Catholic leaders call on Government to find peace in Malakal
Alhadi Hawari, Malakal
Following months of sporadic violence, the Catholic Bishop of Malakal has appealed to Juba to investigate the area’s breakdown in law and order.
“The national government in Juba should look into the issues of Malakal. Malakal cannot be left like that. People cannot be left like that to suffer in that way,” Dr. Stephen Nyodho told Eye Radio.
His plea follows a series of murders and assaults in Malakal town.
Earlier this week, Brigadier General Arop Okew of the SSPDF and peace activist, Juliano Ambrose, were shot dead while returning home from a market in Malakal.
Last month, ten traditional chiefs, including the Paramount Chief of Malakal, were severely beaten with sticks enroute to Malaka airport.
Four months ago, Thomas Aban Akol, the then public prosecutor was killed by armed assailants in the area.
In all instances, the culprits are yet to be found and identified. Yet, it has been suggested that all victims are from one ethnic group.
Dr. Nyadho blames the rising crime rates in Upper Nile State to the absence of a competent state governor.
“I would like to ask the government and specially our President to speed up the appointment of the governor, because without the governor, all these things will continue to happen,” he noted.
It has been three months since President Salva Kiir appointed 9 governors and 3 chief administrators. The SPLM-IO nominated Gen. Johnson Olony as its preferred candidate for the Upper Nile gubernatorial post. Yet, this appointment has been rejected by President Kiir.
The President’s office described Olony as an active soldier, and not a politician. He is reportedly unaware of political developments in Juba and outside of “territories that are controlled by SPLM-IO or by the government.” Olony is said to be in Khartoum, Sudan.
Despite this, some observers question the President’s reasoning. Recently, the governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal was appointed while she was abroad in the United States.
The SPLM-IO still maintains that it still wants Gen. Olony as governor for Upper Nile State.