Warrap state government should compensate the life of Governor’s driver?

Posted: December 29, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Madhieu Thiep Madhieu, Kampala, Uganda

December 29, 2015 (SSB) — On the 10/Oct/2015, a driver belonging to the caretaker governor of Warrap state was murdered by armed youths during the outbreak of the recent Tonj east inter communal conflict. The driver felt under attack when he was heading to Romic headquarters in a convoy of three vehicles without military escort on that day of sectional clashes.

The incidence happened in a place called Langchok which was the scene of fierce fighting, where the driver was first stop by angrily youths, just to alert him of the hostile situation ahead, but he undermined the command and continued driving. The situation on that spot was fragile and intense as gunshots were still heard on the main road leading to county headquarters.

Screaming of women and children whose relatives were killed was the only thing in that day within the locality. The governor’s three vehicles convey were moving as fast as deer and could not bother to stop although they were commanded by those armed youths.

Unfortunately, they youths opened fire and shot indiscriminately killing Governor’s driver and two others were critical wounded. One of the cars was recklessly smashed and surprisingly, a lot of ammunitions were found inside the governor’s car. This has given culprits teeth to accuse the driver and his entourage of having ill intention to supply those ammunitions to the enemy side and as such, he deserves to carry his own cross.

The driver might have been killed on suspicion that he was arming the other side to the conflict and that is why they attackers took law into their hands and committed that heinous crime. He should have stop and let the youths take whatever they want instead of despising their order and lost his live.

Now as we speak, the state government and its county commissioner have ordered sections of Ananatak to compensate the live of the driver and two wounded people. The state government had made a ruling without setting up court of law that is specialized in resolving criminal issues. The governor ordered communities of Ananatak to pay 31 cows as compensation of the driver and 40 cows for the two wounded ones. And now the chiefs are being arrested and put into cell by county commissioner because of these cows.

Traditionally, a life of a war victim is usually compensated with the aforementioned number of cows, and a wounded person is obviously compensated with 15 cows’ maximum according to Wathalel customary law, because the wounded person is considered half dead and remains defenseless and vulnerable to do anything with perfection. This is contrary to the unjust and unconstitutional ruling made by the state government by increasing blood compensation or price for the wounded people from 15 to 20 cows each, without following constitutional procedures.

But this doesn’t bothered me now, the question is,’ who is to pay the blood price of the dead driver and other two people who sustained injuries in that black day? According to my perception, Warrap state government should pay the life of the driver who was brutally killed and the two wounded people because of the following reasons; first, they driver and other two wounded were on official duty and were not targeted on their individual basis.

Second, there was no military escort because the situation on ground was horrific and tense at that moment as intensive fighting was on progress. And everyone along that road was in total confusion and aggressive to anybody that looks stranger. Moreover, there was no advance information of their passing so that the chiefs get closed to main road in order to easy their passage.

State government has to compensate these victims, because they are state government employees and were sent to that place by the authority, otherwise they would haven’t risk their lives, if they weren’t working with the state government. Warrap government has resources which can be used to pay back the life of the late driver and those wounded. It is not a better idea for state authority to forced communities to pay this compensation instead of state to take the lead and later on arrest the mastermind and bring them to book.

I therefore call upon the state authority to reverse their decision and pay blood compensation to the families of the victims. Tonj East county commissioner must be urged to stop arresting chiefs and detaining them because of these cows.

Much has to be done to avert this mistake from repeating itself once again. Tough measures must also be urgently taken to stop the ongoing conflict between Apuk Padoc and Lou Paher that is likely to involve so many neighboring communities.

The writer can be reached via email: madhienthiep@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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