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Press release on unrest in Yirol Boys Primary School

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Yirol West Youth Union in Juba

8 October 2013

Press release on unrest in Yirol Boys Primary School

On 27th of September 2013, one of the important primary schools in Yirol West County organized a party in Yirol town and the pupils invited Hon David Deng Athorbei the National MP for the county as their guest of honor in their function. The second reason why honorable Deng was invited was that the pupils and the administration of the school would tell the MP the poor learning conditions the pupils were facing as well as many other burning issues affecting the school in general. Hon. Deng accepted the request from his children and made a one day visit to Yirol town. Upon arrival in Yirol, Hon. Deng was not allowed to attend the function by the county commissioner. Hon Deng accepted the refusal by the county commissioner and left Yirol town and returned to Juba. The pupils were left disappointed by the orders of the commissioner to close down the party they has struggled to organized for about two months and had raised money to and food items for the party. While the pupils were frustrated, the commissioner sent the army to the school to disperse the pupils and not allowed them to continue with their party. This led to unrest among the pupils which resulted to the office of the commissioner being stoned by the pupils. The pupils were threatened by the authorities and their food items were poured away.

Given the above highlights and facts, the Yirol West County Youth Union in Juba would like to pass to the Government of Lakes State, led by the care Taker Governor MaturChutDhuol that the state government should not try to implicate our MP that has no role in what happened in Yirol town. We would like to inform the governor and his commissioner that they have violated the transitional constitution of the RSS by ordering arrest of Hon David Deng Athorbei who is a member of the National Assembly. We are also puzzled whether it is a crime for members of the national Assembly from visiting their constituencies. We see this as an abuse of our MP and we are voicing this out very clearly such that it may not be repeated to any other MPs in other areas of the Republic of South Sudan.

On the other hand, the caretaker Governor openly defamed our MP by insulting him in his speech during the swearing in ceremony of state cabinet saying that David Deng Athorbei has embezzled public funds when he was minister of Finance. The Caretaker Governor continued further and said that Hon Deng conducted a public rally in Yirol town to counter the visit of the President to Lakes state and added that the MP had incited the pupils to destroy the office of the SPLM and burned the national flag. These bitter words and unfounded allegations were meant to tarnish the image of our MP. All the above allegations have now been proven to be untrue. We therefore, request the Caretaker Governor to be truthful in his words for peace in Lakes state. The caretaker governor was appointed to address insecurity issues, but now he has failed to address those issues like what happened in Yirol town. The caretaker Governor has ganged up with commissioner of Yirol West to create more insecurity in the county.

At present there are still 23 members of our society in jail without being charged lawfully and have been tortured. On the first day of arrival in jail, each person was given fifty one lashes by the soldiers who are in charge of the detention centre. This torture is a human right abuse and we call on Human Right Agencies to come to our aid and help our people in Lakes State and Yirol West County in particular.

Furthermore, in the light of the fact that the commissioner has failed in his duties in Yirol West, we support the letter written by the Executive body of the Yirol West Youth Association to the Caretaker Governor in which they requested the removal of Mr.Majak Ruei from the post of Commissioner of Yirol West County. We support their letter for the following reasons:

  1. The commissioner has abused his powers and constitution of the state as well as constitution of the RSS.
  2. The commissioner has committed human right abuses by imprisoning local government officials, pupils, teachers, youth association chairperson and chiefs without reference to any law.
  3. Commissioner MajakRuei has taken over public land for personal use. He sold Public Auction plot to an Ethiopian businessman for SSP 90,000.
  4. Commissioner MajakRuei looted 13 bulls from the Apak section of Atuot claiming that they drove the cattle within the town of Yirol. He, however, released one bull which belongs to his uncle called AnhiemJok and took the rest. This also a sign of discrimination among people of Yirol West County.
  5. He created Payams and promoted chiefs without reference to higher authorities of any law. He dismisses paramount chiefs at his will and conducts replacement elections in which he charges SSP 13,000 per a candidate.
  6. Commissioner MajakRuei abuses foreigners which tarnish the name of our people and nation. For instance, he ordered Foreigners living in a lodge in Yirol to bury a dead body of a woman related to him.
  7. Commissioner MajakRuei threatens the population by wearing military uniform together with his brothers who are civilians.
  8. In what he called revenge for stoning of his office by the pupils, Commissioner MajakRuei came to Yirol primary school and destroyed school properties e.g. school registration lists, plastic chairs, cupboards and looted the remaining drinks which were intended for consumption during the party.

Having stated the above, we would like to convey our acceptance that the Governor has stated that he was deceived by the commissioner and distance himself from what happened in Yirol town. Furthermore, for the smooth running of administration of Lakes state, the governor should apologize to Yirol West community and our MP for misleading information given to him by the commissioner. This will clear the mess that has been created and hardship inflicted on our youth.

In this regard, Mr.MajakRuei should bear the responsibility for riots that happened in Yirol town. This is because the commissioner contributed a bull for the pupils’ party and later deceived the Governor that he did not know of the party.

In the light all the above we request the Caretaker governor to relieve MrMajakRuei from the office of commissioner.

In conclusion, we would like to put on record and inform the National Government that such abuses of sitting MPs by state/local authorities should stop for the good of our beloved nation.

Signed by …………….James Degur

Chairperson of Yirol West Youth Union in Juba.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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