Tuesday December 12, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Humanitarian Appeal by Shilluk Community in Diaspora

Humanitarian Appeal by Shilluk Community in Diaspora

To:       H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General,

Office of the Secretary General of United Nations,

885 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017, USA.

 

Date:   August 24, 2015

Subject:    The Forgotten Shilluk Civilians in Upper Nile State in South Sudan

Dear Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon:

We the undersigned members of the Shilluk community in Diaspora would like to draw your attention, the attention of the UN and the wider international community to the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the Shilluk Kingdom by the dictatorial regime of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrendous crimes and violations of international humanitarian law being committed against unarmed Shilluk civilians in the Upper Nile State of the Republic of South Sudan. We are deeply saddened by the continued devastation and denial of access of NGOs to provide food and medical supplies to the civilian population.

It is with considerable sadness that we write this letter to you, in the name of the thousands of defenseless, starving, sick and desperate Shilluk people in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan who are being bombarded daily by the ruthless regimes of President Kiir and Yuweri Museveni of Uganda who is shamefully actively supporting him on the ground. We are aware that you are fully informed and aware of the government of South Sudan’s recent decision to deny humanitarian access and aid to civilian populations who have been caught up in the conflict zones and of the deliberate bombardment of civilian populations, schools and hospitals in Chollo areas by the governments of South Sudan and Uganda.

We would like here to mention some of the most recent human rights violations in Shilluk areas. For instance, after the recent government recapture Malakal, the capital city of Upper Nile State, from the rebels in July 2015, it used Ugandan-led air bombardments and deliberately targeted the civilian population including hospitals and schools in the towns of Kodok and Owaci where aid organizations were assisting people in need, destroying hospitals, schools and houses and killing civilians including children, women and elderly. Entire Shilluk communities have been forced out from their ancestral homes by the repeated bombardments and they are now living under harsh conditions in the bush fearing for their lives. Many of these civilians are facing dire humanitarian situation such as a lack of food, medicine, sanitation and shelter from heavy rains and other elements. Again, in a separate incident in Kodok, a hospital run by International Committee of Red Cross was bombarded several times where approximately thirty patients lost their lives.  These barbaric incidents forced the Red Cross to withdraw from the area and left civilians vulnerable due to lack of health services. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross 12 civilians have been killed in Kodok as a result of bombing of the hospital and school by the government of South Sudan using Ugandan helicopter gunships.

On Saturday, July 18, 2015, a truck full of civilians’ mostly women and children was ambushed on the highway linking Malakal and Paloch by the so called Dongjol Dinka Militia supported by South Sudan’s government.  These civilians were on their way from Malakal to Paloch. The truck was travelling from Malakal and carrying goods and food aid for the IDPs at UNMISS in Paloch. The militias began shooting at the truck and killed two Shilluk civilians and dozens of others were wounded and brought to UNMISS health facilities in Malakal. On May 24, 2015, the combined forces of  the Padang Dinka SPLA of Akoka, Darfur forces and Blue Nile forces killed and wounded 28 Shilluk civilians near UNMISS outside Paloch. Many of the victims could not be recognized except for only three, identified as follows; Chan Charles Othow, Wilson Sabino Ayul, Ayual Ajak Adwong.   Again on May 25, 2015, about 30 Shilluk youth disappeared after they went to the town in Malakal and never return to UNMISS. Many assumed they may have been killed by the Padang Dinka SPLA.

In another recent incident, the killing of Shilluk civilians occurred on Sunday, July 26, 2015; when a Dinka counterinsurgency within SPLA government forces in Upper Nile State ambushed Shilluk civilians on the road between UNMISS at Malakal town and Makal village at about 8:00 pm at night. The civilians were coming from Wau Shilluk in search of food. Four people were found dead on Sunday morning and one person was wounded and has been treated in the hospital in UNMISS  compound.   Dinka SPLA forces continue to kill Chollo civilians and this is clearly an orchestrated ethnic cleansing which should be confronted by the international community.

