Gwuduge unresolved Land Grabbing now traded with baseless community accusations & character assasination

By Justin Tombe Demetry, MAR/3/2016, SSN,

QUOTE: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Frederick Douglass;

Issues of land disputes in the past were mostly resolved at the communal level when our wise elders and community chiefs were able to contain such unnecessary problem from escalating further. Those community leaders exercised their wisdom amongst the communities in conflict without the need of any major government involvement. Such practices of land grabbing at a massive scale were not even heard of during the regional government simply because everyone knew where they are from and which land belonged to them.

It is pertinent to state that, from 2005 until date, land grabbing became prevalent in South Sudan especially in greater Equatoria where marauding armed cattle keepers, land grabbers in uniform and some members of the country’s top echelon continue to grab land with impunity. These practices have also encouraged the rest of their community members to abandon their ancestral land in pursuit of the illegal land scheme. With such barbaric and medieval practices; others still wonder why the clamor for federalism never fades away.

If such outrageous practices are not a form of hidden planned occupation, domination or subjugation of other tribes, why would the government allow other people to continue with this heinous practice from 2005 until date? Which schools of thought even instill such a dirty practice in our society? Will it even succeed or be sustained for long? These questions should help those grabbers understand or exercise reasoning in what they are up to if perception have any meaning.

Frederick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and statesman once said: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

This incredibly relevant quote should be a reminder that, even if the issues of Bari land have been resolved because of its presence in the national capital; there are others out there in the three former regions that still deserve justice for their ancestral land; else, there will be no peace and stability for the Southern Sudanese to dream of.

The protest made by Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka should not be taken lightly or be seen as a protest for his community land alone. As a matter of fact, land were grabbed in the whole of geographical Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria combined. In addition, Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal especially the Fertit tribe; not forgetting the ‘awulad Nyikang’ in the Greater Upper Nile, and others have very serious issues of institutionalized land grabbing which also led to some previous rebellions by the Shilluk tribe, and probably others in the pipeline due to noting else but land as the main cause.

UNESESSARY CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF LT. GEN. THOMAS CIRILO

Several news paper reports in Juba which lacks authenticity; as well as some gimmick press release in the internet world have given rise to some charlatans in their unjustifiable attempt to damage the reputation of Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka. According to the Down – daily Newspaper in Juba, vol. 1, issue 046, date March 29, 2016; an article written by Joseph Oduha under the following title never ceased to amazed readers and the victimized community: “I will fight along Bari Community against land grabbers – Cirilo.”

The article have stated that the top army commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo has insisted to stay in his home village in Gwuduge arguing that, he was under directives from his community to confront land grabbers who have threatened indigenous people in the area. Pathetic indeed!

The article as if being driven by magic, also made an inexplicable switch to the recent reshuffle in the army command. Even thought the article rightfully stated that Gen. Thomas Cirilo was removed from being the army Deputy Chief of General Staff for Training, and reassigned as the head of the Directorate of Logistics in the SPLA; the article on the other hand falsely reported that, days after the reshuffle of the military high command, Gen. Thomas Cirilo had not shown up to take the new responsibility.

It also reported that, Gen. Cirilo’s absenteeism from work prompted President Kiir, V.P. Wani Igga, Gen. Paul Malong and the National Security Minister, Gen. Obutu Mamur to pay a surprise visit to Gen. Cirilo in his village of Gwuduge so as to convince him to report to work. The report went further and stated that, military sources said Gen. Cirilo insisted that, he will come to Juba
after he has silenced the land grabbers.

Contrary to this particular information on the Dawn daily newspaper, highly confirmed reports from credible sources in Juba have ruled that, this particular news as well as others in the social media are counterfactual, and are also design as an attempt to cover up or divert the focus of the land still under siege by some members of Dinka Bor and Padang.

Therefore, I do not want to refer to the associated news in both the internet as well as the Dawn newspaper as rubbish; however, those reporting need to get the facts from credible sources so as to provide authentic information to the public.

