- Written/Submitted by Gwado Ador
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Since the outbreak of political strife in South Sudan, which was widely characterized by the International Community as a tribal conflict between Dinka and Nuer on 15 - 16 December 2014
; South Sudan became devastated and demolished beyond recognition, mainly in certain parts such as Jonglie, Upper Nile and Unity States. Many other tribes including Collo were caught in between to either give support to Kiir and his inner corrupt circles, or joint the opposition that expresses regime change for reign of civility and rule of law in the country.
After the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and even before that, Collo has never tested peace, tranquility or even development at home because of prejudices and outright subjugation by SPLM led government; Collo have been excluded always from participation in the decision making at higher levels ostensibly by default. Collo have too individuals with immense greed like many others who are always lured by positions and material rewards at the expense of the silent majority to back such repressive regime even at the verge of its collapse.
Without any dispute and beyond any reasonable doubt, it was Kiir who initially sparked violence in juba by showing attitude of upstart dictator toward his colleagues who felt being sidelined. He went further planning and provoking the situation by inciting his presidential guards and militiamen who hails from his own tribe to disarm colleagues and to go around killing innocent civilian at sight especially those who hails from former Vice President's home. Also it was the same Kiir who made Collo areas impoverished letting some sections from Dinka to collide with certain elements among Nuers to exploit and suppress Collo people at every opportunity. We must not either forget that, the predator Kun Pouch is Kiir's appointee who plundered Malakal together with his column of entourage to the finish-up, including land occupation, and rampant extortion of money from poor natives who are laboring to feed their families out of scratch. Kiir could not even listen to Collo persistent protests including Reth Kwongo Dak Padiet's and late Ogilo Agor's pleading letters about the plight of Collo addressed to him. It is Kiir who a gain holds prominent Collo figures today: (Pagan Amum, Oyay Deng Ajak and Prof. Dr. Adowk Nyaba), as ransom and on treason charges for what he coined as failed attempted coup d'état, which does not merit or attract wide support at local and international levels.
The down trodden Collo of Malakal is at crossroad either to survive with dignity or perish with humiliation, a matter which would be remembered as once upon a time there was a tribe called "Collo". History will never forgive us from our naïve thinking, actions and selfishness to stand by and watch as spectators of the unfolding events without taking part or cover to protect ourselves. Backing such a regime is tantamount to committing suicide because it is covered with bloodstains of innocent people of South Sudan. Meanwhile, backing opposition on the other hand must be well studied and strategized to avoid pit falls of the past, which emanated from the mechanism of majority rule against the will of other minorities in this context.
It is a shame to watch prominent Collo figures lined up to prop-up Kiir's chauvinistic style of leadership that had long strategized for massacre to eliminate political opponents who hails from other tribes especially from the Greater Upper Nile Region. Collo must not make any mistake to allow Kiir downplay fresh sentiments over political grievances which has cost the country so much dear lives, he is unpopular, and a lame duck president who should be shown the exit out; the quicker the better for the people of South Sudan. Those Collo who have chosen to fight for Kiir's regime do it at their own risk, it is a doom because he is not any longer worthy as legitimate as he recklessly let loose the blood of innocent citizens of this country. He must be left to carry his own cross to face justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the heinous crimes he committed against the very people who brought him onto the power.
Collo must wake up to defend its land and heritage. We have seen with keen interest how many Collo including, women, elderly and children were targeted, dragged out from homes and killed in cool blood. Who is responsible for these rampage and savage killings in Malakal; are they members from Nuers or Dinkas or both. In answering such a question we must be very careful not to generalize or allow emotions overwhelm us to the rush conclusions that would make us regret the future. Some elements for reasons best known to them and probably for political calculations have decided to name particular tribes as the main source of all evils and havocs in South Sudan. Collo must learn how to define whether individuals or a section from a particular tribe could be held responsible. We must learn also how to scrutinize facts from falls information, it could be political propaganda designed to serve particular interest, which could result sometimes into the lost of innocent lives as the case in the on going bloodbath in our land.
Collo as people believe in political pluralism, reign of democracy and the rule of law, inherent in the tradition political leadership of the Collo Kingdom. What is happening in South Sudan today under the current leadership is 'anarchy and dictatorship reigning in no man's land', which brought this untold catastrophe. Kiir, as a leader seamed not to be concerned any longer about the plight of the people of Upper Nile leave alone the entre nation. He must accept the responsibility of mass killings and destruction that has engulfed the entire people of South Sudan. Kiir must acknowledge that South Sudan will never become the same again as long as he is still clinging onto the power on claims of legitimacy.
Therefore, We the Collo Vigilante Group hereby resolve the following:
1- We strongly condemn the continuation arrest of the remaining 4 leaders including Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba who are still in the detention on allegation of coup attempt. We call for their immediate release without preconditions.
2- We acknowledge and appreciate efforts exerted by leaders of SPLM-in Opposition to secure the release of the above-mentioned leaders in solidarity.
3- We call on all parties to immediately stop targeting innocent Collo civilians, especially wanton destruction, raping of women and girl child and looting of individual properties.
4- The fact that both sides have failed to protect civilians lives and after the destructions and random killings of innocent Collo civilians witnessed in Malakal, we call upon the combatants to immediately withdraw their forces from Collo land to allow burry our love ones.
5- Collo Armed Forces must remain alert and redeploy themselves to protect the integrity of Collo Kingdom, lives and properties of Collo people.
6- We call upon the international relief organizations to provide urgent assistant to the affected citizens of Malakal.
7- We urge the international community to compile all facts and reports surrounding mass killings in Malakal.
God bless the Collo people of Upper Nile and have mercy on them.
Collo Vigilante Group in East Africa
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