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