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S. Sudanese refugees urged to return to ex-rebel stronghold


August 21, 2017 (GAMBELLA) - The Governor of the Gambela region, Gatluak Tut Khot has urged South Sudanese refugees to return to Pagak, a former rebel stronghold within South Sudan’s Mawut state.

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South Sudanese refugees in Gambela, Ethiopia (Photo: South Sudan Consul, Gambela)

Gatluak, on Saturday, met several South Sudanese Nuer refugees in Kuergeng, an Ethiopian town located about 5 kilometers from Pagak town.

The refugees, South Sudan’s Consul in Gambella noted in a statement, vowed to return home since Maiwut was now liberated.

Since fighting erupted in South Sudan almost four years ago, Pagak has been headquarters of the armed opposition forces, led by former Vice President Riek Machar, currently in exile in South Africa.

The strategic town on South Sudan’s border with Ethiopia fell to government forces three weeks ago, reversing gains that had over the years been made by the armed opposition rebel movement.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Gambela reiterated his full support in facilitating the return of the South Sudanese refugees to Pagak.

“Gambela region will not entertain any rebellion or rebel groups, which are not interested to work for peace,” he stressed, warning that “If anyone is found warmongering in the Ethiopian territory, that person will be subjected to incarceration and deportation to Juba”.

Governor Gatluak said his region was ready to work with his Mawut state counterpart, Bol Ruac Rom to ensure the return of peace.

"Peace and development are the only things the regions of Gambela and Maiwut need at present,” explained Gatluak.

According to the governor, all South Sudanese refugees in the Ethiopia will undergo registration for those intending to go home.

“For those [South Sudanese refugees] unwilling to go home, they will have to be registered as refugees and nothing else,” he further added.

The number of South Sudanese refugees living in Ethiopia as of 31 July 2017 was 382,322, a United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) disclosed on Friday last week.

South Sudan has experienced a civil war since a split between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, escalated in December 2013. Tens of thousands of people have reportedly been killed and over 2 million displaced in less than five years.

A peace deal brokered by the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in August 2015, collapsed when fresh violence broke out in the South Sudanese capital, forcing Machar to flee into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The rebel leader currently lives in South Africa.


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  • 21 August 2017 07:44, by South South

    Good news for South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, they need to return home to develop their villages, towns and cities. Maiwut and Pagak schools should be re-opened to give chance to children to learn. This is great news for South Sudan. No more war, you hear that jubaone and Eastern?

    repondre message

    • 22 August 2017 06:39, by jubaone

      South South,
      Read southsudanliberty.com perhaps this will wake you up from your long sleep and jienge dreams.

      repondre message

  • 21 August 2017 08:28, by Nuer bi Bay Dom

    look at Dinka bribed boy Gatluak Tut threatening south Sudanese nuer refugees in Ethiopia.to dismiss or deport them to dinka in juba.

    repondre message

    • 21 August 2017 08:37, by Nairobimitot

      Nuer Bi Bay Dom
      The governor of Gambella is not threatening anyone. He is only taking a decisive action. In case you do not know. A decisive action means leadership. He is a great leader who has no fear. Whether you like it or you don’t like, that will be up to you. You have to be deported to Juba for further treatment of your head to see what is wrong with you. Do not waste children time in refugees Camp if you are warmongers. They need to go back to their homes and land to live and start school. I am very sure they will enjoy and be happy in their area than living in refugees Camp. Peace be with you all.

      repondre message

  • 21 August 2017 08:30, by Nairobimitot

    The Gambella Governor need to be rewarded. What a governor? Thank you for your straight forward talk that is what needed, peace, peace. We need peace and development, and it is time to tell the warmongers that enough is enough. Thank you, governor of Gambella, wish you and your counterpart of Maiwut and Pagak governor a long life. Leadership is at its best. It is the time that the children of Maiwut start their education in Pagak in the South Sudan. We do not want to waste their time.

