Home | News    Monday 14 January 2013

W. Bahr el Ghazal’s Balanda community accept county headquarters transfer

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January 13, 2013 (WAU) - Elders and different youth groups from South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal State have finally accepted the relocation of Wau County’s administrative headquarters, the area’s commissioner, Elia Kamilo Dimo told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

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Commissioner of Wau County, Elia Kamilo Dimo (SSDDRC)

The proposed transfer led to protests in December, the response to which led to the death of 20 people in Wau town, according to collated figures from government sources. Investigation committees are looking into the incidents in Wau as well as the killing of 26 civilians in the Farajallah area, some 48 miles south west of Wau town.

The proposed move of the council office from the state capital to Bagari, 12 miles south west of Wau town, was initially rejected by members the Balanda ethnic group, who saw it as an attempt to marginalise their community.

The government, however, argues that the move is necessary to provide better services to people in rural areas.

“There is no problem now. Nobody is talking against the transfer anymore. In fact people do not want to hear talks about it. The issue has been put to rest and people are now preparing to receive it. They are actually the ones asking when we will move to the area”, Commissioner Dimo said.

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Commissioner Dimo said he had visited the area more than four times after the incident and held meetings with different levels of community leaders including different youth groups.

“I have been going to the area. I was there recently. The latest being last Thursday and I am going there again anytime soon. People were happy that I went and they want to see me coming there to stay and work there. They do not want [me] to go as a visitor anymore”, he said.

He said he had received a number of letters, mainly from youth asking for forgiveness allegedly for having misunderstood the intention of the government to transfer the headquarters to the area.

“They are coming out as [a] community and as individuals to apologize. We have received a lot of letters from community leaders on behalf of their communities and from individuals. They now need peace and reconciliation. As [a] government we welcomed these moves because the slogan of the state government is peaceful resolution of any difference and reconcile”, he said.

South Sudan’s cabinet on Friday approved the launch of a national reconciliation and healing process due to begin in April this year, to and resolve and heal the wounds of past and present conflicts dividing the communities in the new Republic, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.

Western Bahr el Ghazal is to ask South Sudan’s central government to financially compensate businesses whose properties were damaged by the December protests. Loses estimated at SSP 4bn (about $1m) were reportedly incurred as a result of the protests.

There has been no indication yet that the families of those killed in the protests will be compensated by the government. The government has denied that the police or army were responsible for the deaths of the protestors in Wau despite a video emerging showing armed men in Wau town shooting at apparently unarmed protestors on 9 December.

Derick Alfred Uya, the state Minister of Information said the security investigation committee has not yet completed their findings into the exact number of people killed and wounded.

However, according to reports compiled from government and medical sources, it appears that around 20 protestors died in December, although the former Commissioner of Wau County, John Peter Miskin, who resigned over the proposed transfer, claims the real death toll is higher.

His successor, Commissioner Dimo said he listened to concerns raised during meetings he had with community leaders about lack of basic services and the need for the government to see to that they are provided.

“In my visits to various places including Farajalah, I have held meetings with community leaders and I was confronted with genuine concerns about lack of basic services in the area. They talked about lack of health units in the area. They talked about school[s]. They talked about roads. Issues of security were also raised. They need police unit [s]”, Commissioner Dimo said.

The Governor Western Bahr el Ghazal, Rizik Zachariah Hassan, said Friday that December’s protests over transfer the headquarters of Wau County was politically instigated by people with “special interests” to destabilize not only his state, but the entire country.

Local politicians and community leaders have been questioned over the incident and three employees of state-run media were detained and questioned. The government denied their the arrest was connected to the Wau County dispute, insisting it was a result of their failure to cover the visit of Salva Kiir to Western Bahr el Ghazal on 24 December.

