JUBA — A South Sudan rebel group has declared its support for calls by international human rights lawyers for ICC to open an inquiry on alleged war crimes committed during the civil war in South Sudan.
Reads below the statement by the Equatoria People’s Alliance.
EQUATORIA PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE (EPA)
Press Statement for Immediate Release August 4, 2021
The Equatoria People’s Alliance (EPA) which comprises of groups and individuals committed to securing inalienable rights for the people of the Equatoria region of South Sudan wishes to express profound appreciation for the bold step and decision taken by International Human Rights Lawyer Kenneth Scott and the International Justice Organization Guernica 37 to seek justice for the people of South Sudan.
EPA are deeply appreciative and moved by the International Human Rights lawyer in the caliber of Kenneth Scott and a reputable international legal entity of highly specialized Barristers such as the Guernica 37 Group have taken particular interest in South Sudan. EPA are grateful for the just and considerable attention now being accorded to the cause and Human Rights of South Sudan’s callously brutalized people particularly victims of the continuing diabolical war and violence in the world’s newest country. The Equatoria People’s Alliance applauds the bold decision taken by International Human Rights Lawyer Kenneth Scott and the International Justice Organization Guernica 37 as a giant leap towards serving justice to the suffering and oppressed people of South Sudan, whose lives are continuously at stake, and are left until now without lawfull interventions to repairing the damaged social fabric of the country, and rebuilding the South Sudan society to restore respect for the human dignity of the country’s citizens.
From its inception, the Equatoria People’s Alliance has been calling for justice and accountability for crimes committed against innocent civilians, the continuing genocide against South Sudanese from marked tribes, premeditated devastation of villages, the rape of women, the abuse of children, the torture of elderly citizens, the displacement of whole communities, unprecedented looting, and countless other premeditated crimes against humanity. We are thankful for the sympathetic voice and attention now being given to the specific plight of the persecuted people of South Sudan in general but the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan in particular and wish to convey that the overdue ICC intervention to thoroughly investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in our country would give an enormous boost of confidence and faith in International action on Human Rights for all the people of South Sudan. This determination to seek justice for the victim-survivors and others, has the full support of the people of Equatoria in particular and all of South Sudan, whose trust has been eroded in the international community and international law acting and being invoked to prosecute crimes against humanity in their country.
The Equatoria People’s Alliance is hopeful about the promise of real justice dispensation by the ICC for the victim-survivors and full accountability for the gross crimes that impelled the bold action and decision taken by International Human Rights Lawyer Kenneth Scott and the International Justice Organization Guernica 37 to bring proceedings against perpetrators. While this is only the beginning, the Equatoria People’s Alliance also considers this to be a significant step towards obtaining effective reparations for victims of crimes that have continued unabated with perpetrators feeling emboldened because they have so far gone unpunished and operated with unlimited impunity. The Alliance is ready to collaborate with like-minded individuals, entities and groups and looks forward to a complete and thorough investigation by the International Criminal Court. With renewed hope to see the indictment of those criminally involved in persecuting citizens of South Sudan, it is the intention of the Equatoria People’s Alliance to complement efforts by Human Rights Lawyers and all people of goodwill.
The people of South Sudan have endured unprecedented suffering for far too long with more than 400,000 perishing at the hands of perpetrators of violence and culprits who continue to roam about freely and mete more suffering with impunity. Community homes have been destroyed, livelihoods have been lost, and families have been completely wiped out and yet the perpetrators have gone unpunished. It is time to hold Salva Kiir Mayardit and militia affiliated to his self-styled government accountable. He and his lawless militia must answer for crimes committed against the people of South Sudan and for destroying the world’s newest country. With this declaration of support for the call by International Human Rights Lawyer Kenneth Scott and the International Justice Organization Guernica 37 for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to conduct an extensive inquiry into atrocities, crimes against humanity and war crimes in, and concerning South Sudan on behalf of victim-survivors and others, the Equatoria People’s Alliance also calls upon the United Nations Human Rights Office and all International Organizations tasked with the responsibility to protect and defend human rights to join hands in pursuing this case and criminal charges against all perpetrators who have conducted a campaign of violence against the innocent masses of South Sudan.
To date, the international diplomatic community has remained silent and fallen short of its obligations and responsibilities to protect and speak out for the rights of poor innocent South Sudanese, but EPA are hopeful about a new dawn. The breakout of war in South Sudan on December 15, 2013, ushered a torrent of unprecedented violence which resulted in the massacre of tens of thousands of citizens in a matter of weeks, beginning with South Sudanese from the Nuer tribe. Starting in the capital Juba and spreading to other cities in the country, a whole section of South Sudan society was targeted based on its ethnicity. Women, children, and elderly people flocked to United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) grounds to seek protection in deplorable Protection of Civilians (POC) camps, becoming internally displaced people (IDP). Since then, tens of thousands are trapped in these POC camps as the unprecedented genocide is now being meted on the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan. There has been ample coverage and reports by media outlets of the horrendous genocide that continues unabated against the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan with sufficient images to support intervention and yet the United Nations has refused to call it genocide or condemn Salva Kiir Mayardit and militia affiliated to his self-styled government. This silence by the world body and the cajoling of South Sudan’s failed government by powerful states in the international community permitted and emboldened Salva Kiir to continue pursuing and implementing a very aggressive campaign of ethnic cleansing, uprooting wholesome communities from their dwellings, land grabbing, and deporting the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan to neighboring countries with impunity.
From Wau to Malakal, from Bentiu to Kaya, and from Tombura to Nimule, villages and neighborhoods have been vacated as the natives fled the onslaught by the Dinka tribal militia known as Mathiang Anyoor which is affiliated to the self-styled government of Salva Kiir and operating outside of the rule of law. As these areas emptied, the so-called government encouraged the armed Dinka militia and cattle herders to take ancestral lands belonging to tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan and occupy them by force. Remnants of the genocide against the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan and individuals who choose to stay in South Sudan instead of crossing international borders into Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic are criminally harassed, frightened off their lands, murdered, raped, and robbed. The current grim reality for the Equatoria region of South Sudan is that over 1.2 million people have now fled to camps in the neighboring countries to avoid being killed by marauding armed militia and cattle herders. The campaign to violently eject the tribes of the Equatoria region of South Sudan from their ancestral lands and force them to cross to the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic to preserve their lives stems from a clandestine plan and project dubbed “the 100 year Dinka Plan” aimed at depopulating other ethnic groups, expanding Dinka territories into neighboring communities for purposes of dominating and ruling South Sudan as a Dinka Kingdom and eventually extending that Kingdom to neighboring countries. Any attempt to resolve and settle conflict arising from the surreptitious plot to subjugate other tribes or restore peace and harmony has been met with stiff resistance by some Dinka elites (Jieng Council of Elders). Attempts at reconciliation, restructuring the system of governance, and allowing order and the rule of law to prevail are viewed as threats to the 100-year Dinka Grand Plan because they would jeopardize the project for building a conquering Dinka Nation. In that regard, the self-styled government of Salva Kiir is under strain to keep war going because it’s beneficial to the Dinka dreams to subjugate other tribes.
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