Ramciel as the Capital of South Sudan: A call to Involved Aliab Community in Decision Making Process
Written by Jok de Ajak Akech and Garang Aguto Gong, Nebraska, USA
February 26, 2017 (SSB) —- In light of recent news, the government of the Republic of South Sudan had resolved the outstanding issue of capital city. The issue of nation’s capital had become a showdown between Bari tribe of Juba and the government. The government wants the jurisdictions of Juba city whereas the Bari came to resist the move. This ideological difference put our government in constant search to relocate the capital or make a compromise deal with Bari.
In that search, named area Ramciel came up and the place was accessed and surveyed for nation’s capital relocation. A tasked committee that was formed visited this area for assessments. The committee was then headed by former Vice President (Riek Machar). The findings by this committee lack input from the local communities. NOTE: Not involving local communities in this important issue may result in severe misunderstanding with the government as we embark on this journey together.
The committee came with its final findings and presents it to the office of the president. The president and his cabinet acted as our seated government could not be held hostage because of Juba dilemma. The busy seated government of the Republic of South Sudan has a lot of challenges since everything in this newest country is started somewhere and progress to meet the challenges being faced.
In this aspect, the cabinet had resolved the issue of Juba and named Ramciel the “NO MAN-LAND”as our nation’s capital. Juba campaign of land confiscation and other claims where all put to rest and the journey to Zion land would be executed immediately by the New Committee-headed by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai. Once again, as evidence by the “no man-land” mentality in Juba; the government willfully left the local communities in the cold by not naming them in the newly formed committee.
As such, we are thrilled to add what is missing in the report and to the decision already being made, because there is no mentioning of geographical location of Ramciel but a vague Lakes state just keep coming up. Even at a time of final announcement of relocation, there was no mentioning of exact location of Ramciel and one would wonder to ask where this no man-land is located? Perhaps, the whole plan was made and kept consistent as nobody has right to know.
Today is right as it was for yesterday and is a reason why we want to make correction before tomorrow comes. Indeed, a place called Ramciel exists and inhabited by Aliab Dinka (Awerial North and South counties of Eastern Lake state. The official name of this place is Kur Amen Bit Ayok-kuac and Kur Mabor-Lek (Ramciel). This place is accessible during rainy season and is a pasture land. So, making it as a city mean clearing out pastoral land for their livestock and encouraging poverty as a mean to exist.
Nevertheless, the place served ambition vision for our late leader Dr. John Garang when he made a visiting to the area and said “this is Ramciel our future capital of the Republic”. Dr. Garang made this quotation to reference the uniqueness of the place where it’s geographical location is the HEART of South Sudan. This is a short tell of a big story that shall be learned later. Also, it was on this very place that he said he shall take the city to the village.
Unlike Juba, news of Ramciel as our nation’s capital was received with jubilations by some South Sudanese who are tired of government activities being held hostage by Bari tribe. In the same token are curiosities of the place and the reaction(s) of very people who owned the land (Aliab Dinka). Whether Aliab people receive the news of Ramciel akin to the rest of the South Sudanese is another issue the government must explored.
Perhaps, mix reactions because the panel that access and surveyed the area did not indeed have contact with a paramount chief and local chiefs of Awerial counties and clarifications are needed since lack of information leads to more misunderstanding as mentioned earlier. Since a decision had been reached and met with no resistance and complaint from Aliab people, our gratitude and heart thanks-full goes to the humble people of Awerial counties.
Now is the time for government to clarify the package being offered to this community as there is anticipation to get something done for our newest Nation? A meaningful package shall grant Aliab community the jurisdictions of land allocation and city governance. These packages shall transfer Awerial counties out of Eastern Lake state and grant it special autonomy where Ramciel shall serve both as nation’s capital and county administrative center. This way, a fair and balance Ramciel shall persist and reign to serve the interest of South Sudanese at large, just to mention a few.
In conclusion, the government needs to adopt effective ways of communication with locals of this community so that a mutual understanding and mutual interest is in place. A mutual understanding that shall adhere to this community’s views must be implemented before it is too late.
Because Aliab people unlike other tribes in South Sudan are not represented in the president’s cabinet; we shall hope this persistence misrepresentation would not result to a willful ignorance to the needs of Aliab community. Aliab people are very peaceful and have been the stoic supporter for this government. We hope that President Kiir hear out their voices of frustrations.
Ramciel as a capital city will have significant effects not only to Aliab people but also to neighboring people of Tali, Yirol, and Jonglei. These effects are to be met by locals with mutual understanding among neighboring communities this way a good system of government is in place.
This paper is attest to the public and to anyone who is concern to know the logic behind Ramciel city. As concerned citizens, we put this paper on line as a reference to the historical aspect of Ramciel land and the right to know whose this “Land” belongs…
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