Yei-Kaya road opened, security improves -Lokonga
Yei-Kaya road, a high road linking South Sudan to the neighboring Uganda is opened, said Yei River state Governor.
Speaking to Juba Monitor on Tuesday, David Lokonga said Government forces have been deployed in Morobo and Mugo counties to provide security along the major road.
He said the move came as a result of the implementation of the recently signed peace agreement between the state Government and a section of SPLA-IO peace wing in Yei River state.
Lokonga said since the declaration of cessation of hostilities by the President coupled with the implementation of the peace agreement, there are no much clashes in the area like what it used to be in the past months earlier this year.
“I am so happy to say here that, with the peace and improved security, Yei-Kaya road has been opened and people have started coming to Yei. If you want to witness this, come to Yei town and go to the markets, health centers and also observe from the major roads like –Yei-Maridi road-Yei Lasu road and Yei-Juba road, you will see that many people are already coming to Yei town for different activities,” Lokonga added.
Lokonga confirmed that there are no gun shots in Yei town for the last many months in which the national security personnel are working day and night to improve the security situation in Yei town.
He said with the improved security situation in the state, over 50, 000 people who were displaced due to the conflict have started returning to Lainya County and the UN food chamber WFP have started providing relief assistance to the people in Lainya County.
Lokonga said his Government is working hard with the SPLA-IO peace wing in ensuring that people are granted free movement to their areas of farming and settlement because the recently signed grass root peace agreement is for all the people of Yei River state.
Commenting on the progressing of the grass root peace agreement, Lokonga said the two parties are committed to the full implementation of the agreement.
He said the assembly points for SPLA-IO as designed in the peace agreement is under serious preparation and some of the senior SPLA-IO officials are already on the ground to see that their forces prepare and go to the assembly point in Kendila area.
Lokonga said the state Government in collaboration with the chief mediator Bishop Elias Taban are working hard in providing food, medicines and clean drinking water to the cantonment areas as agreed in the peace document.
Lokonga called on the sons and daughters including intellectuals of Yei River state who are living abroad to join hands in promoting peace to end the suffering of the poor citizens of Yei River state.
“There is nothing we can do other than bringing peace to the people of Yei River state. My message is that time has come for all of us the politicians and intellectuals of Yei River state. Let’s sit on a round table, iron out our issues so that we address our problems once and for all so that the suffering of our people is brought to an end through peace and stability,” he added.
Lokonga called on all media houses across the country to follow the peace developments in Yei and report accurate information to the people so that they are rightly informed. “I am a friend to the media and I want all media houses to follow the developments in Yei River state and inform the public accordingly” he added.
Lokonga called on the war mongers to join the peace process initiated in Yei so that some of the demands if not met can be documented and addressed through the national dialogue.
“Let us leave the practice of living in the neighboring countries and talking negative about Yei. If you need to know that Yei is okay, come on the ground than speaking negatively in Uganda or Juba. Yei is becoming peaceful and we are now for peace not time for war again,” he said.
Mr. Lonkga appreciated the humanitarian partners for their respond to rescue the people of Yei saying it’s high time that the people of Yei are in urgent need for food and other services as a dividend for peace and confidence building.
Lokonga has acknowledged that since the outbreak of the conflict in July last Yei, some people died, displaced, properties looted and thousands forced to run to refugee camps as a result of the impact of the conflict in the state.
Meanwhile Malish Godson, a resident in Yei town praised the state Government for the relative peace and stability seen in Yei town for the last few months.
But he said he cannot agree with what the Governor said that the Yei-Kaya road has been opened and total peace and security in some of the rural counties of Yei River state.
“Yes we have been seeing relative peace for the last two months in Yei town but my biggest worry is that, I have neither seen cars nor people coming from Yei-Kaya road. Even the Yei Lasu road, people don’t come through the main road, they used to come through the bush to the town,” he added.
He called on the state Governor to work day and night to see that all the roads are open and speak to the opposition forces in the bush so that lasting peace is brought to Yei River state.
“All of us want peace and for us to realize a meaningful peace, we needed truthfulness and practicalities. You cannot talk to yourselves that we are for peace, face the rebels and tell them the reality they will listen to you and also if you need peace in South Sudan work for justice and equality,” Malish concluded.
By Daniel Friday Martin