By Deng Chol Mijak | PICC Executive,
Sept 13, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — The PICC, an acronym for the Panaruu International Coordination Commission, is an umbrella Union, a global-social entity for Panaruu Diaspora residing outside South Sudan in foreign nations.
The PICC Leadership would like to take this preliminary opportunity to express and emphasize the community position paper in regard to the issues of the Ruweng People’s Petition Letter for the creation of the Ruweng State (separation from Unity State) as well as Stating the position of the Ruweng Constituencies over the recent proposed peace plan by the IGAD-PLUS which are already being communicated to the President of South Sudan recently.
The future of the Ruweng People and their survival is uncertain and risky in Unity State due to the intentional and tribal-extermination, internal marginalization, aggressive territorial land-grabbing, and violent victimization of the Ruweng Dinka people as an ethnic Dinka population in Unity State by Nuer.
All these horrendous grievances raised and decried on routine basis had triggered an alarming general insecurity and disharmonious coexistence of the Ruweng people to dwell in a sustainable-peaceful State with their Nuer counterparts in Unity State. All these heinous issues had outraged Ruweng Dinka to seek and file for a detached autonomous state from the predominantly Nuer Unity State.
As a matter of the general insecurity and unbearable survivability of the Ruweng people in the Predominantly-Nuer Unity State, the Ruweng Dinka is constitutionally or legally obliged to determine the future destiny of their security and survival by seeking a separate State of Ruweng in order to avoid continuous tribal extermination, victimization, forceful-territorial land-grabbing of their indigenous lands, and aversion of the internal-chronic socioeconomic & political marginalization by Nuer Majority.
The people of Ruweng are law-abiding citizens who are known for their patriotism and obedience and peace, not only by their Nuer counterparts in Unity State, but also by South Sudanese and their other tribal neighbors such as Shilluk and Nuba tribes for centuries along their territorial boundaries.
However, the patience, humility, prudence, peacefulness, integrity, harmonious coexistence nurtured by Ruweng people to live with Nuer counterparts in Unity State had been translated into an economic, social and political exploitation and abuses by their government officials and their citizens in many instances in Unity State.
The gross-chronic and socioeconomic, political mistreatment of Ruweng people dated back to the 1990s factional split of the SPLA/M. This systematic exploitation and extermination began with the intentional tribal marginalization of Ruweng citizens during the epidemic era of the contagious Kalazaar disease in Unity State statewide in 1986 when Dr Riek was deployed in Western Upper Nile (Unity State) as the SPLA Zonal Commander to carry out the military operations against the Sudan regime in 1980s under the SPLA Zonal command military operational doctrines.
When Dr Riek was the commanding officer in the state of Western Upper, he was able to secure and channel all the SRRA medical humanitarian reliefs to his home areas of Leer and Duar. Riek was discriminatory against Ruweng people of Panaruu by denying them the establishment of the health clinic center for medical reliefs to serve the patients of the Ruweng Dinka during the 1980s when he was residing there as the commanding officer.
Riek did not simply confine his tribal discrimination to the marginalization of Ruweng civil population to have an inaccessibility to the medical reliefs in Nuerland in 1987 but he went as far demoing the most high ranking Panaruu military officers in the SPLA by then under his zonal command in the Unity State.
Many Ruweng civilians died of Kalazaar in their thousands as a result of this discriminatory policy by Riek who denied the establishment of the medical relief centers in Panrieng to serve the Dinka civilians clinically from the Kalazaar pandemics in 1987.
All the humanitarian medical reliefs from the SRRA by then were only channeled to Leer and Duar where it was specifically subjected for Nuer civilians. Many Ruweng civilians had tried to cross over to Leer and Duar in Nuerland to have their patients sought the medical treatment of their diseases but hundreds of them died trekking on feet to Nuerland, whereas those who were able to reach Leer and Duar were later denied medical treatment or left to die as a matter of institutionalized discrimination against Ruweng people by Riek.
Dr Riek did not confined his systematic discrimination against Ruweng over the medical accessibility in Nuerland, but he was also being abusive of his military powers over Ruweng high-ranking sons who were serving patriotically and heroically under his zonal command of the SPLA Zonal Command in 1987 to 1991 until he defected.
Dr Riek and Taban were exploiting and abusing their military powers as the top military brass of the SPLA Zonal command in Unity State by then to keep all the Panaruu sons in the SPLA who had performed more exceptionally and exceedingly better under the systematic demotion.
For instance, late Cpt. Simon Ngor Choc, Cdr. Mayiik de Jau, late Cdr. Lubo Diar, Cdr. Panthou Dengthii Koch Goch and many other junior officers, who were the most heroic and successful commanding operational officer of the SPLA in the western upper Nile zonal command were kept under demotions by Riek and Taban in spite of their patriotic deserved promotions to ranks and files of the commander by then.
Not only did Riek and Taban succeeded in their discriminatory demotion of these Ruweng sons, but he had disdained the promotion of Panaruu other junior officers by then to the next military levels despite their excellent performances and successes in front lines. Simon Ngor and many other gallant Panaruu officers were the ones who brought good military legacy to Riek as the results of successful military operations they had conducted by selflessly exposing their dear lives in the various front lines in Western upper Nile from 1980s up to the defection of Riek in 1991.
The discriminatory access to the SRRA medical reliefs and his selective-military principle to keep all Ruweng high ranking officers under the demotion other than their hardworking performances and excellence in military operation were the preliminary forms of social, health , political military discriminatory policy designed systematically against the Ruweng people to downtrodden them and promote the abject poverty.
The second phase of the Nuer-institutionalized discrimination and silent extermination conspiracy theory of the Dinka minority did not only ceased with the earlier systematic-Nuer ramification over the medical relief distribution and military demotion of the Ruweng citizens, but they went as far as escalating this chronic internal marginalization and silent extermination by implementing more clandestine acts of assassinating some high-value and heavy educated Ruweng sons who would had become a famous public politicians either today in the Unity State and South Sudan level in Bentiu, Unity State in 1997 to 2000s.
The conspired assassinations of late Honorable Arop Dudi and Choc de Kiir in Bentiu, Unity State as the nonmilitary officials in 1992 or 1997 by Paulino Matip Nhial militias when either Nguen Monytuil or Taban was the state governor of Unity State under Sudan regime and Dr Riek macar was a tribally-motivated assassination of Panaruu sons whom they did predicted as the future, challenging politicians of Ruweng.
And so they were killed in cold blood despite the fact that they were loyal and patriotic to the leadership of Unity State under Taban, Monytuil and Riek Macaar when they were still under Khartoum regime 1997 agreement.
Both Choc de Kiir and Arop Dudi were simply assassinated in the name of being Jieeng and when they attempted to bring some development projects to the Ruweng Constituencies in Panrieng town.
The third phase of the institutionalized discrimination against Ruweng people did not ceased with the assassinations of the political high-caliber and heavy-valued-educated intellectuals Of Ruweng in Bentiu Unity State in 1997-1998-1992-1993 etc., but they went as far as exacerbating and escalating it to further deterioration of tribal tension and anarchy when ordinary Nuer civilians were employed to harass and discriminate Ruweng citizens in their residential suburbs in Bentiu, Unity State including the illegal burning down of the officials residents of those Ruweng sons who were working in the state government.
Most ordinary citizens were being discriminated and they were constantly threatened not to reside in Bentiu or elsewhere in Nuerland. For example, the hateful burning down of the official residency of the SPLA Veteran retiree, Major Biemdit de Ngor, who was employed as the Unity State Wildlife officer. His life was threatened until his home was burnt to ash, fortunateky, he was rescued and evacuated for his life by his military guards.The criminal arson for his official residency was tribally motivated as a mean to force him to vacate his job and residency so that other Nuer can take over his wildlife job in the state.
Other minor public harassment and discrimination including verbal insults and employment segregations were not being accounted for as a matter of saving the space for giving more explicit exemplifications of the systematic institutionalization of Nuer tribalism in Unity State. More emphases are confined to the narratives of the high valued targets.
Some Nuer citizens were instilled by their officials to try to promote Nuer dialect as the official spoken-language against the wills of Dinka minority and others as a clandestine policy to promote what was known as the Nuer supremacy and superiority through linguistic or cultural assimilation tacts. This policy was formally noticed and attested by the political quest to rename Unity State as the Liech or Lich State in Nuer dialect.
In the aftermath of the CPA and following the secession-independence of South Sudan, the former governor of Unity State, Taban Deng Gai started to introduce a secretive conspiracy to forcefully grab the indigenous fertile territory of Ruweng land locally known as Wanh Danluel (named officially by Sudan as Manga), a swampy green pasture land where Dinka Panaruu used to keep their cattle camps during the winter for pasture and water. It was occupied by Taban Deng Gai recently during his gubernatorial tenure as his future personal ranch, real estate and mansion as well as turning it into a farmland for his own personal benefits and profits.
When Taban Deng Gai was confronted by the current deputy state governor, Col. Miabek Lang as to why he had occupied the part of Ruweng county land illegally without official land deed title acquisition affidavit authorization from the county authorities in an official notification, Taban reacted angrily and negatively that he is residing there as the resident of Unity State citizen in Ruweng county. Miabek was convinced and he did not agitate him any further.
But despite the humble hospitality accorded to him by the local residents of Ruweng who are the rightful owners of the grabbed territory, Taban went as far as training his own local militias from his Guit County and armed them heavily in pretext of security forces. After he was successful in training and arming his local Guit Nuer as his security forces, he went on to deploy them in Manga and ordered them to deal with any Panaruu who would raise further complaint over the status of Wanh-danluel aka Manga.
A year later, this forcefully annexed Dinka land by Taban and his Guit-Nuer was declared as part of Guit County, which outraged Ruweng people to threaten a tribal war over it unless Taban relinquish and abandon it. Following the gubernatorial termination of Taban by Salva Kiir in 2013, Taban instructed his Guit militias to attack the southern Ruweng county of Agarak villages, and his forces killed many innocent civilians and burnt down their homes in an overnight attack. Payam administrative polices were called to rescue the situation, only to find that the Guit county militias of Taban had fled back to their county.
Governor Monytuil was the governor by then, and all he did was to urge restraint on both sides. The payam youths of Agarak waited patiently but Monytuil did not took a concrete step to bring the militias of Taban to book, and so Biu Payam youths decided to hunt for the militias themselves and they fought until Monytuil later sent in the state security forces to come and secure the border. Life returned to normal phase following the intervention of Monytuil. Yet, the problem remains unresolved up to today.
The removal of Taban and his replacement with Monytuil was quite a relief which mitigate the glowing tension which was simmering and would had escalated into a wider tribal war following the repetitive attacks by the Taban Deng Gai’s Guit militias in 2012 and 2013. Nevertheless, the event of the December 2013 later broke into a national tragedy, which did not only victimized every other citizens, but Nuer within Unity State quickly resorted to the tribal retaliation against minority Dinka of Ruweng in Nuerland by massacring Panaruu intellectual figures in Tharjath and Bentiu in late December 2013.
In January 2014, the Nuer White Army of Guit and Leek started to invade southern parts of Ruweng again, and massacred innocent civilians in their local villages they could find and burnt their properties and crops including bisecting and disboweling of the pregnant woman and her unborn fetus being cut into pieces along with their dead mother.
Many lives had not been accounted for but they were believed to have been killed in cold blood in Tharjath and Bentiu. Later in 2014, some government officials including some executive financial accountants of the office of deputy state governor were killed in public parade despite the fact that they were innocent civilians who had never been in the military uniforms either.
Following the selective massacre of Dinka minority in Bentiu in April, 2014, the tension remains intensive to even retaliate against the Dinka minority in the future by wiping them off the map of Unity State so as to dominate the state as Nuer cradle land.
