Open Letter to Aweil East State’s Governor, Hon.Deng Deng Akuei: A Case Of Majok-Yinh-Thiou or Majok, The So Call “Municipality!”
By Tito Awen Bol
Dear Governor, I am much perturbed, baffled, mind boggled and seriously ached by the issue of the so call Municipality of Majok-Yinh-Thiou which you have inadvertently or intentionally named thus forcing me to beseech through this open letter. But before I familiarize the readers with the term or the name Majok-Yinh-Thiou or just Majok as it is commonly known. Let me give the following assurances to the governor and the entire readership (I don’t meant leadership): First, I will remain firm, respectful to avoid the usual berserk & oblivion from many writers and cordially I will stick to the issues matching the above subject. Secondly, I am not a rebel or anybody’s sympathizer or stooge but a patriotic South Sudanese, a concerned native of Aweil East state and a beloved son of Malual Baai County. These days in our Country if one complains; he/she is connected to these nasty dark forces of rebellion so that the ‘interest group’ could create antagonism and level their ground hoping to gain after tagging such individual with the bad tag as English proverb says, “give a dog a bad name and hang it.” Thirdly on the same, I am not writing as students’ leader but an individual. So, if I err anywhere or you don’t like what I wrote then consider it as my own with no connection to students in Kenya…so, for those who know my little title, hey my little leadership aside. Further still on this assurance, I am not very sure if your office Manager(s) and press personnel are ready to read or assume anything as rubbish and fail to bring it to your attention. If they do read; let them proof it by bringing this letter to your table because I have started this great concern with seriousness and am sure if not handled by your office then the community may need intervention from above and I am concretely sure that you are able to handle it without intervention from the above.
As English says, “stitch in time saves nine.” This issue needs to be contained before it reaches far. But for non-natives of Aweil to understand, Majok-Yinh-Thiou is an area situated along the South Sudan-Sudan border within the former state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal (NBG) roughly 150 KM from Aweil town and it is found within the former County of Aweil East which is currently Aweil East State. Majok-Yinh-Thiou has never been a no-man land nor it has ever been a contested area but it belongs to the former Payam of Malual Baai which is currently Malual Baai County. Those who think that it is disputed are intentionally creating conflict among the peaceful people of Abiem East and this should be resolve earlier before it is late.
As result of Presidential Order No.36 which curved Aweil East from NBG as a state and you (Hon.Deng Deng Akuei) being nominated as its first governor; I was having it and still have it in mind that we (Abiem community) have advantage of experience and knowledge from you since you were a deputy Governor before Northern Bahr el Ghazal was partitioned. Hon.Governor, do you know that many people including myself were surprised and shocked to have heard that you announced eight Counties and named Majok-Yinh-Thiou as a Municipality under no County with its revenues going directly to the State Headquarters and administrators coming directly from state Headquarters under the disguise of it being disputed? First of all, did you mean Administrative Area (AA) within the state or you surely meant the Municipality? When we talk about Municipality, there are two things always involved: It should first belong to a certain administrative or political locality; say Payam or County at our level and, it should be a simple Geographical area (town/city.) But for this case Honourable, what is the square area of the so called Municipality of Majok-Yinh-Thiou? Kindly name it back as a Payam in Malual Baai County as obviously expected!
Is Majok-Yinh-Thiou contested by whom and since when?
In 2010 during the voter registration exercise, some individuals (not the whole community) from Madhol Payam (now Madhol County) decided to take their people to Majok for voters’ registration contrary to the obvious. This issue brought a very big loggerhead and it almost brewed into conflict between the two beloved communities of Malual Baai and Madhol. When the then Chairman of National Electoral Commission (NEC) in NBG-Uncle Mawien Kuc saw that it might result into a fight, he went to the local government documents (which I believe are still there) and read through from 1970’s elections’ documents and drew the conclusion that the area belong to Malual Baai payam because those voting there those days are people of the present day Malual Baai County. Honourable, where did you get these logics of it being disputed again while it was settled by Uncle Mawiendit?
Is the land supposed to be owned by the host or the hosted?
