Nuer community in Uganda refutes the false statement by self-proclaimed group that they were blocked by Ugandan Police from commemorating the 2nd anniversary of Juba massacre.
We, the undersigned, duly elected Executive board of Nuer Community in Uganda; under the leadership of James Nyoat Biliu Babuoth, would like to refute the falsified statement issued by Evangelist Stephen Gai Kak and his group, alleging that Ugandan Police force blocked them from commemorating the December 15th. The false news story published on the 17th of December by both Nyamilepedia and Sudan Tribune websites, was first posted on the night of December 15th, 2015 at 11:08pm, on Facebook (SPLM-IO Youth League) by the self-appointed spokesperson of the deluded group called Ojum Deng Chol. This was after they went and met with Col. Gai Chatiem, who is the South Sudan’s Defense Attaché to Uganda at Fang-Fang Hotel on Monday 15th afternoon. We would like the whole world, and the media fraternity in particular, to know that this is what happened as we now want to give our truest version of the event.
For the starters, this is the crux of the matter, and the straw which broke the camel’s back! The Nuer Community in Uganda held its general elections on the 24th of August 2015. The contesting candidates for the highest position of the Chairmanship were Mr. James Nyoat Biliew and Mr. Stephen Gai Kak. Mr. James Nyoat Biliew won the elections, which was declared by the electoral committee composed of members from all the four Nuer communities, and headed by the cousin brother of Stephen Gai Kak. After the first count and tallying of the votes, he was beaten by so many votes but Gai Kak’s agents and campaign team disputed the results, saying they wanted a recount of the votes, which was agreed upon by both the entire campaign team of James Nyoat and the electoral committee. The votes were recounted again and the outcome was that James Nyoat won the election again by a big margin and the electoral committee declared James Nyoat Biliew as the duly elected Chairman of Nuer Community in Uganda, pending the handing over of the official documents and stamp in a ceremony as is always the practice. When they knew that they lost the elections, Stephen Gai and his group, instead of conceding and accepting defeat, they went to the house of the chairman of electoral committee and stole the stamp. This action made a lot of community members angry and they called upon us to take immediate action, but we cooled them down and told them to give these lost sons time as they may rethink and come back to the right path.
Instead of repenting and refraining the carrying out illegal activities, they went ahead and booked a venue where they wanted to have their own commemoration on the 2nd Anniversary of Nuer massacre in Juba by the current regime of Salva Kiir. When we were informed about this, we went to the central Police station and told the police that, we as a community, have arranged to celebrate this day in one place. We also told the police that those who booked this venue are operating illegally, with fake stamp and papers. They do not have a certificate of registration for the community. This is a small group of boys who lost elections in August and did/do not want to accept defeat or the outcome of the elections. Before we locked their illegal venue, the Chairman, Mr. Nyoat Biliew, called Stephen Gai Kak, Tek Chan and New-Land Khan at Kabalagala Police station and told them that the community will not allow them to have a parallel commemoration of the Juba Massacre by an illegal group. We told them point blank that we were going to block their venue; and if they so willingly wish, they could join the entire community at Hotel Equatorial – the venue booked for by the legitimate community body, under the recognized and legitimate leadership of James Nyoat. They resisted and insisted on going forward with their sinister plan, but the Police requested them to suffice the letter of approval from the Central Police Station, which they did not have in their possession. The Police told them they would not allow illegal assembly/gathering, and that only the legal body of Nuer Community in Uganda under the leadership of James Nyoat Biliew has the right to assembly under the law. The Police then locked the venue and went back to their station. Instead of contenting with this, they went and met Col. Gai with the mindset and assumption that it was him who told the Ugandan Police to block them from holding their illegal commemoration. Col. Gai Chatiem asked them to call the Police who will be the one to tell who blocked their venue. When the Police was called, the Police said that they acted within the parameters of the law and were told to do so by the Chairman of Nuer Community in Uganda Mr. James Nyoat Biliew and his team. Col. Gai Chatiem told them it was not him who told the Police and that was why he wanted the Police to be the one to tell you since you already have this mindset and assumption, if I tell you that I’m not the one who blocked your venue, you may not believe it. After their meeting with Col. Gai Chatiem, having been told by the Police in the presence of other South Sudanese eye-witnesses, that it was not Col. Gai Chatiem who blocked their venue, they went on a rampage to write a disparaging message on Facebook and disseminated to Nyamilepedia and Sudan Tribune claiming that they were blocked by Col. Gai Chatiem and Uganda Police from commemorating the Nuer Massacre. As they say, what gets the attention of many people is always the lies, falsehoods – and lies travel faster than the truth.
