A Gok Community Condemns Raging Violence In Their State

"The euphoria which followed the announcement of 28 states... has been muddied by the indiscriminate violence which has rocked the state and which led to many people’s lives lost in recent weeks;..."

 March 11, 2016

Press Release

Gok Community Association in Juba Condemns the Raging Violence in the Gok State, Urges the Governor to Act Quickly!

The Gok Community Association in Juba do hereby express their indignation on the ongoing inter-clan violence in the newly created state. The euphoria which followed the announcement of 28 states which included Gok State, and the noble concept of taking towns, services and hence security of lives and properties closer to people in the rural areas, who forms the vast majority and back bone of the Republic of South Sudan, has been muddied by the indiscriminate violence which has rocked the state and which led to many people’s lives lost in recent weeks; cattle had been looted and houses burned to ashes; actions which had never happened in the entire history of local warfare.

Scorched Earth policy and practice has no place in our local history and therefore this latest behavior by warring clans is unacceptable and quite a recipe for more and more destructions among the people who are otherwise one and inter-twinned in blood and marriage relationships. Women, elderly, children and the physically challenged pay the enormous price of suffering in situations in which they have little or zero make in it.

Therefore, the Gok Community Association in Juba leadership outlines the following as way forward:

1.   We condemns in the strongest terms possible, any form of violence by anyone against anyone, be it individual or collective in the state.

Calls for immediate cease fire among the warring clans or groups of individuals and looted properties including cattle immediately recovered and returned to rightful owners. It is very unethical for any member of the community to loot and keep another member’s possessions within the same environment, that serves to inflame the situation and create urges for retaliation and counter-retaliations and hence the cycle of violence may never cease.

All culprits, particularly cold-blooded murderers, thugs who looted and burnt innocent people’s properties, and inciters of violence who are at large must be immediately rounded up and presented in the due process of justice to give redress to the victims.

Process of local peace and reconciliation and all the due processes which lead to harmony and peaceful co-existence among the clans be immediately embarked upon in order to address the menace. The attention of the intellectual youths, both within the country and in the Diaspora, is called to action to address the problem; condoning an act is far worse than committing it, therefore it is high time the youths unite their efforts and join hands with all the peace loving people in the state to contain the situation which is getting out of hand. Act now or remain dormant forever and watch your people dying needlessly in their own hands!

We calls upon the newly appointed Governor, Madhang Majok to speed up the formation of his government and empower his deputy and local government minister to address security matters; and ensure deployment of security forces in hotspot areas and must have a clear road-map for the resolution of conflicts in the volatile state! The Governor’s current stance verges on gross slowness and indifference to the raging situation of deaths and agony in the state, particularly in the four Payams of Citcok, Duony, Pagor and Tiap-Tiap, that is the general Gong Tooc areas as well as in the Abiriu and within Cueibet centre where tensions remains high. We therefore call on him to show leadership and his personal presence among the victims in the affected areas of the state and give due assurances of his government’s intended efforts to arrest the situation.

We call upon the national Interior Ministry to pay a special attention to security hotspots throughout the country and make sufficient deployment of Police and organized forces to contain and prevent recurrent violent situations and Gok state is among those areas that need security forces’ presence.

Last but not least we call upon the Non-governmental organizations, United Nations Agencies and all people of good will to rescue the vulnerable women and children whose houses full of food stuff have been burned to the ground, and their cattle looted and therefore have been robbed of their livelihoods. The State government must be fair and transparent in identifying areas of relief efforts and give due and uncorrupted facilitation of relief to the needy and vulnerable groups.

Last but not least, the Community Association deplores the silence of the Political Representatives and leading intellectual elders of Gok State on the ugly situation which is worsening day by day; we challenge them to show leadership and tackle the situation head on and they will have the full support of the Association’s leadership.

Signed,

Cde Deng Mador Koch Dengdit,

Acting Chairperson of the Gok Community Association in Juba

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