Between 2008 and 2011, many returnees coming from Sudan as an impact of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) found it appropriate to settle and be settled at Majok-Yinh-Thiou since the government of the former NBG and the NGOs received the returnees in the area. Many returnees from almost everywhere in Bahr el Ghazal including all the Counties of Aweil, Warrap, Abyei and Wau found it a good place to do business and farming hence choose to stay there which is the right of every citizen to stay anywhere in the Country. But could that renders Majok-Yinh-Thiou to be a disputed land because the kind owners (hosts) accepted to demonstrate hospitality to the hosted? So, is it right for the people of Warrap and Wau to claim that it belongs to them because their people were/are staying there? If no, then you know the answer or why doing the contrary Sir! Truth is as crystal and clear as mirror and it cannot be blocked by the image but the image of truth can be reflected. This is an open truth that can be reflected anywhere in the state including in the Transitional Legislative Parliament sittings and within your Cabinet meetings…reflect and imitate on this truth Sir.
Hon.Governor, remember that Malual Baai is the only one among the former 7 Payams of Aweil East County that never produce a national or state minister from 2005-2016 before 28 states were named not because its people never participated in the war of independence nor it is because its people are incapacitated in any capacity. But they never made noise against the state or national government not because they are unable to do so nor they were comfortable with such marginalization but because they are peaceful people. Remember, Malual Baai is the only area whose its vast Agricultural land of Tony-col is divided by rich ‘outside’ politicians away from its sons without a single benefit to the host community which is against the land investment policies but these people never wanted to complain not because they don’t see the injustice but they kept quite since they are peaceful and generous people. Kindly Honourable, don’t provoke these peaceful people with your so call Municipality; you are a man I dearly respect. It is not a merry-go-round affair any more but a case to be answered and amicable solved. Hon.Governor, are you aware that the first teachers to be employed in Majok-Yinh-Thiou in 2005, 2006 and 2007 before the returnees influx were from Malual Baai Payam and under the payroll and supervision of Malual Baai Payam…if yes, how can you accept that it is disputed? If it is because of border revenues, then let the revenues go to the state or Juba since it is international border and the land remain to the owners as it is in our Transitional Constitution. Are you aware that any conflict that may result from this will be counted on your family and generation because you are the first Governor and you are openly manipulated to create or accepted to create non-existing problem? Any elder or chief (except the bribed) in Ajuongdit and Abiem knows where Majok belongs. The first people who settled in Majok-Yinh-Thiou are having their bloody relatives whom they shared the 3rd great grand-father in Kot-ic village of Wundeng sector today, likewise in the surrounding areas of Machar Akoon and others; their bloody-lineage-relatives are currently in Ameth and Akong villages of Lou sector, all in Malual Baai. You must make a reasonable resolve as quick as you can…even if there are hands of influence above you; be cautious, it is about the people and your personal reputation!
1. Hon.Governor, go to the local government documents especially the 1970’s elections of Sudan and read through to affirm, acquaintance and familiarize yourself on whom were the people living in Majok-Yinh-Thiou before the war of 1983,
2. Consult with Uncle Mawien Kuc on how he handled the same issue that arose in 2010,
3. Consult the local Chiefs and elders in Abiem and Abiem East especially on who were the first people to settle in Majok-Yinh-Thiou and surrounding areas of Machar Akoon. They will tell you who owned Majok that was killed to name the area after it. It was not even a bull but a he-goat with the colour-Majok and they will tell you even the surrounding story,
4. Malual Baai youths and chiefs should prepare an official petition and served to your office, copy the County Commissioner (Hon.Angach Akot Yak), National Transitional Parliament and Government of National Unity on the same and gazette the petition on the newspapers for further reference in case the state authority don’t intend to solve,
5. If the state government is unable to resolve in a given period of time then you will be required to request the Transitional National Parliament to form a Parliamentary Committee to which the MPs of Abiem East in the National Parliament (who are currently in bed with this silence conflict for the reason known to them) should be members to investigate and give their recommendations,
6. As a second last resort, people of Malual Baai should hold a peaceful demonstration if attention is not given and subsequently as a step later; withdraw their confidence in your government and indeed the confidence in their area MPs and,
7. A case will be opened in Arbitration Chamber (if appropriately any) of the High Court against your government for creating the conflict among peaceful people of Abiem East.
In conclusion, the whole community of Malual Baai County is looking forward to see a speedy positive response from your office or the state government of Aweil East.
Author is a dual student taking Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from University of Eldoret, Kenya, and concurrently taking an Associate Degree in Development Studies from University of Eastern Africa-Baraton, Kenya. Can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +254715873089