We would like to make a few points clearer to the general public who may not be cognizant of the glaring facts on this confusing situation. For the records:-
1. Col. Gai Chatiem Puoch (not Gai Chatiem Wang, as incorrectly written by Ojum) has never attended any Nuer Community meeting since he came to Uganda, unlike Tut Dak who always attend community meetings. So where does Col. Gai come in here? He does not involve himself in community activities. Why drag Col. Gai Chatiem into this, and insult him? This is a serious case of defamation and character assassination, with legal consequences; because you could be asked to produce hard evidence, not based on hearsays and assumptions. Or is it because he is from the same community (Fangak) as the chairman Nyoat Biliew or what?
2. Those who are engaging in these illegal activities are criminals misled by Evangelist Stephen Gai Kak, and they do not represent the entire Eastern Jikany community. They are boys from Nasir alone. Mr. Gai Kak himself cannot label others as being government supporters when he is a beneficiary of the same government. He has been getting monetary support from the Embassy under the student support and his name can be found at the entrance/register of the South Sudan Embassy in Kampala. We could also release the names of his accomplices, Ojum Deng and others, who always go to South Sudan Embassy. When he (Gai Kak) was campaigning for Nuer Community Chairmanship, he went and begged money from the same Col. Gai Chatiem Puoch that they are now insulting in the media. It’s a known and undeniable fact that Col. Gai Chatiem works as a defense attaché at the South Sudan embassy in Uganda, and therefore, no one can deny that he works for the government of Salva Kiir, but Col. Gai has never interfered in community activities; including disputes. But why do/did they go to him every time they need money if they are not government agents and beneficiaries? Unless Gai Kak and his gangsters turned SPLM-IO this week, but last week, they were not; and they’ve always not been SPLM-IO supporters.
3. They were given the money to hire the hall and other refreshments by the wife of Thomas Duoth Guet in Uganda and others in Juba government. So how can they claim to be SPLM-IO today when Juba government is and has been funding their activities, including this commemoration of our innocent Nuer people killed by the government of Salva Kiir? Unlike them, we got money through funds raising from our various communities and other well-wishers, in order to observe this day.
4. Yien Manykuac and Tut Dak work at the South Sudan embassy, the former being the one responsible for handling cases of anybody arrested or jailed by the police, the later working in the same office together with Col. Gai. Why they did not write against Yien and Tut? Why single out Col. Gai?
5. The decision to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of Nuer Massacre on the 16th of December, as opposed to 15th, came from the SPLM-IO leadership. We were in close contact and consultation with the SPLM-IO leadership, both at the Headquarters in Pagak and in the Chapter in Uganda. Hon. Makuach Teny Youk, SPLM-IO Representative to Uganda and other SPLM-IO dignitaries graced the occasion. Hon. Makuach Teny was the Guest of Honour for the day. The commemoration was attended by more than 700 community members, few of whom were not even from the Nuer community, per se.
6. We categorically would like to state that we do not have any relationship/connection with the embassy and the government of South Sudan. We are a community targeted and massacred in Juba from December 2013 up to date, on the basis of being Nuer, therefore, we unequivocally support the Resistant Movement led by the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the Movement, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon.
7. The group of Evangelist Stephen Gai Kak has damaged the image and reputation of Ugandan Police by misleading the world through their falsified message that they were blocked by Uganda Police, which was not true at all. The commemoration took place peacefully and without any interference from the police. They have sent a wrong message to the world that Uganda Police is hostile to South Sudanese communities in general and Nuer Community in particular. They are also trying to strain the relations between our Movement and the Government of Uganda. Their venue was closed by the Police because they do not have the right to assembly since they are not a registered legal entity, unlike the Nuer Community under the leadership of James Nyoat.
1. James Nyoat Biliu Chairman
2. Wednexy Machar Deputy Chairman
3. Riek Tap Riek Secretary General
4. Kuol Majiok Secretary of Finance
5. Tesloach Joak Secretary of Education
6. Malual Bol Kiir Secretary of legal affairs
7. Kawai Kuer Speaker of Council
8. Jambiel Gatluak Coordinator