Tuesday May 13 2014

Acholi leaders laud S. Sudan peace deal

By Julius Ocungi & Martin Odong

Gulu- Leaders in Acholi sub-region have lauded the signing of a peace deal between South Sudan president Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar.

The two signed the agreement in Addis Ababa at the weekend under world pressure to stop bloodshed, killing and displacement of people.

Retired Bishop of Kitgum Diocese Macleod Baker Ochola said the peace deal is a positive development for the transformation of Africa’s youngest nation.

“The peace deal is an essential way forward for peace and tranquility not only in South Sudan, but also the regional countries like Uganda that had its pinch as a result of refugee influx,” he said at the weekend.

“...This should also be a lesson for Uganda government to take up peaceful intervention in any case infighting occurs,” the retired bishop added.

He said people in northern Uganda have been living in fear of a spill-over of the war due to the area’s proximity to South Sudan.
The chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group, also MP Aswa County, Mr Reagan Okumu, said northern Uganda enjoys peace today, because of Mr Machar’s negotiation efforts between the war between the government and the LRA rebels.

However, both Bishop Ochola and Mr Okumu advised President Museveni to withdraw UPDF soldiers from South Sudan to give both parties time to discuss their

Recently, President Museveni said the UPDF went to Juba on the request of Mr Kiir and no country should tell him when or where to deploy.

The chairperson Atiak Sub-county that borders South Sudan, Mr John Bosco Ocan, said the country needs to get on its feet and focus on reconstruction.

Mr Ocan said the sub-counties had become a transit centre for refugees, a situation that put pressure social services and interrupted trade.