Declaration of Apaak Community as a Sub-section of Jieng Tribe in South Sudan

Posted: August 18, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Junub Sudan

APAAK YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE: APAAK COMMUNITY RESOLUTION ON THEIR NATIONAL IDENTITY IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN


Apaak Resolutions – Declaration of Apaak community to be considered as a subsection of the Dinka Tribe in South Sudan (PDF)


Date: July 27Th, 2018

THE CHAIRMAN,

JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS

 

ATTENTION:

THE CHAIRPERSON,

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS

GOVERNMNET OF SOUTH SUDAN

 

ABDON AGAW JOK NHIAL

SECRETARY GENERAL,

GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN

 

RE: DECLARATION OF APAAK COMMUNITY AS SUB-SECTION OF JIENG TRIBE IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN: 

Saturday, August 18, 2018 (PW) — Apaak Community is found in Bahr el Ghazal Region, Lakes Province. Presently it falls within western part of Eastern Lakes State. Apaak Community inhabits Greater Aluak-luak which currently comprises of two counties namely:

  1. Aluak-luak County, headquarter in Aluak-luak.
  2. Geer County, centered at Geer

Geographically; within Eastern Lakes State, Greater Aluak-luak is bordered by Ngop County to the south, Yirol Center and Abang Counties to the east, Nyang and Yirol North Counties to the northeast. And externally; it borders Panyijar County of Southern Liech State to the north, Rumbek East and Wulu Counties of Western Lakes State to the west and southwest respectively. Greater Aluak-luak from its Centre radially lies 33 miles away from Yirol Centre and 42 miles away from Rumbek Centre.

Apaak Community of Greater Aluak-luak consists of nine (9) clans namely:

  • Acok (Aciek)
  • Apareer (Aparaar)
  • Apeer (Apaar)
  • Awen (Awan)
  • Buok (Bok)
  • Gueer (Guer)
  • Pakuach (Kuach)
  • Palual (Lual)
  • Riir (Rier)

The Apaak Community estimate population size presently could be between 60,000 to 75,000 people. Apaak people speak Jieng dialect and have the same cultures with other Jieng people such as Rek, Agaar, Malual-Jiernyang, Ngok, Bor and Padang etc. Apaak Community practices sedentary farming and cattle rearing.

In the Old Sudan, Apaak as Jieng speakers were loosely recognized under the name “Atuot” by the outsiders such as the people in the far north of Bahr el Ghazal (Agaar, Rek, Malual-Jiernyang) and Bor of Jonglei State. Although the origin and meaning of the word “Atuot” was not exactly known to them, the outsiders who coined it continued down the corridors of the History of Old Sudan to refer to people of then Yirol District at large (Ciec, Aliab, Atuot and Apaak) as Atut.”

Even within then Greater Yirol (now Eastern Lakes State), the other communities such as Atuot (now Reel), Ciec and Aliab have never pronounced Apaak as Atuot/Atut but instead all have been calling them ‘Apaak’ for the case of Ciec and Aliab and ‘Apaau’ for the case of Atuot/Reel.

However, when South Sudan was constructing its National Identities (Ethnicities), Atuot (Reel) was recognized a tribe independent of Jieng ethnicity. This Tribe (Atuot/Reel) emerged because of the Reel People (Rorkec, Kuek, Akot, Luac and Jilek) in Greater Yirol who speak “Thok-reel”, a dialect which significantly differs from Jieng language but much more similar to Nuer language.

As a result, Apaak people (Jieng Speakers) were left out from Jieng subsections because they were initially grouped together with Reel People under the umbrella of Atuot which was universally considered to be sub-tribe of Jieng in spite of the language difference between Apaak and Atuot (Reel).

Since Atuot/Reel is rightfully and correctly recognized nationally now as a different tribe among the 64 tribes in South Sudan based on their language (Thok-reel), the Apaak Community demands your esteemed office and Jieng Council of Elders to include Apaak People as sub-section of Jieng because they (Apaak) speak Jieng language and are historically Jieng people. This demand was drawn and concluded by Apaak People in Juba during Apaak Community meeting held on 14th July 2018 in Millennium Hotel. Our (Apaak) identity will be lost if your office together with Jieng Council of Elders do not take appropriate measures to rectify this accordingly. Apaak Community embraces unity in diversity, thus even if Atuot (Reel) is a different tribe, we shall still adhere to a peaceful union reflected by the shared geographical setting and similar cultural values, traditions and norms traced back to more than a century ago. For future correspondence, find here the attached copies of relevant documents and lists of the names of Apaak members present during the declaration meeting for your easy reference.

