MABAN – Since Sunday December 13th, 2020, inapprehensible violence has been inflicted on the Mabaan people of South Sudan. The Mabaan people of South Sudan are a minority ethnic group residing in the Upper Nile State region of the country. They have become victims of a campaign that is both, ethnically and politically motivated by the SPLM- IO (Sudan’s People Liberation Movement- the opposition). The ongoing conflict began as a physical quarrel between a SPLM-IO Soldier and a Mabaan civilian man. It has since evolved into a full- blown conflict, with the SPLM-IO committing unimaginable acts of violence against innocent women, men, and children.
Many women and children have reported having been raped and some have been kidnapped-their dignity ripped from them. Rather than trying to resolve the quarrel between the two men, the SPLM-IO forces in the area have decided to turn their guns against an unarmed civilian population. This has also resulted in villages being looted and burned, hospitals and schools being desecrated, and human life being lost. In a country already facing food insecurity, without food or water, thousands of Mabaan people could die from starvation and disease.
The situation in Maban has created a dire humanitarian crisis. If ignored, this crisis could lead to countless people dying. Since the beginning of this conflict, the South Sudanese government has done nothing to intervene nor assist in finding solutions to the situation. They have not provided relief assistance to the victims of this crisis. We are urging the international community to assist us in shedding light on these appalling acts of violence being committed against the people of Maban, South Sudan. We the Mabaan community around the world would like to express our strongest condemnation of only most recent attack by IO forces against civilians in Liang.
In addition, on February 12, 2021 IO forces attacked civilians in the town called Bulatino in Liang where three innocent young men ages 13, 15, and 24 years old were executed by the river bank while fishing so they can feed their families during this tumultuous time. But instead, the soldiers loyal to General Ajack attacked and brutally killed them. Gen. Ajack Abraham has failed to calm the situation, rather declared the war against the vulnerable civilians. Mabaan community urges the IO leaders to relocate the cantonment site in Liang immediately to allow civilian to return to their respective towns.
It is unacceptable for those in uniform to live and mingle with civilians in Liang. Both government and IO have failed tremendously to protect civilians . Even the acting governor of Upper Nile has failed to condemn the situation and still today the government have not responded to the situation. People now living in a dangerous environment with no adequate source food, clean water, and children are dying from starvation while pregnant women giving birth under the trees. Gen. Ajack must be held accountable period. Two years ago, IO forces set the checkpoint in Liang within civilian’s area cutting taxes illegally from civilians.
When a civilian fail to pay taxes, they are subject to violent beating and often leading to death. These torturing tactics have been happening for quite sometimes abusing civilians in Liang, Maban. Since December 13, 2020. Gen. Ajack have failed to des-escalade the situation, he killed vulnerable children, women, and elderly. The Mabaan community urges IO leaders and IGAD to relocate IO cantonment from Liang Mabaan immediately. Violence and destruction of civilian’s properties are totally dismantled and deemed as criminal acts. People fled their homes to the neighbor country Ethiopia seeking refuge, a place to hide from the persecution. But recently they were being blocked by unknown identity group not to cross the border to Ethiopia. Whether IO forces in Liang cantonment site loyalty to Dr. Reik Macher, nonetheless they must be removed from the Liang. Both parties sign the peace agreement to integrate joint forces troops whereby training center located around the country which is significant.
According to Addis Ababa December/2017 peace agreement documents notices that all parties shall protect civilians from the outcome’s enemy, unfortunately IO forces in Liang cantonment site declared senseless war against civilians and killed innocents’ people. The Mabaan joined the IO misled movement, they failed to communicate with Dr Reik Machar and tell the truth. The country is on the peace implementation and Mabaan people respecting the peace. Gen. Ajack Abraham must be brought to justice for his heinous acts against the vulnerable civilians.