To : H.E Festus G. Mogae, Chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission(JMEC) Juba , Republic of South Sudan.
Subject: Collo Community Council Position on opening the Nile route from Renk to Juba.
Collo Community Council is writing to you in response to the statement made by the Minister of information, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth in regard to the above mentioned subject.
Allow us to remind you that on 22/5/2016, Collo Community Council wrote and sent you a letter to inform you and alert your office about the movement of a large Government force from Juba to Malakal. A big portion of that force had already crossed and occupied Collo villages of Detang, Lelo and Warajwok on the western bank of the White Nile. This move is a prologue to launching a full scale war to kill, displace Collo civilian population and grab their land in order to resettle Dinka Padang including Ngok Dinka of Abyei there in, which is the ultimate and strategic goal of President Silva Kiir and his Jieng Council.In thisregard, the request of honorable Michael Makuei Lueth, the Minister of Information and Spokesman of TGONU to open the Nile route from Renk to Juba on the pretext of transporting food items is too naive to fool us. Mr. Lueth’s message is a feeble attempt to mislead the public and the international community by hiding the real intention of his government. We hope no one is deceived particularly credible institutions like JMEC.
In actual fact there is no dura grain available in Renk at the moment because insecurity has prevented the farmers from cultivating the food crop since the December 2013 war erupted.
The truth is that President Kiir, his Jieng council and their allies want to use the opportunity of opening the Nile route to load the barges with soldiers, ammunitions and military hardware and equipment for their eminent full scale war on Collo Community land on the Western bank of the White Nile. River route is so crucial for weapons that can't be easily brought in by aircraft.
Collo Community Council is aware that relief operations across conflict lines are usually done by credible and neutral organizations. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) was so successful in delivering relief food to former government of Sudan and SPLM areas. The same process could be applied in South Sudan if there were real concern for saving lives that are being threatened by hunger and starvation.
After all is the government of South Sudan ready to open parts of the river routes under its control? No, of course. At the moment no Collo person can move from UNMISS camp in Malakal to the river bank. No one can go from Malakal to Waw Collo and vise versa. Collo fishermen trying to fish on the western side are being shot at by government soldiers and their militia controlling the east side of the White Nile. Since the inception of the current war the government in Juba has never allowed relief barges to deliver food to Collo land. Early this month government soldiers opened fire on NGO's boats going to Waw Collo displaced camp to assess the situation after a long time without assistance. It is indeed a poor performance of its created drama that Juba government is calling for opening Nile routes. We volunteer to inform everybody that it was that Government that closed the Nile route in the first place when the war intensified. Deplorably, it refused to allow international humanitarian agencies to use the Nile route to ship food to needy people outside its areas of control. It employed that methodology to punish the rebels, forgetting (or perhaps knowingly) that it was also punishing innocent citizens, particularly Collo community, who were not party to the baseless war between Kiir and Machar.
However, if the Juba regime is waking up so late to recognize the importance of peace, which should be the basis for opening cross conflict routes, we may want to know what parts or sections of the agreement it is ready to implement. Is it not that government that is insisting on the 28 states, which grabbed Collo land and lands of other tribes in South Sudan? Is it not the same government that is putting obstacles on the formation of peace implementation committees?
Collo Community Council is well aware about the severe hunger that is affecting many parts of South Sudan. Yet we are equally aware that relief assistance is not a priority to the government of Juba. The general welfare of the citizens is not its priority either. That government’s top priority is hanging to power at any cost even if that means murdering all the people of the country or leaving them to die of hunger and disease. That is why it has been savagely killing civilians in Collo land since 2009. As said earlier it has not been allowing relief food to Collo land. The same pattern of killing has been recently applied in Raga and Wau of Bahr El Ghazal. No one should be surprised if that is replicated in all parts of South Sudan.
In view of the above we are urging JMEC, UN, IGAD, AU, TRIOKA and the entire InternationalCommunity to intervene and stop this unprecedented killing of citizens by its own government. This government must be made to understand what peace means to human beings and obliged to implement the peace agreement to the letter. The starting point in implementing the peace agreement is none other than scraping the illegal and controversial 28 states and re-instating the lawful 10 states, which the agreement stipulates. All orders that Kiir unilaterally made should also be abolished immediately and peace enforcement committees activated.
Please accept our highest regards.
Samson Oyay Awin, Chairman of Collo Community Council
CC: UN Secretary General,NY,USA
CC: Chairperson of UN Security Council, NY, USA
CC: Chairperson , AU , ADDIS ABABA , Ethiopia
Chairperson ,EU, Brussel, Belguim.
CC: Troika Countries(USA,UK &Norway)
CC: Chairperson, Human Rights Violation ,Geneva,
CC: Chollo members of Legislature Assembly, National Assembly, Juba.
CC: Chollo community members in USA, UK,Austalia and the rest.
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