Citizens call for withdrawal of forces from county headquarters
By Woja Emmanuel Wani
Civilians who have taken shelter in refugee settlements have called for withdrawal of army in their indigenous lands to allow them return home according to the Economic Adviser in the Office of the President.
More than five and half years after South Sudan’s conflict began in the capital Juba in December 2013, the war has spread to the Greater Equatoria region, in the southern part of the country, which had until recently been largely spared from the fighting according to Human Rights Watch report.
Over one million civilians, many of them from villages in the Equatoria region, have fled to neighboring countries with more than 700,000 who crossed into Uganda alone, the report stated.
Whereas elsewhere in South Sudan, the conflict in the Equatoria has played on pre-existing ethnic and communal tensions and is marked by serious abuses committed against civilians by government soldiers and opposition fighters.
Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, the Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs cited that the civilians had raised concerns of lack of proper civil-military relations in the state.
He was speaking in a meeting of the Greater Yei leaders held yesterday at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) in Juba.
“The people of Kajo-Keji want to come back but those controlling them are saying they cannot come back until the soldiers are withdrawn from their land,” Sabuni said yesterday.
Kajo-Keji has been one of the Yei River State counties most affected by the crises with almost all the total population now living in refugee camps in Uganda.
Sabuni however called on full and meaningful implementation of the recently signed revitalized peace agreement.