry season which triggered international concern to use the word "intensified violence." The robbers can run but cannot hide as before.

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                                  • 1 December 13:59, by Paul Ongee

                                    The international pressure must be applied to Riek Machar who declared war on South Sudan government in Khartoum. His recent secret trip from South Africa to Addis Ababa and Khartoum was "embarrassing and humiliating" because the two cities denied him entry which proved that he’s no longer wanted there to continue with his senseless mobilization for war. His supporters and sympathizers know this.

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                                    • 1 December 14:00, by Paul Ongee

                                      Riek Machar is subjectively capitalizing on the participation of his sympathizers from Equatoria and Bahr El-Ghazal regions to sustain the senseless war of destruction, hoping to elevate him to the top job in the country. Those supporters and sympathizers believe that the war would provide them with opportunity to get (fake) military ranks, high positions and employment opportunities.

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                                      • 1 December 14:01, by Paul Ongee

                                        While the Government has been and is still really struggling to absorb the new comers of Khartoum-backed militia warlords and re-absorb the same people who rebelled against the system for the sake of peace and unity, Riek Machar, his sympathizers and supporters felt that it’s opportune moment to continue with the war that has already cost thousands of lives and displaced millions.

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                                        • 1 December 14:02, by Paul Ongee

                                          The only difference between the Government and IO-Riek is "peace and war ideology". Riek Machar is for the continuation of war at any cost without concern for the inflicted sufferings on the civil population, IDPs and refugees in the neighboring countries where UN resources are badly overstretched. If Riek Machar denounces violence, I believe there’ll be no intensified violence or tensions.

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  • 1 December 13:45, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Paul Ongee

    It would be helpful if you shut that filthy mouth on issues that affect people of all walks of life in South Sudan. You are supporting a system that glorifies rape, loot of properties and mass murder of citizens for their different political opinions. Riek Machar and those in opposition only did that but the response from J1 is TERROR and you support!!

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    • 1 December 14:07, by Paul Ongee

      Jur Likand,

      How are you doing maan? Hope you’re doing fine. Thanks for acknowledging the truth. I am not a politician but telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I know the truth always hurts. Have peace of mind please. Don’t let you HBP rise.

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      • 1 December 19:01, by jubaone

        Paul Ongee,
        Your articles here reveal a few things: . You’re a jienge most likely from Bahr elghasal. 2. You’re very close to the JCE either as an unofficial spokesman or direct kin 3. You’re a direct beneficiary of this corrupt system through govt contracts or direct cash payments. 4. We shall track you down in Juba unless you live in the diaspora.

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  • 1 December 14:26, by mountain boy

    Ongee Paul
    despite of the looted money which has been given to you by Salva Kiir and his lunatic Taban Deng Gai to continued bucking like mating dog, the fact remain that we are tied of Jeing of Dinka regime. And for your information if at all you are still being hind under the armpit the country will be liberated again soon if your still in dilemma

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  • 1 December 15:39, by mr.chris

    Paul ongnee

    The current government has losed it’s relevance,South Sudan deserve change. If you want prove me, do an extensive research,tell me the number of people who stays and sleep happy including your own family.

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  • 1 December 16:20, by adhelayoor

    First and foremost, it is clear to justify that the giants in the world of nations have pointed very clearly now! Isn’t it making you awake that intentions are clear for US and UN to burden the worst image in the history of Rwanda and Africa in general to paint South Sudan with it?

    No political doubts that such alarms are not just political agitations but, context of really intentions! Beware!!!

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    • 1 December 16:49, by adhelayoor

      However, now knowing that, ethnic cleansing is a cheap project by running away from real responsibilities and contain mess in the context of prevention.

      So, where are the values in the giants ? How about virtues that put all of us in the membership of UN? Isn’t it vices that it leads now? isn’t it worth it to crack down on the forces of globalization that champion messes just like US and UN ??

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