As a matter of fact, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo is the second in command of the SPLA who still executes his national duty, and at the same time following up with his complain because the issues have not been fully settled yet. That is why he decided to get the security along Juba-Rajaf road beefed up with regular access – unlike the reports that claimed Juba-Rajaf road was blocked.

That being said, one is left to ask the following question: From when did an individual or any community become involved in the SPLA Command’s reassignments, or the attendance of SPLA generals in executing their national duties?

Other news outlets have also given an interesting title to Gen. Thomas Cirilo as the “Bari army commander.” Such a fallacy is devoid of logic and it is clear that, this is another attempt to provoke or aggravate the community, and at the same time implicate them unnecessarily to give a leeway for the land grabbing scheme to continue. Being in the army doesn’t mean that one cannot complain about injustice, or protect the land and its people in anyway deemed necessary.

The constitution of South Sudan clearly states that, the mission of the national armed forces, in addition to its other national duties, shall be to: “protect the people of South Sudan;” and also “be involved in addressing any emergencies, participate in reconstruction activities, and assist in disaster management and relief in accordance with the constitution and the law.” In essence, what have been addressed is an emergency; and it is for the protection of land and its people.

God forbid, if nation-wide disorder or Somalization takes its turn, there is no single community that will end up putting their lives in the line of an onslaught, be victimized, or preyed upon without fierce defense. Remember! The protection of oneself or any community per se is God’s given rights bestowed to any living thing.

SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN NESITU FOR KIDNAPPING STUDENTS

A different article also published in the same news paper under the above title. The article is regarding the case of five school students kidnapped in the same area under siege. The kidnapping of those students have led to the arrest of some Bari Community members around the church area including a catholic priest. Those arrested were later released after the investigations conducted found out that, they have nothing to do with the kidnapping or cover-ups.

Without knowing the history of kidnapping in the area, others were quick to associate the incident of the five students not only to the innocent Bari who are struggling to get their ancestral land back, but also baselessly associated such an ill-practice to the group referred to as “the Bari militia.”

For those who are not familiar with the incidence of kidnapping and the distractions of the traditional social settings in the area due to terror inflicted on the community; the Bari from the whole area of Tokiman, Koliye, Logo, Kondokoro, Bilinyang, Mogiri, et cetera have suffered under the hands of kidnappers and thugs during the war and the post-war era. That is why some of the community members during the war decided to get relocated to their traditional sanctuary places, the church area in Rajaf, the camps in Gumbo; as well as some established camps in and around Juba.

The victimized communities have not stayed where they were or where they are currently based because of their choices, but because of the suffering, loss of lives and kidnapping subjected on them. Abductors who occasionally come there especially from the Murle tribe have abducted students, and children from the area. Even the breast-feeding kids were not spared; and some including my blood relatives were abducted in 2013, and were not seen by their parents till date.

The behaviors of kidnapping or abduction are something that the Bari does not practice. Needless to say, just like the rest of the other communities, we are likewise blessed with our beautiful fertile women who are able to produce adorable kids to the community. On the other hand, the Bari have handful of immediate/extended family members and orphans from relatives and community members who have died of natural causes; as well as the children of heroes and heroines who are in need of support from the limited resources available.

That does not mean that the Bari cannot voluntary raise kids from other communities. Children in need of support from other communities were successfully raised in a lot of Bari homes, and there are a lot out there who became very successful citizens – appreciative of the support they obtained. With that being said, there is no justification whatsoever to associate the community
with kidnapping or abductions. Apart from the justification provided, as law abiding citizens, the community knows very well that, kidnapping or abduction is a serious crime punishable under the law.

On the other end of the spectrum, thugs and criminals have also disturbed the community in the area by shooting and killing pedestrians along Juba-Rajaf road; which also includes victims such as motor cycle riders so as to confiscate their motor-bikes. Some of the thugs and criminals were known to have been among the squatters who took over Rajaf-Nimule junction before it was demolished. With all those criminal activities, others still wonder why the Bari Community vehemently rejects any form of illegal settlement.

