BY: DAVID KANYARA AJU, E.E.STATE, FEB/06/2014, SSN;
As our nation is still mourning for the loss of lives in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, and deadlocked in Addis Ababa to bring a lasting solution to our nation, in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria state, Governor Louis Lobong seemed to have no sympathy for our people who’ve perished in this meaningless war between Kiir and Riek.
The past two weeks have been tough in Nimule because the number of new influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has nearly reached 20,000 and the nearby village of Mugali just located 14 km away from Nimule was rocked with more than 2500 heads of cattle.
The new influx, who arrived to Mugali from Bor came with their animals, this new group nearly set the local people, who are farmers, into stiff opposition as the IPDs who are escaping the fighting in Bor came with their AK 47s guns and others carried with them heavy machine guns and even their women are also armed up to the teeth.
Thus one asks how come they do not stay in their land and defend their land with these lethal equipments of death they brought with them into the Madiland? Obviously, their government must have issued them with these weapons of terror.
Is it no wonder then that the tribes that have achieved peaceful way of life like the Madi now find themselves flooded by gun toting and aggressively wild people that are the authors of current loss of lives?
So after all, Paradise is where the so-called cowards tribe lives, which is now at risk of being turned into hell by these militarized tribal deserters as our hopeless puppet governor cares less!
However, this time the Ma’di people have decided not to grant any place even on humanitarian grounds to these aggressors, because the Ma’di previous hospitality to host the IDPs from Bor had been abused.
On top of the resultant loss of land and also being insulted by the IDPs and the visiting interior Minister Gen. Aleu Ayieng Aleu in November 2013, who supposedly is seen as a national figure, we the Ma’di people correctly think that he, Mr Aleu, has sided with his Dinka people.
By declaring that “there are no IDPs in south Sudan, you can’t be an IDP in your own country,” this is irresponsible statement coming from such a figure like the interior minister, is a mocking contradiction when today even their very government in Juba in which Aleu Ayieng Aleu is part of, is talking about IDPs taking shelter in UN compounds across the country.
So, if finally the government has recognized that there are IDPs in South Sudan, why does this not applied everywhere in the country except when it comes to the Ma’diland?
Is he implying the Ma’diland has now become a Dinka land, thus Dinka tribe people can not be called IDPs in Madiland?
This cynical perception by the government must seriously worry every South Sudanese including the Dinkas themselves.
The previous occupation by illegal IDPs is seen as cause for the natives of Nimule to remain in Adjumani refugee camps eight years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Clearly, the current government both at national and state levels have turned their deaf ears to solve the problem of IDPs in Nimule.
Majority of previous IDPs are arrogant, aggressive, and violent and many of them are armed even though they are no part of regular state security organs, the government fell short of disarming and indeed rather arming them.
In Nimule after weeks of consultation with state authority in Torit, nothing has been achieved though governor Lobong promised to relocate the current Dinka Bor who fled the latest violence and have sought refuge in Nimule.
What Lobong promised was that he would resettle these people in open places for their cattle in other parts of Torit county and others to be resettled in Kapoeta.
Both governor Lobong and the IDPs did not honor their commitments as part of agreement reached between them and Ma’di community in Nimule and Mugali.
Some of the IDPs who crossed to Dzaipi, Adjumani district in Uganda are abusing the system there and are very dishonest with their refugee status granted to them by their host nation in accordance to the Geneva Convention.
They the IDPs are registering in the camps and then coming back to grab land in Nimule.
This makes things difficult in Nimule as the prices of food stuff in the market have gone up since there is no regulatory set up to control overcharging by local traders.
And for Governor Louis and his disgraced unrecognized Nimule Town clerk, who is his brother-in-law, David Eriga, they are taking the advantage of the war to sneak in their unpopular implementation plan of Nimule Town council in the midst of the unrest in the country.
Instead of finding settlement for the IDPs who are now still crowded in Nimule school premises, this will make it hard to maintain sanitation issue that will breed into outbreaks of cholera and other hygienic related diseases.
On 28 January 2014, David Eriga, the disgraced town clerk brought in some surveyors to demarcate Nimule trading areas.
But when the landlords with some business owners asked the so-called surveyors to tell them who they were, they said they were sent by David Eriga to demarcate the area.
Seemingly, it was unclear for whom the surveyed land was going to be given. And who is sponsoring the demarcation program in Nimule?
Inevitably, fighting broke out between the traders, some of them were Dinka IDPs who previously settled in Nimule.
But this time even the Dinka denounced the authority of Eriga by saying if the Ma’di disregarded him (Eriga) and have refused the implementation of NTC, then don’t force it on them.
