The Citizen (Juba)

22 December 2011

South Sudan: MPs Say Athor's Death 'Relief' to Jonglei State

Photo: UN Photo/Stuart Price
Homes burning in a South Sudanese town (file photo).

Juba — Members of Parliament in the National Legislative Assembly interviewed by The Citizen said yesterday that the death of late Rebel General George Athor was a relief to the people of Jonglei and Upper Nile States in particular and the whole Country of South Sudan.

The MPs blamed Athor for not responding to the Amnesty granted to all rebels groups by President Salva Kiir during the celebration of the Independence of South Sudan. The Deputy Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly Daniel Awet Akot said "it was a good news that Athor was killed" because his death would bring stability to Jonglei State, describing that it would be a "relief" to them.

"We pardoned Athor three times but he rejected so the solution was to kill him because he was a national threat," said Awet. "Thanks God who gives and takes and we would remember the year 2011 as a great year. Athor was beyond a traitor and a Satan who was visible to the people, apart from the fact that he fought along with SPLA," said the Deputy Speaker, himself a SPLA war veteran who reached the position of a lieutenant general.

Awet said there should be no forgiveness again to those who are fighting against the government and urged the citizens that the New Year 2012 should be a year of unity.

Meanwhile MP representing Duk County Jonglei State Philip Thon Leek told the Citizen in the Parliament premises that in African tradition no human being can be happy about death news but the news about killing of George Athor Deng was a relief to the people of Jonglei in particular and South Sudan as a whole. He said none is to be blamed for his death because the government through the President had granted an amnesty to all the rebels but it fell in the deaf ears of Athor hence leading to his killing.

The MP described Athor as "quarter master" who was fueling conflicts in Jonglei State, besides cases of cattle rustling among the communities. He said elimination of Athor meant also getting rid of his former forces.

"The counties of Pigi, Uror, Duk and others would have reasons to rejoice the news about the death of Athor". Another MP representing Western Equatoria State Joseph Ngere Pasiko said that no one likes to take the life of any person and that was the reason for the Government to grant amnesty which Athor rejected and decided instead to use wrong means leading to his death.

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