Those types of criminal activities have prompted the community to petition the Juba City Council in 2013 so that the police station can be built to help protect the community. Despite the fact that the community had raised funds and the City Council had agreed to assist in building a police post; as well as provide a police patrol, the initiative failed to materialize.

Since hope springs eternal, another chance is to similarly petition the governor of Jubek State and his lordship, the mayor, to see into it that the project is executed so that the community can be protected if there will be law and order in place. Without such a service, the community has every right to protect itself from thugs, criminals or adversaries.

LAND IN TOKIMAN EAST INCLUDING NESITU STILL UNDER SIEGE

With the details of the Gwuduge land issues surfacing out there with evidence of land grabbing where some sections of the two communities of Dinka Bor and Padang caught red-handed; they are now known beyond reasonable doubt that their settlement were not for humanitarian purposes, but for illegal land scheme. Therefore the victimized Bari community is left with nothing but to continue being vigilant until the land grabbers are fully evicted. The information in the following links outlines the genesis of this very land scheme and the rebuttal provided:

http://www.nyamile.com/2016/03/18/condemnation-of-the-recent-land-grabbing-in-the-village-of-gwuduge-tokiman-rajaf-payam-in-the-southern-sudans-capital/
http://www.nyamile.com/2016/03/19/a-response-to-the-bor-and-padang-dinka-denial-of-land-grabbing-in-gwuduge/

Those details seems to have assured the victims of the land grabbing as well as the concerns citizens that, the land grabbers would surrender the land taken after the arrest of their ‘ring leaders’ for not having even an iota of justification or approval for temporary settlement in the area.

Nonetheless, fresh news from the ground still indicates that, not all the land grabbers were evicted from the entire Tokiman East villages including Nesitu. The reason that the process came to a standstill is simply because some of the junior officers from the Tiger Battalion ordered to led the forces to help with the eviction of land grabbers were in fact among those who have also grabbed land in the area, and are in the process of erecting concrete structures. That is why they became reluctant to pursue the demolition; as such, a joint neutral force is expected to supervise the demolition.

The Bari is not only known as a very peaceful community; but is also known as a community that can never resort to violence unless seriously provoked. Since the issue of land grabbing in question have already been brought to the attention of President Salva Kiir Myardit and the SPLA Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, there is a say in our own Bari language that, ‘kulya aje ‘durokin ko kwen I lobeke;’ which is translated as the case have reached the bird’s beak – which means, the case have reached the highest authority.

Therefore, the authority should use its ultimate wisdom to expedite the very issue of this land grabbing at the backyard of its national capital; and subsequently, address the land being grabbed from other communities in the entire country in an amicable approach. This needs to come along with strict state policy of punishment for offenders before the country ends up in the brinks of
being torn apart divisively due to land grabbing.

Regards,

Justin Tombe Demetry

Justin Demetry is one of the sons of Gwuduge Village; have worked for several years in the oil and gas industry in Canada, but currently pursuing graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering, and can be reached at the following email: tombelodemen@yahoo.com

26 Comments

  1. deng hanbol says:

    Mr. Justin Demetry, if Bari community want to get back their land from the land grabbers, they have to take up armed period. Talking too much is a waste of time.

    • Justin Tombe says:

      Dear brother Deng Hanbol,

      There is no waste of time in talking to educate those in a dire need of understanding the truth, but if it fails; Dalai Lama have summed it all by saying, where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of a real peace.

      If it is about getting back the land by taking up arms as the last resort, it is not a new thing for the Bari.

      • Deng Monymor says:

        The politics of land grabbing is very complicated one; unless we understand the lies around it, we won’t find real solution to it. There are people within Bari community who are enriching themselves with land while at the same time they cry “land grab.” If educating people is needed here, it would be nice to educate yourselves among yourselves about your double politicking on the land business.

        • Force_1 says:

          Deng;
          I couldn’t agree more with everything you said; it’s the reality that’s going on; on the ground. The Bari officials who became multimillionaires due to the “land sale” are just laughing on their way to the banks but the ones overseas who don’t see and earn the benefits of the land sale in South Sudan are the ones that are extremely noisy but to the wrong people! This is what I often tell them; the noise here online is not enough; they should go to South Sudan and find out the truths.

