Upper Nile governor directed to end bloodshed

By Bida Elly David

The newly appointed governor of Upper Nile State, James Odhok has been directed by President Kiir to immediately quell the brutal conflict in the region to stop the unceasing bloodshed of the acquitted souls.

This development emerged during the swearing in ceremony of the incumbent Upper Nile State governor Mr. James Odhok along a Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Programs, Dr. Benjamin Bol Mel yesterday in Juba.

In a statement extracted by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper from the Presidential Facebook page, Kiir in his keynote remarks at the swearing in directed the governor to consider reinstatement of the state’s crippled security to quell the on-going blood downpour.

Kiir told James to invest many exertions to ensure that the state is set free from multiple calamities to end communal grudges among armed youth.

“You have bigger task ahead of you especially improving the security situation in the State. The peace that Pope Francis emphasized on must be maintained to foster stability and development in our country. I will reiterate again that my government will never return the country back to war under my watch,” Kiir said.

On his part, Governor James Odhok assured President Kiir of his comprehensive commitment to immediately restore peace and stability in the State to ensure quick mitigation of the continuous and brutal saga in the region.

James further disclosed that there will be an emergency state convention with youth to avoid further escalation of tensions in the area.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Upper Nile State, Ayong Awer Lual said he will work jointly with the new governor to ensure that peace prevails in the State.

Recently, the U.N. special envoy for South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom reiterated jeopardy of the humanitarian situation in Upper Nile estimating the statistical projection of 9.4 million people that would need humanitarian aid and protection this year.

In his address to the UN Security Council, Haysom said the security situation in Upper Nile State continues to deteriorate as there is no progress in bringing the warring factions to the negotiating to end the brutal war.

He also condemned human rights violations such as killings, conflict-related sexual violence, raiding, and large-scale displacements.

 “Violence in the area has taken on an ethnic dimension,” he noted in a statement released on Wednesday. Thousands of civilians have fled toward the UNMISS temporary operating base at Kodok and to the protection of civilians in Malakal, which is already congested beyond its capacity,” he noted.

He asserted that the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is a reminder of the imperative for the parties to deliver on their commitments in the Peace Agreement.

Beside this, Haysom raised a red flag on what he described as the militarization of the River Nile that has been turned into a route for looting and extortion. 

Haysom urged all actors to “respect this national asset as a highway for humanitarian assistance and sustainable economic development.” “Our hope is to deter actors from extortion and looting along this corridor.”

He also drew the attention of the UN Security Council to the funding constraints faced by CTSAMVM, the verification and monitoring mechanism established by the Peace Agreement, which is now needed to investigate violence in the Upper Nile. He underlined the importance of the Sant’Egidio peace process in leading the engagement with the holdout non-signatory groups.

He called for the firm implementation of the pending chapters of the peace agreement.

“We urge stakeholders to conceive of the roadmap not as a box-ticking exercise but rather a qualitative process to lay the proper foundations for a stable and democratic nation,” he said.

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