CES official on spotlight over hate speech

By Ephraim Modi D.S

Kajo-Keji Youth Association (KKYA) on Monday condemned the unfortunate public statement made by one of the State’s government official and a member of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party at the State.

Mr. Latio Ramba, the Deputy Commissioner General of central Equatoria State Revenue Authority and official Spokesperson of SPLM party in the State expressed prejudice against the Kuku Community.

This came after some South Sudan’s youths published on twitter about hosting a space debate with the National Democratic Movement (NDM)’s leader Dr. Lam Akol and a Civil Society Signatory to the Peace Agreement Rajab Mohandis to deliberate on the future of the peace agreement as its transitional period nears elapse in 6 months time.

In the statement, the Commissioner General Ramba wrote using his personal twitter handle @ramba_latio that, “U forgot one thing, egocentric betrayer of the moment and great tribalist. Like the Kuku boys and girls exercising clandestine politics with him (Dr. Lam Akol as referred) at the moment.” He wrote while making a reply to a tweet.

The Association’s members reminded the public of its core values as a non-political body and doesn’t subscribe to any political party but its membership is drawn from young men and women of Kajo-Keji County.

“In the unfortunate post Hon. Latio described the people of Kajo-Keji as ‘Kuku young boys and girls exercising clandestine and tribal politics’ whatever triggered his post, the Kajo-Keji Youth Association would like to make it categorically clear that such statements are offensive, inciting in nature and uncalled for whatever the circumstances,” Kajo-Keji Youth Association (KKYA) condemnation statement partly read.

The Association has also urged the Central Equatoria State Government and the State SPLM top leadership to call its leaders to order and avoid such public statements that might create division among peace loving communities.

“It is important to appreciate that the country is currently implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement which emphasizes the spirit of national unity and cohesion,” KKYA statement further stated.

The Kajo-Keji Youth body reiterated that leaders should be mindful of such public utterance that might be divisive to their nation,

Based on that regard the KKYA on behalf of the entire youth and community called upon honorable Latio Ramba to issue a public apology to the youth and the people of Kajo-Keji who have been dearly hurt by his remark.

United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on 25th October 2016 warned that rising ethnic rhetoric, hate speech and incitement to violence against certain ethnic groups in South Sudan is highly dangerous and could result in mass atrocities if not reined in by community and political leaders at highest levels.

Report of violence that took place in the town of Bentiu on May 7 2014 indicates that it was fueled by hate speech that prompts inevitable comparisons with media driven violence in Rwanda in 1994.

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