The aggressions that started as a power struggle on the 15th Dec, 2013 has slow to tribal lines, cultural marks have become dangerous and those with tribal marks have taken refuge in United Nations compounds.
“If you have Nuer mark in your face, then there is no question for you, but just bullet on your head” A Nuer key figure who is taking refuge in U.N Compound has disclosed.
The fight is seen to be between the Dinka and Nuer; the two groups have cultural marks that distinguish them from the rest of the tribes.
South Sudan is composite of 64 ethnical groups, each group has a face mark that distinguish them from other groups, but now people are targeted and killed according to their marks, cultural marks turned harmful since the eruption of the conflict in Juba 15th Dec, 2013 that widespread across the country.
The current clashes that blew up between the government under the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit who is from the Dinka tribe and his former President Dr. Riek Machar who come the Nuer community as a result of power struggle has slow to tribal conflict, as Nuer community feel they were been targeted in Juba after the break away of tribesmen under leadership of Machar.
A Nuer key figure whose identity is protect and has taken refuge in UNMISS compound in Juba Tong Ping based disclosed that only Nuer tribe was killed on 15th, 16th and 17th Dec, 2013 when the conflict exploded in Juba.
“If you have Nuer mark in your face, then there is no question for you, but just bullet on your head” he said.
He said that securities loyal to President were even checking Identity cards and if they find anyone bearing Nuer cultural names, they just kill him or her.
He said reconciliation of the only solution to the ongoing aggression across the country. He appealed for establishment of a national neutral body to carry reconciliation process between Nuer and Dinka group.
“We need the reconciliation committee to be from Equatoria region, and the committee has to be free from President Control” he reiterated.
He said that the situation has become unbearable to them the Nuer community, adding that 99 percent of the people who have taken refuge in UNMISS compounds in Juba are mainly Nuer. “Over 30,000 civilians from the Nuer community have taken refuge in UN compound in Juba because they are threatened by dead” he added.
The whole crisis started as a result of misunderstanding among key members of the ruling party in South Sudan, Sudan People Liberation Movement SPLM) disagreement on policy documents on the 14th Dec, 2013. The first Deputy Chairperson of SPLM Dr. Riek Machar declared that he will run for the party chairmanship in the forthcoming party Convention.
On 15th, forces loyal to President and forces loyal to the former Vice President Machar started clashes in the Army office, then Machar away to Bor in Jonglei.
Machar rebelled from Juba on the 15th, Dec 2013 saying that he was targeted by the bodyguards of the President who are Dinka dominant.
Machar broke from Juba and Joint the former rebel leader Peter Gadet in Bor Jonglei and took control of Bor on 20th Dec, 2012, but was later retaken by Sudan people Liberation Army on 24 Dec, 2013 and again recaptured by the rebel forces on 2nd January 2014.
The regional body Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has drew a line for peace. Both government and rebel groups have sent negotiations team to Addis Ababa to search possibility to end the ongoing hostility in South Sudan.
The government delegation under the chair of the South Sudan former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial reiterated that they are ready to cooperate with IGAD on all issues to bring peace in South Sudan.
The government delegation requested the mediation panel to stress the rebel groups to respond to the peace talk without conditions. But the rebel leader demand conduct of ceasefire and release of its affiliates in Juba before talk could proceed.
The government spokesperson in press in Juba said that the preconditions by the rebel leaders Dr. Riek Machar are entirely inflexibility and wrong-headedness since the major matter is now to end aggression and bring peaceful co-existence.
Meanwhile the rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar urged for establishment of mechanisms to monitor ceasefire ahead of the peace talks in Ethiopia. Machar put conditions for the government before any talk’s boot. “The government must release the political detainees in Juba and Uganda has to with draw its troops before the peace talk proceed” Machar asserted.
The ongoing talks Addis Ababa talk has slow down as negotiators continue disagreeing on the agenda. The government negotiators need cessation of hostility to be on top of the agenda while opposition group need the release of the political detainees to be on top of the agenda. The talks yield less than expected and conflict is escalating across South Sudan.