GBC-USA condemns destruction of lives and property amid South Sudan conflict

Greater Bor Community (GBC) USA condemns the destruction of lives and properties in Juba City, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States

Introduction

We, the Greater Bor Community members and citizens of South Sudan in the USA (GBC-USA), are strongly condemning the destruction of properties and loss of lives in the Juba city, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. We have witnessed unimaginable and unprecedented scale of catastrophe, whether it was provoked or not, the SPLA and rebels forces under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar must adhere to the South Sudan and International war Laws.

Background

Since December 15, 2013 to mid-January, 2014, the world has witnessed the young nation of South Sudan on the verge of collapse and the people of the Greater Bor community fells victim and lost thousands of lives, estimated at 2,500 deaths, according to the recent estimate taken shortly after the last re-capturing of Bor Town by the government’s forces. It is also estimated that over 10, 000 people have died, 500,000 people have been internally displaced and 80, 000 people have fled to neighboring countries.

It is tragic and heartbreaking that the innocent people of South Sudan have lost their lives for something they neither knew nor saw coming. We condemn beyond words the inhumane killings of elderly, the sick in the hospital beds, deaf and blind people in the church. We also condemn the raping of women, including the elderly by Dr. Riek’s forces before killing them. This is inhumane and unforgettable. The nature of these killings and their demographics are tragic.

The images of the properties destroyed are very devastating, consistent and reminiscent of natural disaster as opposed to what human being would do. Nearly all properties were burnt down in the town of Bor, Bentiu, Malakal, and the peripheral areas. The entire county of Bor and Panrieng (Panaru) were brought to total destruction. Words cannot express the devastation South Sudanese communities have seen and the senseless killings and destruction of properties brought upon the people of the Greater Bor, and Panaru communities.

We in the GBC-USA strongly condemn the current insecurity being orchestrated by the rebels. Dr. Riek Machar has made Gadiang, an area within the vicinity of the Greater Bor, his operational base and this continue to pose danger to the people of the Greater Bor communities. Dr. Machar’s forces constantly roam, loot and kill innocent people in the Greater Bor areas regardless of the ceasefire agreement, recently signed in Ethiopia. For instant, a few days ago in Jalle payam, the rebels launched an attack and killed 16 people, including 9 women. They did the same earlier in Mathiang and killed and abducted a number of people.

Justice for the victims

We, the people of GBC-USA, want to assure all parties involved in this conflict that it is the right of this community to leave NO STONE unturned in search for justice for its victims. We are disappointed that President Kiir and Dr. Machar have involved civilians in this crisis and instead of protecting them; they have allowed this massacre to happen. This conflict was a political one that should have remained in Juba. We demand justice for our deceased and wounded victims and we will not rest until it is realized. Scapegoating will not deter the people of South Sudan and the World in finding the real culprits.

Humanitarian Assistance

We call on South Sudan’s government to urgently provide support to the vulnerable victims of this senseless war. As they are being resettled back to their destroyed and leveled homes, we ask that they will be given the support they deserved to help them rebuild their lives. It is important that the government provides proper security and humanitarian support to those who are returning to the destroyed communities at the request of the government.

To Greater Bor Community Members

We send our condolences to all the affected families of Greater Bor and South Sudan, as a whole. We, in the GBC-USA, call on all Greater Bor community members around the world; in America, Canada, Australia and home to join hands and turn to our people now. We call on our fellow brothers and sisters to eat half of their bread and sending the other half to the devastated family members in the Bor, Twic, Duk and other internally displaced areas.

To the Jonglei Communities

We, the GBC-USA, call on all the Jonglei communities to recognize that what has happened in Bor has negative effects on all the communities of Jonglei since all people hailing from the six tribes were represented in Bor. We are reaching out to all our counterparts in the state to restrain from tribalism fueled by ruthless politicians looking for personal political gains. We must choose peaceful co-existence in South Sudan as one people and one nation instead of being divided by political greed.

To the People of South Sudan and Upper Nile

We, in the GBC-USA, call on the entire people of South Sudan and particularly, the people of Greater Upper Nile, to stop the ruthless killing of one another. These violent acts cut us short of many advantages that the coherence of the regions can provide. The GBC-USA calls on all the players in this crisis; the government, the reformists and the rebels to end this crisis as soon as possible and put the country back on its normalcy.

To our other affected fellow citizens

We share the suffering with other affected people in South Sudan such as those of Panaru, the people in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal and other 7 states. We ask you to maintain your resilience, regroup your hopes and strive to come back stronger as South Sudanese.

To all South Sudanese Citizenry

We reach out to all South Sudanese and inform you that this war is more than it is just between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. It is affecting us today and it will affect us tomorrow. We cannot afford to see the nation that has caused millions of lives for the last 21 years and for which we all aspirate to, and so hopeful for to get destroyed in our watch.

We ask all citizens of South Sudan to join hands and say no to this senseless war. We ask both sides in the conflict to put their acts together to foster peace and reconciliation for the development of our people and country. We are better than this. We, the next generation, have the obligation to carry our own cross if our elders fail to care for our future. Let us get together and make our martyrs proud by building a united and loving nation that we all dream to build.

To the friends of the South Sudanese people

We call on our friends, the people friends; namely; the IGAD states, the United States of America, the United Nations, the European countries and many more to not give up on South Sudan. We appeal to your great friendships and democratic values to help our country overcome this crisis. We need your help in the process of ending this conflict.

We will need your help in the process of national reconciliation and healing. We will need your help in the process of nation building. We will greatly need your help in the process of bringing perpetrators to justice to end this crisis altogether.

This is not the time to give up. Each of you has spent so many resources in our country to help see us become a successful nation. In the process, many of you have established the greatest friendships with our people. You are our friends and partners. The South Sudanese citizens, not the ruthless leaders, need your continued partnerships.

Signed By the following Leaderships:

  • GBC-USA Governmental Affairs Committee
  • GBC-USA Executive Leadership
  • GBC-USA Board of Directors
  • GBC-USA County Leaderships (Bor, Duk & Twic East)


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