Opinion: Response to false claims on Ruweng border with Unity State – Part II
By Eng. WIlliang Gatjang Gieng
March 23, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – It has become a habit always that when somebody wants to quit away from other, he/she tries to coin out something bad against the accused so as to qualify the reason separation for exit even if it is not true. Likewise brother Ayual claimed that ‘’Ruweng suffered serious political marginalization and exclusion by the successive Unity State governments which had been serving only the interests of Nuer tribe in the State for so long’’. He also falsely stated the following 7 points of accusation against Nuer people as to justify the reasons why Ruweng are demanding a separate administrative Area today. The 7 points he said are as following:
a) Unity State Governments were run by Nuer and were for Nuer.
b) Dinka Language was banned from being broadcasted over State Radio.
c) Parliamentary sessions were conducted in Nuer Language.
d) No single Dinka student had ever been given a scholarship.
e) Knowledge of Nuer Language was a requirement for lending State Jobs.
f) State policies denied health services to Ruweng areas.
g) State apparatus (police and military) were used by Nuer to occupy Ruweng land.
All the aforementioned claims are baseless, unfounded and misleading allegations. Our brothers and sisters Ruweng were respected and honored as full citizens of Unity State and had the rights of citizenship guaranteed in all constitutions of Western Upper Nile/Unity State like that of any other citizen. There was no discrimination policy in the State at all. The history speaks by itself. When they were transferred to Western Nuer region in the past, they were welcomed and stayed with Nuer in this area for a complete period of 59 years now, if such allegations were true, they could have claimed their separate administration long, long time ago not in this year.
Ayual and those who coined those allegations are trying not only to justify reasons for their exit but also creating bad reputation for all Nuer in Western Upper Nile. However, I do believe that it is not all Ruweng people who are claiming these nonsense, but only a few elites with selfish and tribal mindset who are doing this hopeless campaign teaming up with likeminded individuals from their cousins of Dinka Padaang (their former family members) against Nuer as was clearly seen from the petition they wrote to IGAD, TRIOKA, AU, UN and other peace partners during the time of Peace deal final discussion which was about the number of States and their boundaries. Their motivation in doing this is only that they see President Salva Kiir hails from Dinka tribe and this has given them courage and hope to implement their tribal agenda of that kind.
As to prove that Luongar was not correct in all his points above, let me first begin briefly with some of the concerns and later details for two issues (their participations in both State and national governments).
The official Language of South Sudan stated in the Country’s Constitution and that of the Unity State is English Language follows by Arabic Language which is well spoken all over the State. All the public gathering including rallies, meetings of the State council of Ministers and parliamentary sessions are addressed in English and Arabic languages because majority of people know how to speak in Arabic Language. There is no point to address Parliamentary sessions in Nuer Language like Ayual said. All honorable members of State Legislative Assembly spoke both languages very fluently, and if one cannot make it well in English, he/she can switch automatically to Arabic Language which was the Language of majority in the State.
In public rallies where there were many civilians who could not speak either English or Arabic language, a speaker could have a good translator or could do some clarity in Nuer or Dinka so that the sitting majority could get exactly what was being discussed, any this is very common. For instance, Late Dr. John Garang, the FVP of the then Sudan after CPA, made some clarity in Dinka Language when he said SPLM/A and NCP had signed CPA and become ‘’Akume Tok, acie Akume karew’’(i.e SPLM & NCP had signed CPA and became one government not two governments) while he was addressing the huge crowd of all Sudanese people(both Arab and African origins with different mother tongues) in Khartoum green square at the time of his reception in 2005. People were just laughing at him and nobody took it as serious conern why the 2nd man in the Country (FVP) addressed such historical gathering in Dinka Language. What was wrong if for instance, Gen. Taban or anybody could make some clarity in a certain rally?
b) Dinka Language was banned from Unity State Radio
Ayual said Dinka Language was banned from being broadcasted in Unity State Radio. This is not true at all. During the time of Governor Taban Deng, the State Radio broadcasted news in four languages namely English, Arabic, Nuer and Dinka. Mr. Mamuon Diew Kaya was the one heading the Department of Media Communication as Director, assisted by the following staffs in announcing the daily News in those four Languages news and staffs were:
- Mr. Dickson Gatluak Jok Nyuot (Nuer) for English Language News.
