August 30, 2011 (SSNA) — The United South Sudan Party (USSP) has with much concern followed the unfolding disappointments of the new country’s population as the country degenerates into uncontrollable chaos as a result of the leadership’s failure and inability to delivery on the promises it has made not too long ago on issues of food availability, general security, the rule of law and an end to inter-tribal fights.
We all understand how precarious the general situation is all over the country, however issues of food shortages, influx of returnees from northern Sudan and the Diaspora were all things long coming and yet the SPLM leadership was more bent on its internal power struggle, than delivering on its long list of empty promises.
It is both regrettable and disgracing to hear that after less than a period of two month, the new state is far from holding itself up as rampant inter-clan killings sweep throughout the states of Warrap, Lakes, Upper Nile and Jonglei. While the loss of human life continues, the death tolls are already at alarming figures.
Renowned international media outlets, the Sudan Tribune and all the rest of the online websites dedicated to Sudanese issues have run daily ‘Breaking-News’ headings and published commentaries of how dire life has become in some regions of the nascent republic of South Sudan where the population slowly succumb to food shortages, hunger, lawlessness and the loss of lives in their hundreds.
In the Warrap state, home to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and many of the ruling SPLM figures, ministers and high profile government officials, an investigation is claimed now to be under way.
“South Sudan’s Warrap state asks committee to investigate death of over 300 people”. Sudan Tribune, 16th August 2011 wrote.”
This comes following reports that the state is facing severe food shortages, with the most affected groups being the women and the elderly as well as those who have just returned from the north following Sudan’s official breakup last month.
Again on August 19, 2011[JUBA] Sudan Tribune wrote: – “South Sudan officials say a currency exchange centre was attached in Warrap State, prompting the officials from the Central Bank of South Sudan [CBoSS] to evacuate the money held there to Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal state”.
The same website on august 22, 2011 [JUBA] again wrote: “As the government of South Sudan’s Warrap state continues to deny the prevalence of hunger, food shortages and malnutrition in some areas, the state parliament has warned that the executive must accept the truth and assist the affected population”, it said.
“This month 358 people, most of them are believed to be returnees from North Sudan, are reported to have died of hunger. Warrap state authorities deny the deaths were due to hunger and have attributed the cause to an outbreak of disease”, it went on to add.
”However, members of the state assembly say the cause of death in the area has nothing to disease but a manifestation of prevalence of real hunger which the state should address without prejudice,” the report concluded.
Elsewhere in the east, the Jonglei state bordering Ethiopia has again become a battle field for warring tribal groups. According to Sudan Tribune on August 20, 2011[JUBA} – the UN mission in South Sudan had said on Saturday that at least 58 people have been killed in fighting in Jonglei state, considering it the latest sign of instability after South Sudan seceded from the rest of the Sudan in July.
However, before that the same website is quoted to have reported [Friday] that local officials put the estimate of the death toll in what they referred to as clashes on Thursday between the Murle and theLou Nuer ethnic groups over cattle raiding and other disputes at around 600 lives. It further quoted A UN spokesperson in Juba to have told Reuters that in the two locations the UN had visited, 58 people had been killed although he said that there were many more areas that have not yet been reached.
USSP sincerely regrets this huge loss of precious human lives and extends its deeply felt condolences to the families of the deceased, while maintaining that all these sad events were preventable had the current leadership learnt any lessons from the hundreds of similar incidents that had dominated the news headlines in the previous one and a half years.
This is the same government which offered to avail ‘Peace Keepers’ to the war-torn Somalia while its own territory is undergoing yet another somalisation. On the whole it is not a credible dealer, for neither will it deliver in Somalia nor can it stop the chronic lawless in its own backyard. And while hunger and preventable diseases prey on the poor Somali people in the absence of a strong central government, the demise is even too dramatic in South Sudan which has a strongly centralised government and a President that is second to none in the powers that he commands, thanks to the controversial transitional constitution of this new Republic.
USSP from this press release calls upon all the peace loving people of the world to come and come quickly to the aid of the choiceless and helpless who as we write, are living under a state of terror from either yet another ‘enemy attack’ or an imminent death from the widespread hunger and the vulnerability to fatal diseases that ensue as a consequence.
Youth and civil society groups must immediately move into the centre of events for the independence of South Sudan goes beyond the slogans of “SPLM Oyee!”, and when lives are being lost in their hundreds, we need to rise to the highest level of patriotism and work together to save our people. The unlawful arrest and beating of Hon. Dominic Deng Mayom MP, representative of the Tonj North county by the authorities in Kuacjok represents another alarming turn in events.(Read Sudan Tribune 24, August 2011 under the heading ,” Warrap Assembly summons Governor over MP’s arrest”.). This too must be investigated and never should it be allowed to spoil our democracy.
It is understandable that every step we plan to take needs money- yet South Sudan has been robbed from that money by those thieves who stand in the front rows in public gatherings. Their accounts in foreign lands are full of money stolen from the poor citizens and yet our people are left to die by being denied any fair shares in the revenues of the country’s multi-billion Oil industry.
Fellow compatriots! How desperate the situation may become, let us heed to one fact. Always remember that it is our votes that brought us here, and we should still be able to reorganise and vote ourselves out of this mess.