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Lakes governor orders citizens to provide army with food

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January 30, 2014 (RUMBEK) - Officials in South Sudan’s Lakes state on Thursday appealed to citizens in its Yirol West county to assist the country’s army (SPLA) battling rebellions in neighbouring states for six-weeks, with food items.

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A wounded Sudan Peoples Liberation Army soldiers lies on the ground April 21, 2012 (ANP/AFP)

At a meeting held in Yirol West, the caretaker governor, Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol, reportedly instructed that each family in the county contributes a tin of both groundnuts and sorghum.

Representatives from only three of Yirol West’s seven payams [districts] reportedly attended the meeting. These included Abang, Geng-geng and Yirol town payams.

A payam administrator, who requested anonymity, said the meeting was not well organised, but added that officials warned of serious consequences, if citizens declined to avail the army food.

"We believed instructions were coming out from governor Matur Chut Dhuol. What happened was that Yirol West county executive director Macuor Anyith appeared in front of us with papers and ordering us to speed up with implementation of order," said a source who attended the meeting.

The new directive has since caused fresh tension between Dhuol and Yirol West residents who complained of poor harvests over the year, due to absence of rain.

Peter Ijong, a native of Lakes state, said that the policy of asking local populations to provide food for the army was outdated and had not been practiced since the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended decades of civil was between the SPLA and the Sudanese government.

South Sudan became independent in 2011, but the new nation has since mid-December last year been struggling to cope with a large-scale rebellion led by its former vice-president Riek Machar against president Salva Kiir’s leadership.

"Where is governor Matur getting those orders from? How can we mobilise food to army?" Ijong asked, pointing out that the army has its own supplies from the capital Juba.

"I did not get a good harvest because there was rain problem [...] I received more than 10 people who fled conflict in Jonglei and I ate the little I have with them," he added.

Ijong further said he was now receiving help from people displaced from neighbouring Jonglei "because they get the food from humanitarians".

"Now where will I get food as a contribution to army?" he asked.

Governor Dhoul has been at odds with many in Lakes state since he was installed a year ago to replace the sacked elected governor Chol Tong Mayay. His critics say he rules the central state with an iron fist.

Thousands of SPLA troops are deployed in Lakes state to quell insecurity in the counties that border Jonglei and Unity states where the fighting has been at its worst.

Authorities also claim say that army deserters from the South Sudan capital are now trying to pass through Lakes state to reach Unity state.

Civil society and activists have repeatedly called for the removal of Dhuol and for elections to be held. South Sudan’s transitional constitution states that a by-election be held within three months, should the president remove a governor.

But Kiir has so far declined to hold an election in Lakes, Jonglei and Unity states, where the democratically-elected governors were removed last year.

(ST)

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  • 2 February 06:14, by Mi diit

    Look at these foolish Dinka leaders. Kiir gives billions of stolen money to his gay husband Yoweri Museveni to feed his UPDF army while the proper SPLA is dying of hunger, diseases, lack of transport, etc, etc. Now the primitive Lakes state governor wants to rub the poor citizens by taking away the little things they have to feed the army.

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    • 2 February 11:08, by Rommel

      How on earth can the ’government’ ask terribly impoverished civilians to give the little they have to feed an army in which 40% of the budget is ostensibly apportioned!? Where’s the $4.8 billion the rats in Juba ’borrowed’ last year!? Where is the hundreds of millions of dollars that Juba receives each and every single month in remittance from the oilfields!?

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    • 3 February 04:25, by Johndumo14

      These 2 SPLA generals,Peter Gadet Yak and Maj.Gen.JamesKoang Chuol,defected to Join rebels supporting Riek because they are from Nuer tribe,this is a clear picture chowing that Nuer people can never be leaders of this country!This is abuse of powers,damage of government properties,Pres.kirr trusted them an gave them responsibilies,but they used it for supporting riek.They will never be trusted

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    • 3 February 04:45, by Johndumo14

      EVERY BODY CAN MAKE A MISTAKE!!
      But south Sudan president Salva Kiir made a very big mistake!! He promoted the Nuer generals Peter Gadet Yak and Maj.Gen.James Koang Chuol,at the wrong time and at the wrong place.How can you employ a thief to work in the bank? Or to employ a criminal to be a minister of Justice? By promoting Nuermen to high position,is like playing with fire!!!

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  • 2 February 06:30, by thomas

    Nobody wants our soldiers hungry, but doesn’t half the budget (5 Billion SSP) go to the military?

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  • 2 February 06:32, by hellonearth

    Useless. what do you think SPLA is fighting a civil was? stupid Governor

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  • 2 February 06:39, by Hardlinner

    Kiir should start his contribution by giving million dollars his money to spla and thereafter, the rest will follow suits. Where is oil money?. Riek and kiir must retire and allow honest leaders to take over. We are tired of these two tribal leaders. South sudan need civilized leaders that care about civilians welfare not their own.

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  • 2 February 06:43, by Tut Tut

    Oh no,back to thayin as was the case during rebellion? What happened to the oil money? Did mrs Kiir Museveni spent the national budget on Ugandan troops and gulweng equipping them to conduct massacre against Nuer civilians in Juba?Mission accomplished to loot the national resources for tribal purposes and now the poor soldiers of S.Sudan are back to collect Thayin from civilians? What a government

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  • 2 February 07:09, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Governor is right to ordered food from civilian ot the SPLA but Riak Machar created insecurity in the state during cultivation period where as croups didn’t yleided well.

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  • 2 February 07:36, by Knight In Shining Armor

    Oh! No! I think South Sudan leaders are infected by some kind of brain disease. Honestly,this Lakes State governor is sick. This is stupid of a government to create senseless war and force civilians to feed the army, or should I call it militia. This is terrorism, Oh! God save people of South Sudan from these terrorists.

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  • 2 February 07:41, by Knight In Shining Armor

    This governor is an idiot, the day will come for this idiots to pay for their crimes.

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  • 2 February 10:51, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Soon these criminals called the SPLA will be fed on cow dungs. Imagine if all the grass is burnt, what will be the source of these cow excreta for the SPLA to feed on? The poor citizens of lakes state themselves need relief food leave alone donating food to the idiots. Where is their master Kiir?

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  • 3 February 02:54, by jongatong

    This are false propaganda from wrong elements who are against the government of south sudan. Sudantribune is fail media that report nonsences.

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    • 3 February 05:59, by michael coma

      Matur Chut has right to asked his civilians rather than his army to loot them like what rebels did.Breaking news.........Lado Gore have been confirmed dead.He was killed in Lake state by Nuers when he could not be able to walk while they were on run.Soon you will get it as true news.

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      • 3 February 07:27, by Bol Pur

        For those who are supporting Matur I think you are out of your mind. How can national army collect food from citizens in the state while they have salary, food for operation and very thing from national level. Anyway many of us are blind to the extend they don’t differentiate right from wrong.

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        • 4 February 04:42, by Tango Alpha

          I think you are out of your mind too Bol Pur. Look here, I’m not supporting major general Matur Chut in his request but I’m trying to tell you that troops are in the bushes of Ramcial whereby they can not be able to buy their own food with their own salary or money, so at least they could be help.

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