- Mrs. Ajok Chol Malual (Dinka) for Arabic Language News
- Mr. Banyang Wang Gai (Nuer) for Nuer Language News and
- Mr. Simon Majak Deng de Dhowel (Dinka) for Dinka Language News
During Election of 2010 and Referendum exercise of 2011, all the campaigns messages were carried out in those languages, and Unity State Radio was the best Radio covering most parts of South Sudan. The above mentioned staffs were the ones who had been speaking out all the information in those days in the said languages. I believe, Nuer and Dinka from other States who used to air out their comments through Unity State Radio can approve me right on this issue. When did Dinka Language ban from being broadcasted in the State Radio? If it was during the crises of 2013 through the whole period of war time, that may be due to the abnormality of the war situation and it is likewise, no Nuer could speak Nuer Language in Pariang town at that critical time.
c) Knowledge of Nuer Language was a requirement for lending State Jobs.
Ayual said knowledge of Nuer language was one of the conditions for lending jobs to State citizens. This is total rubbish and nonsense; all State employees (officials) got their employment opportunities through their knowledge and capacities. There is no condition as such in the employment policies of Unity State. There was a State Ministry of Public Services and Human Resources Development established in 2010 after election. That was only the institution given the mandate of carrying out all recruitments processes for employment based on Public Services regulations. The first Minister who was appointed for this important Ministry was Hon. Joseph Arop Malual who hails from Alor Ruweng Dinka of Abiemnhiom County. Where did Ayual Luongar get that baseless allegation?
d) No single Dinka student had ever been given a scholarship.
The Ministry of Education in the State had become a professional institution for the People of Ruweng. Hon. The following persons were State Ministers of Education in different times with different governments: 1. Makuch Deng Makuach (3 times and Hon), 2. Hon. Joseph Arop Malual (1 time), 3. Hon.Them Machar Kuol(1 time) and 4. Hon. Angelo Chol Dongway(1 time). If these brothers from Ruweng were Ministers of Education for different period of times, is there any logic at all for Ruweng people to claim that their children did not get scholarship in Unity State? Who can believe this nonsense claim?
- e) State Governments run by Nuer and were for Nuer interests
Brother Ayual said that all the State Governments were run by Nuer and were for Nuer. This is unfounded allegation. All the Unity State governments were run by both Nuer and Dinka (Ruweng) and were for the benefits of all citizens including Ruweng Dinka since the time they were transferred to Western Upper Nile province. No State apparatus had ever been used by Nuer to occupy Dinka Land in the State like what Ayual was claiming, instead, Ruweng have been the ones trying to grab Nuer land through government backing. Eg. Attack of Jikany at Kuerbone (Manga) in August 2013 and the recent insistence for grabbing the whole northern Nuer territory through Region backing can truly prove my argument.
Below are some of the clear evident which can prove it to the readers that the two community members (Dinka and Nuer) were staying peacefully in those days and the State governments were run by all of them for the interests of all not only for Nuer as Ayual said.
Cultural and Social ties
Culturally and Socially, Ruweng and Nuer in Unity State have intermingled through mutual marriages and friendship. Some have common traditional ties socially, for instance, Leek, Jikany and Bul Nuer used to had had one traditional dancing with long chips/yoth (tiny twisted cotton like strings (sometimes known as bon) worn by ladies around their waists during traditional dancing which almost reassembled that of Ruweng Dinka to some extent; however, the said Nuer group in Northern Area have changed that traditional dancing nowadays with what they called‘’nyabebet dancing’’ which is different from the traditional dancing (called bul thor) being practiced by other Nuer groups (Jagey, Dok, Haak and Nyuong) in the Southern Area of the State.
Nuer and Dinka chiefs used to settle crimes and other civilian disputes under one Main Court in Bentiu town and all were given respects as traditional leaders of the Western Upper Nile District. Sometimes, they shifted the venues of the main Court from Bentiu to Leer, Pariang, Mankien and other places while settling civilians’ disputes (especially youth crimes of sectional fightings across the District) jointly without discrimination.
In 1967-1972, a Main Court was established under the Chairmanship of Chief Malual Wuon Kuoth (Nyuong Nuer), Deputized by Makuei De Bilkuei(Dinka kuil) with membership of one chief from the sub-tribes of the two communities (Dinka & Nuer). Chief Makuei Bilkuil and Jaw Jiel Koch were very vocal in those courts where uncle Makuei introduced the word ‘’thatdeka’’ whenever he got the root course of the problem after tough investigation.
