SEPTEMBER 10, 2010: Governor of Western Equatoria State calls for humanitarian assistance

Governor of Western Equatoria State calls for humanitarian assistance

SOURCE: Sudan Tribune

September 8, 2010 (YAMBIO) — The governor of Southern Sudan’s Western Equatoria state (WES), Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro has called on the international community to pay attention to the plight of civilians in the region bearing the brunt of attacks by the Uganda’s sectarian religious rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Bangasi made the remark on Wednesday at St. Bakhita Spiritual Center in Yambio County, while opening a three-day regional conference for religious leaders on the impacts of LRA.

Addressing the participants of the conference, Bangasi stated that “LRA atrocities are painful scenarios that call for greater attention, discussion and solutions.”

He added that for the past five years peace has eluded WES as innocent lives are continuing to be lost due to the LRA, who are fighting a war that has “no clear objectives.”

The past five years have been a very challenging time for the people of WES. It is located between northeastern Congo and Central African Republic - the stomping ground of the LRA and the crossroads of agricultural commerce and culture.

The governor urged the church leaders, international community and all those concerned about the WES community to advocate for peace in the state.

Bangasi appealed to the church leaders and the international community “to influence the Government of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central Africa Republic (CAR) and to join efforts and flush out the LRA from the Great Lakes Region.”

There was an unsuccessful a joint military offensive against the LRA in 2008, code-named Operation Lightning Thunder and undertaken by the Ugandan People’s Defense Force, Sudanese People’s Liberation Army and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The offensive was launched on 14 December after the LRA leader, Joseph Kony failed to sign the final peace agreement that was negotiated with the Government between July 2006 and April 2008 in Juba, South Sudan.

The governor recommended that, “There is need to build infrastructure in terms of road networks to connect the three countries (Sudan, DRC and CAR) as security precautions, opening road communication to promote rapid security forces responses.”

Bangasi was optimistic for the conference will produce positive results in terms of ceasing LRA atrocities perpetuated against innocent civilians.

He encouraged the church to continue praying as the government also tries to find solutions to the “imported aggression.”

Around six LRA fighters attacked the villages of Rii-Bodo and Nahua on 4 August, and killed eight civilians. The weekend raids also resulted to abduction of two women and two men.

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