It’s been four long years since His Majesty Kongo Dak Padiet occupied his throne in his kingdom, situated in Fashoda, north of South Sudan. The last contact he had with the UN mission was during his evacuation to Juba, in the heat of the conflict.
But now, the king is back!
And he is reaching out to his people and asking them to return home.
“I thank you for your visit and I thank you for your services to my people – in terms of food, security, medical, education and everything else you’ve been doing for them,” says the king, in appreciation of the services rendered to his people by UNMISS – the UN Mission in South Sudan.
“But now it’s time for them to return home,” he says.
The king was hosting a delegation from the mission’s field office in Upper Nile, alongside their humanitarian colleagues and national staff from across the divide. The group went to pay a courtesy call on the influential leader of the Shilluk community – most of whom live in the region. The Shilluk are the third largest ethnic group in South Sudan.
“In this place (Fashoda) there is no killing regardless of where you are from. We have people peacefully living here from many different communities,” he adds, while alluding to the security situation on the ground.