Reports from sources in affected  areas on the ground indicate that children, the elderly, and women are dying every day in Kodok, Wau Shilluk and many other areas in the Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile State due to lack of food and medicines. Furthermore, the government of South Sudan is continuing to prevent the NGOs, UN agencies and other aid groups from reaching civilians in the Shilluk land who have been affected by the conflict. Under the international humanitarian law and the laws of war, the South Sudanese government is obligated to allow and facilitate rapid and unrestricted passage of humanitarian relief to civilians who have been affected by the conflict.

We strongly call on UN, IGAD, the AU, the Troika countries and EU to bring more pressure to bear on the government of South Sudan and its partner in crime, the Ugandan government, to immediately stop all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments against the civilian population in the Shilluk areas of Upper Nile State, to stop preventing the NGOs  from delivering food aid to the civilians who have been trapped in the West bank of the Nile and for the Ugandan government to withdraw its forces from the area.  The Ugandan bombardment of civilian populations constitutes serious violation of international humanitarian law.

We urge the international community to act against the government of South Sudan and uphold the principles of international humanitarian law by ensuring humanitarian access and assistance to the civilian populations who have been affected by the conflict. In recent weeks the government of South Sudan has intensified its offensive against the rebels in the Upper Nile State and surrounding areas. In this fight against the rebels, the government of South Sudan is committing serious human right abuses, pursuing scorched earth policy and committing war crimes against unarmed civilian populations who are not party to this conflict. What is happening now in the Shilluk Kingdom is similar to what the same so called South Sudan army of the SPLA did in 2010 when they burned entire Chollo (Shilluk) villages, raped hundreds of women and girls and killed an untold number of civilians in Shilluk villages as reported in the following link: http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2010/12/201012237023933452.html

The UNMISS has moral obligation to fulfill its mandate to protect civilians in Malakal town and the entire Shilluk  Kingdom from the violence by ensuring that peacekeepers are deployed in larger numbers to Malakal town and other areas in Upper Nile state.  Despite the fact that Malakal is under control of the government of South Sudan, South Sudan’s government has failed its responsibility to protect the civilians in Malakal, Kodok, Owaci and Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State. UNMISS should provide more security to protect civilians and displaced people in its bases in Malakal and other areas in South Sudan.

What is happening in Upper Nile state is a crime against humanity whereby the killing of civilians continues and acts of terror, atrocities, destruction and looting of properties are committed by the very government forces who are supposed to protect the civilians. Already many international observers are predicting horrific famine in South Sudan similar to the famine which occurred in 1988 where many lives were lost due to starvation. The following link provides an example of the desperate conditions of the civilians who have been trapped in the conflict in the Shilluk Kingdom in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan: http://www.france24.com/en/20150620-exclusive-south-sudan-fighting-displaced-nile-frontlines-malakal.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) the hospitals in Kodok that were catering for the vulnerable civilian population were left with serious shortages of doctors and medical personnel because ICRC staff could not safely access the area.  In its recent report, UNICEF indicated that most of Shilluk civilians on the West bank of the Nile River are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. This link is the latest example of desperate civilian situation of those trapped in the conflict in the Shilluk Kingdom. http://news.yahoo.com/south-sudan-thousands-risk-starvation-amid-nile-blockade-111838300.html.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Doctors without Borders also reported the dire situation of the civilians and appealed for urgent humanitarian relief. They and called on the government of South Sudan to allow unrestricted access to Malakal and surrounding areas so that aid agencies can provide urgent humanitarian assistance to thousands of people caught up in the violence in Upper Nile state. This is another Link to the reality of the situation:  https://www.msf.org.za/msf-publications/south-sudan-msf-calls-urgent-humanitarian-access-to-upper-nile-state

We are therefore urgently appealing to the UN and the international community to act and rescue civilians in the Shilluk Kingdom. The suffering of the civilian population in the Shilluk Kingdom continues to worsen due to continuing violence and lack of humanitarian assistance.  President Salva Kiir’s regime should know that under the UN Charter for member states, Article 56, they have a legal obligation to respect and ensure respect for human rights such as the rights to food, shelter and basic medical care for the civilian populations in the conflict.