  2. Loku Lo Jiggi says:

    Thank you brother Justin Tombe Lo Demetry for this great piece , article regarding the issue of our ancestoral land . this is a very important information & corrections.

  3. bismark says:

    So Deng Hanbol thinks that they are there to provoke people by grabbing their ancestral lands and ask them to go for armed struggle in order to get back their lands. It is shocking and uncouth to have such type of mentality in the country. Deng should know that the science of making bows and arrows still do exist in this part of the world. With those simple implements our ancestors were able to bring rhinos, lions down and even disabled Jallaba from taking our land. Like our fore fathers we can do likewise. After all Who is Deng to say poo to the people? It is just a matter of time that those of Deng should be taught to behave like human beings that say thanks to their hosts for hospitality they got for the agony they went through under Jallaba and It is high time they learnt to say sorry for mistakes committed by them. .

  4. Bob J. Bambu says:

    It is a great article to address this issue Mr. Justin, hope the leaders of this country will listen carefully to call of wisdom otherwise the so call Republic of South Sudan will be a history… and other bodies will emerged from this cancer….hope better…

  5. Gatdarwich says:

    Justin,

    Just wholeheartedly start learning Jenges’ language–thuk monyjieng because Bishop Edward Hoboro is treacherously in the process of sealing a deal with the traitorous killer NyanKiir—imminent surrender of all the rebel forces operating in Yambio areas to Juba regime!
    General Cirillo will soon be a lone wolf–shall probably be joining colonel bak– in indefinite detention palace!

    • Justin Tombe says:

      Brother Gatdarwich,
      Though I appreciate your proposal for me to learn Jenge language – thuk monyjieng; the way it sounds made me feel like I can get chocked, and easily suffocate myself because my mouth is not naturally equipped with enlarged saliva gland, or enough oxygen from the lungs to help with effective pronunciation.
      In any case, as compatriots, I will try my best through my monyjieng close friends because there is nothing wrong with learning different languages if time permits.
      Wait a minute (kɔɔ̈ c, k ̈ ɔc): ARE THOSE BROTHERS IN YAMBIO NOW REGARDED AS REBELS? I’m glad to hear that from you as I thought Michael Makuei did mang-mang in the media before about them; or in other words, have also lueth lueth that they were bandits’, thugs and criminals – the same way Jafar Numeri initially regarded the Anyanya One, but later came to his sense that there was a problem (mashakil Junub) which needed to be addressed; which culminated to the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. By the time Numeri realized that, a bunch of awulad haja deployed to the South were already history.
      You are also telling me about your wish for indefinite detention palace accommodation for ‘Din Hajar,’ right? Why do you have to be afraid of him? Calm down and don’t be too scared; being a nationalist of a high caliber, he doesn’t bite unnecessarily.

  6. Gatdarwich says:

    Justin,
    Super start, you’ve already learned few thok monyjieng words. You’re definitely couple steps ahead of your kinsmen–the mere drum beaters–internate warriors!
    I am afraid that Your “Dina hajar” might hopelessly joined the others meticulously stripped Dina hajars–Wani Konga and colonel Joseph Bangasi–these former Governors have more well armed followers compared to your “Dina hajar”.
    They were indisputably the concrete symbol of the Equatorians unity–might. How they had untraceably became history–magically became malleable under less intense heat—needs careful study–advance calculus!
    Just being brutally honest, patriot!
    Take good care of the freedom fighters in Bariland–Yambio area–they are undeniably the real din hajars–truly rigid ones period

  7. False Millionaire says:

    John Garang had anticipated illegal land occupation problems and that’s why he intended to make of Ramciel,a no man’s land,the capital of a would be independant RSS from the start instead of Juba.
    But bon Dieu,what a fatal mistake from the part of equatorian elders who went to insist on Juba as the capital!!!
    With the bad government that will not apply law and order to limit the damage,with sincere investors who have wasted resources on lands that will be lost and with the context of economic collapse that will not help a quick relocation,only God knows what limit land problems in Juba and surrounding areas will take the masses.
    What a bitter way to learn a lesson!!!

