South Sudan

South Sudan: Kiir Losing Patience With Rebels as Fighting Escalates

There was mayhem at Christ the King Church in Kabale Municipality on Thursday morning, drug after Christians descended on a water drainage trench that had been constructed by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), drugs and started filling it up.

The RCC had been contracted to construct a 2.5 kilometer stretch in Kabale town.

This all started on Wednesday, visit this when the parish priest, Rev .Fr. Fred Birungi put announcements on radios calling Catholics, who would come to attend the morning mass, to bring hoes and other tools, to fil up the trench.

The parish priest accused RCC of constructing the trench in Church land without the consent of the Church leaders.

Birungi also said that when he reported the matter to the Kabale Municipal Council authorities and the office of the Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Darius Nandinda, he did not get any help.

Enock Ndyomugyenyi the Kigezi Regional Deputy  RPC talks to Fr. Fred  Birungi
Enock Ndyomugyenyi, the Kigezi Regional Deputy RPC talks to Fr. Fred Birungi
One f the Catholic leaders tried to cool down the irate parishioners but in vain
One f the Catholic leaders tried to cool down the irate parishioners but in vain
Ndyomugyenyi being led to the scene
Ndyomugyenyi being led to the scene
Catholics filling up the trench
Catholics filling up the trench

Fr. Birungi, says that when he talked to Nandinda, he arrogantly threatened that he would arrest anyone that would tamper with the trench.

This did not go down well with the priest, He mobilized the Catholics through the media to come and fill up the trench.

The Catholics also accused the company of digging the trench and failing to cover it, which rendered their church inaccessible.


Some residents in the area also accused the company of diverting the drainage line, from its original path before letting another developer identified as Valentine Kahababo to construct a house in the space.

The parish council chairman, Isaiah Kanyamahane said that, as a church, they were not against development but that the RCC Company should have come and negotiated with the church administration about the matter.

Kabale Deputy Town Clerk Reuben Ntegyereize who arrived at the scene was chased way by the angry parishioners.

It took the intervention of the Kigezi Deputy Region Police Commander, Enock Ndyomugyenyi to calm down the angry Catholics, who later promised to convene a meeting to mediate the two parties.
The government of South Sudan has appealed to IGAD and international community to put in place a committee to investigate the parties in the conflict responsible for violating the peace agreement.

“In response to recent clashes, order the government of South Sudan suggests establishing protocol to determine responsibility for ceasefire violation, nurse ” reads a brief statement issued by the President’s office on Thursday night.

The rebels claim government forces have been launching assaults on their bases.

“At 11:00am (Wednesday) four helicopter gunships from Paloich, dosage bombed and shelled our military bases in Lelo, Warjok and Detang at West Bank of Malakal,” said the rebels’ military spokesperson, Col Williams Deng.

“The same helicopter gunships came back again at 4:00pm and continued shelling at the West Bank up to 5:00pm. The regime forces in Malakal shelled the same areas using artillery, D-30s, tanks,” he added.

“A force of 250 government soldiers crossed to the West Bank to attack our said bases. These acts are blatant violations of the permanent ceasefire which may lead to unravelling of the peace agreement.”

However, SPLA defence officials say Dr Riek Machar who signed the peace agreement with President Salva Kiir is no longer in control of his rebel forces who are yet to lay down their tools.

ChimpReports understands president Kiir on Wednesday met SPLA Generals in Juba for a briefing on the peace agreement.

He would later direct the nomination of 4 SPLA officers to participate in a ceasefire workshop with representatives of the rebels and mediators.

Kiir reiterated Juba’s commitment to the ceasefire but expressed concerns over the rebels’ failure to honour their commitments.

“The President is losing his patience with the rebels’ treachery,” said a highly placed defence official.

“The rebels must be restrained.”

On his part, Col Deng said the rebels are determined to see an end to the conflict by respecting the terms of the peace agreement which include a permanent ceasefire.

The war in South Sudan has left a trail of unprecedented destruction of human lives and property.

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