March 31, 2017 (JUBA) – Community leaders and intellectuals from Ruweng state in South Sudan have threatened to take up arms against the government’s decision to sack a governor who split from his peace partner, the SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Taban Gai.
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)
In a statement released on Friday, the community leadership questioned the President’s motive behind his decision to give the area to the armed opposition, which they accused of committing war crimes in their area.
The statement follows a protest by Ruweng’s native citizens who objected the President Kiir’s decision to fire Governor Theji Da Adwad after his recent split from SPLM-IO over land ownership with the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).
“The Ruweng community is stunned by this uncaring decision, we are surprised by the action of the President. If President Kiir is sincere with the implementation of the peace agreement, why did he decide to sell Ruweng people to the SPLM-IO in order to implement the peace?"
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the community claimed that many citizens in the area were mercilessly killed in Bentiu by forces acting on the directive of Taban Deng Gai at the height of the 2013 war.
“Mr. First Vice President, your premature decision to invade Ruweng State is a recipe for conflict. Ruweng people denounce violence and condone peace and development. It is evident in the annals of history that SPLA/M/IO directly massacred thousands of Ruweng men, women, and children, particularly during the periods of 2013 and 2015. These wounds inflicted on Ruweng people are not healed yet,” the statement read.
The communique added that it was too early for SPLA/M/IO officials to rule in Ruweng, reiterating their determination to all SPLA/M/IO politicians whether they are Ruweng or Non-Ruweng natives.