Community Press Release,
By Both Roam Gak,
Chairman of Liech community (Bentiu) in Uganda.
Oct 20, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Jikany Nuer’s areas of Garak and Biw are taken by the Ruweng. We, from the Jikang Community, have always lived peacefully with our neighbors, especially the Ruweng Community. The purpose of this article is to draw to your attention especially the people of the Unity State in particular and South Sudan in general that areas of Garak and Biw, which belong to Jikany-nuer are now being occupied by the Ruweng. Unapologetically and without bargaining, we want them back. These are our areas. They belong to us!
Because the people of Ruweng are trying to create a dispute, we want to assure them that instead of us reclaiming the two areas of Biw and Garak, we have resolved to reclaim 41 other areas for Gajiok and Gajaak.
It’s regrettable that the Ruweng Community is still claiming our beautiful Land, this clearly proves that the idea of the 32 states’ policy was to grab other communities’ land and award it to the Dinka just because the president is a Dinka.
As the ancestral owners of this land, we will leave no stone unturned to make sure that it is returned to the rightful owners in good conditions. The Ruweng community has no evidence whatsoever to prove that it is their land. As the Jikany Community we have been living here since the creation of the Earth.
The Jikany community is well aware that the petition letters that the Pariang intellectuals and their politicians are writing to president Kiir to remove Taban Deng Gai from his current position of the Vice President are meant to distance Jikany from the center of this power that give and take land away without seeking consent of the rightful owners of the land. These petitions are based on fear that Taban may wake up to this land dispute one day and decide to address it to president Salva Kiir which may see it return to its rightful owners, the Jikany-Nuer community.
We are also aware that the bottom line of the petition is to remove Gen. Taban Deng and replace him with a Ruweng son so that they will have the power to win the land dispute. But they don’t know that by removing Taban from his position as the country’s vice president that it may not guarantee their win in the land issue. Given that we have a border, this land dispute can never be won through a presidential decree in Juba. It must be addressed at the grassroots.
Ruweng’s Pariang county of Ruweng Dinka lies to the North-Eastern direction of the Guit county Jikany Nuer in Unity State. The Jikany areas are located at the extreme end of the checkpoint borders with the Ruweng villages (Jikany villages) located about 20km North of Kuerbune (Manga oilfields FPF), Jikany Garak of Tut Both (Southern Garak) is bordering Ruweng Garak (Northern) Rungun, Buolyar, Biem Chol and Geat are bordering Biw village (Ruweng east) in the east and Leel Guan Yay located in southeast of Biw village.
This Leel Guan Yay village is an island at the triple meeting point of Nam river. The Pul Kaka Thuom or Wecmuon En Dol, Bardiemdiem, River Nile and Ruweng Lake was commonly known to us in Nuer as Pul Kaka Thuom.
This island was settled first in the late 1890s by a man from the Jikany Community called Yay Bur Diu Bol Luoy during a period when the serial floods covered the most part of the region between 1880s-1890s.
Therefore, I hereby highlight to you the people of Ruweng community in details the Jikany Raar’s areas.
The GAJIOK KIIR LAND:
1: JIOKCHOT, at the border.
2: JIOKBAR after Buolyar (Jokbar Tier Belieu) ~ the ancestral land of the grandfather of our Paramount Chief Joseph Kong Yoach Jokbar Tier in 1780.
3: Tuoy ~ is the ancestral land of the grandfather of Chiengyoal current, Chief Riak Bur Tuoy in 1780.
4: Kuoy. Kuoy is the land of Mut Nyech Gai or Gaatgan-Nyech and it’s where Mut himself was buried in 1780.
5: LEEL GUAN YAY (Yay Bur Diu Bol Luoy)
9: Kuerguey (which is now called #Manga and Koorboow).
10: Kuerbune Nyathoat Machar or Kuerbune Taban Deng.
12: Rungun Jiek Kueth ( Jiek Kueth Gai Goal); grandfather of Luoy Jiek
15: Wech-Mathiang now is called Wuolmathiang
18: Wechduel Yaka
25: Wunbur (where Latjor and Chol Geak Dieng divided people)
And other areas within Bargoar.
GAJAAK KIIR LAND:
1: BIEMCHOL at the border
2: JIOKYOM at the border
3: WECMUON EN DOL OR PUL KAKA THUOM
9: Thaar Kuach
11: Door Geet
15: Than Baraar
And other areas which I didn’t mention.
About Gaboor Village.
My uncle Gak Bol Rieam Gak was the Chief in the Gaboor area from 2005 up to 2013 where he was killed together with his family in Gaboor area during an attack organized by the people of Ruweng themselves. On the same note, in early December 2013, the Pariang people also attacked Guit in kuerbune where elder Dak chiok and his family were gunned down and the entire village was burned to ashes.
Therefore, I urge the government of the unity state under the able leader Gen. Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil Wecjang, the Governor of Unity State and the government of South Sudan under capable leader, and H. E. President Savla Kiir Mayardit to advise the people of Ruweng not to destabilize our peaceful coexistence because of unique mutual interest between the two communities.
GPOC INVOLVEMENT IN COMMUNITIES CONFLICT
It’s very unfortunate that oil companies in the name of GPOC have directly been involved in land disputes.
One of the evidence is that they denied Guit county privileges that are supposed to be for host communities; a full scholarship was awarded to the host communities and Guit was left out due to the reason known to them only and concerning land. Also, the fact that most of the key senior GPOC staff including the Human resource managers are all from Pariang plays a role. On top of it all, the letter was written by GPOC HR Mr. William Majak whose name appeared as signatory.
The Jikany community have the right to raise their voice because the GPOC itself operates in their own ancestral land, in which Manga Oilfields are located in the main town of Kuerbune (Manga) Nyathoat Machar. The Jikany community have been keeping quiet for many years without reaction, it’s not because they don’t know what they are supposed to do. Unfortunately the recent involvement of the GPOC and some elements from Pariang are now threatening our peaceful co-existence. As facts stand, we are convinced that (GPOC) company’s policies and its politics favor the people of Pariang who have their own political agenda.
I have been observing their campaigns for so long concerning our land and the GPOC recruitment policies, and I am begging for your indulgence my dear powerful Jikany politicians, Youth, Chiefs, Students, and Elders worldwide to come up with a positive solution against the GPOC company and land grabbers.
Two weeks ago, some elements (politicians) from Ruweng petitioned VP Gen Taban Deng Gai although their grievances mixed up political, social issues and property rights that include land dispute although land dispute has nothing to do with VP position.
The Ruweng community and GPOC company are silently damaging our social fabrics as the Jikany community and also between us and other neighbors. We propose that we must respond in the language they understand better. No community can come to grab our land and goaway untouch. want if the community comes to grab other community land. The people of the Jikany community need peace with our neighboring communities but we are also entitled to our rights and freedoms.
Last but not the least, my appreciation goes to the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan H. E. Gen.Taban Deng Gai for not responding to their rubbish since he was a Governor of Unity State. It’s very unfortunate that the Vice President Gen.Taban Deng Gai during his reign as Governor of Unity State constructed roads from Bentiu to Pariang county and yet the people of Pariang couldn’t appreciate him.
The author of this press release, Both Roam Gak, is the Chairman of Liech community (Bentiu) in Uganda and a student at Ndejje University who is persuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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