The Juba government wants former South Sudan deputy president Riek Machar and his forces declared terrorists.
This follows an incident over the weekend in which Machar’s forces allegedly attacked a vehicle carrying over 200 people to Juba from Yei and killed several passengers.
The attack, according to National Courier, happened near Lainya on Saturday morning where masked men separate passengers on account of ethnicity and executed all the Dinkas in it including one man, five women and 15 children before burning the vehicle.
Four of the dead children were aged 13, 11, 8 and 7 years.
Their bodies were taken to Juba while others who hail from Paweny, and Ngok-Lual-Yak areas are still missing.
About 20 others were injured and are currently admitted.
The incident comes after 14 Dinkas were killed in a similar ambush a week ago just few kilometres outside Juba.
Machar branded terrorist
The government blamed the forces of Riek Machar.
SPLA spokesman, Brig-Gen. Lul Ruai, is quoted saying targeting of civilians was an act of terror and that the region should label Riek’s forces as a “terrorist organisation”.
Brig. Lul Ruai Koang told the state-owned SSBC that Riek Machar has no program.
“He has no vision. We always tell this to the international community that there will not be peace because of Riek Machar. His interest is only to return to power at expense of the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”
Lul added: “He is a violent man. So we call upon IGAD, Troika, and friends of South Sudan to declare Riek Machar’s forces as terrorists.”
Dinka elders speak
Radio Tamazuj quotes the head of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders, Ambrose Riiny Thiik, condemning the roadside ambush attack as “despicable act” that “did not value the life of innocent people”.
“The council certainly extends heartfelt condolences to the family of this cowardice and barbaric act and declared that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” Ambrose told Tamazuj.
Suzanne Jambo, former secretary for external affairs at the national secretariat of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement faction allied to President Salva Kiir said the attack was carried out by “anti-peace elements” to provoke revenge attack from ethnic Dinka.
“We condemn these ethnic killings of Dinka in certain parts of Equatoria. It is targeted to have effect on Dinka to revenge. And if Dinka revenge, there shall be no South Sudan. Junubin please let’s wake up & stop these brutal killings. Time for the government to act now,” Jambo is quoted as saying.