By Isaac Vuni
August 12, 2007 (JUBA) — The newly appointed Deputy Governor of Eastern Equatoria state has promised that the question of insecurity in the state is among his top priorities. He further pledged to set up an administrative system to resolve chronic problems such Lopa/Lafon one.
Speaking after Sunday service, today in Juba, the new Deputy Governor of Eastern Equatoria State (EES), George Echom said, "Although we do not knew each other very well previously, except some few, but I can assured you that my team will work for unifying the entire people in the state because the new cabinet are the real SPLM members who are committed to SPLM visions and policy."
Adding that among his top priorities will be finding solutions to insecurity problems by involving the entire communities in identifying the real problems and to come out with their implemental suggestions including way forwards because they communities are part of the problems of insecurity in the state, Echom underlined.
Meanwhile Peter Longole said the members of the new cabinet were selected on basis of demand for establishment of stability, efficiency and justice that needed to be accorded to all people in the state.
However, "We the representatives of EES in Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly are divided into two groups and one group that support governor Ojetuk is led by MP Tulio Odongi with membership of John Itorong, Bethy Ogwaro, David Mayo Nailo and Peter Longole while the other group is led by Fr. George Kinga with memberships of Dr. Thioupilos Ocahang, Nartisio Loluke, Henry Odwar, George Echom among others;" Longole revealed.
The Lawmaker noted that those opposing the governor are those who had previously been fighting the movement along government of Khartoum and other groups who are product of Islamic pupate.
"In fact it was not a surprise to those of us in SPLM/A when the actual supporters and spoilers of SPLM/A change to fight the government; and unfortunately the root cause of the split was not solved hence they still maintain such a feeling that one day they will rule southern Sudan." Longole said.
Regarding allegations that Governor Ojetuk is playing a double cards, when he talks with Dinka, he tells them that its only him who is protecting their interest in the state and if they do not support him, the coming new governor will chase all Dinga from Nadapal, New Cush, Narus, Lobone and Nimule borders areas; General Longole said that the questions of IDPs will be handled by Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. He assured that a motion will soon be tabled demanding removal of IDPs from EES like it was the case with Mundri where GoSS has to intervene in removing Dinka Bor back to their original places.
He also said they scarified their live for the cause of southern Sudan but now after the signing of the peace some parasites and opportunistic people joint the SPLM and enjoy the fruit their struggle.
"When we were struggling for liberating our people from Arabs oppression and exploitation, some of our sons and daughters of EES pretended to be dead while in government controlled areas or in Diaspora but as soon as the CPA was signed on January 9th 2005 they immediately became members of SPLM and are now enjoying the fruits of our fighting more than anyone of us who were throughout in front line. Besides some of them trying to mislead HE the president on issues of EES;" Longole further said.
Nevertheless, President Slava Kiir had asked us to sit together for dialogue and since then we met once but have not discuss the contradiction and persistence conflict in EES.
We only agreed to fight for Henry to be reinstated as MP hence compelled Governor Ojetuk to solve the problem through reshuffles as Hon. Tulio Odongi is also occupying women seat while including George Echom and Mrs. Agnes Lox was to losing her position.
Governor Ojetuk quoted by Peter Longole to have say, “As my conspirators are fighting to remove me, so my group also started to fight for removal of Mr. Henry Odwar. But when we went in for tit for tat, I wondered why it should be so painful to my conspirators group”
“So we deliberately sacrificed Henry Odwar because the power is in the hand of our group who has no choice but to plot for Tit for Tat that resulted into removal of Henry Odwar as an MP, disclosed Longole.
"However, I am not in support of change because during the war all the huge SPLA forces were brought to fight from Eastern Equatoria state, even the Sudan Armed Forces were poured in the state including Ugandan Lord Resistance Army and Ugandan UPDF besides armed militias were all operating from within the state and our grassroots paid dearly for the present of these forces who made the entire state to be difficult even for sons and daughters of the state;" declared Longole.
"As we are still recovering from the havocs created by these forces including our militias, we need not to create another change that will take us back to yet another war and any bullet short from EES will go like a wild fire and nobody will be able to stop it," cautioned Peter Longole.
Eastern Equatoria state even though has been declared a level 4 “No go zone”, to the present, the Dinka Bor IDPs are still being brought from Kenyan Kakuma refugees camps and settled in Kapoeta Counties instead of proceeding to there respective villages in Bor.
According to UNHCR, the IDPs are supposed to be settling in a safer place but one wondered why UNHCR in collaboration with SSRRC are keeping IDPs in EES.
In this regards, Hon. Longole appeals to all sons and daughters of the state to work as a team in handling Dinka Bor IDPs issue through southern Sudan parliament because he says "governor Ojetuk seems to have no power over IDPs."
Longole further revealed that SPLM/A transferred, concentrated it long liberation struggle war and ended it in Eastern Equatoria State because; The areas are mountainous terrain which is good for waging guerilla war, It has deep Cutting River such as Aswa where only 300 SPLA fighters defeated 50,000 mechanized Sudan government forces commanded by Ugel who was fled to Uganda and later take to Khartoum to face militarily court. The thick forest and the international boundary makes it easy for SPLM/A to communicate with outside world.
He observed that the born again SPLM who had been and are still what he termed a product of Islamic puppets wanting to rally according to their tribe in order to fuel yet another problems from EES than finding a durable solution to the problems of the state.
These tribal political vultures would like conflict to continue in the state in order to fulfill their own interest of coming to positions in the state government, concluded MP Longole.