Press statement – for immediate release!
Quote: “……we live in a single garment of destiny and that what affects one directly, affects the other indirectly……” (By Martin Luther King Jr)
November 21, 2011 (SSNA) — Fangak Youth Union would like to seize this opportunity to express its solidarity with the people of Atar in Pigi County, Jonglei state, who have been befallen by the pitfall situation that happened on the 16th of November, 2011. As we’ve heard and read in the media, Atar and its surrounding villages were attacked and burned to ashes on Wednesday this week by the rebels claiming to be fighting the government but are now ending up fighting the innocent civilians. This fact by its very nature leaves a lot to be desired of the rebels’ intentions – that is if the rebels took up arms in order to fight the government of the day but have now ended up turning their guns against the civilians whom they are supposed to protect and leave them unharmed!
We in the Fangak Youth Union would like to condemn this act of violence targeting civilians’ settlements by the rebels, who are using scare tactics of ‘hit and run’! We would like to assure the people of Atar in Pigi County that we stand in solidarity with them in this hour of tragedy as they mourn the death of their loved ones as well as their destroyed livelihoods/properties. It’s a pity that it had happened this way! What has befallen the people of Atar this week is almost similar to what happened to the people of Fangak County in February early this year, but varies in magnitude as the scale of the destruction in Fangak was huge – compared to the recent pitfall event that has taken its toll on the people of Atar in Pigi County!
The purpose of this press statement is not meant to serve a certain political interest or is not for political reasons as may be construed by some—— but a genuine solidarity with the people of Atar– the victims of this circumstance, who share a lot in common with the people of Fangak County, both historically and geographically. As we’d mentioned earlier in our press release issued this week condemning the attack on civilians’ boat in Fangak County, we made it crystal clear that we do not want any innocent civilian(s) in any part of South Sudan to be killed for no reason. Contextually, it should not go without informing the right historical records that Pigi, Ayod and the mother Fangak County were once under One County called “Fangak County”(now Greater Fangak) before the decentralization policy that saw the-one-time one County fragmented into-now -three counties, just as it’s the case in South Sudan, in order for development to roll out to its citizens.
Ayod has gone away and is now a County of its own; likewise, Pigi has gone away and is a county of its own now. But it should not be overstressed or overstated that the whole fragmentation was an administrative division, and not people’s division, as maybe conceived by some people! The three Counties share a lot of things in common. They share a common border; they have a common language and a shared common interest for the people that inhabit the Greater Fangak area.
The mother Fangak County has a huge responsibility to ensure that it keeps and maintains unity of purpose and promote common interest among the people of Greater Fangak area and beyond. It has always played this pivotal role. The mother Fangak has always been accommodative enough and welcome people from the other two sisterly counties with an open arm and good heart. A good example can be cited of the good accommodation for the internally displaced persons from Kurway Payam of Pigi County. And in light of this recent event on Wednesday this week, the Commissioner of Fangak County, H.E. James Maluit Ruach did a fantastic job by visiting Atar on Thursday the following day to acquaint himself and his accompanying delegation of the situation on the ground after it has been burned down by the rebels. This was a job well done by H.E. the commissioner and which deserves thumb up! This was a right visit at the right time, as it showed our sincere sympathies and genuine solidarity with the people of Atar. Also, the displaced people from Atar in the recent fighting are now sheltering in Fangak County.
At this point in time, we would like to appeal to all humanitarian agencies across the Country in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Atar at this hour of great need. We also appeal to the government of the republic of South Sudan and Jonglei state government to exert necessary efforts in order to protect the innocent civilians of Greater Fangak area and beyond from the hands
And harm of the rebels. As Dr. King Jr. clearly put it, it’s true, ‘we live in a single garment of destiny and therefore, what affects one directly, affects others indirectly’. We are truly saddened and shocked by this callous act. We fledge our unconditional support in all forms at this hour of need and tragedy!
God bless the people of South Sudan!
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost their loved ones!
Long live the unity of the people of Greater Fangak!