The Terror in Twic East and Greater Bor Community: The case of David Yau Yau’s Forces’ Attack on Maar and Paliau
United States, October 23, 2013 (SSNA) — Dear fellow South Sudanese citizens, we, the members of Greater Bor Community in the United States; as affected residents of the bomas, payams, the County of Twic East, as members of greater Bor Community, as residents of the largest State in South Sudan and finally, as your beloved fellow citizens of our youngest nation, would like to inform you that the tragedy has befallen us once again. A vulnerable population that was already helplessly threatened by the floods was attacked and brutally massacred. As of now, 78 people are dead, 88 are wounded, 24 children and women are abducted, 25,000 heads of cattle are raided and 144 houses are burnt down to ashes.
It is indisputably known that the gunmen were about 700 people in number, properly uniformed in military outfits and overwhelmingly equipped with superior weaponry. It is also widely known that the gunmen are members of the Murle community and largely attributed to David Yau Yau’s Group. It should also be noticed that this is not the first time the group carried out an attack in the same area. In the last 12 months, this area and others across Bor Area have seen seven attacks and each time, people are killed, children are abducted and properties are robbed and/or destroyed. It is confirmed that the majority of the dead were helpless children, women, elderly and a few young men who were trying to defend their people and properties. It is also said that as of now, many are left without shelters and foods. The situation is devastating to those helpless civilians on the ground.
As members of the Greater Bor Community-USA, we offer our condolences and prayers to the families who lost their loved ones. We ask God to comfort you and help you to rise stronger. This community is strong and God loves it. Even our President knows it because he once said, and we paraphrase, that Bor people are like a field of ground nuts; they fall and rise like nothing happened to them, referring to the 1991 incidence when he was in Panyagor. It is the same thing that we can tell you. We shall rise, we shall thrive, we shall prevail and this is because we know our fellow South Sudanese stand with us. We equally stand with all South Sudanese who are helplessly going through what our community is going through today. We pray for peace and a new chapter in our country.
The Government Role in deterring the incidences
Unfortunately, Juba has been very silent on many tragedies that have befallen this community and Jonglei State as a whole. A silence over this recent attack is even more shocking given the good spirit we just witnessed the president portrayed when he had to visit the great people of Bar el ghazal who were affected by the floods. In this case, we view silence as equals to perpetuation of the incidences and we, as residents of Jonglei and citizens of South Sudan, regret it. The same observation (failure of Juba to curve the insecurity incidences in the largest state in the nation) is true across the board on all incidences relating to the Murle criminals and David Yau Yau’s group terrorist activities in the State, causing some residents in the State to take law of protecting themselves into their own hands as evidenced in the case of Lou Nuer Youth.
While we appreciate the recent move by the president to visit the regions of Bar el ghazal that were recently affected by the floods, we regret the silence and lack of actions for the vulnerable, long suffering residents of Jonglei including this unfolding incidence of the most recent attack on Twic East. Even as on the Today news in Juba, the talk is about flooding and Jonglei flood is nowhere to be heard, let alone the loss of innocent lives. The talk is about the visit of Bashir and none is heard about the incidence that has befallen the people of Twic East, Greater Bor and the State of Jonglei at large.
One would think that a combination of floods and terror in terms of innocent killings and abductions of children and women would dominate the news in Juba and move Juba even more than last time when the floods moved Juba to visit the regions of Bar el ghazal unless that visit was not humanitarianly but politically driven. Please, Mr. President, be the nation’s president, we ask you, once again!
The 2011 disarmament program is to blame for the vulnerability of communities. By the way, why did it have to start in Bor areas? This community never went out and attacked another peaceful and vulnerable community in Jonglei State. What was the basis of starting disarmament in the Bor Areas?
Juba, you are playing too much politics at the expense of South Sudanese and we, as citizens, get that! Your divide and rule politics, your selective of policy neglecting some states and favoring others is well understood.
The UNMISS and other NGOs in Pibor Areas Role in perpetuating insecurity in Jonglei
These great organizations that are doing amazing jobs in South Sudan have been manipulated and falsely informed to become advocates and protectors of the criminals in the State. Murle criminals and David Yau Yau’s group are all members of Murle community. When they are being pursued as evidenced in the last operations between the SPLA and the groups, they would go and take cover among the vulnerable populations of Murle and use them as human shields and as advocacy tools.
As a results, the UNMISS and other NGOs in Jonglei, particularly, in the Pibor areas, and the international community have been led to an invalid conclusion that a potential ethnic cleansing was eminent. Now, the Murle criminals and the Yau Yau’s groups go and terrorize the vulnerable populations and run back to the Murle areas and take cover under the UNMISS and NGOs in Pibor County. This is saddening and it does not help the State of Jonglei.
To the Murle Community
We do not hold your entire community responsible for these senseless killings and robbery and nor do we believe that your entire community does not have people who love peace. However, we want to call on you to help the State and the nation of South Sudan rectify this problem of insecurity in Jonglei. We are a nation and we belong to one state. We must deny or refuse to follow self-interested politicians who create havocs in our state. You own a big share in solving this problem of insecurity in our state. How long are we going to remain nomads? How long are we going to remain without hospitals to treat our vulnerable people? How long are we going to continue to depend on what we rob from others and not produce our own wealth? How long are we going to remain with no basic services for our people?
Mind you, politicians in Juba and the State of Jonglei do not care and they benefit from this situation of insecurity in our state. They use our communities as leverage, political capital to bargain for job offers in Juba and in the State. But how do your own children and community benefit from this tribal base baiting politics? No, your community does not benefit from it! We must denounce this work of terror by David Yau and his blood thirsty thugs. You know your own criminals. Stop them because they are tarnishing your image and ruining your opportunities for a better life in prosperous State of Jonglei in the Republic of South Sudan.
Our position and recommendations
We strongly condemn last Sunday’s attack on Twic East County. We equally demand the following demands to be observed with immediate effect:
Conclusion: President, you must take actions now before the nation disintegrate
While we do NOT support people walking away from the government so that they can go back to their respective communities and defend them. We are afraid that if Juba does not hold up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting its vulnerable civilians, South Sudan will find itself in a Somalia-like state where all citizens take the law into their own hands. Mr. President, we do not want to do this but may be it is another time for us to write another paper, evaluating the role of your government. We strongly believe that it is not a good legacy to watch people die under your leadership without taking actions. Just a mere show of raw emotions during this incidence would have been the most politically expedient thing to do even if empathy wasn’t in your heart. Unfortunately, you have missed that opportunity to show your empathy once again!
DRAFTED AND SIGNED BY