“The newly appointed Governor of Ruweng state Hon. Them Machar Kuol was sworn at the state House in Juba today before President Salva Kiir Mayardit.The swearing in ceremony was attended by the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai and was presided over of Justice John Gatwich, the Deputy Chief Justice. In his remarks after the swearing in of the governor, President Kiir appeal to the newly appointed governor to work and cooperate with the community members in the state. President Kiir called on the Governor to dialogue with the people in a peaceful meaner in order to find a solution in the state. President Kiir also stressed on the important of the implementation of the peace agreement in the Country. Meanwhile Taban Deng said the appointment of Them is aim at uniting people of Pan-Aru as well as the whole state of Ruweng with its neighbors. He disclosed that he nominated him because of his hard work and determination to deliver.” via Maal Maker Thiong.
By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan
April 3, 2017 (SSB) — Ruweng State is an offshoot of the former unity state now divided into three states as per the EO/36.The Compromise peace agreement popularly known as ARCISS provided for the already existing 10 states and that Governors of Upper Nile and Unity states shall be the nominees of the SPLM IO.
To the surprise and chagrin of many including the Protestants, it turned out that the SPLMIO, with some concessions after the bloodiest incident at J1, was given only one state with some deputies in other States. That state is none other than the Ruweng state whose owners, leaders and intellectuals for that matter, now beat their chests and threaten to fight the government to the last man.
The intellectuals and communities do not know that they are preaching to the converted. The whole scenario which many see as a conspiracy or incitement started when the SPLMIO first Governor tendered in his resignation wrongly thinking that the President will confirm him in his position for having switched allegiance to the SPLM-IG.
The innocent people of Ruweng State whose lives are being put at stake have been deluded into believing that their son would not be removed. However, the SPLM-IO, as per the agreement, so they said, accepted his resignation and another one recommended and appointed. He took the oath of office and will definitely go to his State any time soon.
The community is against the new appointment and must probably be now working on a sand model to resist it by hook or by crook. They want their Governor to be SPLMIG member with little do they know that the two are peace partners and what they agreed is a fait accompli. The perspective is that the whole issue is understandably not about the IO being appointed or not.
Those who call themselves Ruweng community leaders and intellectuals don’t need actually any IO in their area. They pledged their full support and throw in their lot with the SPLM JI. They accused the FVP of having massacred them and that the wounds have not been healed. They too challenged the Presidential decision branding it as “uncaring”.
The point to note here is that there is a looming crisis. This must be crushed before it spread like a while fire. How did it defeat the intelligence of these people that the Presidential decisions are not in any way challenged?
By so doing, it is a declaration of war. The community said they would take up arms unless the decision is rescinded. It is a test of how influential are the J1 decisions now. The President and his FVP have an axe to grind in this case.
What I deduce from the intellectuals is that they want their area to be administered by the SPLM IG, ala, Akobo, Fangak and Ayod now predominantly under the control of Dr Riek Machar. It is does not need much intelligence to draw conclusions from the fact the call is for the State of Ruweng to be IO free. They say they don’t want the Nuer esp the person of the FVP whom they accused of having killed them in 2013 and 2015.
The language of the former IO Governor accusing the FVP of advancing hostile policies against the State evidently tells that there was an underground move to undermine him and by extension executive decisions of the Head of State. My advice to the community is that South Sudan is one and it doesn’t matter whether your state is administered by any of the SPLM factions.
If the wounds that you said have been inflicted on you by the FVP are not healed, then I shall be tempted to believe that you are watering down the National Dialogue initiated by the President. It is a stab in the back.
The President called for the National Prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation and that is what we should be working on. I am very much baffled why people who say they are intellectuals would want to take up arms instead of resolving outstanding issues in a civilised way.
I wonder whether or not these men will physically fight should the Presidency remain firm and stands its ground adamantly on the decree. We have an obligation as citizens to respect our leaders and what they decide. I hope it was a slip of the tongue by our respectable Ruweng intellectuals.
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