The Apaak Community declaration is in conformity with the constitutional mandate as cited below. Part Two, Article 33 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 (2015 as amended) states: “Ethnic and cultural communities shall have the right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures. Members of such communities shall have the right to practice their beliefs, use their languages, observe their religions and raise their children within the context of their respective cultures and customs in accordance with this Constitution and the law.”

Also Part Three, Article 45, clause (1) and clause (2) state: “Every person born to a South Sudanese mother or father shall have an inalienable right to enjoy South Sudanese citizenship and nationality.”

“Citizenship is the basis of equal rights and duties for all South Sudanese,” respectively.

It is therefore our right as Apaak Community to have our National Identity established in South Sudan. Apaak Community avails herself of the constitutional rights to your esteemed office the assurances of her highest considerations. 

APAAK YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

           NAMES                                                                      SIGNATURE

  1. Bol Majok Kuch, Chairman ………………………..
  2. John Gang Ater, Secretary General ………………………..
  3. Francis Maluth Thon’Citloch, Finance Sec’ ………………………..
  4. Makuei Dewar Chienggan, Member ………………………..
  5. Baicheng Kuch Papul, Member ………………………..
  6. Mayen Amuom Bahon, Member ……………………….
  7. Gum Majur A. Nek, Master of Ceremony ……………………….

MINUTES SECRETARIES DURING THE MEETING:

       NAME                                                         SIGNATURE

  1. Adut Marial Chienggan             ………………………………
  2. Bilpham Bech Ater ………………………………
  3. Abraham Mabor Mathiang                   ……………………………..
  4. James Thiongkol Makuach ………………………………
  5. Mading Maker Gok ……………………………….

Cc: The Presidency, Republic of South Sudan

      Hon: Lt General Mangar Buong Aluenge, Governor, Eastern Lakes State

      All Hon: Governors of Jieng States

      Prof: Moses Machar Kuchuol, Elder and Former VP, Republic of Sudan.

Hon: David Deng Athorbei, MP, National Legislative Assembly, Juba

Hon: Majak Machar Dolbai, MP Council of States & Guest of Honor, Apaak Meeting, July 14th, 2018.

Gen: Anthony Majok Makuei Ijong, Elder & Patron Apaak Meeting, July 14Th, 2018.

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Office of Chief Central Security Division, NSS

Director General of Internal Security

Hon: George Anyaak, Commissioner, Aluak-Luak County

Hon: Majur Agau Machar, Commissioner, Geer County

All Apaak Elders

All Chiefs, Apaak Communities, Eastern Lakes State

All Apaak Youths

All Chiefs in Jieng States

All Jieng Youth bodies/Associations

File.


APAAK YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE

                                                            July 19Th, 2018

TO: PROPOSED ATUOT YOUTH

ASSOCIATION STEERING COMMITTEE

RE: THE POSITION OF APAAK YOUTH ON THE PROPOSED NAME OF ASSOCIATION

Reference to Apaak Community meeting held in Juba at Millennium Hall on Saturday, July 14Th 2018, organized by the concerned Apaak Youth (here referred to as Apaak Youth Steering Committee) regarding the future/position of Apaak community on the proposed Youth Association. This said committee has been empowered to present the view of Apaak Community to you the committee who proposed “Atuot Youth Association”. We are aware of the unfruitful agreement of our previous meeting held at the same venue on Sunday, July 1st 2018 on how to name an association that unite Apaak and Reel.

In summary, Apaak Community resolved that:

  1. Apaak Community remains as a sub-section of Jieng (Muonyjang) tribe.
  2. In an attempt to fast track the achievement of our desired golden unity, the association be called Greater Yirol West Youth Association (GYWYA) basing on Geographical Identity or
  3. Any other name that suits and/or maybe agreed upon by the two parties other than ‘

As a result to the above, it is with our earnest concern to write and bring to your attention as to why we (Apaak) are opposed to the name (Atuot).

Although we acknowledged with utmost honesty that Atuot was an umbrella unjustifiably forged to bring two different communities with distinctive languages (Apaak – Thok-muonyjang and Reel – thok-rëël) socially and politically together in the past, Atuot (Reel) is now nationally recognized as a tribe among the 64 tribes in South Sudan (Check online: The peoples of South Sudan/tentative list of indigenous communities or as attached). This therefore cannot make Atuot be the name for Association anymore. Any attempt to proceed with the said name (Atuot) by force, will be regarded an attempt of dismay and a violation of our (Apaak Community) identity right.

