BY JUSTIN S KWAJE. JUBA.JANUARY 5TH 2015.Mundari youth in Terekeka County continues to block the main highway linking Central Equatoria state with Lakes state in protests. The protester’s leader says they have two major grievances against the Juba government, unless these grievances are timely and satisfactorily addressed, they will continue to block the highway indefinitely.
He says they made it very clearly to the President that Juma Ali, the newly appointed governor with the Presidential decree is not welcomed in Terekeka, because he had cause a lot of havoc dated back when he was the commissioner of Terekeka, including the illegal and forceful disarmament of Mundari youth. They also accused him for torturing a group of youth who disobeyed him and refused to be disarmed because their main rivals, Dinka neighboring tribe, were not disarmed at the time, this was meant to make them vulnerable to be looted of their livelihood, in forms of cattle and to give advantage to their traditional rivals, the Dinka who had retained their weapons and armed through out the neighboring Dinak states.
The second reason according to the man who said he is the group’s leader is, they condemned in the strongest term possible the unconstitutional 28 tribal miniature states of Mr. Kiir, therefore they, the armed youth group who are representing not only Mundari but the marginalized and deprived people of Equatoria are speaking with one voice.
The Group warned the President and his associates, that if Kiir failed to heed this warning, he would face the repercussion. They added, should he Kiir insists and continues to send the rejected bad mannered governor to Terekeka, it shall be met with resolute force.
The effect of the blockade along Terekeka-Rumbek road have been felt in Lakes states and beyond as the essential goods have become scarce in the local markets in Lakes state and Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.Many truck drivers are stuck in Juba, as the other alternative road from Yambio to Lakes state has become dangerous due to the presence of armed group fighting the government in WES.
The armed youth in Terekeka have attracted large number and they warned the government of President Kiir and designated Governor Ali Juma not to make any silly move to provoke them, and advised the government to concentrate and listen to people voices instead of opposing and going against the voices that calls for positive changes.
So far Mundari area and Terekeka County is one of the relatively calm Counties in Central Equatoria state and in the country at large. The Mundari and Dinka are bitter tribal rivals and have history of brutal encounters that goes back to the date of (Kokokora) bari word which can loosely be translated as (separation) in 1980s, when the Dinka provoked Mundari in Juba, in retaliatory attacks many Dinka including small children got killed, it was one of the darkest time in the history of the then autonomous South Sudan.
Simon Khemis, a political analyst for SSLN based in Juba said, this unfolding event in Terekeka will mark the beginning of full scale involvement in this conflict of the people from Equatorian region, should Juba not manage it carefully.
He cautioned the government of the day to be extremely careful and not to escalate the situation and he echoed the warning of the youth, and said they the government should rather listen to the voices of the people that calls for abandonment of the 28 states.
Kiir and JCE insist that they had listen to the people in the creations of the 28 states but now other than Jiengs every most other of the 63 tribes reject this measures, so which people have they listen to?
“The government of the day should better listen and cease from escalating the situation, Instead should use Better Avenue in seeking support from traditional community leaders who are connected with the armed Mundari youth to quall the situation, instead of trying to attempt to resolve the matter by use of military, Which seems to be the only method Juba Knows, if so this will escalate the situation and will go out of hands,” said Simon Khemis a native of Central Equatoria State.
Further report from the Terekeka County indicate the youth are well armed and well trained,
Justin. S. Kwaje