From: Thiik Community Date 7th March, 2017.
To: H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Republic of South Sudan.
CC: Governor Akech Tong Aleu, Tonj State
CC: Deputy Governor Manhiem Bol Malek,
CC: Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Tonj East
CC: Hon. Wek Mamer Kuol, Tonj East
RE: Complaints from Thiik Community Association (TCA)
March 9, 2017 (SSB) — Your Excellency, we the representatives of Thiik community would like to take this opportunity to strongly protest against the continuous unjust and unfair treatment of our community by the Governor Akech Tong Aleu of Tonj State. Your Excellency, we wish to highlight to you our grievances with a concise background of Thiik Community in Ananatak area; information we believe to be at your disposal.
Thiik community is one of the seven sections of greater Ananatak of former Tonj East County. It is bordered by six neighboring communities with defined boundaries, they include: Luanchjang to the East, Lou Paher to the North, Jur Bol/Awan Parek to the West, Akok to South West, Kongor to the South and Ador to the South East.
Going by the previous demographics under the Southern Sudan Government, the area was under former Warrap State. It had two wider Bomas with a population of (12,177), according to the 2008 population census which was conducted by the old Khartoum government. Historically, the community was administered by Sub-chief Majok Makom Majok, from 1927 during British colonial era and until later in 1976 when Monycirin Ajiech Mayar was appointed as area Executive Chief.
Thiik is one of the three communities that are part of Aliap section in Greater Ananatak. The bordering communities have always lived side by side in peace and harmony. These communities namely- Akok, Luackoth, Thiik and Jalwau thrived under the leadership of four paramount Chiefs. They include, DengAcuil, (Akok section): Majok Makom (Thiik section): Akuchbeny Cirong (Jalwau section) and Bol Malek Malek (Luachkoth section) respectively.
During the war of liberation struggle under the SPLM/A which was led by our hero late, Dr. John Garang de Mabior and yourself; H. E, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, these communities positively contributed both men power and logistical resources to support the liberation efforts which resulted into the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on 9th July, 2011.
In 2015, your Excellency, you gave an executive order of creating 28 States across the country under which Tonj State was one of the states created a move that got Thiik community excited and wholeheartedly lauded and applauded this prudent decision. This is because the decision worked as a means to fulfill the SPLM’s vision of taking, “towns to people.”
Your Excellency, during the creation of nineteen counties in Tonj State, Aliap community comprising of Thiik, Akok and Luackoth was put under one county namely (Ananatak) and it’s very important to mention it because its headquarters remains at loggerhead to date. However, Thiik community equally lauded Governor, Akech Tong for creating more counties under Tonj State and it has been seen as a means to bring an amicable solution to the inter-communal conflicts, enhance development and a framework for equal distribution of wealth and resources for all people at the grassroots’ level
Your Excellency as Thiik community, we are committed to peaceful coexistence with all neighboring communities and as such have called upon the two communities of Akok and Luachkoth to sit down and collectively resolve the issue of County headquarters amicably. Its however sad to report that our voices remained unheard. Many attempts have been made to solve the wrangling over the county’s headquarters, but sadly a solution seems far from the reach.
Your Excellency, the people of Thiik community are dismayed, the issue of the county headquarters which has fuelled so much tensions in the county remains a trivial matter in the eyes of the state leadership headed by Governor Akech Tong Aleu. This fact was emphatically alluded to by the recent inflammatory statements that he uttered during the occasion to celebrate the newly established 19 Counties of Tonj, organized by the Youth of Tonj in Juba and as such, the people of Thiik community are terribly disappointed and utterly shocked by his reckless and irresponsible remarks and unfair treatment. Briefly visiting his statements, Thiik community can only be left to interpret that;
- i) Governor Akech Tong seems to recognize Thiik community as a non-entity in Ananatak County for reasons best known to him. For example, in his speech delivered in the ceremony mentioned earlier and organized by Tonj Youth Union in Juba. H. E, Akech publicly referred to the problem of Ananatak as the case between Akok and Luackoth community. He projects Thiik community as non-existent in the county. He failed to acknowledge that Thiik is not only an independent community but it is one of the key stakeholders in the affairs of the county.
- ii) Governor Akech also openly ordered the distribution of 8 Payams of Ananatak county to be done as follows; 4 Payams for Luackoth and 4 Payams for Akok. We were baffled as to how and why Thiik community was left out in the share. Your Excellency, this is totally unacceptable for Thiik community and as such can never abide by his decision for we regard it unfair and corrupt. We remain at loss of words and can’t tell whether the Governor based the share on a personal relationship with Luackoth and Akok or base on the County’s population of the communities.
