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Officials say South Sudan war not tribal

By Margaret Kanini | Mar 6th 2014 | 3 min read

By Margaret Kanini

NAIROBI, KENYA: Representatives of South Sudan have assured the world that there is no hostility between the Dinka and Nuer clans.

They said the crisis that occurred in south Sudan between December 15 and 16 last year was a planned political coup but not tribal war as the international media put it.

The government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny backed the claims saying that Riek Marchar forcefully attempted to grab power from President Kiir which sparked the war.

“In July 4 last year, Dr.Riek Machar declared in an interview with the Guardian Newspaper in London his plans to take over the leadership of south Sudan. He ambitiously stated that he was ready to topple his leader and transform his country, “Ateny told a press conference in Nairobi.

“And on December 6 last year, he demonstrated to a press conference in South Sudan on how he would remove Salva Kiir from power by all means,” he continued.

Ateny wek Ateny, Colonel Phillip Aguer the SPLM spokesman and other officials representing South Sudan in Different capacities have recently been to Egypt and Sudan among other African countries in an effort to tell the world that the December 15-16 crisis in the Africa’s youngest nation was an organised coup not tribal war.

They continued to say that the Nuer and the Dinka communities are the closest to each other, among the 64 tribes of South Sudan.

“Today a large population of the Nuer community escaping from Riek’s crimes against humanity in the unity state have taken refuge in Dinka areas”, Ateny said.

Ateny also assured Sudanese all over the world that the war did not target the Nuer or any other clan in the country.

“What has happened to South Sudan has happened to most African countries in the events of changing Governments and policies. We can therefore say that what happened to South Sudan is ‘crisis of making a new nation’, which is normal, “Ateny said.

He said it was unfortunate that the Nuer clan flooded some African countries, especially Kenya in large numbers.

The officials have also accredited the move by the special envoys appointed by IGAD to adjourn the South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa, citing massive technicalities that needed to be addressed.

Ateny said that the G7 and young leaders groups wanted to sit in the peace negotiation table, an opportunity which was only granted to the two warring factions in the country.

“It is likely that the two groups wanted to do a constitutional conference yet it is an issue that should be left to the sovereign government of South Sudan,”Ateny said.

The officials also reiterated that president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Marchar to a large extend have failed to abide by the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and show their political will and commitment to end the war.

On Wednesday (5.03.2014) morning a shooting that saw five soldiers lose their lives was reported in the capital Juba.

Further reports from the UN and other international humanitarian agencies indicate that fighting continues to rock the upper Nile, Duk County and some parts of Jonglei state.

“This and other many technicalities therefore called for a 14 days break in the peace talks since the beginning of this month to have these issues addressed”, he said.

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