The High Expectations for Jonglei State New Governor, Philip Aguer Panyang (Part I)

Posted: January 4, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Reech Mayen

On Security: People’s Expectations for Jonglei State Governor, Philip Aguer Panyang

By Samuel Reech Mayen, Kampala, Uganda


January 4, 2016 (SSB)  —  For several decades, the civil population has suffered from the crimes of cattle rustlings, kidnappings, massacring of innocent civilians plus politically motivated attacks which have displaced the populace. Many rebellious politicians miscalculate their political agenda and end up attacking these areas thinking that they are inflicting pain on the system they hate. This has become a practice that if a person is not happy with the SPLM, he takes up arms and invades these areas to communicate his dissatisfaction nationwide.

As a result of these frequent attacks, Jonglei State which is made up of the three Counties of Dinka Bor (Duk, Bor and Twic East counties) has thousands of refugees in Kenya, Uganda and IDPs with in South Sudan. There is no population in the State as the new governor takes the office. This means that the new governor will go and search the whereabouts of his citizens.  Tracing these citizens and convincing them is not an easy task but Aguer, being a promising leader has already attracted the attention of his subjects who are suffering in the UN ran camps inside and outside South Sudan. It needs a pragmatic assurance for these citizens to come back home.

The previous governors ruled at a time when South Sudan focus was on how to secede from the Sudan, hence could not be blamed for not containing the insecurity. It is a known fact that Gen. Kuol Manyang and Hon. Philip Thon Leek are real leaders who couldn’t sleep when their people were suffering but the national priority by their time was to realize the SPLM’s vision of total freedom from the Arabs oppressive regime. Secondly, Gen. Kuol and Hon. Thon Leek did much during the struggle and some people are alive because of their commitments. It’s also important to see how new leaders trained by these experienced leaders serve their societies.

This made Philip Aguer a right choice for governorship despite the fact that the task is challenging. Everyone hopes that Hon Aguer will handle these challenges successfully. People do not expect him to do everything by himself but he is a crowned hub of influence. The issue of insecurity in the three counties that formed the current Jonglei state needs immediate measures. The other challenges that are faced by the population stem out from the high level of insecurity.  Lack of security affects the community socially and economically.

The appointment of Hon. Aguer has been received positively as many expect better service. Recently, I met some youths from Bor community who spent hours lecturing to me on why Hon. Philip Aguer is a good choice for a governor at this critical time. For awhile, I pretended like I didn’t know Honorable Aguer to give them a chance to express their joy and hope. One of them narrated a tale of how Hon. Aguer was assigned to distribute foodstuffs to the famine-stricken population in Panyagoor sometime in the mid 1990s when the SPLA captured the town from the SSIM/A, the then faction of Dr. Riek Machar.

While Commander Aguer was calling the names for people to receive foodstuff, a cloud covered the sky and the rain started dazzling. The Hugh population that had no other alternative started panicking on the preemption that the distribution would be postponed to the following day. But the determined officer chose to continue with the exercise of distributing the rations to civilians.

Despite the continuation of the distribution exercise, wrestling and pushing started as everyone wanted to look into the hand written papers and coerced for his name to be traced to receive his rations. In something that turned out to be a small riot, he was pushed down by the desperate crowd. Like he got a better chair, he comfortably sat on the muddy floor and continued calling out the names for people to receive their rations. This passed a wave of shock to the hungry population who apparently saw his determination to ensure that food is fairly distributed to all at the time it was needed.

Although I have not personally confirmed this tale of high humanity, it always touches me when it is narrated.  Many people believe that the qualities of leadership in Hon. Aguer got realized that day.

 Now, the task of hope has been placed in his hand to test his abilities of serving not only the people of his state but to meet the SPLM vision of delivering services to the people. Despite the severe conditions that the people of Bor passed through, hope has never been lost. With the recent appointment of Hon. Aguer, people have confidence and trust in him that the awaited future has begun. Many citizens of Jonglei state believe that Hon. Aguer is one of the right people to shoulder their challenges. Majority of the people know that being a governor at this hour is one of the hardest tasks but since Hon. Aguer is a well informed person, it is presumed that he knows what to do.

On this note, Hon. Philip Aguer is expected to curb the horrors of cattle rustlings and continuous attacks on the civil population. He needs to get a data of the people who have been killed in these three counties since 2005. The new governor also needs to know the numbers of children that have been kidnapped and the approximate numbers of cattle raided over the last decade. With this information, his administration will be able to develop policies that can bring an end to these sorts of devastations.

Hon. Aguer’s government needs to develop Jonglei State security Policies. These should include adopting the SPLA and the Police to provide efficient security at the state borders to stop any kind of incursion from the neighboring states. People expect the Youth from the neighboring State of Buma to come to Jonglei as businessmen, students and workers in ways that make their lives better. The same principle applies to the people of Lou, Gawaar and Lak Nuer. Citizens of Jonglei state can’t afford to entertain cattle raiders wandering on their land any more. The People of the new State need peace and they wish their neighbours as well as the whole of South Sudan to live in peace.

For the mutual benefits of all states curved out of the previous old Jonglei, the wide bushes between the new states of Jonglei, Buma, Bieh East and Bieh West need to be constantly patrolled to ensure that cattle raiders, kidnappers and other attackers are apprehended. These needs both air and land patrols. Therefore, road network is needed to facilitate this exercise. It is not an operation targeting any community or State but an exercise for the benefits of all states. On this basis, it needs diverse effort. Through security assurance, the citizens of these neighboring states will be attracted back to their villages.

This is about the security within the new state of Jonglei.  What about our citizens in other states? How do we assure their safety in those states? We also expect Hon. Philip Aguer’s government to build strong relation not only with the neighboring states but even with the states that do not share borders with Jonglei so that our citizens enjoy peace and safety in all states of South Sudan.

On our side, we need Jonglei state to be a secured place not only for the indigenous citizens but also other law abiding citizens from other states who chose to reside with us. These residents from other states can enjoy their constitutional freedoms and rights without discrimination. In summary, it is hoped that the creation of 28 states will massively improve the security of our people of Jonglei. With an efficiently secured state, no doubt, other challenges will be addressed easily as explain in the upcoming articles.

The author lives in Uganda and can be reached at: or +256 772 727 857

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 SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

  1. David Gai says:

    Hon. Philip Aguer was the best interest of the entire community. If the community just rise their expectations beyond his capacity, I think it might not good to expects all best wishes from one person and if your interests are not fulfilled later, you may rise against person innocently or term him as a bad leader. We can not expect everything from the Governor but together we have to prioritized issues of insecurity, poor, unclean water in our new created state of Jonglei.


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