“I called on the Government to oversee the issue of insecurity in the area so that people can return back home. 70% out of 821000 of Yei River County residents are still living in refugee camps in Uganda fearing to come home because of oppression in the county,” said Mr Lewi Aligo Mursale, the chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition.
“It’s very unfortunate that our people are living in panic because of security concerns, which can be easily handled; however, the transitional Government is just keeping quiet while locals are being harassed by government militias,. SSPDF and civilians are beaten for being locals from the county,” he added.
He further stressed that the ground in Yei River is 100% ready, and local authorities are fully aware of the RARCISS hoping for peace to come, while chiefs, youths, women and church leaders are eagerly waiting to witness a sincere multiparty system operating in the county.
Mr. Mursale also highlighted the challenges facing his leadership, including the lack of finance to facilitate the leadership activities, which is a big burden. “We reach out to the state as well as national secretariat and the Chairman and commander in chief of SPLM IO to support our relocation to Yei River, but the answer was always the same: they told us that there is no money to support your process. We also approached some well wishers from different private sectors to intervene, but they expressed a fear because of insecurity in the county,” he added.
“Until now, we haven’t yet established an office in Yei River due lack of funds,” Mr. Mursale explained, “all this is while we are expected to conduct elections this month, but we have had to postpone it due to the passing of our county secretary Mr. Ajo Kanyik, who died recently in Juba.”
He further pointed that the agreement doesn’t feel like benefiting Yei River County: there’s insecurity in Lasu, Wotogo, Tore, and Mugwo payments, and that’s why it’s very a essential for the SPLM IO to visit those areas and find the problem in those payments, because it’s not clear who is causing this insecurity in those areas. It’s also important to communicate and alleviate fears in the society while encouraging residents to live in peace and contribute towards peace-building and stability of the payments.
Mursale told OZ Arab Media that “we thought the 2018 peace accord would probably reduce our people’s suffering, but it’has made no difference. Now, our people are still experiencing hard lives while they can’t attend to their farmyards because of insecurity.”
Mr. Aligo said that this county’s economy is based on agriculture, but there’s no way now for people in Yei to harvest in the absence of peace and the eviction of land grabbers and cattle herders from the farms so that people in Yei River can live in peace and make a living.