Governor Lobong: His nature that we didn’t know before

BY: Kabarika Loliha Lokang, Dallas, TEXAS, USA, APR/27/2013, SSN;

The Election of Lobong to the Governorship of Eastern Equatoria State a few years ago was viewed with a lot of skepticism given his attitude toward other neighboring tribes. Though he had never expressed his ill-motives against the long-time foes of his Toposa tribe such as the Didinga, Buya and other tribes surrounding the greater Kapoeta area, there was no doubt in many people’s minds that time will come when Lobong will reveal his hidden agenda to enact punishment on our people, especially the Didinga.

Lobong’s hatred toward the Didinga people is well documented and everybody around those great hills and Mountains of Budiland knows it. The Budi people at large have suffered in the hands of Louis Lobong either directly or indirectly. Sending of the National army (SPLA) with an order to capture, kill, loot or terrorize is something beyond the governorship’s power, because the Army were used just as messengers to carry an order.

Lobong must be held accountable for the loss of innocent lives of children, aged and civil servants who were killed in cold blood by the SPLA Juntas.

The army is to protect civilians against foreign invasion while the police are there to deal with domestic crimes. But Lobong and his gangsters view it differently.

According to the Presidential decree that recently relieved the few governors including Louis Lobong from Military ranks and active duties, I wonder what power did Lobong use in order to command 1300 active SPLA soldiers to raid the villages of Lorema and Kikilai?

Didn’t the presidential decree prohibit relieved governors from commanding army for any given reason without first consulting with the President should the situation gets beyond state police reach?

Obviously Lobong used the post he has at the moment to suppress and intimidate his opponents. Sending in heavily loaded military personnel to scotch the population of Lorema and Kikilai people was a crime against Humanity.

This incident didn’t just happen by itself, it’s my understanding that it was systematically planned long time. However, because there was no excuse to conduct the operation earlier, the raid of Bira Community by few non-law abiding of Budi provided the opportunity that led to this indiscriminate firing squad of the Lorema and Kikilai peace loving civilians.

Innocent people lost lives and their precious properties and belongings through this in-discriminatory act by the SPLA forces. What was the real connection between the School that was burned to ashes and the raiding of the Bira community property?

What connection was there between the Killing of innocent Children and the Health professional personnel with the cattle raid in the Neighboring community?

These people in the lowland part of Didinga land are the very innocent community that the Lobong puppets should have visited the least. The cattle rustlers don’t live in the health clinic or dispensaries, they don’t live or stay in the school either. The real criminals that caused atrocity with our neighboring community of Bira might be hiding up in the Mountains.

Because Governor Lobong and his goons could not have the guts to put the law in good practice by pursuing those responsible in killing of Bira community people. The act by those few Didinga youth is condemned by everybody. It’s inhuman, it’s criminal to continue doing this act of raiding peoples’ property and belonging, whether the perpetrators are the Buyas, the Didingas, the Langos or Toposas, anyone found red-handed should be subjected to the highest law available in the country.

It’s very clear that the governor’s intention was to use the opportunity created by few bad elements in Budi county to bring down the people of Budi to their knees. This isn’t his first time to order the massacre of innocent People of Budi.

The massacre of 54 innocent children, young and old people in Lauro few years ago has all the fingers pointing to Mr Lobong. Unless the law possibly consider Lobong as a person of interest in orchestration of tribal conflict around the greater Kapoeta, no one may live peacefully there.

Lobong is a lowly criminal governor. His hatred toward the people of Budi is undeniable. If using SPLA soldiers to bring havoc to Budi people is not subjected to the thorough investigation, a lot of the same tactics will again catch others by surprise sooner or later.

This the same Lobong who in the past allegedly used his tribal militia of “Namorunyang” to cause a lot of havoc to the people of Tala, Ngauro/Lauro, and Lotukei. Now, after his advancement in power did he use the National military to suppress his opponents.

The case of Lorema and Kikilai was never about the raiding of Bira and Lotome communities, it’s a well rooted grudge that he, Lobong, has been holding toward the people of Budi. It was only a matter of time before Lobong showed his true colors. What a pathetic shame!

Knowing what he was up to, Lobong has never conceded and accepted the mistake he legally ordered to be executed. Lobong has never bowed down to the criticism he received from many local leaders and the Media at large. Only to say that it was his bodyguards ordered to retrieve back the stolen cattle was merely his typical nature of perpetual denial.

Having said that, the governor and those connected with this high level barbaric crime have forgotten what the law is supposed to do. Instead of implementing the Law to capture the culprits, they instead reversed the true meaning of the law by putting the law into their own hands.

They judged from the very spot the order was given to do as they wish upon arriving in the targeted areas of Lorema and Kikilai. The governor and his like should have known better. When the blood of innocent children and Health professionals spilled without a clear reason, those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable for their dirty actions.