Based on the political proposition of the 21 states under the federalism of Dr Riek Michar’s envisioned version of government plan, almost every current ten states of South Sudan had been restructured into two or three more states to form what is known today as Dr Riek’s 21 states, but Dr Riek never bothers to divide Unity State for illusive cynical reasons known to him and Taban.
However, Dr Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai had not divided Unity State into two more states for the economic and political reasons attribute to the presence of most abundant oil reserves in Dinka land and so in a strategic economic vision, they will never want to separate Ruweng land from their predominant Nuer State as 2% oil share benefits would often be garnered financially from Ruweng dinka land, and thus they won’t allow the separation of Panaruu but keep it under the exclusive Nuerland so that they would continue to benefit and exploit Ruweng people and their land oppressively for their tribal gains and profitability.
Nevertheless, the concern of the Ruweng people to seek a separate state has nothing to do with abundant oil in their land but this is a matter of avoiding the violent territorial annexation, tribal extermination of Dinka, and economic and political suppression of the dinka in the state government workforce and educational scholarship programs so far in the state. Therefore, the people of Ruweng will not benefit under the federalism proposed 21 states of Dr Riek, instead Ruweng people would be subjected to the more harsher and discriminatory oppression and victimization. So the fierce urgency is now to award the State to the people of Ruweng constituencies before South Sudan returns to the peaceful normalcy and stability. The great people of Ruweng are yearning for this opportunistic chance to acquire the Ruweng State under your incumbent president.
The position of the Ruweng people over the proposed peace by IGAD-PLUS is an absolute insult to the great people of Upper Nile minority tribes including Dinka of Ruweng in Unity State. We do not agree specifically over the formula sharing of power in favor of Dr Riek. If Riek would be permitted to appoint governors and have some oil share from these states, then how would you guarantee the security and survival of those minority tribes who do not currently subscribe to his current rebellion, and should he be given an opportunity later through the acceptance of this proposed peace, chances are that he would resorts to the resumption of the oppressive exploitation and discriminatory extermination of the minority tribes who do not subscribe to his tribal rebellions in the past and currently.
The Ruweng people are against this proposed IGAD-PLUS peace by any means necessary even if it means the intensive international and regional pressure exerted upon the presidency and South Sudanese.
The entire position of the Ruweng people is succinctly represented analytically and perfectly by the complete analysis offered by the Jieeng Councils of Elders’ reaction to the proposed peace proposal by IGAD-PLUS in the past weeks.
It is practically true that most of the oil reserves are found and produced in Dinka territories in Unity State and Upper Nile state.
The only oil field in Nuerland in South Sudan is solely located in Tharjath area of Unity State, which is a small oil field.
Moreover, the PICC would like to endorse the recent press release letter by the Padang Community in Juba demanding for the exclusive creations of two states for the Ruweng People in Unity State and other State for the Padang people of Renk, Akok, Paloc, Meluth, Pigi, and Baliet County. The marginalization and victimization of the Padang descendants is a collective issue of grievance, and it should be granted to them.
Conclusively, the PICC demanding petition for the creation of separate Ruweng state is an exceptional case whose grievances are far more not comparable, and urgent to be delayed and equalize with other grievances of other political nature in this regard.
This exceptionalism of Ruweng case is based on the matter of determining the fate of their future destiny once and for all to avoid the security threat and victimization of their civil populations which haunt them every time there is a political, national crisis triggered by the Nuer counterparts in South Sudan.
This self-determination call for a separate State is an exclusive demand by the people of Ruweng and Padang descendants who are constantly victims of Nuer tribal aggression in the long run and in the near future in South Sudan. The creation of exclusive states would ensure and enhance the security deterrence and guarantee the sustainable survival of the minority Dinka in upper Nile.
We need the liberty and autonomy of the Ruweng Jieeng from Unity State now.
The PICC Executive Coordinated Committee of Panaruu Diaspora.
“Give me liberty or death” by Patrick Henry.