Re: The Destruction of Mathiang, Longechuk County by Kiir’s Forces
July 24, 2014 (SSNA) –Members of Longechuk County throughout the world met on June 7, 2014, to discuss the destruction of Mathiang, Longechuk County. The meeting included area commander General Puok Kong and Honorable and former Longechuk commissioner Stephen Pal Kun; the meeting was held by those of the United States of America (USA), Australia, and South Sudan.
The citizens concluded the meeting with strong condemnation of those who involved in the destruction of Longechuk County, in May 2014, and in the past since the war had started in December 15, 2013.
The Longechuk County population with 99.99% stands firm with armed opposition under Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon. That 99.99% supports the establishment of Federalism in South Sudan, instead of central and dictatorial government headed by Dictator Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The only people who are supporting Kiir right now are some government officials, who were elected by Longechuk Citizens to represent them in the government of the Upper Nile State and the Juba-based central government.
Those few individuals were the ones, who encouraged Gen. Nhial Batoang under Kiir’s forces to invade Longechuk for the hope to gain the support from general population, and that didn’t land well in the ears of Longechuk people.
In addition, the individuals who have contributed to the destruction of our county have been identified as follows:
The Longechuk citizens do not only condemn the above named individuals, but also declared them as enemies of the county in general and they will not be allowed to set a foot in the area, unless by force.
The Longechuk citizens also declared Gach Wuol Guandong as an illegal Commissioner, the citizens recognize only Michael Ruot Gatkuoth, as their commissioner from then on.
The following events below happened during the destruction of Longechuk County in May of 2014:
- The forced placement of Mr.GachWuol Guandong as a Longechuk commissioner has caused the destruction of Mathiang, Jak Chiengkang, Mangok and Pakur. The capture of Mathiang city from the people of Longechuk has cost too many lives, properties and ensuing displacement of the citizens to Maiwut County. They walked along the rough roads, where our people suffer with lack of water, foods, and the situation caused elders and children to die in between. That massive suffering of our people was enjoyed by the new commissioner, Gach Wuol Guandong and Longechuk MPs, whose names were mentioned above.
- When Kiir’s Government forces destroyed Pakur and Wichluak Wiu villages (Wichluak Mut Dung), they killed many civilians and others ran to the bushes for their lives, encountered severe problems and deaths. Among those who died in the bush were an old man with his three grandsons, who were brothers. All of them died and the local villagers had discovered their bones in Pakur area.
- According to Gen. Puok Koang, Hon. Stephen Pal Kun and several people we talked to in Pal-guop swamp area and Mathiang city, the Government Troops raped more than 80 women before abandoning Mathiang city. The confusion that led to this came after the Nuer, who came with Kiir’s forces captured one civilian and gave her a letter to lure those who had run to the swamp areas. The messenger had found three women and asked them to go back to Mathiang and get some food for their children because, the letter explained, the government troops were only looking for armed men. After the women went back to the swamp areas and broke the news to the other civilians, more than 80 women including teenage girls were informed. The hungry civilians went back to Mathiang in order to take the food for their children who were suffering with no food in the swampy areas after Longechuk’s officials and their allies destroyed Mathiang. The situation ended up for every woman and young girl being raped by up to 10 armed men in a broad daylight in Mathiang Town. The condemnation goes straight to the above names who instructed armed soldiers to execute all the evil acts in Longechuk County.
- On May 16-17, 2014, the retreated government troops had poisoned some cereals (maize and sorghum) that they had left behind after withdrawal at that night. According to the area commander, Longechuk people were suffering of diarrhea, vomiting and other kinds of serious sickness as the result of the foods poisoned by the government forces.
Finally, the above evil act shouldn’t be carried out by the very officials who were elected from Longechuk County by Longechuk people to represent their voices. These elected officials were elected to represent the interest of Longechuk people, instead of siding with government that kills the people who select them in the first place. For this reason, those individuals had passed as the enemy of the people of Longechuk county.
In conclusion, the meeting ended by a resolution asking every Longechuk citizen to stay away and be cautious of those people. We the citizens of Longechuk have condemned Gach Wuol Guandong and the above MPs in a very strong term possible.
The signatory of the above condemnation are below: