When the Derge regime led by former president Mangistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia was overthrown by the EPRDF, the three commanders by then namely Cdr Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, Cdr comrade Dr. Riek Machar and Cdr comrade Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and along with some senior and junior officer came to Itang and talk to people in New Sudan stadium during the celebration days of revolution day sixteen of May(16-5-1991) that people should prepare to return to Sudan immediately.
The message did not get much attention from the public. I was talking one day to my mum asking her why people are going back to war areas where we fled? What is wrong here in Itang? We have our school, healthy care and good feeding and housing, a relative stability and peace. Why should we go when the war is not over? The answer of my mum was not convincing to me as a child and I could not grasp the reasons behind the message of the three comrades.
When the Derge regime fell, the SPLA/M leadership have to evacuated and fled Ethiopia because they were fighting alongside Derge regime army forces. They were considered as an enemy by EPRDF. So the evacuation of the refugee in Itang was not orderly carried out. It was not a peaceful evacuation.
Soon gunfire was heard in Damadole, Gore and Gambella. The chief administrator of the area A/Cdr comrade Taban Deng Gai along with his administration could not control this unorganized withdrawal of the refugee. It was in disarray and unorganized evacuation. Everybody was running his/her way and arm bandits or local militias from Annuak villages started to fire randomly in the town.
The massive lost of lives was huge because it was during rainy season. People have to travel in water for three days and three nights to reach Nasir on foot. Some headed toward Fugnido and join with massive numbers of people fleeing Fugnido camp toward Kenya border.
It was deadly trek to Sudan. Bombs were dropping on people randomly from the government antonov. The government in Khartoum started to exploit and take advantage of the situation.
The government bombed people who gathered at Jekou but nobody was hurt. The bombing scattered people again and highway men started looting and killing people who resist handing over some of their material and the few belonging they were taking.
Some ethnic groups were target and we will talk on this in the next issue why brothers turn against their own brothers and this is exactly what will happen on that day. Your immediate friend and neighbor will shoot you and loot your house.
If you look at this story and contemplate on our current situation now, it is the true picture of what will happen in the next three month. Now the signs have started to take shape. Southern leaders started to call for immediate return to South Sudan before January 9. People have started to express fear of their being here.
Our brothers in the North have started to call for boycotting and abstaining from business deal with southerners (not to buy their assets). They have start to call for stiff measures and consequences if southerners vote for separation.
They have start to talk to their neighbor that they should leave before December and on the top of these facts, the minister of information and the official mouth piece of the government of National Unity start to take side and distort the image of the national unity government and I fear in the coming Thursday cabinet meeting, South Sudan ministers will not allow this call to go with out raising it in the council of ministers meeting and condemning it.
The members of the NCP(southerners will now start to pull out because a honorable member of the party and high ranking official in the government and a minister for that matter started to reveal the ill intentions of the northerners.
With all these facts above, the tension will start to boil up. Even some of the unionists who still think there is more chances of coexistent and peaceful separation for more unity to come after 30 to 50 years, they will start to lose hope and they will take side.
Anyone who will ignore the consequences that will follow after the call of the ministers and the release made by the northerners to boycott and not buy any junubin assets will not blame anyone tomorrow. We value your lives, all our parents and families who are here. Please we are appealing to you to start evacuation before it is too late for you.
This is the situation of a slave and a master. When slave rebel against his/her master, the master wish him/her death because the master has been challenged due to his policy of injustice, oppression, marginalization, dehumanization and slavery. The master feels ashamed when his/her dehumanizing policy and harsh treatment has been revealed to the world. He feels ashamed and could stand not the shame in public. Then he/she will resort to ill tactics which will not bear fruits but more shame and disappointment.
We southerners should not be mocked and treated like sub-humans, we have endured these harsh treatments for so long, we have compromise a lot and we have given much more for this country to be united.
But with all these compromises, we did not benefit anything out of this unity instead we have suffered a lot. People lost their lives and their properties and their dignity. People were killed in broad day light by government security forces and some in cold blood. This become like unity of horse and a man where man always want to climb on the back of a horse. They want unity of land, resources and not with people of southern Sudan.
This unity will not work even if miracles happen. It is a dead unity. If we cannot interact socially and culturally what society will we form to be a nation living in harmony?
I’m calling my people in the south to evacuate immediately. I know it is painful because there are no services like education, healthcare, security, shelter and feeding but in the light of what I see now and we all see, it is not possible for us to be here any longer.
I call upon the civil societies to intensify and double their efforts to preach the safe and immediate return home of our people. I call upon our state governments and the Government of Southern Sudan to speed up the immediate return of our people all over the northern Sudan to their original home without delay.
This repatriation is no longer voluntary; it is a must to safe lives.
I call upon UN and all it agencies must take up their responsibility to response to this humanitarian need of the people of southern Sudan and Abyei. To hell with unity!
Long live Southern Sudan and long live independent South Sudan. Struggles continue.