In 1979-1980, Chief Jaw Jiel Koch from Ruweng(Awet) was the one heading another powerful Main Court in Bentiu Town where the court managed to settle a lot of complicated problems in that period of time.
Ayual said that the successive State governments have been Nuer governments run by Nuer and served the interest of Nuer only. Again that is another unfounded claim. Nuer in Unity State do consider fair and equal sharing of everything with their brothers and sisters of Ruweng Dinka.
During that colonial District administration policy, Bentiu was promoted to a full district level in 1931, the tribal areas were nine (9) namely that of Nyuong, Dok, Haak, Jagey, W. Jikany, Leek, Bul, Alor and Panaru which are now translated into 9 Counties of Panyijiar, Mayiandit, Leer, Koch, Guit, Rubkotna, Mayom, Abiemnhiom and Pariang respectively.
As for political representations after Sudan got independence in 1956, Bentiu district was divided into two main national geographical constituencies namely (1) Ghazel and (2) Jebel constituencies north and south of the district respectively. Ghazel constituency was named after Ghazel River and was for Leek, Bul, Alor and Panaru Ruweng of Kuil and Awet, while Jebel Constituency referred to Jebal River and was for Jikany, Jagey, Dok, Haak and Nyuon people.
Each of the two constituencies was also sub-divided into local constituencies as following:
a) Ghazel geographical constituency was re-divided into two local constituencies known as
(1) Bul-Alor Geographical constituency and (2) Leek-Ruweng Geographical constituency
b) Jebel Geographical constituency was subdivided into two local constituencies also known as
(1) Jikany-Jagey geographical constituency and (2) Dok/Hak-Nyuong geographical constituency
The participations for all people of Bentiu District to both National and Regional parliaments were recommended through those geographical constituencies mentioned above. Just to mention a few examples, below is how people of Bentiu District participated in both governments in the past.
In 1956 after the country got independence, Ghazel constituency was represented by the following people in the national constituency:
Hon. Lugi Ruweng (Bul Nuer) was the first MP representing Bul and Alor while Hon. Chan De Bilkuei Ruweng) was representing Leek and Ruweng of Panaru in the same National Legislative Assembly in Khartoum the same year.
In 1977, when the Regional Assembly (in Juba) was formed after Addis Ababa Peace Agreement (in 1972) between the then Sudan government and Anyanya1 Movement, Late Hon. William Waskh Dador (Nuer) was representing Leek-Ruweng Constituency while Hon. Puok Bol Mut was representing Bul-Alor Constituency in the regional Assembly (Juba) respectively.
In 1979, Hon. Zaki Garang De Thon (Dinka Ruweng of Panaru) represented the whole Ghazel Geographical Constituency in the National Assembly in Khartoum while Hon. Peter Wen Majur (Ruweng of Panaru) and Franco Mayik (Dinka Alor) were representing Leek-Ruweng and Alor-Bul constituencies respectively in the Regional Assembly in Juba the same year.
In 1982, Hon. Charles Kuot Chatiem (Bul Nuer) was representing Alor-Bul Constituency while the same Hon. Peter Wen Majur (Ruweng of Panaru) was also representing Ruweng-Leek Constituency in the same regional Legislative Assembly in Juba.
In 2010 election, the same scenario repeated itself, when Hon. Majok Daw (a SPLM Candidate) was again representing Leek and Ruweng of Panaru in the national Legislative Assembly (Khartoum).
Where is the marginalization policy against Ruweng people that Ayual and his group are claiming about? Or do they think that those Leek and Bul Nuer who had voted for those Dinka men were during those elections were foolish? Of course not at all, it is the nature of Nuer generosity that they favor minority rights whenever dividing food. It is a God gift for Nuer to have pity on vulnerable ones and served them first as the way of fairness and equity. Do not take this as the weakness for Nuer brother Ayual, it is through this kind humanity that can bring us people of South Sudan together not the opposite one around.
I still invite my readers again to have a look here for Ruweng participations in the previous State and national governments since when Unity State was established in 1994 as a separate State from Upper Nile State up to SPLM government time 2005- 2015.
