JUBA – South Sudan government on Friday referred to citizens opposing the river dredging and resumption of Jonglei canal projects as “uniformed” people and told them to refrain from speaking out on what they don’t know and wait for experts who are expected in the country next week.
Speaking to reporters following a weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, information minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet meeting has observed that citizens are airing out views regarding the water controversy from a uniformed window.
“However, it is observed that there are so many public servants and the public who are overreacting to issues which are not clear to them. So people are advised to refrain from jumping into the unknown,” he told reporters.
Makuei who is also the government spokesman said the cabinet has advised the public to calm down until the arrival of the experts, despite utterances by senior government officials including Vice-President James Wani Igga who said that the projects have been approved by the cabinet.
“People are advised to avoid the use of social media under such circumstances meanwhile people are not properly informed. It is also good to talk from an informed position, not to show, otherwise what you are doing is not your field of specialization and as such you will be understood differently,” he said.
“So people are advised, being a public servant or private people to refrain from all these all the time from approaching issues from uniformed position and not to abuse the social media,” Makuei further added.
He said that the decision to advise the public was “passed by the cabinet …. let them wait, if they want to pass their judgment, they should first wait and heart from the expert so that when you talk, you talk informed.”
Makuei further revealed that at least three water experts have been contracted by the government and will be arriving in the capital Juba on July 13 to make lecture on water management for the government to make up its mind on the projects.
“It is also agreed that a team of experts will be arriving. One expert will be from Oxford [University], the other will be coming from Canada, and another from the United States of America. These are experts on water resources management. They would come and give us lectures on all these. This is in addition to our local experts,” he said.
“So these people will be arriving on the 13th to brief everybody including the cabinet, the public and the parliament on this issue so that we can start putting it to an end,” the senior government official further added.