Turalei County Commissioner is inciting the youth to rise against the government

Posted: January 29, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Press Release

By Deng Akok Muoradid, Juba, South Sudan

tribalism in rss

January 29, 2018 (SSB) — The suffering of my fellow youth in the hand of an impudent commissioner Mr. Santino Amuol Majok has compelled me to write this article in order to enlighten the national government on his unconstitutional and inhumane activities in Turalei County, Twic State.

The unfolding clashes and misunderstanding between the commissioner and youth was instigated by the commissioner’s interference in the youth affairs. It would be better for me to arrange all the events that triggered the misunderstanding into their proper context in order for my readers to understand how the commissioner Hon. Santino Amuol Majok incited the violence.

It was in November 2017, when the high executive body of Amuol Youth Association was requested by the state youth electoral committee to nominate 7 representatives who would go to participate in the state youth elections at Mayen Abun.In response to the request, the chairman of Amuol Youth Association in Turalei Hon. Madhieu Mathiang called for an urgent meeting so as to collect the views of the general assembly on whether they would appoint the 7 representatives to the state youth elections.

However, in that meeting, all the members of general assembly expressed their grievances and resolved to boycott the elections if their demands are not fulfilled. The last meeting was again called on 31 of December 2017 in attendance of the commissioner Hon. Santino Amuol Majok and the agenda was same with the previous one in the first meeting. However, all the members of general assembly refused to nominate the representatives and they outlined the following three reasons for their refusal in presence of the commissioner.

  1. The state youth constitution was prepared and endorsed by the members of three counties i.e. Wunrok, Pannyok, and Akoc counties with the exclusion of Turalei, Aweng and Ajak Kuac counties.
  2. The electoral committee members were appointed through the ministerial order, none of the members was from Turalei County. So their neutrality and legacy was questionable.
  3. The members of Amuol youth association demanded that the elections should be conducted in Turalei youth centre which is the only constructed youth centre in Twic State instead of conducting it under the tree in Mayen Abun.

Those three grievances were labelled by the members of Amuol youth general assembly and all of them agreed not to participate in the state youth elections which was scheduled to take place on 7th January 2018 at Mayen Abun. Even the commissioner Hon. Amuol Majok agreed and sympathized with the youth. But on date 6th January 2018 a day before the elections, the commissioner Mr. Santino Amuol Majok illegally and secretly appointed 7 representatives on his own to go and represent Amuol Youth Association in the elections at Mayen Abun without the consent of Amuol Youth Executive body.

The elections commenced on Sunday 7th January 2018 at Mayen Abun and ended successfully. However, the members of Amuol Youth Association heard that some of their members participated in the elections at Mayen Abun in the evening hours of the same day. The 7 illegal representatives who illegally participated in the elections were immediately called together for investigations on who appointed and authorized them to represent the association in the state youth elections.

So the 7 illegal representatives admitted that they were nominated and authorized by the commissioner Hon. Santino Amuol Majok. After the investigations, Amuol Youth Association body formed a committee comprising of 18 members to go and meet the commissioner in order to discuss with him the issues of elections and why he illegally appointed the representatives. But the committee failed to get the commissioner in the office since he was on a private mission and the county executive director whom the committee met in the office promised them that he would inform his boss when he returns back from the mission.

The commissioner Hon. Santino Amuol Majok arrived from the mission shortly after the departure of the youth committee and he hurriedly ordered the arrest of all the committee members. All the 18 members of the committee were arrested in the evening hours of the same day of 7th Jan 2018 by the county police in compliance with the commissioner’s orders. The illegal arrest of the 18 members of the committee constitute a crime according to the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan article 19(2) that states “any person who is arrested shall be first formed at the time of his or her arrest, of the reasons for his or her arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charge against him or her”.

The 18 members of the committee spent a day in the police custody. But on the following day of Date 8th January 2018 at 9 am, the chairman of Amuol Youth Association Hon Madhieu Mathiang and the former secretary general Hon. Deng Duot met the commissioner and asked him why he had arrested the members of the committee. In response, the commissioner Mr. Santino Amuol Majok ordered the release of the 18 members and he again ordered the police to replace them with the two senior youth leaders.