Unity State Governments (1994-2015)
i) In 1994-1995, when Unity State was established, late Hon. Uncle Thomas Kume Khan was the first Governor. The State had a limited number of ministerial portfolios (7 ministries) and 48 MPs in which there were four districts namely Pariang, Rubkotna , Mayom and Leer as mentioned above. In that State Government, Ruweng were represented by the following persons:
1) Hon. Makuach Deng Makuach (Dinka Ruweng),Minister of Education, (2) Hon. Joch Kiir (Panaru), Minister of Peace, (3) Zaki Garang De Thon (Panaru), Chairperson, (4) Arop Turuk (Alor), Chairperson, (4) Hon. Arap Daw (Panaru), member, (2) Hon. Jorjet Lat Mading, NLA khartoum (Panaru), (4), Hon. Joseph Deng (Alor), member, (5) Hon. Ojak Chol Kuod (Alor), member, (6) Hon. Micheal Mayar Mading, NLA, Khartoum (Panaru).
ii) 1n 1995-1997, when Hon. Micheal Mayil Chuol was the State Governor by then, Ruweng were represented by the following persons:
1) Hon. Makuach Deng Makuach (Panaru), Minister of Health, 2) Hon. Joch Kiir, (Panaru), Minister of Social welfare, 3) The same people representing Ruweng in the previous State Committee of Salvation continued.
iii) 1n 1997-1999, when Taban Deng Gai was the State Governor (1st time) after the signing of Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) between the then Sudan Government and SSIM/A, Ruweng had 1 minister and 5 members of State Legislative assembly and these were:
(1) Hon. Joch Kiir (Ruweng), Minister of Social welfare, (2) Hon. Chol Deng De Akiir ( Ruweng), Speaker (2nd Assembly), (3) Hon. Jorjet Lat Mading (Ruweng)member, (4) Hon. Arop Daw (Ruweng)member,(5) Hon. Mayik Chol Cham ( Ruweng) member.
iv) In 1999-2001, when Hon. Manasa Magok Rundial was the then State Governor, Ruweng were represented by Hon. Makuach Deng Deng(Panaru), Minister of Education. The State Legislative Assembly was closed down.
V) In 2001-2002, when Hon. John Dor Majok was the State Governor by then, Ruweng were represented also by Hon. Makuach Deng Makuach (Panaru), minister of Education. The State Legislative Assembly was still not opened.
vi) 1n 2002-2005, when Hon.Joseph Nguen Monytuil was the State Governor, Ruweng and Alor were represented by the following persons:
1) Hon. Makuach Deng Makuach (Panaru), Deputy Governor & Minister of Education, 2) Hon. Chol Deng de kiir(Panaru), Chairperson of Legal Affairs Committee, State Legislative Assembly 3) and five(5) other members of State Legislative Assembly.
vii) In 2005-2010, when Gen. Taban Deng Gai was the State Governor (2nd time) during CPA, Ruweng and Alor were represented in the State government by the following persons:
1) Hon. Majok Daw (Ruweng), State Minister of Agriculture
2) Hon. Pataria Monyroor, State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
3) Hon. Joseph Arop Malual, Minister of Education (when Pataria Manyroor was removed)
4) Hon. Deborah Ajok (Ruweng of Panaru), member of National Leg. Assembly (Khartoum)
5) Hon. Jorjiet Lat Mading de Bilkuei (Ruweng), member of National Legislative Assembly (Juba)
6) Hon. Chol Deng De kiir(Ruweng), Speaker of State Legislative Assembly
7) Hon. Michael Mayar Mading, Chairperson
viii) In 2005- August 2013, after election and independence of South Sudan in 2011, when Gen. Taban Deng became again the State Governor(3rd time), Ruweng were represented by the following people at both State and National Governments:
1) Hon. Majok Majak(Panaru), Minister of Roads and Bridges (GOSS)
2) Hon. Majok Daw(Panaru), member of National Legislative Assembly (Khartoum to Juba)
3) Hon. Deborah Ajok(Panaru), member of National Legislative Assembly, Juba
4) Hon. Them Machar Kuol(Panaru), Minister of Education
5) Hon. Angelo Chol Dongway(Panaru), Minister of Education (after Them Machar’s removal)
6) Hon. Deborah Kur Mayil(Panaru), Minister of Health
7) Hon. Joseph Arop Malual(Alor), Minister for Public Services
8) Hon. Michael Mayar Mading (Panaru), State Advisor for Affairs of Political parties
9) Hon. William Mac Deng (Panaru), State Advisor for Local Government
10) Hon.Thon Mabek (Panaru), State Advisor for Youth
11) Hon. Mayom Yak Kur(Panaru), Chairperson of Animal Resource committee at State Parliament, he became Deputy speaker when Chol Deng was removed from the post in 2013.