However, It is clear that Kiir’s government continues to deliberately cut off humanitarian assistance to  Chollo (Shilluk) civilian populations along the Nile, in particular on the west bank, including areas hosting large numbers of displaced persons in  Wau Shilluk, Kodok and Owaci. It is also clear that President Salva Kiir’s government is using food as a weapon of war to starving Shilluk civilians.  This is the worst human rights violation under international humanitarian law and the world must act to stop the killing of civilians and save lives.  South Sudan government and Ugandan warplanes continue to bomb civilians in the Shilluk Kingdom of Upper Nile State as we speak.

Your Excellency, your intervention to stop the continuing genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in South Sudan and humanitarian relief for the civilians affected by the conflict is urgently needed. Your Excellency, we believe your leadership can play a crucial role by putting pressure on the government of South Sudan to end its restriction of humanitarian aid for the people of the Shilluk Kingdom and to end the air bombardment against civilian populations.

In conclusion, we respectfully reiterate the following:

  1. We urge your Excellency as Secretary General and executive head of the UN, to immediately establish a high-level inquiry and fact finding mission in affected areas with a view to thoroughly investigate these war crimes and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
  2. We are appealing for urgent humanitarian relief for people in need in Shilluk Kingdom in South Sudan who have been affected by the senseless violence and ignored by the international community.
  3. We are urging the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to put pressure on the government of South Sudan to immediately end restriction of humanitarian aid and the provision of food and medicine to the civilian population who have been affected by the conflict.
  4. We call upon the IGAD-plus, the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to condemn these crimes against humanity and  bring more pressure on the government of South Sudan and its partner in crime the Ugandan government to immediately stop all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments against the civilian populations.
  5. We urge the IGAD-plus, the AU, the Troika countries,  the EU and the UN to directly engage in the current peace talks and  actively support efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the ongoing crisis and exert pressure on warring parties for an enduring peace in South Sudan.

With the warmest of regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Signed by the Chollo Community in Diaspora

 

USA

  1. Mr. Michael Aban Kalkon
  2. Mr. Othow Kur Awang
  3. Mr. Jwothab Wanh Othow
  4. Mr. Aban Pagan Othow
  5. Mr. Otom Oluak Nyawello
  6. Mr. Yusuf Apara Nawi
  7. Mr. Chol Ocam Allan
  8. Mrs. Lucia Peter Tug
  9. Mrs. Teresa Nyaum Nawi
  10. Mr. Oyot Samuel Ador

11.Mr. Bolis Agal

  1. Mr. Charles Bartholomew Anyang
  2. Mr. Ywomo Arop Byenyo
  3. Mr. Augustine Afamet Ochoung
  4. Mr. Okoth Omai Awak
  5. Mr. Fabio Mathew Deng
  6. Mr. Ongien Ojwok Ding
  7. Mr. Omai Othow Ajak
  8. Mr. Obwony Odhong Yowin
  9. Mr. Sabit Okwagi
  10. Mr. Francis Nyawello Chan
  11. Mr. Lwanyo Padiet
  12. Mr. Johnson Owaci Okwac Deng
  13. Mr. Andrew Nijok BOL
  14. Mr. Michael Yowdo
  15. Mr. Peter Adieng Ding
  16. Mrs. Kwach-Kwan Abwol
  17. Mr.Lewis Dengangok

29.Mrs. Rita Saviro Ayik

  1. Mr. Peter Opach

31.Mr. Emmnuel James Bol

32.Mr. Tyson Anny Laa

33.Miss. Niveen Anny Laa

  1. George Pagak Akuey
  2. Olanyi Amum Lueth
  3. Benino Aban
  4. Michael Chol Tip
  5. Silvio William
  6. Mrs. Nyaban Kiir
  7. Mrs. Veronica Mojwok Ajak
  8. Mr. Chan Aba Nyakwol
  9. Ms. Nyachagjwok Chan Aba
  10. Anna Chan Aba

 

 