It is worth noting that Akok community has a population of 16000 people, Luackoth has population of 11000 while Thiik community has 12000 people respectively. It is clear to us that the Governor is committed to annex and assimilate Thiik community to Akok community as a part of dominations and marginalization strategy. If you do the simple arithmetic, we wondered how Luachkoth which has a population of (11000) only are allocated with four Payams and give Thiik which has a population of (12000) nothing.
As a matter of fact, going by the numbers in each community, we clearly see the reflection of unjust and unbelievable treatment by Governor Akech for Thiik community. He categorically made it clear in the eye of Tonj community, that the case of Ananatak County is not a matter of just the headquarters, but a scramble over Ananatak county ownership between Akok and Luackoth communities.
He stressed that the county headquarters must remain stationed in Ananatak until the ownership of the area is identified. We thought that the problem was wrangling over the headquarters but if it becomes an issue of Land ownership. Therefore, Thiik community will not be part and parcel of the County where people don’t want to solve their disputes peacefully and amicably. As peace loving community, we have chosen to stay away from disputed piece of land.
We fear that such malfeasance remarks by top authority may be used as epicenter of fighting by these two communities. Your Excellency, we wish to remind the Governor that there are so many disputed and contested areas in South Sudan that were not allocated to individuals, corporations or even state ventures let alone appointment as county headquarters unlike the case of Ananatak. This trend has prevailed however in the interest of peace for the people of South Sudan and as such Governor Akech ought to read script.
iii) Your Excellency, it is worth noting that Governor Akech Tong was quoted as saying in yet another occasion, that he would do something harmful to Thiik Community before he leaves office. We cannot lay down in wait for harm to befall on us and such seek urgent and quick interventions from your leadership as you are our top most leader in the Land.
- iv) Lastly, you’re Excellency, during the 2015 inter-communal violence between Thiik and Luachjang, the state government under Governor. Akech Tong had failed to acknowledge the destructions caused by the wave of the internecine fighting in Thiik area in which more than 300 households were burnt to ashes and unconscionable lives were lost. To add insult to injury, the Governor said in Tonj freedom square that” nothing was burnt inside in Thiik community’s houses by Luachjang youths, except insects in their house”.
That is a serious insult to our community? These disparaging remarks were meant to degrade Thiik as a poor community with no resources. His government only reported the vandalisation of security vehicles that were ferrying ammunitions to Romic headquarters without security escort. Many families were made homeless but the inept government of former Warrap state under Akech Tong turned a blind eye on the unfolding sufferings community there.
Recommendations and ultimatum Resolutions
- It is clear that Thiik community will never find an even- handed leadership, fairness, security protection and equitable distribution of the resources under the current framework and as such have resolved and recommended the creation of (Thiik County). We consider this to be the only way to avert bloodshed, property destruction in the nearest future. As a peace loving community, we plead with you to listen to our calls and to grant us a county from the larger Ananatak County.
- The leadership of the people of Thiik community has resolved to withdraw its membership from Ananatak County and to leave it to Akok and Luackoth because they are seen as the rightful owners of the county. We have instructed all our members, paramount chiefs and youths back at home and in the state levels to immediately and swiftly adhere to these directives.
- We condemn it in the strongest term possible this unfair allocations of 8 Payams of Ananatak which was announced by state Governor Akech. We will not even accept one or two Payams in Thiik unless a county of our own is established.
- We unanimously agreed to remain an independent from Ananatak County until the community leadership as well as the entire membership would further decide on the direction to follow.
- Thiik community has banned the county commissioner, Chol Mabior Dil from today henceforth not to step his foot on our community’s terrority. We do not recognize him as our county commissioner simply because we have been excluded from the allocations of Payams by Governor Akech Tong Aleu.
- Thiik community will not recognize the inept and dictatorial gubernatorial leadership of Akech Tong from today until he recognizes our community as a County of its own!
- Our community’s revenues or taxations will no longer be reported to the Ananatak County’s headquarters level up to Tonj State level.
Your Excellency, the local leadership, beginning from the Governor seems unable to govern fairly over your people in this area and as such, we humbly call for your immediate interventions. Your Excellency, we are committed to the peace process in our land and in the same spirit seek direction as regards to this matter! In this regard, Martin Luther King Jr once said” injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Written by youth representatives,
- Kocrup Makuach Aleu – Chairman of TCA
- Ajok Makom Majok
- Deng Akech Deng
- Ajiech Monycirin
- Abraham Kush Kuol,
- Madhieu Thiep Madhieu
- Malok Chol Madoot
- Majok Akuchbeny Majok
In collaboration with Thiik Community Leadership
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