By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 13, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan Nuer community in Ethiopia on Tuesday condemned statements by first vice president, Taban Deng Gai, that his recent visit to Ethiopia was welcomed by Nuers and SPLM-IO officials in Addis Ababa.
“The statements made by Taban Deng Gai are unfounded” said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune by the Nuer community in Ethiopia.
The statement said Gai and Ezekiel Lol, who both recently defected to government, and paid visit to Ethiopia last week, were only received by David Dang Kong, former SPLM-IO diplomat, who had been serving as SPLM-IO deputy representative to Ethiopia, and who himself recently declared his defection to government following their foot steps.
“David Dang is not longer SPLM-IO official he is a Salva Kiir’s government agent” reads part of the statement issued by the community in Ethiopia in a reaction to their last week’s visit to Ethiopia.
The statement said Gai was trying to mobilize Nuer communities in Ethiopia to support their move to join the “genocidal” regime led by President Salva Kiir.
The Nuer community alleged that the two politicians came to Addis Ababa purposely to gain support from Nuer communities and to build international relation with federal government of Ethiopia.
Last week the South Sudanese delegation led by Taban Deng Gai, the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, held talks with Ethiopian Prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on a range of bilateral and regional issues of common concern.
Implementation of the fragile peace agreement signed in August between the two rival SPLM factions was high on the discussions between Hailemariam, also IGAD chairperson and the South Sudan’s delegation.
Other areas of discussions between the two sides included cooperation on border Security, industry, opening trade corridors along shared border and construction of new roads linking the two neighboring countries.
However the South Sudan Nuer community here in Addis Ababa said the Juba’s intention to hold bilateral talks with the Ethiopian government were only a pretext designed to serve for a hidden political agenda.
“Quoting that, they need to build trade relation and construct road that link Ethiopia and South Sudan. South Sudan government could neither build road nor international relation on trade while it’s economy already been collapsed and security deteriorated in the country” said the statement.
Meanwhile some 500 South Sudan Nuer communities in Addis Ababa held a graduation ceremony.
The students were graduated at various universities across from Ethiopia.
The graduation ceremony was highly dominated by South Sudan crisis issue, in which Nuer communities at large condemned the two politicians ’’Taban and Ezekiel” who defected to government.
In the statements issued, Nuer communities openly explain their rejection to Gai, saying that the war is imminent and it will definitely continue if the latter is being recognized by international communities as FVP of Republic of South Sudan.
One South Sudanese graduate who preferred anonymity said Taban is not working for peace and the wellbeing of South Sudanese.
Moreover, the office of Gajaak community in Ethiopia had condemned the move by US officials who they alleged attempted to cut off Machar from transitional government, mentioning that it can possibly aggravate the conflict in South Sudan.
“We urge John Kerry who recognize Taban as legitimate through his recent statement in Kenya and US ambassador to Sudan and South Sudan Ambassador Donald Booth, who recommend that it was “not wise” to return Machar to his previous position as First Vice President after he was chased out of the country by President Salva Kiir’s forces”
But the community gladly welcome comment by Princeton N. Lyman, senior advisor to the US president, described the idea to cut off Machar from the government as “illusion”.
He said Gai who replaced Machar in a controversial process does not control the opposition forces in the country, adding that fighting is ongoing across the country.
The community further welcomed findings from a UN panel of experts report, which said President Kiir and army chief of staff, Paul Malong, directed the fighting in Juba that killed hundreds, using MI-24 helicopters that only they had the authority to deploy.
It cites “numerous reports” from senior South Sudanese military personnel and politicians.
However, the office chairman of Gajaak Nuer community had bitterly condemned the recent war in Juba, allegedly instigated by the South Sudanese army chief of staff.
They urged on the International communities, IGAD, AU plus to critically analyze and look into the situation of South Sudan and come with positive option that stop bloodshed of innocent civilian.
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