Press Release

Phow State Community Celebrates The Appointment of Gen. Johnson Kuol Gai As Phow State New Governor

By Bol Khan Rom,

From left to right: James Koang Biel Dar, Hon. Christopher Gawaar Thichot, member of TNLA, He:E Johnson Kuol Gai Governor of Phow State and lastly his wife, Nyakuola Gany Deng.(Photo: supplied/Nyamilepedia)
From left to right: James Koang Biel Dar, Hon. Christopher Gawaar Thichot, member of TNLA, He:E Johnson Kuol Gai Governor of Phow State and lastly his wife, Nyakuola Gany Deng.(Photo: supplied/Nyamilepedia)

Jan 28, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Phow State Community in Old Fangak celebrated the appointment of the new military Governor of Phow State, General Johnson Kuol Gai on 27th /01/2016. Under the theme: “Phow State community is an agent for change”. The patron of the day and guest of honour of the celebrations were H: E Johnson Kuol Gai and Hon. Christopher Gawaar Thichot Dak, a newly appointed Member of Transitional National Legislative Assembly in Juba. The celebrations were also attended by others dignitaries including some of the state’s Commissioners and several SPLM/A-I-O Army Generals as well as the general public with very high turn-out.

George Kam Kong, a youth representative, talked about the youth’s roles in the community. He said the youth will continue exercising their main role of protecting the land from the outsiders. And that the youth will firmly continue standing behind H: E Johnson Kuol Gai as a Governor of Phow State: “The Youth have been working hand in hand with H: E Johnson Kuol since he was a Deputy Governor of Phow state. It is our duty as youth to go ahead in protecting our people, territory and the land from any threading force. The youth are the ones in the army and in the front.   So we will maintain our position and we want you all to follow us from behind”.

Women Representative Rebeca Thon said Phow state women have been standing firm behind the revolutionary movement for all this time and they will continue to do that until the change is achieved. Fangak was turned a loophole or like an isolated place by those myopic leaders who are in Juba. Those who remained in Salva Kiir’r regime in Juba were all working against this area and its people. “I have to say Fangak has now liberated itself from that useless regime. It is no longer a circled pool (gol pul) as was said by Dr. Riek Machar” she lamented.

Ayod or Gawaar Community’s representative, Mr. Dak Puoch Lok said Gen. Johnson Kuol was, yes, selected from Thiang Nuer clan of Fangak South County but is for the whole Phow state and he will serve all (four sections) of Greater Phow community. He stressed that every seat meant for the people of Phow State must be selected and endorsed here by the people of the state as they are doing. Very soon leaders must be directly chosen by the people whom they are meant to serve. This is what the SPLM/A-I-O is fighting for!! Puoch also asked the Governor to tour and visit all necessary corners of the state. “Direct democracy is a way forward. The main roots cause of this conflict was because the grassroots were not given their full rights to select the leaders of their own choices. So I personally ask H: E, the governor to tour the whole state; go to Pigi, Ayod and the other far places so that the people who are there shall make celebrations like these about your appointment” Dak concluded.

Lak community representative, Gathor Manyal (aka Gokdeang), said Dr. Riek Machar Teny will never be left alone by the people, the people must remain behind him because he is a real leader who always respect every individual’s right. Manyal said he doesn’t even think much about the children, women and all innocent civilians killed in Juba by Dinka President Salva Kiir. “All of us, most of our children, wives or fathers were killed in Juba as well as other places in South Sudan by Dinka regime. However, I don’t think much about them, it is like people bitted and killed by the dogs”.

Dang Magany the Thiang community representative encouraged Johnson Kuol to lead four sub-groups, namely Gawaar, Thiang, Padang Dinka and Lak of greater Fangak in a right direction. Magany spoken also about the reasons as to why the people of Phow State and the South Sudanese should not be forgotten. “Our four sections of Greater Fangak community have almost everything in common. Gawaar, Thiang, Padang Dinka of Pigi and Lak have been living together in Fangak. They intermarried among themselves. Anybody who will forget the killings carried out in Juba will be in the name of God cursed to death”.

