Creation of Two Counties in Lou Ariik is the Final Solution to the Naming Dispute

Posted: January 3, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Ariik Atekdit, Columnists, Commentary, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Warrap, South Sudan

Atem Gualdit, Speaking in March Conference - Discussing the County's Name dispute

Atem Gualdit, Speaking in March Conference – Discussing the County’s Name dispute


January 3, 2018 (SSB) — It is now the beginning of 2018 nevertheless the quarrel over which name to use for Lou Ariik County is being campaigned for on debates. In mid-2016, President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a decree creating 19 counties in Tonj State that later on multiplied; the decree carried the name of Lou Ariik County with its capital at Alabek. Some members of the Lou Ariik Community disputed the name and only wanted Lou Ariik to be replaced by Alabek County with its capital at Alabek.

The Solution which the governor kept skipping always and which the national government can keep the county united is maybe by dropping Ariik and go for Lou County with its capital at Majak or Ayod, not Alabek any longer. These precious options were overrun by the governor against the will of the people who always contribute positively to arrive at a peaceful end of the dispute.

Ayod and Majak are better places for the creation of good modern cities because they are just very near and close to water points for urban services. The two areas had served as government activities centres for quite a long time before and their legacies can be reinstated.

 If this doesn’t work a call for two counties that would be Lou Ariik County and Alabek County would serve as a final solution because the two sides could not agree and as the governor is being wrapped up by the services delivered to him by Alabek supporters, he turned to have lost his neutrality on the matter.

The dispute is between Pateek Community and some subsections who identified themselves as Loth (Lou in plural) and who see no grace in keeping the name of their identification for the county. Two conferences were held in January and March 2017 altogether to try to bring the two parties to some consensus, a target that was not achieved.

Some Pateek Community members have since decided to lower down the case to the moderate situation for the interest of unity and reiterate that having Lou County can have a positive meaning for the entire community because after all the struggle is to keep the identity alive for everybody who inhabits the county. We thought the reason for hating the name was because of Ariik being a forefather for Pateek Community.

However, badly enough and until late 2017, Tonj Governor, Akec Tong  Aleu took the side and issued a decree recommending that Lou Ariik County be altered to Alabek County justifying that the accusations being alleged on him that he supports Alabek group were true. Akec Tong Aleu did this as a payback in kind and a thanksgiving attitude to Abur Chol, a businessman and a die-hard supporter for Alabek and who had serviced the governor for the same interest since the approval of Tonj State in 2015.

Many Lou Ariik Community members, who support the name of Alabek County, thought that if Governor Akec does this change in his position as a governor then things would go silent and dance down to their desire. However, it is indeed very different and difficult task to comprehend and until today, nobody should celebrate.

The name Alabek is never accepted by the majority of the population in the village for even today people refer themselves to LOU ARIIK with astonishments as to why it is being hated by some individual intellectuals in urban centres.

Today the request that must come true is different, as the supporters of Alabek County have neither accepted the name of LOU ARIIK County nor Lou County it is equally the same that the supporters for LOU Ariik County will not accept and shall never be part of Alabek County endorse by the governor. We are now asking the governor to separate the state of affairs between the two counties in the region: Alabek and LOU Ariik Counties.

His recommendation for Alabek County without saying a word on Lou Ariik County tells us that there are two counties in existence; the mother county being Lou Ariik County and Alabek being a breakaway and newborn one from Lou Ariik, which is the only window that can survive Alabek as a name of the county, otherwise.

Akec Tong with his tiny political experimentation on Tonj affairs will not go well for him in Lou Ariik issues. We ask the President to continue his recognition for Lou Ariik County and immediately remove the governor who does not know how to go about in the affairs of the constitution and the state and whose actions are always unpopular and embarrassing.

The Imposition of Alabek County in Place of Lou Ariik by the governor has now brought a lot of split in the community and shall not be allowed to occur. Akec wants to transfer the issue to the local population for the above interest nevertheless we are wiser than he is.

Akec who has continued to lie to President Kiir on the issues of Lou Ariik deserves not to be a leader anymore. The governor continuous reporting to the President that “there is no problem in Lou Ariik County” is a matter in question. How does the governor define what qualifies to be a problem?

When in Juba, a meeting he was presiding over almost came to hold and turn violent because he intended to break the news of condoning Alabek as a recommended name. Didn’t the situation force him never to comment anything about the issue?

Tonj State Youth Union’s election was disturbed because the government Minister used the name of Alabek County in the election and violence erupted in the room until the two sides were advised to use the Name of LOU during the election period in the room to make the process to continue.

“The no problem mindset” that Mr. Akec always describes to the President is indeed his dear ill-intention to cause war and conflict in Lou Ariik County, hoping that the conflict will be an incentive of punishment on Pateek Community who has refused to welcome his payback and thanksgiving action, a trap that all of us are watching.

There is a problem and that is why Tonj State Youth union could not operate today because councilors of Lou Ariik County have been altered by the state government as being councilors of Alabek County and they there were therefore withdrawn in demand that the government come in with the correction and reinstatement for Lou Ariik County as a permanent name.

For today, Akec Administration is reluctant to accept the mistake it has committed and the Tonj Youth Union is on hold. In such a situation why does the governor say that there is no problem? There is a problem and it must be recognized.

 Another incident is within Lou Ariik County were some youth individuals supporting Alabek County misused the image of the union and they were to force to freeze the whole union’s activities because the two sides could not agree.  County Youth Union’s constitution is in detention and body has become inactive from the time Akec attempted to change for Alabek, three months now.

You can reach the author via his email: Atekdit Mawien <>

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

  1. I thought the issue of the name our county should be called, was settled once and for all, after that consultative meeting in Alabek in which the sundry and all agreed on one name: Alabek county.

    Facts be told, people at home are living in peace and harmony with each other and have got nothing to do with the agitation for changing the county’s name from Alabek.

    It’s only the politicians both at the state and national level, and some few rogue semi educated students, who call back home, that are formenting divisions in Lou Mawien community.

    It’s paradoxical that the supposedly learned members of our community are the ones polluting the minds of our local population when they should be ones cleaning up their minds instead.

    Lou Mawien Community is indivisible and anyone calling for its disintegration must know that.


  2. Mawien Magol says:

    Ariik Mawien Atek
    You have been generating the issue of Alabek and Lou Ariik county frequently but I would like to tell you my friend. The name Lou was offer by another none of Patek clan and the first people who were found there were Pagok clan and Pajeng clan and if you disagreem please ask others Older people from Lou Mawien community.

    Yes, the Lou community was supposedly to have two counties because it is the second to Luac-Jang community. Even though if we get another addition county plus the county has a problem yet, the Patek clan are not going to name Lou Ariik county because it is not going to be accepted by most majority of none Patek clans within Lou side. For example, two Juers sub-communities are on the way to take one county and the whole will remain in one county needed or not that is going to happen because they gets tried about dirty politics you guys are playing in Juba.


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