Contributor's Daniel Juol Opinion


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda,

People of Ruweng protesting a decision by Salva Kiir to remove their governor and replacing him with a less popular politician(Photo: file)
People of Ruweng protesting a decision by Salva Kiir to remove their governor and replacing him with a less popular politician(Photo: file)

April 1, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——- In recent time, the news of the Ruweng State has dominated all media outlets. The whole story began with Taban ordering the former Governor of Ruweng State, Hon. Theji Da Adwad Deng, so that he secures the land of Ruweng people for him and implements his other orders as I have explained in my previous two articles on Ruweng State and her people.

Since then, things had moved very fast. The president fired governor Theji, the Governor of the people of Ruweng replacing him with the governor of Taban Deng Gai. Mr. Tem Machar.

However, as it has been reported by Radio Tamazuji the removal of Theji and appointment of Tem Machar made hundreds of citizens of Ruweng State both in the State and in Juba, staged protests against President Kiir’s decree removing the governor of Ruweng state.

The question now becomes what is the cause of the problem in Ruweng State? The answer is simple, Taban Deng Gai. It is very clear that he is meddling in the affairs of the people of Ruweng State for personal gain. This is because he wants Ruweng not because to serve the people there but to use it as stringboard to grab their land.

The statement in the above paragraph has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Taban, as a leader of the SPLM/A-IO faction in Juba is not for the people of Ruweng State. If he were interested in serving and improving the welfare of the people of Ruweng he would have not called upon the President to remove Theji. The action of the Taban proves that he is a tribal leader in vice president of South Sudan clothing.

As Santino Aniek in his article entitled: Vice-pres. Taban Deng Gai’s Abusing Power & Taking Advantage of little guys for selfish goals that was published in various website which among others include Paanluelwel, Southsudannation and Nyamilepedia, observed, Taban Deng Gai exploits citizens of Ruweng State for his own benefits which goes back to the history of South Sudan.

For example, Santino pointed out that Taban Deng Gai has a long career of abusing power for an endless goal and taking advantage of little guys. Santino further pointed out that Taban Deng’s tendency of exploiting vulnerable people dated back to 1980s as he knows Taban personally that he is the man with long career of abusing power and taking “advantage of little guys” as it was shown when Taban was Itang’s administrator during the liberation war.

Itang is one of the woredas in the Gambela Region of Ethiopia. Because Itang is not part of any Zone in the Gambela Region, it is considered a Special woreda, an administrative subdivision which is similar to an autonomous area. It is bordered on the south and southeast by the Anuak Zone, on the west by the Nuer Zone, on the northwest by South Sudan, and on the north by the Oromia Region; part of the southern boundary is defined by the Alwero River. The major town in Itang is Itang. Itang is important for the SPLM/A history as it was the Centre of South Sudanese refugees. When Taban was appointed an administrator in Itang which as Santino pointed out he badly managed.

In addition, Santino pointed out that as the majority of South Sudanese are aware of bad governance that was occurring in the former Unity State when Taban was the Governor.

Thus, according to Santino though Taban disguises himself in Vice Presidency of South Sudan his previous conduct and records reveal that he is a man with a penchant for tyrannizing the little guy and abusing power for his endless goal.

Santino further pointed out that though Taban is a National leader, his tendency of clannish politics, makes him to take ruthlessly pursue of the tribal politics that makes him mistreating the Ruweng people who he would do everything he could to achieve his pathetic goal.

As Santino observed in his article, one of the main objectives making Taban to middle into the affairs of the people of Ruweng is the issue of Wath Danluel.

Hence, Santino gave the major aim of his writing which is to bring to the public attention that the abuse of power and the marginalization of the people of Ruweng by Taban so that South Sudanese know what is going on.

It is important to inform the Public of South Sudan and the government that they should be aware of the camouflage character of Taban. To those who do not know him, he is a very good man but to those who know him he is a man who has a motto of the ends justifies the means.

In addition, the desire to get power is so overwhelming one for Taban that he believes in money and power, which is a typical character of Machiavellian people.

It is therefore import to inform the public that the people of Ruweng State must be protected by the Government against Taban or if the Government is not capable then they must be allowed to protect themselves against Taban’s advance on their land.

In fact, one of the reasons Taban is meddling in their affairs is that he wants to grab their land since it has deep seated mineral resources. Taban has a sugarcoated language but with bitter taste if not handle with care.

However, as Taban publicly denied that there was no dispute on land then he must be bound by his statement. For instance, to be specific, Taban on March 25, 2017 as it was reported by Sudantribune Taban denied accusations charging him of power misuse.

In addition, Sudantribune reported that the SPLM-IO led by Taban Gai denied the accusations in Deng resignation letter that the first Vice President used his position to annex a piece of land from Ruweng saying they are “unfounded”.

Finally, Sudantribune further reported that Taban and his group denied the existence of a dispute over land ownership in the area claimed to have been annexed by Taban, saying disputes like these can be addressed through the correct channels if they existed.

What Taban means by correct channel is not clear yet courts though exist but are not effective and at the time he is using resources and government power to grab part of Ruweng State land. Thus, I would advise the people of Ruweng that where the law is not capable to protect people then people are entitled to protect their personal interests by employing anything to ward off any danger and maintain that mode of protection until when the law is strengthened. In this case, the action the former Government of Ruweng State and its citizens took was a correct channel. Hence, there is no any other better correct channel as Taban claims.

It must be noted that the case of the People of Ruweng is strengthened by the above public statement by Taban and his group which must bind Taban and should never be allowed to go back from that statement. Nonetheless, the Government must be warned that Taban is a political figure who is very dangerous; more dangerous than Riek in politics and because of that the Government must know that people of Ruweng are in danger.

In summary, the public must be prepared to support the people of Ruweng against Taban and moreover, people of Ruweng are entitled to defend themselves against the tribal leader called Taban who is in Vice President’s clothing.

NB// Author is Human Rights Lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +256783579256



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