Response to Honourable Michael Makuei interview in Khartoum

By Samson Oyay Awin


South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth (File photo)
South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth (File photo)

August 6th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – El-Intibaha newspaper gave an exclusive interview of honorable Michael Makuei Lueth, in it issue No: 4354, Monday 30 July 2018. Honorable Michael Makuei, tried to reply some of the questions related to those who refused to sign the agreement of power sharing because of their reservation in regard to land issue.

Honorable Michael Makuei, you tried to explain that the issue of land dispute will be resolved through land laws in South Sudan. As Collo community we are not certain about your expression in land issue. If your claim is true that there is land law, why did President Salva Kiir a deadly mistake by issuing a decree to annex other communities land to others especially in Upper Nile state?

The tribal land conflict which is seriously happening in South Sudan could be blamed on the President and his partial government, in which the honorable Michael Makuei is the spearhead and champion of the land occupation in the national broadcast radio and television. The readers are wandering and couldn’t grasp what was in the back of your mind when you compared the land dispute in Malakal with Khartoum.

All people know that the current escalation of land conflict in Malakal was the creation of Salva Kiir and the first unlawful crime committed by the government of Salva Kiir, occurred when President Salva Kiir issue a decree for the formation of Padang County in Collo land in the place called Pigi, without consulting the inhabitant’s community. Where is the spirit of brotherhood, nationhood and democratic practice in that decree?

Incidentally, honorable Michael Makuei, your official denial that no Collo land which was confiscated or occupied is a false assertion, irresponsible expression and misleading viewpoint you wished to sell. Honorable Michael Makuei, your irrational and uncivilized behavior is one of the causes of unrest, instability and insecurity in South Sudan that, if not checked, will lead to disintegration of South Sudan country into tribal enclaves.

Honorable Michael Makuei, be informed that no single community will accept to be marginalized and live like refugees in their own country. Please refrain from this backward claim if you want peace to be achieved and attained in South Sudan, knowing that the land is the people, and without the land no people and anyone who has no land is just an alien, who has no citizenship rights. Indeed, don’t tamper with the question of land because it is death or life.

Honorable Michael Makuei, your public irrational claims in your interview that eastern side of White Nile belongs to Padang Jieng, was an official support to Jieng agenda either intentionally or through your ignorance and misguided assumption.   Honorable Michael Makuei, you argued that those who claimed that eastern side of White Nile belongs to Collo community are wrong and ignorant about history. To the Collo community, you are the first and non-historian oriented person, because what you mentioned in your bias interview had no historical facts or proof.

The Collo community would like to disqualify your assertion that there was a Collo king, who was expelled to Jieng area. Your assertion was not authentic, because you failed to enlighten the readers by providing the time and the name of the king, and also who have remained in the leadership in Fashoda after his expulsion?

For the benefit of the readers, we would like to give historical facts about what w as mentioned by honorable Michael Makuei in the interview. The person who deserted his village in Angadiar in northern side of Sobat River and immigrated to Wunker 15 miles southwest of Soba River was a son of a Prince (mention the name) and not the king as you mentioned in your misleading interview.

But we know your intention was to lend support to Padang Jieng claims that Angadiar belongs to them as a result of your toxic and poisonous claim that the Collo community had occupied Padang Jieng land on the eastern side of the Nile. You need to know that Gilo and Nyikango were brothers and their descendents lived side by side in Angadiar, and at one point Anyuak migrated east of Sobat River to Bonglay, Adong,  Abwong and Galachiel. All these are Anyuak names.

When an uncivilized community appeared in late eighteenth century, Anyuak couldn’t bear to stay with that stranger’s creature which behavior of raiding is the basic of their wild life. Therefore, all villages occupied by Padang Jieng are Anyuak land as the history tells us.   The crucial historical facts are obvious. The Turco-Egyptian rule in Sudan established Tawfigia (after Khedive Tawfig) at Collo’s Alel village as it headquarters for slave trade.  The HQ was later shifted to Makal area which is now called Malakal.

Where was the Jieng community which the minister Michael Makuei is claiming to own the land?   Again, when the American Mission came to Doleib Hill in 1902, and made it their missionary base in Upper Nile, where was the Jieng community? The missionaries wrote that the piece of land on which they built their station in Doleib Hill was offered by Chief Arew Kacjwok (mention his village).

Honorable Michael Makuei Lueth, can you explain to the readers when did Padang Jieng cross the White Nile to the eastern, when they came from Panarur in the Unity State You claimed to be an historian, although your information is very shallow not grounded on true historical evidences. As a Jieng Spokesman, you should refrain from incitement and entertaining baseless claims that the whole eastern side of the White Nile belongs to Jieng.

Another crystal example that indicated that Collo community lived on both sides of the White Nile could be observed in the establishment of Maluth sugar scheme. President Jaafar Nimeiri approached Collo king to offer the government a piece of land to initiate that national project. And if the eastern side of the Nile belongs to Padang Jieng as you claim, why didn’t Nimeiri approach Jieng Chief for that matter?

It has become crystal clear that you are not the Spokesman of the government but of the Jieng expansionists and that your stand is the opinion of the majority of all Jieng community, and exactly this was why the government of Salva Kiir imposed the creation of the 28 States, which it increased to 32 states, to protect the Dinka interest and to give Padang Jieng in Upper Nile full right to confiscate and occupy Collo lands illegally.

The intentional action of Kiir’s government had made illegal claim to become legal by the formation of tribal states based on grabbing the lands of other tribes. This illegal occupation will not materialize whatever it may cost.

The author is the chairman of Collo Community in Sudan.

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