    • Force_1 says:

      False Millionaire;
      There is nothing called “No man Land” every land has its locals including “Ramciel” therefore; there is nothing call a capital city of the country that’s only inhabited by its locals; and if that’s the case then we are still living in “stone age” and doesn’t have any clue about the function of the capital city.

      It’s not just the capital city but any town in the country doesn’t have to be inhabited by its locals only otherwise we wouldn’t called ourselves civilized or being seen as one in any way shape or form.

      If you go to Bortown/Madingbor today; you’ll find almost all the other ethnic groups of South Sudan working with NGOs and living over there including foreigners, foreign businessmen and women of all nationalities in Africa and the people of Bor wouldn’t be dumb enough to say; “Why are all these ethnic groups and foreigners living in our land or they grabbed our land!? That would be utterly silly.

  8. Gatdarwich says:

    Force-1 & false millionaire,

    Forceful grabbing of someone’s land, with a clear devilish intends of permanently depriving the victim of its ownership–is an act of terrorism—-which must not be condoned by any sound minded–patriot individual–it must and should be categorically condemned period
    There’s absolutely no legal basis to the gross grabbing practices–by the wanderers–nomadics–Jenges in Equatoria.

    • Force_1 says:

      Gatdarwich;
      Just save yourself from your own insanity; for God sake; what do you know about anything going on in Juba or Equatoria in general since you’re in hiding ever since! Go to Juba and see the reality but what do you Nuer know about reality, truths or commonsense?!
      Aren’t you the people who burn down every home in Bortown Jonglei State? And not even a single person among thousands of armed Nuer to intervene and say “Hey guys; we can’t burn down all homes; what if it rains now? Where are we going to shelter ourselves from rain; under the trees? You see; no single person with commonsense to say that among thousands of pinheads; how sad?!
      Thank God; our people are leaders; leaders built homes but the wicked destroy homes!
      Today Bortown/Madingbor is back on its feet as you can see on the link.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5G4GAr7NTo&list=RDS5G4GAr7NTo#t=105

      • Gatdarwich says:

        Force-1,

        Lair, liar, liar–pure typical Jenges’ deeply embedded lies.
        Force-1, constant Projections of one’s demonic deeds on others doesn’t necessarily-magically erases the well documented–liar’s–traitor’s records.
        There’s definitely no amount of concorted lies would miraculously exonerate your likes–Jenges from the carnage Jenges caused , and are actively still causing in Nuer’s, Chollo’s, Murle’s, Jur’s , and Equatorians’ lands period

        • Patriot, Gatdarwich says:

          Force-1,

          Lair, liar, liar–pure typical Jenges’ deeply embedded lies.
          Force-1, constant Projections of one’s demonic deeds on others doesn’t necessarily-magically erases the well documented–liar’s–traitor’s records.
          There’s definitely no amount of concorted lies that would miraculously exonerate your likes–Jenges from the carnage Jenges caused , and are actively still causing in Nuer’s, Chollo’s, Murle’s, Jur’s , and Equatorians’ lands period

        • Force_1 says:

          Gatdarwich;
          People like you who just scream liar, liar and liar; don’t have any reasonable argument to put forward to their counter argument; but the only thing in their skull is to say; it’s a liar! Here is a dose of common sense to you; “If I look up the sky and told you that; it’s a clear blue sky today”! You don’t have to yell at me that I liar; but you would have the obligation to look up the sky and tell the people what the color of sky is; instead of screaming at me that I liar!

          I feel so sorry for you and your people in general; you would be left behind for a long time. You’ve already been isolated by the “Jieng de Bor” and “Jieng de Ngok” in Jonglei and Upper Nile respectively; you’re now in your own states as 100% Nuer without any other ethnic group in South Sudan you can share the state with. We just can’t imagine your life alone without Jiengs’ experience in your isolated states! We all wish you nothing but the best!