(ST)

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  • 14 January 2013 07:23, by william

    The balanda youth have to mind that they have not to follow their fathers foot steps whom betrayed alot of people to Arab during war time with sudan. You can forgive and not forget.

    repondre message

    • 14 January 2013 10:14, by Big Boy

      Dear all
      You are really lucky guyz, if i were still in the army i could have killed fartit militia who were left in Wau by Bashir during JIU.Fartit or what ever you call yourselves in Wau, if you are really men you will make another trouble in Wau.you burnt splm flag you are really militia without doubting if not why you burnt splm flags?

      repondre message

      • 14 January 2013 10:20, by Big Boy

        they have firing you all with your fucking children too!1 even if you run inside the unmiss camp, they would let you to be fucking by dinka’s, and i wish you will repeated it agains in scene of Wau.

        repondre message

        • 14 January 2013 10:22, by Big Boy

          after all why you accept to move HQ again to Bagari? you would have refuse it again? so what have you done after all?

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  • 14 January 2013 10:46, by Makunon

    Moving town to the pple is the plans favor the poor and meant for giving better services to the poor whom can’t afford leaving in the town and plan is put to risk by elite whose doesn’t care of others pple life. Congratulation Balanda elders for realizing the truths, you can now enjoy your services nearer.

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    • 14 January 2013 11:13, by Costa

      Makunon, I can read some sens of logic and maturity in your arguments. I am wondering if Mr. Big Boy is sure he is indeed big, Likes of you are just distorting the image of Dinka. Fertit are so peaceful to have chosen peaceful demonstration to voice their concern and accepted the plan to avoid more violence. Can you proof flag were burn?

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      • 14 January 2013 13:10, by Big Boy

        Costa!! pleae if you don’t know what had happend in wau in Dec-2012 please keep quite let those who knows somethings there deny it? may be you are son of pitch not to accept what we have seen it by our own eyes, but we were not having a gun by that time,they could have knowing us now!!! they r really lucky, but you ’’ll not be lucky again next time. if happen again!!!!

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        • 15 January 2013 12:12, by Costa

          Big boy: Your arguments style is just showing how little boy you are. Always thinking of gun gun, you should have killed those who burn the flag and not the innocent unarmed civilians in peaceful demonstration. Be rational and show some sense of maturity, promote peace and not hate (Gun). That is what our country needs.

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          • 15 January 2013 13:18, by Big Boy

            Those who burnt the flags are militia youth whom were left behind in Wau during one sudan , and they are pretending they are demons...peacefully ok to governmt!! imagine how will you burn your nationality flags if you believe in this country as well as eventhough we are poorest country? let’s keep on faith to ourselves.

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  • 14 January 2013 11:00, by Costa

    Relocation of counties as the only development alternative and without any prior plan of action or budget in the name of Dr. Garang’s vision is highly questionable. The government would have diverted the 4 billions $ looted for the extension of equal services to all counties of the ten states to proof it is really mindful of Garang vision. I am wondering what is the vision of the current president

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    • 14 January 2013 12:45, by Robot

      The first thing that could have been done, was to educate people on the transfer: like benefiting from CDF and many more. my argument is, people at the grass root levels have their own ways of perceiving different policies hence there is need to caution and educate the masses on every move to be taken by the government.

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  • 14 January 2013 15:18, by Moral Agent

    All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. i dont understand the devlopment by moving just the paper and afew tables to the country does that bring services to people in country,

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  • 16 January 2013 00:29, by Wed-wau

    To so called Big Boy of SPLA/M son of Jenguy: If you are really someone who fought for freedom of Southern Sudanese; what make you said “if I were still in the army I could have killed fartit militia “. Those Fartit are not South Sudanese citizens? I am not surprise, even your president has said as I quoted: “if I were in Wau I would fight those (Fartit) who rejected the idea”. The reality is th

    repondre message

    • 16 January 2013 00:31, by Wed-wau

      The reality is that SPLA/M has fought for the freedom of Danka not Southern Sudaneseas all. Big Boy I don’t know how old are you? But before you kill any Fatit go and ask your elders, let them tell you the store of Fartits and Jenguies of Wau.

      repondre message

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