As far as cattle rustling is concerned, the Didinga are not the only ruthless tribe that conducted this illegal operation. The entire region surrounding the greater Kapoeta is full of Cattle rustlers. Because Lobong’s government doesn’t play a major role in tackling these issues beginning from his court-yard, the rest of the tribes are allowed to do as they wish.

I don’t condone this sinful act of illegally stealing somebody’s property for your personal gains. Be it the Didinga, the Buya, Toposa or any tribes, the act of raiding and stealing cattle from other tribes is a great crime that should be punished by any law present in the Country.

The government should lead by a good example but not sowing the seeds of hatred as Lobong’s administration has just revealed. If the government cannot differentiate between law abiding citizens and the wrongdoers, the the whole of South Sudan is in dire need of awaking up.

None of us perceives this evil act of stealing cattle as a legitimate profession, but a cheap and cowardly means of robbing people their hard-earned property. I don’t care whether the person stealing is from Didinga, Buya, Lango or Toposa, those caught red-handed must be punished by the ultimate law of the land that’s available.

By learning from our mistakes, we should chose to do what is right in our community. Our warring tribes need peace-building seminars to teach them the importance of the laws and the great advantages of interdependence, but not the ugliness and mightiness of the law that suppresses the lives of our people. Laws available have to be put into action to curb down this ill motive of cattle rustling. END

23 Comments

  1. Choromke Jas says:

    Brother, as you rightly said, nothing of that magnitude happens just like that; there must be a conspiracy to punish the people of Didinga for some past “crimes”. I can offer some explanations by way of questions.

    Who did Lorot Peter kill during the war? Was the dead from among the ruling gang now in Juba? Was Lobong doing this to please his boss because of the recent accusations labelled against him for harboring rebels? Killing the enemy (the Dindinga) of the boss is a sure way of gaining favor.

    You should know that some people in South Sudan believe in revenge even 100 years after the event. To me, the Didinga people have seen nothing yet as a punishment for Lorot’s action in the past. It pains me to see the MPs from the area wringing their hands and still appealing to the rule of law to address the recent massacre in Didinga. There is no rule of law in this country. Ask the Zande about their 10 policemen or the Bari about their civilians cut down in Gudelle, Juba, or the Kakwa on the current illegal detention of their chiefs, etc.

    There is a way out though. If the gang in the government is unwilling to punish people like Lobong, one can approach the International Criminal Court to investigate this and other related massacres in the South. Failing that, may be Lorot and others can emulate David Yau Yau by coming down from Khartoum to protect their people. The impunity in this country must be stopped.

  2. Tongun Lo Loyuong says:

    A standing ovation, a wonderful and powerful piece, thanks, Mr. Lokang.

  3. Dan says:

    A tribe that allows the so called criminals to go and rustle cattle from other tribes and allow the stolen cattle to be kept in their community without alerting the authorities about the crime should not complain too much if heavy handedness like what Governor Lobong has done descended upon their community. I wish we have two other Governors in Jonglei and Lake states like Louis Lobong. We can never build any country with this primitive attitude.
    Keep it up, Lobong, if at all that decision of ordering the security forces to chase and discipline the criminals was entirely yours. As a nation, we must do everything to eradicate child abduction, cattle rustling and any willful killing of innocent people.

  4. Dau-network says:

    Killing of armed-civilians is not a crime even here in America because it’s an act of defense. if you are civilian, then lay down your gun when the soldiers approach the area to prevent aggression.
    If the criminals use their children and women as a shelter while they are shooting the nation’s policemen and soldiers, then what do you expect can happen?

    These criminals should stop the cattle raiding to avoid that in future. The raiders killed a policeman and other security staff day before their claimed armed civilians have been killed.

    Lobong is a good governor and before CPA, he neutralized most raiders community Toposa to be peaceful people.

    Americans soldiers in Pakistan and Iraq, when the criminals or terrorists used their women as shelters the same with didinga, Americans soldiers realized it and used any force they have. To avoid such tragic outcome, communities should have to point their fingers direct to culprits within the circle community.
    An Egyptian proverb says, “when the dog bites you and you don’t bite back, he think that you have no teeth.”

  5. Abei Peter says:

    If every elected leader is avenging what happened in the past, then the country will have no inhabitants in 1000 yrs to come.
    Stop blaming the leaders and vote wisely in 2015.

    • Abei Peter:

      I like your comment. It reminds me of what Mahatama Gandhi told his Indian people during their revolutions. He said that an eye for an eye would make the entire world blind. In the same token, if we have to revenge for our loved ones, there will be nobody left in South Sudan because we all lost our loved ones in one way or another. Keep educating the fools, brother.

