MP who was assaulted by colleagues cries for justice

MP who was assaulted by colleagues cries for justice
South Sudanese Parliament Building. [Photo: Courtesy]

A Member of Parliament in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) is yet to get justice, almost a week after he was allegedly beaten to pulp by fellow legislatures.

The inexplicable incident took place in a Juba-hotel on Saturday, June 25. Later that evening, a fight broke out between members of the Anyuak and Murle communities at an IDP camp in Konyo-Konyo, Juba. The skirmishes claimed two lives.

The City Review could not independently verify whether there was any connection of the two events or whether it was a mere coincidence.

When the chairperson of the SPLM – Greater Pibor Administration Area (GPAA) summoned area MPs and members of the Council of States to a meeting, Charles Wello Onyony thought to himself that an opportunity had finally come to mingle with his fellow lawmakers, outside parliament.

Little did he know that he would leave the venue nursing injuries – blows and kicks thrown at him by not so ‘honourable members’.

GPAA, which is inhabited majorly by Anyuak and Murle communities, has nine MPs at the TNLA and Council of States. Three of them come from Anyuak and four from Murle. The former also enjoys additional two slots in the Council of States.

The meeting was to discuss, among other things, the political and security situation in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

According to Onyony, he expected only the nine MPs and the chairperson of the GPAA-SPLM in the meeting room. But that was not the case.

“When we entered the meeting room, we saw a variety of people who are not MPs, including former Deputy Minister of Information Baba Medan and others, as well as several young men,” Onyony told City Review.

That is when his legislative trait of questioning things that do not make sense to him, kicked in.

“That prompted me to voice my displeasure: “Why are these individuals present when only national MPs and the Council of States are invited?”” he posed.

“The chairman remained silent in response to the query. Only Baba Medan responded to my inquiry, claiming he had been invited.

He claimed that he made the decision to remain silent because the cahir of the meeting had not provided a “definitive response.”

“I was allowed to speak now (and) I directly criticized the GPAA leadership for failing to maintain control over the (security) situation in what is taking place in the area.

“I confronted them about it and touched them deeply for labeling the entire Pochalla (Anyuak) population as rebels. I continued to discuss the topic of land grabbing, particularly in the Rati area, where Murle has recently claimed ownership. I made it very clear to them that Murle owns the area, but they refused to believe me.

The MP said that he was attacked by his colleagues on his way out. He accused his

“Some of them approached me as I prepared to leave. They asked why I was leaving before the meeting ended then they branded me as a “rebel” saying that I was the one creating friction between Anyuak and Murle.

“Someone came behind me and boxed me hard; I fell at my knee, and he hung up and pushed me hard. I was rescued by a member of the security of the Deputy Chief.

When contacted, John Kuju, the GPAA coordinator in Juba, confirmed that a fight broke out but blamed Onyony of diverting the agenda of the meeting.

“When people stepped in, he continued to use threatening language against one tribe. That is how things went awry till he had to flee since the crowd had grown irritated with him,” claimed Kuju.

Onyony said that attempt to get the matter recorded with the police has not bore fruit.

“I went to the police but they are not working (sic),” he added adding that he has received death threats.

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