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BISHOP-Calls on gov’t to silence guns in Unity 

Bishop of Bentiu Diocese, John Jal Deng

By Yiep Joseph/ Mabor Riak

Bishop called on the government to silence guns and provide necessary humanitarian ‘assistance to the displaced persons in Unity State.   

In separate reports, the authorities in Unity State said that an unconfirmed number of civilians were killed in Leer County of Unity State.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor Yesterday, Rt Reverent John Jal Deng Bishop of Bentiu Diocese called on the government to immediately respond  to the conflict in Unity State, particularly in Leer, Mayiandit, and Koch counties

“My message to the government as a whole is that they need to come out and look at the situation in Leer, silence guns and provide necessary assistance to those affected,” Jal said.

“I could actually urge the government to come out and talk to the commissioners, commanders, and the youths in order to stop the conflict” he added.

He condemned the incidents and called on citizens to stop the violence. 

“What is happening in Leer is not really good, the situation is frangible, I heard that all houses have been razed, people killed and coupled to that, there is a flood in this area where people are fighting, this is not good, this are citizens of our country we condemn these acts in the strongest terms possible” he explained.

“This war must stop whether it is between SSPDF or SPLM/A-IO or communities, it has to stop because the destruction is on us, on our brothers on our sisters, on our mothers. The government has to silence the guns in a unity state and bring peace among the people” Jal said”

He called on people on the ground to cease violence and embrace peace in the area

“Anybody on the ground whether commanders or youths leaders needs to stop, we are one people it does not matter who is wrong and who is right. We are one let us shun violence” he said.

He pleaded with organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the people displaced.

“These civilians need to be given the assistance they need food and water because they are now forced into a situation that is very hard,” he said.

“I think all the parties to the conflict need to stop the war, all the three commissioners from Leer, Mayiandit, and Koch need to think twice and stop the violence taking place” he added.

He added that around 5000 people were displaced in the areas.

However, Stephen Taker Leer county commissioner, said that displaced persons lack food, water, and shelter.

He called on the government and non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian help to the people.       

GatluakNyang commissioner of Mayiandit County revealed that many people had remained in dire need of food, water, and shelter

He said that over 4000 people were displaced due to conflict in the area

“People displaced in Mayiandit are around 4000, they lack food, shelter, and water. I, therefore, call on the government, and NGOs to intervene and help the people” Gatluak said. 

He urged youths in a united state to remain united as one and focus on development.

Meanwhile, Tor Tungwar Kueiguong, Deputy Governor who is SPLM-IO Chairperson in Unity State said that the SPLM-IO Deputy Chairperson in Unity State was among unconfirmed civilians killed while trying to escape to swampy areas in Leer County on Friday.

“The current conflicts in Unity State started on the 14th of February two months ago. All villages in Leer were burned down and the civilians were forced into the swampy areas.

He added that the fighting is still going on since the morning of (Tuesday) yesterday many people had been displaced to Leer Town and many others were displaced into swampy areas among the entire population that had been displaced.

He appealed for humanitarian organizations to provide emergency food. The appeals should not only be for emergency food but should include the non-food items that would save lives.

However, the Police Inspector in Leer County Colonel George koang Gattang said that the armed youth from two Mayiandit and Koch went to Adok-Bar port but found when the attackers had already left.

“We don’t have any information about casualties but similar reports related to raping girls and women had been received,”

In Unity State, the clashes occurred last week following the signing of unified command structures and unification of forces by the two principles signatories to R-ARCSS in Juba.

Last month, armed men suspected to have come from the neighboring areas, reportedly attacked Leer, burned villages, looted properties, and displaced thousands in several villages.

The conflict which started as SSPDF and SPLA-IO factional fighting in Mirmir, reportedly took another dimension as armed youth took advantage of the situation to raid and loot.

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