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Protesters in Wau town disown call against Equatorians in Bahr el Ghazal region

Protestors in Wau on 27, Oct, 2016 (ST Photo)

October 27, 2016 (WAU) – Hundreds of pro-government supporters in Wau town, capital of newly established Wau state in South Sudan, on Thursday protested a letter purportedly written by “Youth of Greater Bahr el Ghazal” which allegedly called for evacuation of people of Equatoria in response to ongoing killings targeting members of Dinka ethnic group living in Equatoria region.

On Monday, 24 October, copies of a letter calling for removal from Bahr el Ghazal region Equatorians were dropped in Wau town signed by a group calling itself Youth of Greater Bahr el Ghazal region. The alleged group warned that they did not want any Equatorian in their region within 72 hours or face the consequences in revenge for the alleged death of dozens of members of the Dinka community who were killed on Juba-Yei and Juba-Nimule roads for the past two weeks.

In response to the threat, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Greater Bahr el Ghazal region evacuated nearly 100 aid workers who hail from tribes of Greater Equatoria region and were airlifted out of Bahr el Ghazal region, United Nations has confirmed.

However, on Thursday, Wau state citizens came out in peaceful protest, disowning the letter carrying the threat from the alleged youth of Bahr el Ghazal. They said the letter was provocative that threatened the stability and peaceful co-existence within the state and with the neighbouring Equatorian citizens.

Wau state is inhabited by majority non-Dinka tribes.

While addressing the demonstrators, the state deputy governor, Pasquale Ayan, urged all Equatoria states’ citizens working with NGOs, business people and other residents to feel protected and ignore the threats.

Although the state government said they did not know who did it and could not believe it was written by the purported Bahr el Ghazal youth, the deputy governor pointed fingers at supporters of the armed opposition faction led by former First Vice President, Riek Machar, as allegedly behind the letter to cause havoc in the state.

Ayan who was angered by the contents of the letter said those behind it should write their apology letter through the way they did the first letter within 72 hours or would face drastic masseurs by the state authorities.

“Within 72 hours, you must write your apology letter or otherwise after 72 hours, you must leave Wau town, these are the groups of Dr. Riek Machar who are trying to make insecurity in Wau but we will deal with you,” said deputy governor, Ayan.

“If you are somebody from Wau or from a different state who did it to introduce discrimination to divide people in Wau, you must leave Wau,” he said.

He said there is no youth group in Wau town by the name ‘Youth of Greater Bahr el Ghazal”, saying this was the work of the enemy of peace.

Also, a statement read out by the state Youth League representative of the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Stephen Joseph, condemned the letter, saying it did not reflect the feeling of the youth league members in the state.

“We do advocate for peaceful co-existence and living in harmony among the people of South Sudan wherever they are. We strongly condemn this barbarism behaviors and characters, the letter of 24th October 2016 does not reflect feeling and views of the youth of this state,” partly reads the statement.

(ST)