  6. Eastern says:

    Dan, you and your like-minded should know that heavy handedness is not the correct solution to this cattle raiding mayhem bedeviling South Sudan. Soon we shall have a South Sudanese ‘leader’ indicted by The Hague based court. South Sudan is already in a state of war!!! There are rebels hitting soft spots in the country. The recent attack on the lifeline of the country near Nesitu outside Juba should be an eye opener. There is problem in the country!!

  7. Chief Abiko! says:

    Dear Kabarika Lohiha Lokang:

    You’re condemning Governor Louis Lobong for action he had taken against the THUGS, THIEVES, CATTLE RAIDERS of Didinga people. The authorities are always well trained and well disciplined. They do not act for nothing without clear reasons on people.

    Bear in mind that those who were killed by authorities at those villages, they might have been having a problem with the soldiers in the beginning. You have to understand first what was going on instead of rushing to rebuking the Governor Louis Lobong on his action he had taken against the thieves in Didinga.

    FOR ME NO CLEMENCY FOR CATTLE THIEVES IN FRONT OF GOD! I wish him the governor Louis Lobong to do more on cattle thieves everywhere in the state, EES, Torit. God bless him much!

    • Chief Abiko:
      We need more civilized and patriotic Chiefs like you in South Sudan. I do not whether you are a real chief or not. However, I believe that you could be a great chief if you intended to be in the future. Due to your writing and stance at the national issues, you have proven yourself to be our chief on the SSN forum. You have sincerely played the role of a chief by the way you address tribal and political issues online.

      Chief, if it happens to slap Nyaputa, Eastern and Umoja in their damn faces, I would prefer to be tried in your Court because I will get a fair trial from you. I have been observing and reading your articles online from the SPLA Diaspora to South Sudan Nation. You always state the facts and stand with Justice for all. Please continue to stand up for the people of South Sudan. Don’t give up on educating and/or enlightening our educated fools and tribalists. The almighty God of Ngundeng will keep you healthy and fighting for the right and Justice for all!

    • nyaputa says:

      Chief Abiko,
      First don’t let emotion overcome your ability to address the issues we have in our state. if you think Governor Lobong were right to order military to pursue cattle raiders then you’re giving people wrong solution to the problem. cattle raiders are always happy to see somebody in uniform following them for purpose of recovering cows or cattle raided.

      chief abiko, take example in your own door step, when ilolei people raided each other with people of loguronge. it was last year when this incident took place. chief abiko, tell me in your own word what happened after authority in state ordered the army to go and recover the cattle? what happened to soldiers who went for that mission?

      chief abiko, you come from chalamini in greater torit county, has your village enjoyed any peace since it was signed in 2005? am sure there is no peace in your area compared to other parts in eastern equatoria state simply because you raid each other as a tribe. chief have you ever heard buya go and raid fellow buya or toposa raid toposa and didinga raid didinga?

      chief abiko, did you condemn the rape and massacre committed by spla on people of ilolei and loguronge or you applaud it as you you do in the didinga case? CHIEF ABIKO, YOU OWE apology for people of didnga in particular by calling them criminals and people of eastern equatoria state in general.

      Didinga LATUKA of ilolei know how to solve their problems wether being it cattle raider or something else. you need to recommend spla to do it for you. chiefs like you are capable to hanled such cases and i don’t know what type you will become? i think your chieftanship will only celebrated by people of Gatkuoth Garang and his friend Dan.

      i hope you will not reach that stage because people like you will be just sellout for our state.
      take care

  8. chiliamario francis says:

    Dear all, who has shown no pity against those perished under the name of Louis Lobong especially to the Didinga people? I can not imagine if a country like South Sudan will ever emerge to reach the standards of other developing countries if such old brains do not stand firm to condemn issues of killing of civilians innocently who have no any ill practice at all, like the case of children being burnt in the houses in Lorema, burning of the clinic and killing the nurses?

    This isn’t acceptable by law since these groups do not carry anything to do with raiding. The government of South Sudan should remember how far we came and how many young men and women are left orphans and widows respectively. No more of such cases happening again if there is really a sound government which considers its people as an asset to prosperity.

    Came referendum, we thought our tears were washed away from the civil war that cost several lives, but to our dismay so many fresh graves are spotted all over south Sudan mainly because the government does not act accordingly to Suppress these atrocious acts against civilians.

    The government must call for Lobong to answer for those two massacres noticed against one tribe, Didinga. If no action taken against him then Lobong is not alone in this ugly act because the president himself would have taken the right decisions on such,but up to date he has not even sent any verbal presidential condolences to the bereaved families or to the community at large and this tells us that there is a joint effort somewhere to end the Didinga community once and for all.

    As I write, soldiers are still disturbing peace of those already hurt in their hometown, Chukudum, beating and harassing the locals for food, occupying the schools and using the desks and wooden chairs as fire wood. When the head teacher reported this to Miraya fm when he was interviewed he ended up being arrested for the truth revealed. I doubt whether this nation will dream to stabilize and become responsible of its people all times.

