Who Initiated the Formation of Greater Aweil Youth Union (GAYU)?

Posted: September 22, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Kuol Alberto Makuach, Juba, South Sudan

red-army-procession-in-aweil-sept-2016

Red army procession in Aweil, Sept 2016

September 21, 2017 (SSB) — Since May this year a lot has been happening for the people of Aweil. First, there was the removal of the Chief of Staff, Paul Malong and a subsequent replacement with none other than, another son from Aweil, Ajonga Mawut.

A few weeks later in July, General Kawac Makuei Mayar died. This was the man who took so many young people to Ethiopia and they became the nucleus of Red Army. Then Salva Kiir gave (“promoted”) him (corpse) a rank he could not give him while alive. Why?

Few weeks after the removal of Mr. Awan, there was a general Aweil people’s meeting organized in Juba Freedom hall with the photo of Salva Kiir above the theme of the meeting. One only needs to think hard enough to understand the connection of Salva Kiir with Aweil people’s unity. Don’t we have our great and distinguished leaders to put in the posters? Then, the big question-Who funded the meeting?

Then, a great surprise happened, the declaration of the State Of Emergency in Aweil East State, a place no single bullet has ever been shot by the enemy of peace since 2013. The people of this area too have no history of violence since the signing of CPA. Why it was declared in this place and at this time, leaves a lot to be desired.

Again, there was the sacking of Aweil State governor, Mr. Ronald Ruay who was perceived to be a close ally to Mr. Awan. All this happened very fast and concomitantly.

Few days to September, many villages across Aweil North, West and East were flooded and crops destroyed. This will likely create another disaster of famine in the coming months as what people hoped to depend on has now been destroyed by a natural catastrophe.

In the midst of September, Kiir sacked Abuna Ayok, the undersecretary in the ministry of foreign affairs. This came against a backdrop of long suspension of this official from office over a disagreement with Deng Alor (a rebel?) the minister of foreign affairs. A son from Warrap was appointed as his replacement.

Above all this, since June till the 17th of September this year, Kiir and his cohorts have been pushing for the creation of a youth body for Aweil people. What my dear readers need to know here is that, no single politician, businessman or youth member from Aweil community, for that matter, came up with this initiative this time.

I stand to be corrected on this, but should there be one, then, allow me to ask this person to tell us, when was the first time that this person came up with such an idea. Whom did s/he share this idea with? How did it emanate at this time and why?

Based on the above paragraph, one might criticize me on how I illogically brought in Salva Kiir when he does not come from Aweil nor does he have any relation with Aweil people to fund such initiatives other than being the president of the republic. My dear, spare me your criticism and hear me out.

One can only believe invisible hands to be working on this project for the following reasons. First, the amount of money spent on this project since its initiation up to its conclusion on the 17th of September could approximately reach a million dollars. Who can, therefore, contribute this much in this country just because of a non-profit body and more specifically, a youth body like this one apart from the big fish?

Who among Aweil business people like Bol Mel, Garang Deng Aguer, Ayii Duang, Oliver Majok Aleu, and the list continues, has ever contributed much as one hundred thousand Dollars for anything to do with Aweil progress? They are good at giving more than this amount to projects that have no connection with Aweil. Those that know these people can prove me right.

Therefore, can we believe that, they funded this establishment, looking at the fact that they never in their lifetime supported what is good for Aweil in terms of contributing money? My brother/sister, believe it at your risk that indeed, this amount emanated from the pockets of Aweil tycoons.

I don’t need to mention the public (Aweil community) in this issue to have contributed because I have never heard of any contribution being requested from our people to support this drive, when in normal circumstances, this could have been the path to get funding for such projects, as nobody can fund people’s initiative in its entirety.

While conducting elections in Nyakuron cultural center to determine the leader of GAYU, it became clear that, anybody with an opposing view would find him/herself behind bars and indeed it happened. Guys got hauled up and were taken to unknown destinations. The deployment of national security officers within and around the building was a clear indication of how serious this matter was to the government or initiators.

