News / Africa

'Come Home,' South Sudan Government Urges Citizens in Uganda

South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, shown here addressing demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba in March 2014, urges South Sudanese who have fled the country to come home and help build a unified nation.
South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, shown here addressing demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba in March 2014, urges South Sudanese who have fled the country to come home and help build a unified nation.
Bonifacio Taban
South Sudan's Vice President James Wani Igga has urged South Sudanese who have fled to Uganda to return home, reconcile their differences and help build a united nation.

Speaking to thousands of South Sudanese gathered at a university campus event organized by the South Sudan embassy in Kampala, Igga said the government in Juba is committed to resolving the ongoing conflict through dialogue.

But among the South Sudanese in the audience, there were skeptics who doubt it would be safe to return under the current circumstances.
 
Igga was critical of a proposal to create a power-sharing government that includes anti-government forces. He called it unwise and feared it would encourage more people to rise up against an elected government in future.

He said the elected government should be allowed to serve out its term, which is supposed to end next year. The vice president also denied that it is on the brink of collapse.

“There are people circulating a wrong message that the government of Salva Kiir will step down," he told the gathering. "We want to tell you clearly, this is very wrong and can never happen in this world. And we see this as a threat to peace in South Sudan if rebel demands are considered,” he said.


'We must address the root causes'


Some South Sudanese at the gathering said a key step toward reconciliation is to bring to justice those accused of committing atrocities during the conflict. 
 
"We must address the root causes and I think that will help a lot,” said Episcopal pastor Daniel Lual Kuot.

The United Nations and rights groups have accused fighters on both sides of committing atrocities against civilians during the fighting, which broke out in mid-December. Mr. Kiir has called the fighting an attempted coup led by his former vice president, Riek Machar.

Early this year, the government said it had arrested soldiers accused of rape, looting, killing civilians and destruction of property when violence broke out in December. There are reports that the accused escaped from prison.

The African Union (AU) set up a commission to investigate abuses during the conflict. The high-level commission, led by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, began conducting field missions to gather information in South Sudan in April. 
 
Kuot urged the regional bloc that has been trying to broker a peace deal in South Sudan, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to ensure neither Mr. Kiir nor Machar are part of any transitional government that might be formed.

“I am afraid that if the two men... share the government, there may be another crisis ahead of us,” he said.
 
University student Deng Gai Gatluak said he would have liked to hear from the rebel side as well as the government on how to restore peace in South Sudan.

"If we want to have peace as South Sudanese, we must involve people from the opposition side and from the government in order for us to sit down and see the root cause of those conflicts," he said.


South Sudanese don't buy 'failed coup' narrative 


Gatluak Khot, another South Sudanese citizen in Kampala, said the government needs to drop its "failed coup" narrative if it wants to reconcile communities and achieve lasting peace across the country.
 
"The reconciliation teams from the start are biased because they cannot drop the word of a coup and they are putting more blame on the other side. That means there is no reconciliation that will happen at all," he said.

Machar has denied that he tried to oust Mr. Kiir, telling South Sudan in Focus in an interview that he and others in the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) merely wanted to democratize the party but were being met by resistance from the president and his backers.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: losigin joseph from: juba
June 17, 2014 9:21 AM
we shld nt say it bt instead do the action for the country

by: Jeffrey Ngueny Deng from: Akobo,South Sudan
June 17, 2014 3:10 AM
We must adress the root cause'' I think what Mr. wani is showing to the world that the government is not committed the truth signed in Adis Ababa he is just crying even from his bari people no one is listening to him rather than great hero Lado Gore.this mean that he don't what the power sharing is?your CORRUPTS GOVERNMENT will fall sooner than later.

by: tut thol from: USA
June 17, 2014 1:29 AM
I will take the word one person say wani is "bipolar" I don't what the world you tried to get people in safe place into harmful place. Where is the home he talk about, they already destroy the home. If people are killing in hands of UN, does wani think people will be in public in juba? He is bipolar that is what I can say. People will come home after they leave the country. As long as they pretend like they running fake government in juba, book home.

by: Micah Torujo from: Washington
June 16, 2014 11:25 PM
Hey Wani Igga, United nation would not be build on lies.
Why are you westing your time?
You and your goverment suppose to apologize to whole south Sudanese, to the families who your goverment killed, and to the world that your goverment is the one who started this tragedy or crisis and your goverment is sorry about it. Remember Wani in order for reconcilation to happen, wrong doers should admit their crimes and justice need to be pay in full.

by: Sam Dave from: USA
June 16, 2014 9:59 PM
Why the government keeps lying to the their own people? Vice president said 'come home'.which home? My fellows, don't listen to him. He is bipolar. He and Kiir try to slaughtering the rest of you. if he wants to let you return home, let him come with Kiir and Riek With his group together and call all of you to come back home while the sit besides each other.To me, I didn't see sign of peace. When the peace implemented that the time the refugees will return home. The government of South Sudan seems like the people who ran away because of war are the problem of South Sudan but the government (SPLM) and SPLM - IN - Opposition are the problem of the South Sudan's crisis. Now, there are people who didn't left their homes and the homes were destroyed by both sides of the warring parts and nothing has been done to them. They are waiting for the government to help them by giving them food, shelters, and protections. The government doesn't care about them. VP Wani wants citizens of South Sudan to come back home while his soldiers deserted the affected states like Unity state, Upper Nile state, and Jonglei state. Those people who live in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan are from those affected areas (states). This time is not for propaganda. It's time for the true. Stop lying vice president, period.

by: Naath nuer from: Khartoum
June 16, 2014 3:50 PM
Vice president telling people to go home, why did they run from s.s to uganda if there is realy security in the country. Did he come out to condemn the masecre in juba? No oppostion will share the government with them, i think wani is joking

by: pidor tet duop from: Washington, state
June 16, 2014 2:18 PM
If I am you. I will not go back to central capital, because our government is too much lies on the way they are using to telling us about it. I will never forget what our government did to the own people who are voting for them. I don't think you can be our leaders again never never for my life.

by: Lisa from: Tx
June 16, 2014 2:15 PM
To all southern sudanese, remember wanni is talking under his interest. Yes kiir's term is ending soon. He lied about the coup by Dr riek, wanni is trying to fool every body the way kiir did. About the killing of the innocent. kiir, never say am sorry, am asking for forgiveness from south sudanese. As Dr riek long time ago did . The only way for peace is for kiir to step down before his term ends , by doing so if he is for real peace and nation building, he have to transfer power to riek , by doing so that might help him, because as one of finding father of south Sudan he will still get involved in nation building. Wanni fear Dr riek in many ways. Riek stand for peace. because of riek, we are free from the north. Because of riek people started to feel sence of peace. To south sudanese stay where you are with your families at the moment, no hospital , schools. No jobs anything so why is wanni is asking people to go back when there is nothing to go back to. No security , no peace.

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