  9. umoja says:

    Chief Abiko & others,

    if the governor only kills people who are involved in the action of theft and other ways of criminality, we will all give him credit, how about burning of pupils school and shooting of a professional health worker who was working to save the wounded? My be your minds are intoxicated.

    Schools, health centers and churches are places respected world wide and cattle raiders do not stay in these places but in the bushes and on the mountains, Louis knows thieves very well.

    And let us leave it to God, soon our leaders will start catching Cancers, and other incurable diseases because God’s punishment is heavier.

    Umoja

  10. candiga Moses says:

    All in all, what we want is peace. We should not side with the government or the criminals, however look into more ways of bringing peace and harmony to this country. How do we feel if we are happy and some people are suffering yet we live in the same nation?

  11. Richard E. says:

    Mr. Chief Abiko,

    Your comments here are not new to some of us. We have exactly the same people that think what Governor Luis Lobong did to Didinga people is right. No matter how many times we are trying to hide the truth, it will eventually come back to haunt those who are up for some ill-motives against the people of BUDI. Calling others “Thugs, Thieves” is an engraved hatred in your blood towards the Didinga people. With this attitude, we are doomed to continue this trend of butchering one another for yet other decades to come. If we can’t seek a lasting solution over this matter and are not willing to reconcile the two communities to live together in harmony, then let’s leave everything as is.

    Some of us are looking at this issue from humane perspective and from good governance point of view. As a leader and no matter how worse another community is, you cannot take sides and decide to unleash lethal punishment of this magnitude to another community. You see, when a leader is connected to one community, say he/she is an In-law, hailed from that community and he decided to play favors, then this is where his demise comes in.

    What Lobong did is an absolute abuse of power against innocent people. We have heard many times, the two communities are constantly exchanging these raiding and killing habits. Sadly enough, none of the raided cattle have been tracked or recovered for BUDI people. None of the criminals from Lotome or Bira have been investigated and apprehended either. No government had done anything about atrocities committed by BUDI raiding counterparts. Are you saying the people of BIRA or LOTOME had never committed the same atrocities in BUDI county? If you think so, then you are naive about everything regarding this issue. A government that is not balanced in every aspects of its citizens’ well-being is not a government of the people.

  12. Dear brother, you may think that the governor is against your tribe, but it is not because any one with gun is a criminal and must be punished or killed because he is creating insecurity in our new nation. it is meaningless when you said that the governor was against certain tribes it is impossible.

  13. Awuas Lumumba says:

    You need to be aware that we are not the only tribe with guns in South Sudan. You own a gun in Jongolei, you are defending your people against Yau yau, but if you own a gun in Eastern Equatoria, you are a traitor. This double standard needs to change. Unfortunately, some people are more important owning guns than the others. Animal’s farm need to be taught in South Sudan curriculum.

  14. Sebit says:

    Hello Garang, I conquer with your point of saying if a civilian is caught red handed with the gun, he should be killed. And my question to you is when soldiers arrived in lorama did they get guns with the doctor or nurses or pupils? If not there is a big issue behind this killing.

  15. dmajak says:

    As a nation, we should not support the killing of civilians not matter where they come from. Lokang is right to challenge Governor Lobong because the people that got killed in Didinga areas are the same people who elected him into the office to protect their lives, properties and life stocks. Juba government also should be blamed for allowing the army to intervene in the local conflicts. it is very shameful to our elected officials who fail to improve the insecurity in the whole nation. I know that they can do it because they provide a good security to themselves and their families, but leave the public without any protection. we (the people of south Sudan) have learnt our lessons. coming 2015, we will send them home by the ballot box.

  16. Logocho Togum says:

    If at all Luise Lobong is being used by these skeleton tribes to bring insecurity in Eastern Equatoria, he will be placed to sleep very soon.

    • Ater Jieng says:

      Logocho Togum:

      Please know that nobody is using Governor Louis Lobong and there is no such a tribe called Skeleton in South Sudan. Perhaps, you are enduring some psychological turmoil. Please go and see your psychiatrist for psychological assessment. You might be suffering from the tribal hatred.

  17. sense says:

    I just find it very repulsive that the brightest minds of most South Sudanese are consumed by tribalism. Is it a curse that we failed to see the bigger picture: the manipulation of the west and the arabs?

  18. DJ Ating says:

    Mr. Sense, i like your comments and i wish all heads are thinking positively but to be honest the tribalism is just too much in the local churches and sharing the paths we have in Juba people are very tribalistic. For Eastern Equatoria for those of you who listened to Mr. Lobong’s interviews on BBC then there is nothing much to ask ..he is not a leader even his speech at the Equatoria Forum, my God. May God help Eastern Equatoria not to become like Jongolie .

  19. evan says:

    There is clearly a bundle to understand this. I suppose you made particular nice details in features also.

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