Inasmuch as such important gathering need to be guarded to deter security concerns, a police force would have been good enough to oversee the security of the participants and not the national security officers.

The social network has made life easy these days in the sense that, any minute happening anywhere on the globe, gets shared worldwide in a matter of few minutes. Therefore, the results on the 17th of Sept election are well known to those that are interested in our local politics and thus, there is no need to bore them.

The question to the organizers is, what next after achieving this goal to establish a youth union? Is the money being injected to create this union going to continue?

Soldiers can stay without salary for close to a half a year when their salaries could be roughly two million dollars, but the government of Salva Kiir can’t pay them, instead, this money is used to fund non-essential unions just to make sure one scores a political goal. We can understand the mathematics of why there is too much wealth in this poverty-stricken society.

What a naivety and paradoxical reality. My brother, do you need heaven to fall on you before you believe that you have been bewitched. Witchcraft is when someone makes love with your loved one right in your face and yet you believe it is not happening.

The newly created counties and state headquarters have no signs of being government institutions as others operate under trees, community resource centers, health facilities, schools etc. This is basically because there is no money to support state governments to establish themselves. Nevertheless, what is required in such situations per each state is less than a hundred thousand dollars to make habitable temporary shelters.

However, the government of Salva Kiir can’t afford to deliver this amount to “their created states” but can give this amount to discourteous individuals that promote division within communities in the name of creating youth bodies.

Newly created states’ ministers (some), and commissioners (some, but the majority) either walk on foot as they carry out their daily activities or resort to motorbikes as means of transportation, something I hear is unconstitutional. I have not yet read that part in our constitution and taking it for truth that they shouldn’t, then, it is against the constitution for these dignitaries to suffer like this.

And to the surprise of everybody, some top influential government ministers and generals have multiple V-8s. Some for bodyguards, their women and children and some for official duties. Yet, the amount for purchasing one V-8 can purchase around 100 Toyota Mark 2s or even more. If 10 V-8s are sold, then they can purchase all the Toyota Mark 2s required for the ministers and commissioners of our newly created states.

I know, I have veered off the trajectory, but bear with me, I have a very strong message to put across, and the more you read on, the clearer it will become. Therefore, don’t give up, keep your eyes open to the big news ahead. Those who made big discoveries in this world are die-hard individuals, they don’t give up easily. They die trying thus fulfilling the philosophy of try to fail rather than failing to try.

We all know what is behind all this but as you know in politics, there are some things people die with. They know but can’t openly come out to declare them. For example, is Paul Malong Awan under house arrest? Did he intentionally refuse to accompany the body of General Kawac Makuei? When his daughter (May RIP) burned up in the school fire in Kenya, he could not go to Nairobi to have his DNA taken in the search to identify the remains of his dear one and subsequently, he could not go home (Aweil) for burial. Did he deliberately refuse to go too?

The formation of GAYU without any political connection is a good thing and will bring more good things to the people of Aweil BUT, is this the purpose of forming this body? Do we believe in the impartiality of this body? Thanks to Nhialic Deng Abuk, the God of Prophet Ariath Makuei, Deng Atem, Arolyath for being vigilant so that we do not get consumed by this wildfire.

And what do we say of Aweil elders. We have highly esteemed and wise elders. No question about that. They have been handling the affairs of our people diligently and to our expectations even this one.

You can force a horse to the river, but you won’t force the same horse to drink, however much, you may try. You are coerced to accept this, but I believe you have hearts and minds to choose what to do next. This vote is secret and whichever box you tick is up to you. Eat and enjoy the lost and illegally acquired wealth. I rest my case.

Kuol K. Alberto Makuach, the author, has a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy from Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi- Kenya. Mr. Makuach currently resides in Juba and can be reached at kmakuach@gmail.com.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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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