The youth chairman Hon Madhieu Mathiang and the former secretary general Hon Deng Duot spent two consecutive days in police custody until date 10th January 2018 at 5pm when some disgruntled youth members of Amuol Youth Association went to the prison and demanded the police to release their leaders. However, the police rejected the youth demand and instead they started shooting the unarmed youth. As a result, one person on the side of the youth was shot in the hand and the youth eventually contrived to free their two leaders. The commissioner was totally disturbed by the news of the youth leaders being freed from the prison by their members. In response to the news, Turalei commissioner Hon Santino Amuol Majok requested for reinforcements from Mayen Abun and Majak Gol military barrack. He again issued the following orders:

  1.  Shoot or arrest whoever would be found in, around or at the youth centre
  2. Arrest all the youth and community leaders including the paramount chief.
  3. Set ablaze the youth office.       

The organized forces quickly implemented the commissioner’s orders without delay. Two youth members including a 13 years old boy were severely injured and the youth office was burned to ash by the organized forces. In addition to that, the organized forces arrested 43 youth members. Among them are the Amuol community leader Hon. Mawien Puok, Amuol youth chairman Hon. Madhieu Mathiang (re-arrested), State RRC chairperson Abraham Yor, Member of SPLM county secretariat Hon Arop Malek and many others whose names I will append to this article in the second part.

The wounded youth members are currently in critical condition in Turalei hospital and the 45 members are being detained in different cells across the state e.g. some are in Turalei prison, some were taken to Wunrok prison, some were taken to Mayen Abun prison and others were taken to Majak Gol military prison. The detained youth members are being subjected to torture as they are denied food and water and their relatives are even not allowed to see them.

The detained members have now spent two weeks in the prisons without being taken to the court at the time of writing this article. The commissioner has so far violated the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan article 12 that states “every person has a right to liberty and security; no person shall be subjected to arrest, detention, deprivation or restriction of his or her liberty except for specified reasons in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the law”. He also violated the article 18 that states “No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment”

The arrest is still going on at the time of writing this article. For example, Turalei prominent artist Manyang Lueth aka Manyang Din was arrested three days ago by the organized forces on the orders from the commissioner Hon Santino Amuol Majok. The national government should know that Twic State government is reluctant to solve the misunderstanding between the commissioner and the youth. At the same time, The State government is playing an ostrich’s policy of putting its head into the sand in order not to hear the problems that are taking place in Turalei County and this demonstrated that it is a part of a commissioner’s destructive project.

It is now apparent that the commissioner Hon Santino Amuol Majok was the one who initiated the violence and the main logic behind his destructive project is to provoke the youth to rise against the democratically elected government of South Sudan. Therefore the impudent commissioner Hon Santino Amuol Majok is qualified for dismissal according to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic South Sudan.

As a proverb says “An open enemy is better than a secretive friend”. Hon Santino Amuol Majok is an enemy to SPLM as a party and South Sudan as a country. It pains me to see my fellow youth being torture and ill-treated by their own leader whom they recommended in to the position. I would have been victimized by the commissioner’s destructive project if I were in Turalei because I am one of its primary targets. I would inform the public that we the youth of Turalei County still maintain our loyalty and support to the democratically elected government of H.E President Salva Kiir despite of the fact that we are being victimized by the secretive commissioner.

You need to be informed that Turalei was a stronghold of SPLA/M during the liberation struggle. We the sons and daughters of Amuol Community have played a critical role in the liberation struggle through manpower, spiritual and logistic support. We the youth of Amuol Community are requesting the national government to intervene and find an amicable solution to this misunderstanding before it degenerates into a full-scale conflict because the State government is reluctant to take an action.

In conclusion, I would like to express my sympathies to the victim’s families and I am also requesting them not to take the law into their own hands. I would also request all my fellow youth who are in different detention centers across Twic State not to feel nostalgia for Old Sudan because it is an individual who have misused the constitutional powers for targeting and torturing them.

The author is a true son of Amuol Community and reachable via email: dengakokmuoradid@gmail.com  or Tel: +211954764508       

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, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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