          • Gatdarwich says:

            Force-1,

            Drink plenty of water–because thy traitorous head is evidently dissipating of logical reasoning–Ultimately becoming evanescing–commencing promptly from the second-moment you saw the unambiguous descriptive terminology of yourself—NATURAL BORN LIAR!
            The issue of land annexation project–the pseudo states is irrelevant in this discussion.
            It’s worthless debating it because the traitorous killer NyanKiir and the lunatics-fanatics, Jenges council of evils have absolutely zero chance in hell of successfully implemented it, but since your frozen head brought it up, Gatdarwich shall euphorically comment on it–“REASONABLE ARGUMENT “. Okay, supposedly Jenges have isolated Nuernation from the rest of Junubiin, are you, the traitorous Jenges, welcomed or liked by others–the 62 tribes–Chollo–Murle, Balanda, Jur, Mundari, and most ass-bitingly–importantly, the patriots Equatorians?
            Plus, why the heck do the starving Bhar El Ghazal and Ngok Jenges migrating to Khartoum–over hundred thousand Jenge peasants–cattle herders hurriedly left their Lovely Jenge states in one week period–prior to Bashir’s closured of border–exodus? Also, what the hell do the bitterly hated Bor and Padang Jenges still doing in Bariland–Madiland–in Equatoria states, if your Jenges’ states are livable?
            Why uncontrollably migrating to other states–country–Sudan–region–Equatoria? What chases you, the traitorous Jenges from your own states?
            Force-1, drink plenty of water because logically debating Gatdarwich shall indisputably compells your traitorous likes–traitorous Jenges madly swerving–unconsciously diverting from the topic in discussion period

  9. Gatdarwich says:

    Force-1 & false millionaire,

    Forceful grabbing of someone’s land, with a clear devilish intents of permanently depriving the victim of its ownership–is an act of terrorism—-which must not be condoned by any sound minded–patriot individual–it must and should be categorically condemned period
    There’s absolutely no legal basis to the gross land grabbing practices–by the wanderers–nomadics–Jenges in Equatoria.

  10. Garang Deng says:

    Guys where are your wisdoms and nationalism. I do not think our country can prosper this way. we need to articulate our issues in a constructive manner and avoid insulting and undermine one another

  11. False Millionaire says:

    Gatdarwich,
    If u still don’t know,it’s good to know that the genuine spirit of ngundeng has long abandoned u.And so,that’s why u are in the lune rampaging so blindly.
    What,”legal basis”,are u talking about when the land grabbers include nuer masses among whom is the false ngundeng’s prophet named Dr Riak with certain equatorian elites fooling around selling lands and then turning around and crying land grabbing compelling others to declare a war in the media without conviction?
    That confusion will run it’s course.Be it drestructive or not and John Garang will be remembered so tearfully with his ways and thinking.The Shilluk masses miss him so badly already.
    Go make the earth and the sky crashing against each other but u will never achieve anything if u aren’t applying a genuine sense of leadership.

  12. Gatdarwich says:

    False Millionaire,

    Your assertion that the Patriots Shilluk “so badly miss” the traitorous–cold blooded killer, John Garang couldn’t be farthest from the truth–it’s undoubtedly very farcical—-because there’s absolutely no single patriot that is insane enough to miss a deceased traitorous Jenge period
    Your(Jenge) leaders–past and present–are too demoniacal to be miss period

  13. Gatdarwich says:

    False Millionaire,

    Your assertion that the patriot Shilluk ,”so badly miss”, the traitorous-cold blooded Killer, John Garang couldn’t be farthest from the truth–it’s undoubtedly very farcical–because there’s absolutely no single patriot that is insane enough to miss a deceased traitorous Jenge period
    Your (Jenges) leaders–past–Abel Alier–Garang– and present–the highly incompetent-power-hungry-greedy-gluttonous–traitorous Killer NyanKiir–the lunatics-fanatics–Jenges Council of Evils–are too demoniacal to be miss period
    Plus, your inclusion of the patriot Dr. Riek–NaathNation in the gross land grabbing practices by the traitorous Jenges in Equatoria region is nothing more than a mere roles diffusion application theory–boisterous rejection of owning personal responsibility period

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *