Hojobi incident, a sophiscated scenario of rights violation
By Christopher Sebit
The morning hours of Thursday 1st August 2019 have gone down into the history of Lokoya land in general and Lokoya Lowoi in particular as the sad, darkest and agonizing moment within the short period of seven years following South Sudan’s independence.
Those morning hours met an alarming tragedy in Hojobi village lying south of Lowoi. The tragedy’s ordeal occurred like this: three days prior to the incident, a reliable source told the author of expected attack on alleged rebels’ camp located somewhere in Hojobi village. The author inquired if such an attack could be avoided in favour of safeguarding civilian lives and the implementation process of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. The source replied negatively saying that the attack was on pipeline and that it was eminent. “The rebels must be dislodged from there”, insisted the source.
Another reliable source based in Lowoi told the author that the operation to attack Hojobi village was directed from Arou Junction. “At 5.00 am in the morning, Hojobi came under heavy artillery bombardment. The civilians fled the area for safety. Lokerehek and Owei Bawou got killed and the daughter of Okwang was seriously wounded”, stressed the source. The same sources also said that the rebels had left Hojobi some hours before the attack could be carried out.
In terms of our Constitution, the R-ARCSS and internationally recognized legal instruments: International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, what can we say about Hojobi incident? Why was the attack carried out randomly and indiscriminately without giving any space for the protection of innocent civilians? Why was the attack operation on Hojobi kept secretly after it had been carried out? Are we to believe that the rule of terror is unfolding and descending to undermine our hard won peace R-ARCSS?
The secrecy of attack operation and its disregard for civilians’ protection is what the author referred to as “sophiscated scenario of rights violation”. The unreported violated rights of Hojobi victims challenge the credibility, not only of power elite, but also the credibility of the conflict mediators including their officials running the transitional institutions for monitoring and evaluating implementation process of the R-ARCSS.
What can Lt. Gen. Augostino S.K. Njoroge, chairperson of RJMEC and Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno, chairperson of CTSAMVM tell the people of South Sudan about Hojobi victims of rights violation? How can they pretend not to know the occurrence of Hojobi incident at the very time when the region and the International Community are fully aware of it? Can they still pretend that things are okay and no investigation is made about Hojobi incident? Please, stop pretending and hypocrisy! Tell the truth; the truth will liberate you. God rest the souls of our brothers, Lokerehek and Owei Bawou in eternal peace! May God bring a speedy healing to the daughter of Okwang who is receiving medical attention in Torit hospital! Amen.