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    • 21 August 2017 13:51, by Marco A. Wek

      Nairobimitot and the rest, please be South Sudanese and not act like foreignersforeigner. Those refugees are your brothers and sisters and under no circumstances should support the idea of bringing them into harm way. Hatred will drive us to hell

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  • 21 August 2017 09:27, by Lenin Bull

    Hurray!!, Where are the SPLA-IO internet bastards that have been misleading innocent Nuer people on the situation in Pagak? Even deceiving that government forces have signed their surrendering themselves to Ethiopian authorities!! Have you heard it loud and clear from Gambella governor Tut Gatluak that your SPLA-IO nonsense is no longer being tolerated by Ethiopian Authorities?

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  • 21 August 2017 09:31, by Lenin Bull

    Any way the Gatjaak on both sides of EThiopia-South Sudan border have seriously taken their future and well being into their own hands and will no longer entertain criminals to play with lives of their civilians through meaningless war for one blind, old idiot. Now we are going to see development security and development in Maiwut State. Let Riek go to burn down Leer if he wishes.

    repondre message

    • 21 August 2017 10:47, by Nairobimitot

      They have nothing to say. Their depression has calm down. We will give them food, security when they comeback to their land Pagak.

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      • 21 August 2017 12:20, by jubaone

        Jienges have no war in their areas, yet they flee to Darfur, Equatoria in search for food. How can you give the refugees food, when you lazy jienges even cant cultivate? Or are you giving them the WFP food airdrops, and saying this came from Aweil or Gogrial? No loser. Just shut up and let others feed you.

        repondre message

    • 21 August 2017 12:24, by jubaone

      Lenin Bullshit,
      Since when did jienges care for Nuers? You killed over 10,000 in Juba in cold blood and now say, "we care for civilians in Pagak" when you cant even care for your own Apuk and Aguok savages killing themselves. That is jienge hyprocrisy and delusion of highest order.

      repondre message

  • 21 August 2017 10:47, by lou nuer

    My dear colleagues:
    2: Nairobimitot
    3: Lenin Bull
    Don’t interpret Tito Gatluak Tut Koat message according the way he wrote on media. Ask your loyal friends during the private meeting with Gajaak community elderss in Gambella? YOu will change your statement.You Dinka cannot be happy for that only while fighting still ongoing. For you to have access where to get money on border? hahaahaa

    repondre message

  • 21 August 2017 11:38, by lou nuer

    My dear colleagues:
    2: Nairobimitot
    3: Lenin Bull
    Don’t interpret Tito Gatluak Tut Koat message according the way he wrote on media. Ask your loyal friends during the private meeting with Gajaak community elderss in Gambella? YOu will change your statement.You Dinka cannot be happy for that only while fighting still ongoing. For you to have access where to get money on border? hahaahaa

    repondre message

    • 21 August 2017 15:01, by Believe in Truth

      No doubt the Tabanian coins are working seriously In Gambella and In Ethiopia in particular!!

      repondre message

      • 21 August 2017 15:35, by Redeemer

        your campaign of last year for Dinka to leave Yai came true, they left but did Yai turned honey? No, you started killing yourselves day and night till Yai became a ghost town, when in actual sense the number of Dinka in was not exceeding 1000. What benefit did you get?

        repondre message

        • 21 August 2017 15:53, by Redeemer

          Riek felt the heat so he has soften his usual stand of war, he admitted to be part of forthcoming Adis meeting for outstanding issues of 2015 peace. yes unless you talk peace, otherwise Tiger will give no room

          repondre message

        • 22 August 2017 06:12, by jubaone

          This barbaric killings only started ad soon as hoards of jienge savages called "unknown gunmen" or SPLAnyors came to Equatoria. Now Equatorians are cleaning up the filth and no more idle squatters. Next target is Nimule. Equatorians didn’t migrate to jiengeland, but the jienges are everywhere in Equatoria (MTN). That is going to stop soon. Great God👊.

          repondre message

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