Dr. Jill seaman, an American, she leads South Sudan Medical Relief. South Sudan Medical Relief has been operating in Fangak area for almost 20 years. Seaman said she was very happy as a part of the community to attend the celebrations. “I am very happy you’re or all of us are today celebrating the appointment of Johnson Kuol Gai as Governor of Phow State”. Jill’s SSMR organization is providing medical services to both the IDPs and the host people in Fangak, treating Kalaa zar, malaria and other diseases. “I came to Upper Nile region in 1989, I worded here for more than 23 years”. Seaman requested the community and the local authority to hand in hand work with NGOs in order to bring about good health care facility, education etc for the community. Seaman also requested the Governor to install the rule of law against the rule of man or gun which has been there for quite a long time now. “I ask the community, the local authority and the governor in person to work with NGOs so that health, education and all other needs of the community are achieved. And that I also ask the Governor to work to maintain rule of law instead of rule of man or gun”.

Major General. Mr. Stephen Kuoth Pathoat said peace is war and war is peace. “I said this because the peace which was signed is now on the verge of collapse. The government side has their Governor and we have ours, so it will depend on what happen next. That is if Slava Kiir Mayardit is going to totally violate this peace then we will return to war. We will return to our game. Whereby everything will depend on who has people behind him, Johnson Kuol Gai or James Kok Ruei.”

Christopher Gawaar Thichot Dak a newly appointed SPLM-I-O’s Transitional Legislative Assembly’s member said: No cowards can be freedom fighters, a freedom fighter cannot be a coward. Cowards do not scarify themselves to fight for the rights of other people, only the brave people can do that. And there is no change which can be achieved without claiming lives of the people. An established dictatorship do not always change unless there are people who committed themselves to bring change. A freedom fighter is a democratic citizen of the country. Every democratic or anything having to do with a dictatorship change there must be a need to have brave people who can change it. And that was why we needed to have these people around here to act at anytime or bring about change. They fought back in self-defence until Salva Kiir accepts peace. We have been diligently fighting Kiir’s regime until Salva signed the peace last year which shall leads to Federal Democratic South Sudan.

Gabriel Gatlauk Chuol, Director General of local government in Old Fangak said, the work of local government is to implement the government policies. We are the people servants and we are ready to implement what you are going to tell us. We have committed ourselves to serve and act for the betterment of the community.

Phow state’s military Governor, Gen. Johnson Kuol Gai calls for full implementation of ARCISS!!

Gen. Johnson Kuol Gai said he was very happy that he was appointed by the Chairman, C-in-C, Dr. Riek Machar as Phow State Governor.

“First of all I would like to give thanks and appreciations the SPLM/A-I-O Chairman, C-in-C, Dr. Riek Machar Teny for appointed me to this position without asking him to appoint me as Phow State’s Governor”. H: E Johnson Kuol said, and congratulates the SPLM/A-I-O forces for the job well-done.

“I also would like to congratulate our gallant SPLA-I-O forces for their standing firm in protecting our people from the Juba genocide regime. We didn’t initially decide to lunch a rebellion but we had to decide as we did because our innocent people were mass murdered by Kiir’s private army. And anybody who could not decide as we did, in situations where Nuer children, infants and innocent civilians were killed, was not a real man since he was born by his parents. He must remain a useless man for part of his life time.”

Gen. Johnson highly welcomes his appointment as a governor of Phow States but also pledged a strong support to the ten constitutional states as reaffirmed by the principles through the signing of the Agreement of Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan. He said he would rather served as a deputy governor of Jonglei state or a minister than being a governor of a state that would remain in conflicts for years.

“I, Kuol Gai, as an SPLM/A-I-O’s senior official I am supporting ten (10) states as stipulated in the agreement. I cannot say let there be 21 or 28 state so that I remain the governor, no I cannot say that. A governorship of one of the twenty eight states that will continue the war and suffering of the people for another two to three years is worse than ten states that will end the war. I don’t want to be a governor of a dying or suffering people; I would rather want to be a deputy or a minster of a healthy, enjoying people in Jognlei state. So let’s all start working for peace and reconciliation among South Sudanese people. And let me tell you clearly that peace and reconciliation will happen unless the Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan is fully implemented.” He said

“Finally, I would like to tell you that, the SPLM-I-O is for ARCISS’s full implementation. SPLM/A-IO will bring the South Sudanese people a permanent unity, peace and harmony.” he concludes.

Fangak was one of the 21 administrative districts created by the British rule in Southern Sudan after the independence of Sudan in 1956. It capital was Old Fangak town. But latter, the four clans; namely Dinka Padang of Pigi plus three clans of Nuer tribe: Thiang, Gawaar and Lak Nuer renamed Fangak District as Phow State with its capital in the same Old Fangak town.

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