Students Support SPLA Stay at Heglig

Students in the Jonglei State capital Bor have opposed calls for the withdrawal of SPLA forces from the disputed Heglig area.

Students Support SPLA Stay at Heglig
Students at a peaceful protest in Bor over calls for withdrawal of SPLA from Heglig. [©Gurtong/ Gabriel Mayom and James Deng Dimo]

By Gabriel Mayom and James Deng Dimo

BOR, 15 April 2012 [Gurtong]-Thousands of students from various schools demonstrated in the streets in support of President Salva Kiir’s decision not to withdraw the country’s forces from the area.

Students from Dr. John Garang Memorial for Science and Technology and Alliance High School held walked to Jonglei State Parliament and state government general secretariat to present their petition to the Speaker and Governor of Jonglei.

The students’ representative, Dhieu Abraham, said that they were protesting against the statement by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon that called for the withdrawal of SPLA from Heglig.

“We are behind the SPLA and in the support that Panthou (Heglig) belongs to South Sudan and it will never belong to the Sudan. We are asking the international community where it was when Abyei was taken over by Sudan Armed Forces”, said Abraham.

The Jonglei State parliament Speaker Peter Chol Wal supported the students, saying the state assembly was in full support of the president’s decision.

The Jonglei State Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk said that he was ready to join the youth fighting at the border line as they had declared their support to President Kiir.

Meanwhile, the SPLM information officer in Unity State Peter Kong has said the security situation in Unity State remains volatile as Sudan forces continue shelling parts of the state.

He said that last week, the SAF forces dropped four bombs targeting Abiemnom Bridge in Unity state.

SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer Panyang confirmed to Gurtong on phone that aerial and ground attacks were ongoing in Abiemnom, Mayom and Heglig.

Rumbek youth protest

Meanwhile, Rumbek youth have opposed calls for joint border reconciliation meetings initiated by the South Sudanese Vice President Dr Riek Machar.

The Payam Youth Union of Rumbek North (Maper) County of Lakes State claimed that the border tours being conducted by the VP had ‘hidden agenda’, saying they will were concerned with the security situation in the border areas.

The VP released a report in February that claimed that Madol Payom of Rumbek North County is part of unity state. The report drew condemnation from community leaders and youth across the county.

A member of the union James Adong said they read mischief in the VP’s tour of the areas, saying it is likely to fuel conflicts.

“For Unity and Lakes states to stay peaceful, we must not allow the VP to create tension between the two”, he said.

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16/04/2012, 1:42 AM
 - Posted by Deng Deng
I am understanding that the Vice President was or is visiting the war zone to oversee the conduct of war and assess the situation of forces, an action which should be appreciated and for which the Government, especially the president, may gain some credit. What would be the connection with maper payam if this is the mission of the Vice President. There was a need for the Governor of Jonglei to have said a word about this. This time of war is not the time to fuel land disputes between tribes. Let the war not be transferred from South-North to South-South.
Let me not be misunderstood that I may be defending the Vice President; the point is that such an accusation may create a wedge within the leadership.
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