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Public urges President Kiir to order nationwide disarmament

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Monday, June 24, 2024

President Salva Kiir speaking at the opening session of the 7th Governors Forum in Juba on Nov. 29, 2023 - Credit: Office of the President

Concerned members of the public are urging President Salva Kiir to put to task-relevant security ministries to disarm armed civilians nationwide amid renewed subnational violence.

Others suggest that the president in his capacity as head of security, should appoint capable governors who can effectively tackle the rising insecurity in various states.

Their calls follow the directive from the national cabinet to the governor of Unity State and chief administrator of Ruweng Area to swiftly respond to the escalating cross-border attacks.

Vice President Taban Deng raised a concern at the June 21 cabinet meeting following the cattle-related violence involving youth from Ruweng and Unity State.

Deputy Information Minister Jacob Korok told the media on Friday the cabinet has learned about reports of mobilization among the youth in the two areas.

A day later, violence erupted at the scene of the handing over of stolen cattle between authorities in Aliny County in Ruweng Administrative Area and Rubkona County of Unity State leading to the death of a dozen people.

Meanwhile, some members of the public, who spoke on Eye Radio’s Dawn Show, said the governors and chief administrators will not be able to mitigate the conflict because they are powerless.

Majok Sudan, a resident of Juba urged the national government to carry out general disarmament exercises in all the states and administrative areas.

“Our leaders are just directing governors but governors will not manage this issue, because taking security measures needs maximum security, not going for two to three days and back,” he said.

“One of the reasons is that our forces are ill-equipped, they don’t have better firearms and ammunition. The cattle keepers are equipped more than the soldiers, and our soldiers lack mobility.”

“Another challenge is human rights bodies who always complain that civilians are being killed by soldiers. Our government needs to conduct general disarmament.”

According to Majiok, cattle-related conflicts are happening in all concerns of the country.

“This issue is not the issue only happening in Lakes and Unity States, even the greater Warrap is in chaos with Unity State, on the side of Panyjiar with Lakes State.”

“Also, on the side of Mayiandit and Mayom. People are being killed every time. It must be general disarmament, what is so hard to disarm civilians, if there is no hidden game our leaders are doing.”

Another caller, who identified himself only as Joseph told Eye Radio that the rampant insecurity in the country is not to be blamed on the governors but the security organs.

He stated that President Kiir, as head of security, should direct relevant ministries to move their forces to the countryside where there is rampant insecurity.

“The issue of rampant insecurity in the country in the country is not the work of the governors, the governors have less power.”

“The President who is the head of the security in the country has to direct the ministries’ concerns such as ministries of interior, defence, and national security to move their forces to the countryside because in the countryside there is rampant, so they should think about this matter.”

On his part, Juba resident Ajieng Diet said the only way to stop the bloodshed is to collect all guns from the hands of civilians.

“In regards to cattle raiding and insecurity in South Sudan, there is only one solution, collect the guns from civilians.”

“Our government comes from the bush but we the citizens who are in the city, need electricity, we need education, we need laws in the country, we need roads but the opposite is the reality.”

“Now there are no roads, no electricity, no water but there is a lot of insecurity, everyone is armed to raid another, this was not our aim.”

Mr Ajieng further called on the President to summon all governments to Juba to give an account for the rising sub-national violence.

He pointed out that the president should appoint competent governors to stop bloodshed in all states.

“In Jonglei State, the issue of cattle raiding persists. This challenge extends to the governors of Jonglei State, Pibor and Ruweng Administrative Areas, Unity, and Warrap States, and even Malakal, where conflicts between communities are prevalent.”

“It is time for all 13 governors to appear before the president, acknowledge their failure, and tender their resignations. This step would pave the way for the appointment of capable leaders who can restore security across the country.”

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