We need support to stop the inhuman killings of innocent citizens in WES - Sudan




In May 2009, the President of the United States of America, Mr. Obama had signed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into Law, committing the US to take action to help end the LRA?s terror across central Africa. However, the sad tragedy is that while we all wait for its implementation, defenseless citizens are being killed every single day in the remote areas of Western Equatoria State. Traveling across the area has resulted in on-going deaths and terrors for the besieged local communities who have no other way to pursue their livelihoods than to pass through the bushes and dangerous remote pathways.

Background on LRA and activities of Joseph Kony in Sudan

Western Equatoria State borders Central Equatoria State in the East, Western Bahr El Ghazal State in the north of Southern Sudan, Central Africa Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the South with approximate population of 3619, 029. It is rich agriculturally and most of the inhabitants rely on farming to sustain their livelihoods. Recently the State was faced by influxes of Congolese refugees streaming into the State due to the insecurity caused by the notorious Lord Resistance Army of Uganda (LRA). Joseph Kony and his LRA militias have been petrifying civilians along the boarders of south Sudan, DRC, Uganda, and Central Africa for the past 22 years. However, much of their activities currently in Sudan take place in the south western part since 1994. The people of Western Equatoria have not experienced the fruits of peace despite the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Government of Sudan in 2005. The LRA have been commintting daily undocumented crimes of war and crimes against humanity; intentionally directing attacks against civilians, pillaging, leading sexual enslavements, creating poverty and fear, and promoting future political instability in the region. Up to date, over 25,000 people have been forced out of their homes and thousands have been killed. Some villages are already abandoned by their communities seeking shelters from the LRA. The affected communities are mainly local farmers and villagers.

Regretfully, the Government of Sudan and in particular the Government of South Sudan has not taken any concrete actions to support the efforts made to eradicate the LRA presence in Western Equatoria. The poor people being committed atrocities against are helpless Sudanese nationals whose lives deserve to be spared after experiencing the long civil war that recently ceased with the signing of the CPA. Because of the differences in the directions of Sudan policies, mismanagement and lack of unified insight on the issues facing the security of south Sudan, citizens; children, mothers, elders (seniors), and youth of Western Equatoria are facing death, inhumane mutilations, raps, abductions, in addition to the use of minors as child soldiers within the LRA militias. This continuous inactiveness from the side of Sudan governments has tormented the region allowing gruesome attacks and genocides against innocent citizens. So far, the international community has also failed to develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the LRA and the Nomad groups (Ambororo), as a regional threat, instead addressing the crisis in a piecemeal and futile way in the four different countries.

Currently the situation has lead to increase of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and abandonment of farms by local farmers for fear of isolated attacks in the fields. The LRA presence in the region is seriously causing rise of food crisis, augmented health problems, and outspread of sexually transmitted diseases as such as HIV/AIDS. While this petition is being presented to you, there are reports of starvation around the whole state and increased dependency on humanitarian agencies, being the only food suppliers.

The undermining of the insecurity condition in Western Equatoria similarly to the past incidents in Eastern Equatoria, and the prolonged free presence of the LRA in the area, demonstrate deficiency in taking proper measures concerning issues that influence the national security of the country. The US government and the International Community will need to exert more efforts and coordinate Their Sudan Task forces with south Sudan government authorities in areas affected by the terrorist LRA, so that support and assistances goes directly to target the people concerned.

Referendum and Insecurity in Western Equatoria, Sudan

With the upcoming referendum in January 2011 to determine the future of South Sudan, the unresolved issue of insecurity in Western Equatoria can hinder the whole process, jeopardizing the results of the approaching referendum. The aggrieved communities of Western Equatoria fear for their lives and are more focused on their basic needs rather than preparation for the referendum. Insecurity can be a major factor to fail the process of referendum in Western Equatoria and is more likely that people will not participate fully and are not well informed about the process. Therefore, the outcome of the soon to happen referendum is deemed vulnerable in Western Equatoria. For this reason, the efforts made by the USA, the International Community as well as the fighting parties to sign the CPA in 2005 will be in vain.

As dedicated nationals of Western Equatoria Estate and residents in the Diaspora, we condemn the acts of the rebel groups of LRA against innocent populations of South Sudan. We stand against continuation of the blood spills by LRA. We condemn the insufficient role of our government as well as the international community, and we demand serious action. We summon the government of south Sudan to take responsibility and install peace and security to our devastated region.

We call upon the President of the United States, H.E. Barack Obama, Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary of State, H.E. Mrs. Hilary Clinton, and the President of South Sudan, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the International Community to stand and stop the violence taking place in the Western part of southern Sudan.

Your Excellencies,

Your action in regard to the LRA issue in Western Equatoria of South Sudan will determine the lives of many minority groups and innocent children who are the future of the country. We

the western Equatoria nationals residing in Diaspora look for your urgent response in regard to this matter, and call upon your command.

This Petition Endorsed By:

Western Equatoria Community of Maine, USA

Western Equatoria Community of New Hampshire, USA

Western Equatoria Community of Washington State, USA

Western Equatoria Community of District of Columbia, USA

Western Equatoria Community of Minnesota, USA

Western Equatoria Community of Arizona, USA

Western Equatoria Community of Nebraska, USA

Western Equatoria Community of South Dakota, USA

Zande Cultural Association of British Columbia, Canada

Western Equatoria Community of Australia

Western Equatoria Community of United Kingdom

In Solidarity with South Sudanese Community Organizations in USA

And South Sudanese activists in Southern Sudan