12) Hon. Chol Awunlith (Alor), Chairperson of Local Government at the State Parliament
13) Hon. Peter Makuach (Panaru), Deputy Chairperson
14) Hon. Ngor Marial (Panaru), member State Legislative Assembly
15) Hon. Awathip Nyok Kueth (Panaru), member State Legislative Assembly
15) Mr. Isaac Jaw(Panaru), Unity State coordinator in Juba
vix) In August 2013-2017, when Hon. Joseph Nguen Monytuil became the State Governor replacing Hon.Taban Deng, Ruweng were represented by the following persons in the State Government:
1) Hon. Mabek Lang De Bilkuei (Panaru), Deputy Governor
2) Hon. Arop Turuk (Alor), Minister of Animal Resources
3) Hon. Joseph Arop Malual (Alor), Minister of Education
4) The same people representing Ruweng in State Legislative Assembly continued but with changing positions of Chairpersons of the specialized Committee.
As one can see, all those mentioned above were constitutional post holders only apart from senior civil servants working in both State and national governments through the State recommendations.
In the light of the above mentioned facts, where is the marginalization of Ruweng in Western Upper Nile/Unity State governments that brother Ayual was talking about when they had been represented in that way? Can this claim be one of the genuine reasons for Ruweng exit from Unity State? I don’t think so, unless the judge is foolish.
How come Ayual Luangar was complaining that Unity State governments were run by Nuer and were for Nuer while brothers and sisters from Ruweng were holding key positions in the State Governments in the successive governments mentioned above? The above mentioned facts nullify all baseless claims and allegations of Ayual Luangar and his likeminded cousins. If they are complaining for the post of Governorship in the State, that is a different issue which can be discussed separately but not this way. State constitution is not a big deal, it can be discussed and be corrected if their claim make sense for that.
During the periods of 1994-1997, and from 2000-2005, the appointments of State constitutional post holders were controlled by successive Sudanese Regimes in Khartoum; the policy of those days for South Sudanese politicians was that ‘’everybody had his/her own Jalaba’’ to lobby for political appointment. Whom can brother Ayual blame in those handpicking policies of Jalaba(Northerners) of those daysl? Even Nuer themselves in Unity State were seriously claiming that some of them were favored most than others by the Regimes.
During the KPA (1997-2000) and CPA (2005-2010), the governorship position was given to Rebel Movements through those agreements and in both cases, their leaderships preferred Cde. Taban Deng as capable cadre than any other to that post; hence, was appointed accordingly. In 2010 election, Taban Deng re-assumed the his 3rd term as State Governor after wining that election by all means he did in front of us all, and those who were claiming of having voted 90% for Governor Taban were Dinka Ruweng of Panaru who he (Taban) had rewarded with lion share in his July elected Government as you can see above.
If you are for that issue, just prepare your potential candidate for the upcoming State governorship election after R-TGoNU so that he/she competes with others. If he/she wins, then there is no more questions, he/she will assume the post because it is a constitutional right guaranteed for every citizen of Unity State to contest for any post he/she interested for like what Peter Wen and Majok Daw and others did in the past and they succeeded. It is a matter of winning trust of the people when they see that you are capable to unite them and provide the necessary services they needs.
Ruweng patients denied Kala zar medical services, SPLM/A time (1987-1989)
Ayual is counting the death of Ruweng people of kalazar disease as a genocide planned by Dr. Riek Machar when he (Riek) was a Zonal Commander of Western Upper Nile operation between1986-1990.
In 1985, the leadership of the Movement decided to unite all the SPLM/A forces in Western Upper Nile which were fighting the enemies with different commands and orders, then General Paul Dor Lampuar who was by then a Major was assigned as a Zonal Commander of all SPLA Forces operating in the area. 1st Lt Simon Manyang Kiir was in charge of SPLA Forces operating in Panaru area. There was good comradeship cooperation between the SPLA forces. When the war intensified in Panaru because the enemy troops were attacking SPLA Forces in that area every now and then given the nature of area (no natural features like rivers or Mountains to confine the movement of the enemy troops in one direction) like in the Southern Bank of Ghazel River which is characterized by crosscutting Rivers, Major Paul instructed Cde. Simon Manyang to evacuate the all civilians from that war zone in Panaru to the Southern Bank of Ghazel River to stay in Leek and Jikany areas until the enemies forces were driven back to Nuba Mountains and that was done successfully.
