JUBA — South Sudan holdout opposition leader Dr. Hakim Dario who leads the Equatoria People’s Alliance has accused unknown gunmen loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit of standing behind Monday’s highway attack in which five people including two (2) Catholic nuns were killed.
On Monday, a convoy of vehicles on their way to Juba from Loa Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Torit was ambushed resulting in the killing of at least five people including the two Catholic nuns.
Kiir then issued a statement and accused holdout opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) of standing behind the killing and then threatened to pull out of the ongoing talks with the rebel movement in Rome.
However, in a statement extended to Sudans yesterday, the Equatoria People’s Alliance led by Dario expressed sadness over the killing and instead accused South Sudan security operatives loyal to Kiir of carrying out the deadly attack.
“The Equatoria People’s Alliance (EPA) is deeply outraged at the routine spate of violence and loss of lives at the hunds of Kiir’s failed government unknown gunmen in Juba, of recent on Nimule and Terekeka roads, and elsewhere around the country,” the statement reads in part.
“Our most profound condolences to the families of Sr. Mary Abud, Sr. Regina Roba, Mr. Leon Zozimo, and the entire Catholic Church and Christians for loss of precious lives, and dedicated servants of Christ who perished at the hands of cullous unknown gunmen of Kiir’s failed government,” it added.
Dario described as ‘insensitive’ Kiir’s assertion that opposition holdout forces led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka are behind the killing of the highway travelers.
“It is most audacious and insensitive that Salva Kiir would find it expedient to issue a press statement absolving his failed Governmet of responsibility for the loss of precious and innocent lives of Catholic nuns at the hands of his unknown gunmen on Juba-Nimule road, and blaming it instead on NAS,” the statement said.
“South Sudan and the people of Equatoria are bleeding, paying a high cost in innocent lives for the failed SPLM and Kiir’s leadership of the country since independence in 2011 to date,” it added.
He went on to call for Kiir’s departure from power saying his exit “from power is long overdue and the peoples’ action for freedom and removal of the flawed R-TGONU and its leaders from power to save the country from tyranny of the status quo and from disintegration rests with our people in Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal to take control.
“Equatoria Peoples Alliance (EPA) condemns in no uncertain terms, the continuing spate of blood letting by Kiir’s Government unknwon gunmen in Juba and on Nimule road,” the statement added.
The statement reiterated calls on “the ICC for indictment of the perpetrators of atrocities against over 400,000 innocent victims of SPLM armed conflict, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in South Sudan.”
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