SSOMA response to the Statement of President Kiir on Juba-Nimule Highway Attacks
The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) has come across a disturbing statement by the President of the Republic of South Sudan.
On the 17th of August 2021, the President of the Republic of Sudan Gen.Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a statement on the killing of innocent civilians along the Juba-Nimule road, in which he fallaciously laid the responsibility for the
attacks on the “Holdout Group” regime’s usual derogatory reference to the South Sudan Movements Opposition Alliance(SSOMA).
In the same statement, the President threatened to reconsider his regime’s position on the ongoing Sant’Egidio Peace Process.
The South Sudan Opposition Alliance(SSOMA) denounces and condemns, in the strongest terms possible, President Salva Kiir’s statement. The statement is irresponsible, false, misguided, revealing yet again the lack of sympathy for the lives lost, and the usual wish to keep the country in a state of perpetual war and insecurity as the President prepares to launch a military offensive on SSOMA’s member’s position.
SSOMA would therefore like to communicate the following truth to the people of South Sudan and the International Community:
- The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) is an Alliance of patriotic organizations that are committed to realize the aspirations of the people of South Sudan to live in freedom and dignity. SSOMA stands with the people of South Sudan and cannot commit atrocities against the very people it is struggling to liberate from the tyranny of the regime in Juba.
- SSOMA holds the regime of Salva Kiir responsible for the highway robberies and killings in South Sudan. The road ambushes in South Sudan have increased dramatically, especially on Juba-Nimule road, as the government on several occasions has been displaying criminals suspected to have been behind these road ambushes and kidnapping son national TV. Most of these criminals unfortunately are members of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the Tiger division, the President’s personal bodyguards.
- The latest incident of 16th August 2021 that occurred a few kilometers from Juba, happened when the President Kiir and Vice President James Wani Igga went to Loa to participate in the Centenary Celebration of Loa Parish and as usual there was heavy deployment of the SSPDF and Tiger division in the area. The mystery that lingers is how a well-protected and secured road could be infiltrated by rebel elements? This situation prompted the President to panic and hastily issue a statement accusing SSOMA. The President thinks he is playing smart by deflecting the blame to the ‘Holdout group’ as he knows very well that these criminal activities are perpetrated by SSPDF and his Tiger division.
- The Church and the Christian Community have been persecuted and targeted by elements of the Kiir regime for the last few years. According to the investigation report by Radio Tamazuj of 16th April 2017, at least forty (40) church leaders have been killed by the regime of Salva Kiir across South Sudan between December 2013 and March 2017. These attacks and killing incidences include: the killing of Slovak Catholic nun and physician Veronica Teresa Rackova in Yei county in 2016 by a SSPDF soldier under the instruction of Col. Kuel Garang who is a nephew to President Kiir; Rev. Simon Kwaje in 2017 in Yei county;John-son Makueth Akeen and his wife of House of God for All Nations shot dead in Gudele Block 4 on 3rd May 2018; Pastor Cosmas Kwaje Matayo, a 10 years old altar-boy Simon Ta-ban; chief Moses Wani, and elder Loki Ebidayo of Gumbri church of Lainya county in March 2021were rounded up and dragged out during Sunday service and summarily executed; and the shooting of Fr. Christian Carlassare the Catholic Bishop elect of Rumbek on the 26th April, 20121. This implies the regime of Salva Kiir has not spared any group of South Sudanese community; women, elderly, youth, professionals, journalists, politicians have all fallen victim of this regime and now the regime is unleashing its wrath on the Church.
- SSOMA is not surprised by the usual anti-dialogue and pro-violence rhetoric of President Kiir, however, all this will not deter nor hold back SSOMA from the course of pursuing just and lasting peace in South Sudan.
- SSOMA assures the citizens of South Sudan of its commitment to work hard with all like-minded groups in the country to bring the suffering of the people to an end.
- SSOMA is aware of and closely monitoring the regime’s troop build-up in Yei, Morobo, Kajo-Keji and Lo’bonokin preparations for all out attacks against the forces of the National Salvation Front (NAS).
- The utterances aimed at revoking the Rome Declaration is a desperate tactics and a smokescreen for seeking justification to wage the offensive. SSOMA urges the people of South Sudan and the International Community to maintain vigilance and not be misled by the usual false narratives of the regime.
- SSOMA calls on the International Community and relevant international organizations to investigate the incidences and inform the people of South Sudan of the perpetrators of these killings
- SSOMA is committed to Rome Declaration and reaffirmed its commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities; however, reserve the right to defend itself and the people of South Sudan if attacked.
Kwaje M.Lasu, RCP. MPH.
Secretary of Information and Public Relations
The Spokesperson, SSOMA