Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 29 August 2014

Lakes state political crisis


Open letter to the President: the contentious animosity between the governor, Hon. Matur Chut and MPS representing Lakes in the National Legislative Assembly.

By Puondak Benjamin Makoi

August 29, 2014 - Mr. President, I seize to take this opportunity to express the pride and pleasure conjoins in the hearts and minds of the people of Lakes State for your wise leadership. During your visit to Rumbek for the opening of “Kiir Mayardit Women’s hospital” the communities of Lakes State expressed to you their congratulations and delight for the success the governor is undertaking in terms of security and development. As you are aware of the political crises in Lakes State against the governor by few individuals, I would like to emphasize on the motion raised by Lakes State MPs at the NLA about ‘insecurity in Lakes State’. I will at least in my capacity justify why the fighting seems intensifying and how the government is undertaking it despite some challenges. I will not be partial favoring the government or those who oppose it, but will explain the fact as possible.

Mr. President, the inter-clans fighting in Lakes State culminated before the current governor and the is true when former governor Eng. Chol was relieved in event of security augment which claimed more than one thousand people dead. The first governments under Maj. Gen John Lat and Hon. Awet Akot exclusively claimed more thousands of people. Hon Matur Chut took the baggage of failed security left behind by former governor (s) and made successful attempts prior to escalating inter-clans clashes. The civil population who are the victims of these skirmishes would not underestimate the intervention the governor is undertaking. Let me examine some of his glamorous achievements he is undertaking in regard to security.

1. There is a massive disbarment across Lakes State. The disbarment and security operatives have collected five hundred and sixty six 566 AK 47 and 20 heavy machine guns in the two counties of Rumbek east and Rumbek centre respectively and the process is still going on.
2. The government of Lakes State under honorable governor has written to chief justice early February to come to Lakes State for an assessment of backlog cases and to approve for the formation of special courts to expedite thousand cases left without trial some years back.
3. The governor has also written to the ministry of defense to supply arms to Lakes government for the protection of civilians in their respective counties or payams.
4. The governor has instructed the police commissioner to recruit youth for effective protection services and refer the old and other non active personnel to other units where they serve better.

Secondly, the government under wise leadership of honorable Matur Chut, has also made significant achievements in development.

1. Construction of secretariat general office premise and its fence. Old office premise has been fully furnished.
2. Construction of fence at Rumbek Freedom Square.
3. The other most disturbing issue among the youth was the issue of unemployment which has be addressed under the current government.

Mr. President, the looming power struggle over governorship has made our state a ‘laughing stock’ of the independent south Sudan. Some politicians are contributing negatively to the inter-clans crises making it more intensifying despite efforts by the government to improve it. As politicians both at national and state come from different clans, some politicians arm and politicize their fellow youth to fight in protection of their name and image in the society and for their political interest. This is manifested in the case of Pakam of Rumbek north with Rup of Rumbek centre. One of the MPs representing Rumbek north in the NLA allegedly made political camps cattle herders to invade parts of Rumbek centre for resettlement. They now occupy Timkuac, Lang, Malek and Mayom cattle camps of Rup community of Rumbek centre. They have launched several attacks against Rup community in Ayen, Luc and Akuoc cattle camps for the last five months. This occupation by Pakam youth was resisted by Rup hence claiming a number of lives some time back. This political act was to cause unrest or instability to the state government.

In an interview with the Daily Nation Mirror newspaper on Friday 22nd August, 2014, Hon. Paul Mayom confirmed this alleged instigation of inter-clans fight by the politicians. I quoted his words as “Some politicians go to their clans to generate misunderstanding with the view of making themselves popular in their smaller circles”. I expressed this with deep sorrow for I know we will face a lot of challenges in the morrow if the government allows this act with impunity. In another development Hon. Dhieu, an MP at the NLA visited his constituency last month in an attempt to talk with his fellow constituents. Just hours after he left, a fight broke out between Nyuei and Panyaar sections of Rumbek East County claiming seventeen people dead. Hon. Dhieu was allegedly said to have complained of disbarment being started at his home area Paloch.

Mr. President, there are some of the politicians challenging the governor on education and that he couldn’t even serve at lower levels of government. As far as I know, leaders are described as bad or good according to their performance in authority. Moreover, the governor has held responsibilities during the liberation struggle. He served as zonal commander in Western Equatoria state, Yambio, Upper Nile, Lakes, Warrap and Northern Bhar el Gazal in Aweil. Historically, South Sudan had no records of education unlike other countries that attained independence much earlier leaving us behind the subjugation of colonialism by outside powers and oppressive Arabs in the far north. But we had our leaders on the other hand.

Mr. President, my conscience tells me that a track of social coexistence have been lost. Agar community and indeed Lakes State lost one of her beloved sons; paramount chief Aparer Chut a few days ago. It is unbelievable that we ignore the role played by the governor; brother of the deceased in controlling the fight following that tragic incident. I beg my honorable uncles not laugh but to mourn together with Chut’s family.

In conclusion, I beg too your wise leadership to support in sending a force to help in disbarment and urge the judiciary a speedy process in forming special courts as requested by governor early February 2014.

The author is a citizen of Lakes State. He lives in Juba reachable by e-mail: puondakmakoi@yahoo.com

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  • 29 August 2014 22:11, by Madina Tonj

    Puondak Benjamin Makoi.
    I think what Lake State people want to do is to have sitting in one place and bring every thing to table to talk about. Removal of Matur Chut Dhuol doesn’t mean he is bad governor but because GOSS and others citizens sees there is no other choice but to remove him if it will make residence feel better as they demanding to do so. To be civilized it is when people behave good

    repondre message

  • 30 August 2014 02:20, by Akol Liai Mager

    Lakes State’s crisis is a national threat politically, economically as well as security concern. The removal of an elected governor was not a wise decision because solution to issue is not in the governor’s ability, but it is the responsibility of the law making-institutions & law enforcement institutions from Federal to State levels. These institutions are; 1. Federal and State Parliaments,

    repondre message

    • 30 August 2014 02:26, by Akol Liai Mager

      2. Police and Prison Forces, 3. Security and the national Army, and here comes the executive institution represent by the Governor, his/her assistants, ministers, commissioners and Clans’ Chiefs. The role of the first and 2nd is to ensure that appropriate laws are legislated first of all against the corrupted officials from all security organs down to the criminal youth.

      repondre message

      • 30 August 2014 02:33, by Akol Liai Mager

        Such measures should include forced confiscation of all looted, return to their legitimate owners and imposing heavy fines on both criminals, collaborators as well as the failing systems. I also, suggest that the national government issue a sincere and unconditional apology to the people of Lakes State and Eng. Tong Chol Mayai for removing the elected governor.

        repondre message

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