When the surveyors heard this they ran to the disgraced David Eriga, he Eriga decided to go with a handful of police as he and his boss the governor always do, as they are known for using state security to harass civilians as this is how the government in the new nation functions.
When David Eriga arrived at the vicinity he found the business land owners were all there, both Ma’di and Dinka, but instead of using formal approach as someone of his type may like to use, he instead resorted into force.
But this time the land owners stood their ground and Eriga escaped with some ‘good’ injuries and the policemen had to run for their dear lives too.
And shortly the traders in the town demonstrated with a strike by closing down their shops for three hours, this is a clear sign that Eriga is unwelcomed clerk in town he claims to be responsible in administering.
My dear countrymen and women, our own government is a curse to us, this is not time to demarcate land, issue of land grabbing is one of the problems that our country needs to address.
In Nimule I don’t know whether the high government officials in Juba know what is happening; in November during his visit to Nimule vice President Wani Igga and gov. Louis Lobong have all promised that the issue of Nimule needs free and fair referendum.
But unfortunately today the same governor Lobong who proposed the referendum is the first highest man in the state with authority in his hands abusing and robbing his electors from their ancestral land.
Lobong may have enriched himself with our state wealth, and has more than 60,000 herds of cattle, but for the poor people in Nimule all what they have is a small piece of their ancestral land.
Taking this away from them means they have no life and their children cannot survive anymore.
Governor and his police officer, Major Angelo, are terrorizing local people and have lawlessly indulged teimselves and have kept the Ma’di community leaders for more than four months in detention.
Sadly, most of these men have become paralyzed, today 11 of them have been released from Kobar prison in Torit but they suffered great deal of abuse, torture that have let three of them to become paralyzed, they cannot hold pens and they depend on members of their families to feed them.
And one is still held without charge in army barracks in Torit and had been assaulted while in prison, he was beaten badly and needed urgent medical attention, this fellow Lino Azza Marli, a two star army officer in SPLA.
But based on his ethnic origin of being Ma’di he is seen as less important that is why even though he was falsely accused, justice has been denied for his release.
It is time for heartless politicians the likes of governor Lobong should be told what is right without hesitation, it is time to claim back our nation from the hands of undemocratic politicians, Republic of south Sudan is and will be better off without politicians who came to offices without vision.
My brothers and sisters south Sudan is not north Korea whereby the whole country is made to live in terror of fears and decisions are taken for them by one man.
We can’t in Eastern Equatoria accept Governor Louis Lobong the puppet of Kiir and the undergraduate student governor to decide for us and lead us into kingdom of dark world; we have the best and highly learnt people in EES.
Governor Lobong since the day he took office more than two years ago did nothing than applying security apparatus in the state to abuse and silence the people who advocate for better lives for all.
Lobong, like president Kiir, has nothing to show for his years in office other than use of security apparatus against his people. Not a single inter-tribal conflict has been solved by this inept governor. Lobong has been a good for nothing governor and utterly useless!
To David Eriga, you are disaster, and curse to our ma’di community; you’re running a parallel administration, which has not been recognized by your people, the Madi.
You should recall that during the meeting with 11 clans of Nimule, they the owners of the land rejected your appointment and you were given ultimatum of two days to go back to Torit.
Now it seems, your boss Lobong is taking the advantage of what is happening in our country, thinking people are afraid or asleep.
My friend, we are watching you very carefully, please don’t follow the foot steps of Bilal and Jerome, these individuals have no reverence for our ancestral spirits which shall hound them and their children’s for what they did against our lands.
What about you? Please put the needs of your people first, because you can’t be what you are without your people. Know that what you are doing today shall not be forgiven, not today, not tomorrow! As for Lobing, down with him.
Inclusion, since the exodus of cattle was denied entrance & safe haven in Mugali, yesterday 3rd February they were spotted by the local people at Kerepi, a village situated approximately 46 km away from Nimule.
This is something that needs urgent attention from both Juba and Torit, both Kiir and Lobong should work hard to spare bloodshed in Ma’diland, as we are farmers we can’t afford to settle with cattle and their uncivilized owners.
Therefore, we are calling for urgent implementation of temporary settlement plan to take the Dinka to Torit or Kapoeta counties until calm returned to their homeland Bor.
We call all the Ma’di MPs both in Juba and Torit to table this issue of cows roaming and destroying crops of people in the Parliaments.
If this noble call is neglected by the authorities we the youth of Ma’di will take the matter into our hands and begin to murder the cows as they destroy our very livelihood.
David Kanyara Aju
Eastern Equatoria State, south Sudan.