Former detainees warn genocide could occur in South Sudan

A group of South Sudanese politicians, some of whom are participating in unity government under the term of peace agreement, has issued a statement warning that a genocide could take place in the country if the developing security situation is not given prompt attention it deserves.

“The country is on the edge of a precipice. For all purposes and intent, our country appears to have been placed in a staircase to the world of Former Yugoslovia, with all the ills of ethnic cleansing and fragmentation. Are the leaders of South Sudan, especially its ruling class going to allow this to happen? The results we are working for through these incomprehensible and indeed reprehensible acts are an insult to the sacrifices of the two million people who paid for our independence with their dear lives. What is happening in our country and the apparent inability of our leaders to stop it is nothing but a disgrace, the statement bearing the name of Kosti Manibe, former finance minister and a leading member of the group reads in part.

He said “these wanton killings, destruction of livelihoods, targeting on the basis of ethnicity, extreme intolerance for people professing different views than one’s own, must stop now if we want to save South Sudan. It is our considered view that all of us need to sober up, have a rational re-assessment of the options before us, retrace our steps and do the right thing so as to avoid calamity”.

“We therefore wish to appeal to all South Sudanese to allow sobriety to rule in their engagement with one another and in addressing the many issues about which we so passionately feel, whether these be related to insecurity, tribalism, fairness, equality, justice, marginalization, targeting on basis of ethnicity, nepotism, etc. We appeal to leaders of South Sudan at various levels and stations in life, and especially leaders of the warring parties and those who are carrying arms to exercise restraint and reign in their emotions. We further urge them to avoid taking precipitous actions or decisions in the heat of the moment. During such trying times, sobriety is of essence”.

The statement urged IGAD and JMEC to urgently convene a roundtable of all South Sudanese stakeholders to address this rapidly developing crisis in order to avoid another explosion.

Such a roundtable, according to the statement, should aim at arresting any further deterioration in the situation by opening lines of communication, agreeing on measures that need to be taken to calm tempers quickly, in the short run. Another purpose for the roundtable is to resuscitating the peace agreement in a modified form, or working out a new agreement in the event the current is proved to be beyond salvation, should be the ultimate objective.

The group, according to the statement, said disturbed by the rise in violence conflict in the country and called for restrain from all those involved in such activities in order to plunge the country into abysses.

“We the SPLM Leaders (Former Political Detainees) greatly disturbed by the recent increase of war and violent conflict all over again; its ever deepening intensity and level of brutality; an apparently all-pervasive and creeping sense of resentment and hate developing amongst and between members of various communities of South Sudan, we feel obliged and indeed duty bound to issue this statement, our participation in the transitional government of National Unity (TGoNU) not-withstanding”.