When Dr. Riek Machar, the FVP of R-TGoNU was by then a Major and member of SPLA Military High Command Council was transferred to replace Major Paul Dor in WUN operation in 1986, he found that report cases of unknown disease had already claimed lives of many people in Jikany areas of Ngakpuar, Leljaakni, Kuach and other villages at the vicinities of Duar village.
Nyakuojuok Time (1987-1988)
One of the terrible periods of famine in Western Upper Nile which Ruweng could not forget the hospitality of Nuer in the region was 1987-1988 when people were feeding on ‘’leaves of thow tree (lalob) and creeping planst’’ which the Dinka called Nyakuojuok. Nuer women for God fear and humanity were kindly sharing the little resources they had with Dinka women who came from Panaru two years before due to the insecurity situation in the Panaru Area as mentioned above. Those Dinka families were accommodated among Jikany Nuer in the areas of Kedet, Niemna, Nyathor, Wathnyotni and many others just to mention a few while in Leek areas they were in Arik (Panhieny), Riaydeng (they called it Pan Thep and the name upto the moment), Nyawal, Dhornoor, Rubnyal and many others just to mention a few.
It was this time when the fatal disease outbreak hit the area badly, then Dr. Riek called ICRC Organization to assess the situation from the ground and then intervened with urgent treatment of the patients. When the said organization carried out its assessment in the whole Western Upper Nile, it official Report on that findings was that there were an emergency situation of Kalazar outbreak which had began initially in Jikany, Jagey and later to other areas in regions. Therefore, a Kalazar Treatment Centre was established in Duar(Jikany), with three other emergency centres in Niemna(also Jikany), Wochok(Bul) and Leer (Dok) for the same purpose. The organization found it difficult to establish an emergency clinical center in Panaru Area simply because of two reasons. 1) The area was a gateway for enemy troops’ entrance; hence, it was not a safe place at all for patients to be assembled there. 2) No nearby water sources to be used for patients’ services like in the other areas where the Health Centres were established.
Hence, Niemna was meant for patients coming from Panaru and those from the northern Jikany areas far away from Duar, while Wochok was meant for Bul patients. The same arrangement was that Leek patients and others with critical conditions referred from those three emergency Centres were being transported direct to Duar Clinical Centre. In the Southern part of the region, Leer was meant for patients of Kalazar and TB diseases coming from Nyuon, Dok and Haak areas.
It was not Riek Machar at all who denied Ruweng patients’ access to kalazar medical services in their own area as Ayual was lying. It was the situation of insecurity in Panaru Area which did not allow ICRC Organization to establish Health Centre for Kalazar Patients there, even if Riek had a wish for that, the ICRC administration did not. If death of Ruweng people because of kalazar disease be termed as genocide and be counted against Dr. Riek Machar by Ayual and his group, what about those Jikany and Jagey Nuer people who perished in thousands at the same time in their own areas because of the same disease? Did Riek Machar have any problem with Jikany and Jagey by that time? Ayual must be honest and sincere to himself before others.
Genocides (1990s, 2013 & 2014)
Ayual was claiming that there was ethnic lynching in the State targeting elements of Dinka Ruweng on their ethnicities during the above mentioned periods. Yes, there were cases of brutal ethnic revenges and retaliations attacks after the violence eruptions in those times which claimed lives but not to extend of genocides as Ayual is exaggerating. Nuer attacked Dinka and Dinka attacked Nuer and the cycle of revenge attacks went on from all sides without exception. But how did that came about?
In September 1991, innocent Nuer traders (more than 50) who came from Tonga bringing their goods they bought from there were arrested in Panaru, brutally tortured and all were slaughtered. This was immediately after when Al/Cdr Simon Manyang Kiir, Al/Cdr Paul Thong Ruai and Al/Cdr William Maliah Tuel were detained in the prison of Kauda in Nuba Mts wher Cde. Manyang Kiir met his final departure) after the announcement of Nasir declaration in August, 1991. Those officers were detained where nobody knew where they were for almost 2 years. If there were revenge killing in WUN targeting members of Ruweng, it could be a revenge for thier innocent traders whom were slaughtered brutally by Dinka of Panaru in that year while coming home from Tonga trying to take their goods to Rubnyagai market.
