Western Equatorians pay tribute to Speaker Elisa

24 Aug 2015

Western Equatorians pay tribute to Speaker Elisa

23 August 2015 - The late Speaker of Western Equatoria’s Legislative Assembly, Bage James Elisa, was laid to rest today following his fatal slaying on Friday evening.

Thousands of people paid their last respects to the 45-year-old former Speaker when he was buried on Assembly ground near the grave of its first Speaker, Richad Noti, who died in May of this year.

“It is a big blow to us … to lose such a resourceful person, who diligently served this state,” said Acting Western Equatoria Governor Sapana Abui. “The history of Western Equatoria State has changed from good to worse.”

“We all know that WES is one of the peaceful states,” Mr. Abui said. “What do we say when the leader … (is) killed in such a scenario.”

The Acting Governor said no one had yet been arrested for the killing but security organs were investigating circumstances leading to the Speaker’s death.

Condemning the killing and calling for an investigation to bring the culprit to book, Acting Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Pascal Nathaniel urged its members to remain united.

The state government declared three days of mourning and flew the national and state flags at half mast to honour Mr. Elisa.

Western Equatoria has been labelled a “green (peaceful) state” by UNMISS during the country’s current crisis. But conflict recently erupted in Mundri between farmers and cattle keepers from neighboring states who brought their cattle to feed on crops in Western Equatoria.

Similar insecurity broke out in Maridi and spread to Yambio, killing over 15 people, displacing about 30,000 others and destroying properties.