Britain

  1. Dr. Joseph Kucburo Ajang
  2. Mr. Obdiah Obenyi Aywok
  3. Mr. Karlo Kwol Akol
  4. Mr. Akic Adwok Lwaldeng
  5. Mr. Okuc Peter Awol
  6. Mr. Julius Hakim Deng
  7. Mr. Peter Fashodo Ageng
  8. Mr. Gabriel Gwang Ajang
  9. Mr. Lam Arop Yor
  10. Mr. Ojiango Abar Dingmejok

 

Canada

  1. Mr. William Amum
  2. Mr. Samuel Otong
  3. Mr. Sabino Diok
  4. Mr. Emmanuel Jimmy
  5. Oyath Aromi
  6. Mr. Emanuel.K. Ottor
  7. Mrs. Liuca Adwak
  8. Mr. Peter Ojwal
  9. Mrs. Cecilia B. Adong
  10. Mrs. Kiristine Pagan
  11. William Goldiet
  12. Paul Nyibek
  13. Mark M. Mayott
  14. Linda Akoj.

 

Australia

  1. Mr. Paul J.Kwajakwan
  2. Mrs.Assunta A.Ajang
  3. Dr. Banydhuro S.Oyay
  4. Mr. John D. Kuldite
  5. Mrs. Lucia A.Ajang
  6. Mr. Chol K.Afaj
  7. Mrs. Rebecca Y.Okaj
  8. Mr. Simon A.Landid
  9. Mr. Simon Arop Okyij
  10. Mrs. Lucia John Obwony
  11. Mrs. Luciano Ador
  12. Achol Simon Othom
  13. Mr. Francis Akic Ajang Yowm
  14. Oudriko Mayoum
  15. Alia Gakug
  16. Mr. Peter Deng
  17. Mr. Mojwok Pasqualla Mayom
  18. Mr. Aban M.Lwanyo
  19. Mr. Bob A.Bwogo
  20. Mr. Kudit Geil
  21. Nyachan Akoch
  22. Rita J.Along
  23. Maria Awak Joseph
  24. Mr. Ezekiel R.Arop
  25. Suzy M.Aban
  26. Tertizeo Pasquale Adyankor
  27. Rebecca S. Oyay
  28. Suzy A. Okony
  29. Mr. John Deng
  30. Mr. Peter Awu
  31. Maria Awu
  32. Mer Kwajakwan
  33. Tito Kwajakwan
  34. Mr. Philip Awu
  35. Mr. Othow Kudit Chalker
  36. Mr. Tipo Mel

38 .Mrs. Elizabeth Atilio

  1. Ashwill Mayiik
  2. Mr.PachaiyPathum A .Nyikako
  3. Mr. Orito Olami Awu
  4. Dodo Daniel Mongo
  5. Vivian Akol Ajawin
  6. Ayak Yor Kak Bol
  7. Mr. Isaac Ayul Deng
  8. Mr. Victor Kutker
  9. Mr. Chol A.Otor Nyajwok
  10. Mer Anthony Kuol

 

Other locations

  1. Mr. Simon Pagan Obur Ajak – Sweden.
  2. Mr. Nyawello Pakwan – U.A.E
  3. Mr. David Karial – Egypt
  4. Mr.Wialliam Odwol Najok – Germany
  5. Dr. John Tito Tipo Adibo – Germany
  6. Mr. Youdo Abodayi Shawich – Germany
  7. Mr. Joseph Chol lual deng – The Netherland
  8. Mr. ONYAW SABAH ELKHEIR ADOUR – Finland
  9. Dr. John Ojur Dennis- Malaysia
  10. Mrs. Frieda Joshua Adieng –The Netherland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CC:

H.E. Mr. Barrack Obama- President of the United States of America

H.E. Mr. David Cameron- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

H.E.Mr. Tony Abbott – Prime Minister of Australia

H.E. Mr. Stephen Harper- Prime Minister of Canada

H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg- Prime Minister of Norway

H.E. Mr. Omar Hassan Al Bashir- President of Republic of Sudan

H.E.Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn- Prime Minister of Ethiopia & IGAD Chairman

H.E.Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker-President of the European Union

H.E.Mrs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – President of African Union

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