In August, 2013, Ruweng youth of Panaru armed by the County Authority for ill purpose, attacked Jikany in Kuerbona (Manga), burning down the whole village to ashes, killing many people with some burnt alive inside their houses together with their animals. That terrible incident happened immediately after Governor Taban Deng Gai was replaced by Joseph Nguen Monytuil a month before when Hon. Deng Ayii became the Commissioner of Pariang County.
All revenge attacks which happened in 2013 onwards came as the result of Manga incident and the merciless Juba genocide of 2013 which was coordinated systematically by government generals against Nuer innocent civilians in broad daylights at the watch of the whole world. If Ayual can term those incidents as genocides, then how will he call the killing of others, like juba genocide which claimed lives of more 20,000 innocents civilians including children, women, elderly people in a matter of 3 days only in Juba? How do you call the killing of Murrle in 2012? What about that mass killing of Chollo people of 2015 in which children and their mothers were burnt alive at Waw Chollo? How will you call that killing of Partit and Ballada of Waw in 2012, and that of Western Equatorians during all these crises since 2015? Just to mention a few.
If Ruweng are calling for a separate Administration apart from Unity State where they have been living for almost 60 years after their last administrative transfer because of the death of their members by the time when the Country was running at crazy period (dark days in our history), then are they not telling the other South Sudanese tribes who were subjected to the same systematic genocides coordinated by their own government to disintegrate the Country on tribal lines? I think, that will not be the solution.
Honestly speaking as human being, all those inhumane treatments and untold suffering in which all South people have been subjected to by their own leaders because of power greedy to accommodate wealth and self desire for tribal domination are not good at all. It should be condemned by all with strongest term possible. There is nothing good out of it putting our own people into hardship and difficult situation for the above mentioned reasons, killing and hating ourselves on tribal basis will never take this Country anywhere. There is no South Sudan without the presence of all 64 tribes. The best way to deal away with this chronic tribal tendency is to accept one and another through a proper reconciliation and forgiveness; hence, open a new page and forget about the pasts knowing that this Country is for all of us without exception of any.
Calling for Separate Administrations is not a solution but another way of preserving other possible fatal violence in the future with unimaginable destructions. Instead, all of us should accept one and another as citizens of one nation with common objectives which is peace and meaningful development as top priorities above all because we have been behind the world for so long.
Therefore, I am urging my fellow Ruweng people that it is never too late at all to come together and discuss issues of concrns on a table and come up with good solution. We have seen and heard a lot of terrible histories of other human beings in this world similar to this of ours, like that of Ruanda between Tutsis and Hutus in 1994, that of Kenya in between Kikuyo and Lou in 2012, that of Ethiopia between Oromo and Ahmara in 2015 etc just to mentioned a few. Those people did a lot of bad things against their own people, but in the end realized the danger, and then accepted one and another as citizens of those nations and left the whole issues of the pasts behind and are now heading forward peacefully and positively for the developments of their countries. I hope, we can do the same.
If you (Ruweng) are for Governorship post, prepare yourselves with a potential Candidate to contest for Governorship position in the upcoming general election that will take place after R-TGoNU. Demanding a separate Administrative Area/State with claiming of borders of land which are not yours is a serious mistake that will disturb your peaceful co-existence with your neighbors and that will have regrettable results.
If you (Ruweng of Panaru) are still serious with your demand for separate Administration as it is now decreed by the President Salva Kiir last month, I suggest that a committee of fact finding be formed by the presidency from the national level with presence of the neutral members from other tribes in which cases chiefs and elders from both sides (Ruweng Dinka and Leek, Bul and Jikany Nuer) who know their border points well be called and lead the Committee to those common border points where the two community members (Nuer and Ruweng) convince themselves with evidents and facts. Hence, the Committee will report back their findings to the two principles of the R-vitalized peace agreement will solve issue amicably with care once and for all. In this way, the two communities (Ruweng of Panaru and Nuer) remain peaceful neighbors for the rest of their lives in those areas. But what about Alor Ruweng who are from the far west of Mayom County? This is the real issue, you need to think twice.
Finally, my second advice to brothers and sisters from Ruweng is that please respect President Salva Kiir Mayardit with all your actions and thoughts as a President for all South Sudanese people, do not put him into hard situation because of tribal agenda.
The author is a former Rubkona County Commissioner. He can be reached via: email@example.com
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