Maiwut Commissioner tours Jekow & Zinke, calls on displaced communities to return home

Hon. Bang Kawich and his accompanying delegation were warmly received upon arrival in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State | © Thessherald

Thessherald—The Commissioner of Maiwut County, Hon. Bang Kawich Deng has called on all displaced communities to return to their places of residence and resume their farming activities during the rainy season.

Kawich made the remarks while meeting with representatives and members of Chany and Wadu communities in Jekou and Zinke, respectively.

“I want to assure you that peace has returned to Maiwut — we are dealing with so many things at the moment but our top priority is to ensure that peace prevails in Maiwut.”

Hon. Bang Kawich

On the same note, Kawich urges international and national NGOs to intensify operations and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in areas previously affected by inter-communal violence and armed conflicts.

Since assuming office on May 5, 2021 Kawich has been working around the clock to bring peace and stability in the area.

Maiwut is one of the nine Counties in Upper Nile State which was affected by the conflict between the rival forces of SPLA I-G and the SPLA –IO which occurred in July, 2017 in Pagak and within Maiwut.

This has led to mass displacements of the civilian population and some were forced to move to areas where they felt safe like Jekow and some IDPs had to cross the Ethiopia boarders where they were received by UNHCR and got settled as refugees in Tharpam Refugees Camps in Gambella, Ethiopia.

Major-General James Ochan arrives in Maiwut, warm reception accorded

Thessherald—Major General James Ochan Puot, commander of the special forces and his accompanying delegation were warmly welcomed this morning upon their arrival in Maiwut, a remote area bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia.

He was accompanied by members of the press, including journalists working for the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).

General Ochan, who’s currently in charge of Maiwut and its surrounding areas, had been in the capital, Juba since December last year.

Maiwut is one of the areas administered by the government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan’s government and opposition Parties signed a peace agreement in 2018, aimed at ending protracted conflict that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes.

On Monday, while releasing its quarterly report covering January and March, the R-JMEC expressed grave concern over the stalled implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.

“Much remains to be done by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) especially considering that less than two years remain in the Transitional Period as it was previously agreed upon,” the peace monitors stressed in a statement seen by Thessherald.

Maiwut MPs demand investigation into the death of 8 civilians in Paloch

Lawmakers representing defunct Maiwut state witness the swear-in ceremony of former Maiwut’s interim legislative assembly on July 16, 2018 / Photo: Thessherald
    By Buay Kapduel 

Members of Parliament representing the now-defunct Maiwut state have issued a statement, demanding an investigation into the killing of unarmed civilians in Paloch by unidentified gunmen last week.

“In the late afternoon of January 15, 2021 (exactly 4:45 p.m.), a group of armed civilians suspected of being members of the White Army of Nyiel Community from the Apadang, Malut County attacked Nuer civilians at the home of a commander identified as Capt. Joseph Dut in Paloch, killing seven, including a woman, and a child and wounding five (5) others, who are currently recuperating after being airlifted to Juba for further medical attention,” said members of Parliament in a statement.

“All the deceased and wounded civilians were preparing to travel to Mathiang, Longechuk County. It’s reported that such an attack was preceded by a community meeting chaired by one of the chiefs after a wrap-up from a rescue mission in Panomdit where a separate incident [had] occurred: cattle raiding by suspected members of the Nuer White Army from Ulang County in Bai-atak village of Nyiel Dinka Padang.”

The three parliamentarians: Hon. Bor Gatwech Kuany, Hon. Mut Chuol Thoa and Hon. Tulith Kong Diu — strongly condemned the latest wave of ethnically targeted violence and called on the relevant authorities to urgently identify the culprits behind this heinous crime.

“As leaders and representatives of the people, we condemn this heinous act and call upon law enforcement entities in Paloich, Maluth County to bring the perpetrators to book. We also call upon authorities in Ulang County to bring to book those criminals who had carried out cattle rustling and triggered this latest revenge killing.”

“We convey our condolences to the bereaved and urge all those affected by this evil act to refrain from taking law into their own hands and leave the authorities to deal with the matter according to the law.

The lawmakers urged both sides to refrain from retaliating against each other as this goes against the spirit of unity and the ongoing implementation of the peace agreement.

“We call upon our two peaceful and neighboring boring boring communities- the Nyiel Dinka Padang and Gajaak Nuer to deal with this isolated incident in a brotherly manner and continue to maintain their peaceful co-existence. Our communities cannot afford to revert back to the painful atrocious war of the last seven years. We must maintain our peace at all cost.”

PMPC denies instigating provocations to interrupt farming activities

Maiwut CCounty featured Google Earth| Photo Courtesy: Thessherald

Oct 25, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC), an integrated armed group allied to the Kiir administration, has denied instigating flagrant provocations against rival Gajaak communities to disrupt farming activities in areas along the Sobat River.

In recent days, the PMPC forces have been accused of conducting provocative activities after multiple shots were fired from Turuw, an area situated just a few kilometers away from Maiwut.

Speaking to Thessherald on Saturday, a senior PMPC official dismissed the accusations and said they don’t have any military bases in Turuw.

“This is an unfounded allegation by the anti-peace elements, we do not have forces in Turuw as claimed,” said a senior PMPC official who requested anonymity.

“It was a firearm function test of a gun that had spent two years without being lubricated – and these are different forces trying to find out if their gun was still under normal mechanical operating condition.”

The official calls for peaceful coexistence among Gajaak communities and urges members of the public to disregard the allegations

PMPC accuses SPLM/A-IO of planning attacks on its forces

(Thessherald)–The Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC), a breakaway faction allied to the government has accused a group of armed men from the Gajiok community of planning to launch an attack against PMPC forces and the civilian population in the area.

In a statement extended to The South Sudan Herald on Saturday, the leadership of the Provisional Military and Political Council accused senior SPLA-IO commanders of being behind all this warfare.

“As we have received reports from multiple sources on the ground, we are fully aware that the SPLM/A-IO is mobilizing armed men from Gajiok to launch attacks against our forces,” said the PMPC in a brief statement.

“The attackers are now in Malual heading towards Yieth- Yier.”

The group pointed an accusing finger at two commanders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – IO, for failing to honor the agreement and inciting more violence between the Gajaak communities.

“After we signed the agreement on February 11, 2020, we were supposed to strictly abide by the permanent ceasefire, but it’s now obvious that General Khor Chuol and Koang Ruot Luach are not happy to see peace prevail in the area,” the statement added.

PMPC is a splinter group headed by Major General James Ochan Puot, a high-ranking commander, who was
deputy commander of the SPLA-IO’s 5th Infantry Division.

Earlier this month, the two warring parties signed an agreement and committed to halting violence that has so far claimed lives and displaced the population.

“[We’re] convinced that any practice of dividing our people on the basis of clan-ism and hatred for the purpose of acquiring a political status is unacceptable, and that political issues should be resolved without first pitting communities against one another, Hereby Resolved the following,” the document signed by both parties partly reads.

“By signing these resolutions, we, the Parties, declare a permanent ceasefire to be immediately observed throughout Adar/Maiwut State,” the joint statement further said.

According to that agreement, the parties were obligated to immediately stop the fighting, allow reorganization, screening, training and reunification of forces to take place with immediate effect.