Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan-(GaPPSS)

As South Sudanese, at home and around the world are in sorrow remembering the December 15, 2013 outbreak of violence in the country, concerned citizens of Western Bahr el Ghazal State (WBGS) stand in tribute to commemorate the incidents of December 2012, in addition to the national issues. We remember the black day, December 9th 2012, in Wau, WBGS when armed men in uniform shot and killed peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight. That incident was caught on camera; however, the perpetrators were never apprehended. Today we pay tribute to the victims and their families who bore the brunt. The concerned people of WBGS and human rights supporters will never forget those who lost their lives for just carrying tree leaves and leading a peaceful march. Following the killings, the army and other security agents arrested and tortured many community leaders, destroyed homes and properties. These atrocities displaced more than 5000 women and children who took refuge at a UN compound. We continue to reiterate our call for the investigation of these crimes and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The families of the deceased need to get a closure on this case and justice must be served. We are still devastated by the state government’s accusation that the demonstrators were going to “rob a bank”, that was why they were shot and killed. Does it really make common sense that thousands of civilians were going to “rob a bank”? If the government is serious about robbers, the real thieves recently broke into the Agricultural Bank in Wau and stole millions of South Sudanese pounds. Why did the state security apparatus fail to catch them? Time has come to speak the truth. What the relatives of the deceased are asking is for the state government to admit its mistakes, apologize to the families, and truly bring the perpetrators to justice. But we doubt if this would happen. WBGS citizens continue to be marginalized within the whole country. They have been silenced and many chased out of the state by threats of arrests and torture. Women are being gang raped and murdered with limited or no intervention by the state. There has been rise of crimes while the state leadership claims that WBGS is the safest state in the country. The lives and honor of civilians, especially of women and children, are not secure. As concerned citizens of South Sudan and dedicated sons and daughters of WBGS we are submitting this statement in commemoration of December 9th 2012 massacre to the ears of those power to hear and respond to WBGS cry. Respectfully submitted, GaPPSS