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Sudan Tribune

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Azandes say discontent over mistreatment of WES authorities

Date: September 15th, 2006

– H.E. Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit,

The First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan

The President of the Government of South Sudan, and
C-in-C of the SPLA

SUBJECT: AN OPEN LETTER OF DISCOTENT ON THE MISTREATMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN EQUATORIA AND THEIR AUTHORITIES.

Mr. President, first and foremost, we are writing to you with deep sadness because during this first phase of the Interim Period when the people of Western Equatoria State are

Supposed to be enjoying the fruit of the CPA, there is but a total disappointment by the people of Western Equatoria State with the way their civil Authorities are being humiliated culminating in the unjust suspension and house arrest and dismissal of Col. Patrick Zamoi. Throughout the two decades of the civil war the SPLA fought vigorously to redeem the people from the Islamic Government in Khartoum to enjoy equal justice, freedom, respect of rights and unity in diversity.

The people of Western Equatoria thought the CPA brought an end to the violence phenomenon they suffered patiently since 1990 at the hand of a particular ethnic group with the cogitation that it was the making of the war. As host, the people of Western Equatoria committed themselves to amicable means including numerous complaint letters written and sent to relevant APLA/M Leadership/Authorities, meetings/seminars.

DIRECTIONS FOR PEACE AND AMICABLE SOLUTIONS

Mr. President, the people and their various authorities of Western Equatoria should be credited for their persistent efforts to settle the conflict with the IDP peacefully. Thus are some of the many efforts made by the people of Western Equatoria State:

– In a meeting called to address the cattle issue in Maridi in 2001, Mr. President, you

Were by then the Second in Command to late John Garang; you issued orders for the

Immediate repatriation of cattle from Maridi.

– In January 30th, 2003, a letter of concern over the mistreatment of the people in SPLA

Controlled Western Equatoria was filed to late John Garang.

– In the year 2003, the Equatoria Regional Conference addressed the cattle issue and

made resolutions for the cattle to move immediately.

– In June 2004, your current Vice President Riek Machar, while on his visit to Mundri

County which coincided with the Mundri Socio-economic Recovery Conference, had

Meetings and consultations with Chiefs, Church Leaders and SPLA/M authorities and

Non-Governmental Organizations and Chiefs from the cattle camps, he ordered the

Cattle camps to move from Mundri.

– In March 2005, a big conference was organized and held in Tali in which a safe passage

for the IDP and the tracking cattle were discussed among different stake holders. In the

meeting, SPLA was requested to provide forces to escort the IDP through their journey

to their home towns.

– A follow-up meeting was held between representatives of Muru community and IDP in

Rumbek during which repatriation time frame was drawn up between April- May 2005,

and safe passage was agreed upon.

– The Church Leadership of Mundri and Lui Dioceses met with late John Garang over the

same issue on several forums and called on his administration to intervene and solve the

problem between the host community and the IDP for amicable co-existence.

– Inter-States Peace Conference (Western Equatoria, Lakes, Warrap, Central Equatoria

and Western Bahr el Ghazal States) was organized by the Western Equatoria State

Authorities in Yambio and was facilitated by New Sudan Council of Churches through

19th 24th April, 2006.

Mr. President, the few aforementioned are the practical means the various authorities and leadership of Western Equatoria have been exerting to resolve the crisis. Unfortunately, in stead the people and their authorities and leadership have been accorded with injustice and humiliation.

DISCONTENT

– Col. Patrick Zamoi, was declared guilty, suspended, put under house arrest and finally

dismissed without any verdict of the Court.

– Col. Patrick Zamoi was taken at gun point in pyjamas to appear not before the Court of

Justice but before the three men committee which had itself declared him guilty.

– General Samuel Abujohn was formerly the Governor of Greater Equatoria and recently

an Advisor to the President of the Federal Government of South Sudan on Federal

Affairs. It could be understood if he held the position in Western Equatoria as a Care

Taker not as a sole Governor.

LESSON LEARNT

– To date, the people of Western Equatoria State have learnt from the famous slogan:

We are the liberators. We liberated Western Equatoria. The liberators therefore

have rights to do whatever they want while the liberated must bear with whatever

situation: bad or worst.

– The people of Western Equatoria have learnt from the Culture of Violence which

continue to befall them that might is right and the victims must endure in silence.

– The people of Western Equatoria have learnt from the slogan of liberation that the

liberators are the first class and the liberated are the second class citizens whose

various authorities and leadership can be harassed, lashed, tortured, and arrested at

will without proper procedure for they are but the liberated.

– The people of Western Equatoria have learnt that their local authorities and leaders

who talk against the mistreatment of the community are declared anti SPLA, thus

Jelaba collaborators.

SPLA/M

Mr. President, the Sudanese Peoples Army/ Movement in itself is positive and the people of Western Equatoria State are its strong supporters. The slogan of We are the liberators, the Culture of violence and Ill-will attitude towards the people of Western Equatoria are tainting the Innocent Face of SPLA/M.

The people of Western Equatoria State are very aware of the many difficulties which the Government of South Sudan is facing and they are bearing with it. But they will stand the culture of violence, ill-will attitude and denounce the slogan of liberators and liberated because CPA is a result of collective effort all ethnic groups in South Sudan including the people in the marginalized areas shed their blood.

The people of South Sudan have been lamenting under the yoke of the Jelaba rule in Khartoum. The CPA has provided the people of South Sudan with a golden chance to unveil from that yoke. The house or family that stands against itself falls.

Mr. President, there is a continues cry from your children in one of your quarters (Western Equatoria State), which signals existence of problem in your house. You need to come close to them to find what is affecting them. You are a father and not a foster father. Know your sheep and call them by names and treat all of them equally.

Finally and foremost, the people of Western Equatoria plead with you to give them chance to democratically choose Governor of their choice. Kindly, do not impose Governor on them who are not their choice.

In conclusion, the people of Western Equatoria State will continue to support your presidency and SPLA/M.

Long live SPLA/M

Long live the Government of South Sudan

Long live unity in diversity

Babiro Charles Gbamisi

Azande Representative in British Columbia,

CANADA

He can be reached on E-mail: [email protected]

Copy to: 1. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of South Sudan

2. Acting Governor, Western Equatoria State

3. Speaker, Legislative Assembly of Western Equatoria State

4. All Commissioners in Western Equatoria State

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