In the Old Sudan, Apaak as Jieng speakers were loosely recognized under the name “Atuot” (and/or the so-called ‘Atuot yic detem’ or Atuot Machar Ijong) by the outsiders such as the people in the far north of Bahr el Ghazal (Rek, Malual-Jiernyang, Agaar) and Bor of Jonglei State. Although the origin and meaning of the word “Atuot” was not exactly known to them, the outsiders who coined it continued down the corridors of the History of Old Sudan to refer to people of Yirol District at large (Ciec, Aliab, Reel and Apaak) as Atut.” However, from the prevailing sources, the word “Atuot” is a derogatory term once used by the outsiders to refer to either ‘cunning person(s)’ or the people of Abongbar claimed to resurrect from death and later eat humans (Atuot Abongbar of Gok section around Ramciel). So why would these charitable communities (Apaak and Reel) continue to embrace/maintain the derogatory term that carries bad meaning never associated with their true origin?

Nevertheless, within Greater Yirol (now Eastern Lakes State), the other communities such as Atuot (Reel), Ciec and Aliab have never pronounced Apaak as Atuot/Atut but instead all have been calling them ‘Apaak’ for the case of Ciec and Aliab and ‘Apaau’ for the case of Atuot/Reel. Even Apaak people don’t regard themselves as Atut. For example when a member of Apaak is going to Yirol Centre, he/she simply says: ‘Ɣen alo pan-Atut’ (translated means: ‘I am going to Atuot territory’). And when chatting with Reel, they (Apaak) would simply say: “ye muony-Atuot ƞu kan!” (Literally meaning: look at Atuot guy!). Conversely, a member of Atuot/Reel heading to Apaak Area (Malueel) always says: ‘ee wa cёƞ-Pёёk’ (Literally meaning: I am going to Apaak Area). From all these narratives, one wonders how Apaak become Atuot? Although now enforced, it has always been very clear that Atuot is a word separate from Apaak but does not necessarily mean a union of (Apaak plus Reel). Please confirm this by checking the major divisions of Yirol District in which Atuot was listed a separate entity (division) from Apaak. Refer to the below relevant sources quoted. [Sources: Oriental and African Archives, the Upper Nile Province Handbook report on peoples and government in the Southern Sudan, 1931, compiled by C.A. Willis., et al., pg 251, or as attached. Furthermore on Atuot (Reel): check John W. Burton report: A Nilotic World- The Atuot-Speaking Peoples of the Southern Sudan, Greenwood Press, New York, London 1987. Lienhardt, R. G, Divinity and experience: the religion of the Dinka.’ Oxford, Claredon, Press. 1961. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., the Nuer Tribe and Clan.’ SNR Vol. XVIII, pp 37-38].

It is well known that Apaak Community is the smallest community living in Eastern Lakes particularly when compared to the Five (5) sections of Atuot (Reel). We can be minority without losing our blessed heritage and any attempt to impair and/or impose this term (Atuot) against their will, will be considered as the highest infringement on the rights of minority within the State and South Sudan at large. When Arabs attempted to unite the whole of Sudan under one Identity-‘Arabism/Islam,’ it naturally invoked resistance from the southern part of the Sudan whose ethnicities felt disadvantaged. Therefore, the Identity of Apaak Community must not be obscured by the disguised union under Atuot whose meaning and origin remains unknown, except to the inventor(s) of the word. To justify this; Agaar Community were pejoratively referred to as Arool by Apaak people. This name (Arool) was used throughout the history of their existence but has never been recognized by Agaar as their sole Identity till today. Also Jieng called the Luo people as Jurchol which they (Luo) don’t recognize.

Our forefathers have died in defense of our freedom during the colonial period and present South Sudan, whose stories are locally told and sung in historical songs which we proudly referred to as sons and daughters of Apaak. Apaak area is popularly known as Malueel’Dokroo and its people as Apaak Mapuor, Apaak Kotjang or Apaak Malueel. Till today, the history of how Apaak came to existence in the present day Greater Aluak-luak is clear and well known.  It would be very unfortunate to trade and/or compromise our heritage for any political and economic gains of individual hardliners. Atuot is just/merely an umbrella imposed by the outsiders, moreover to the entire Yirol, it should not be used as a means to lose our God-given identity.  Indeed one elder during the meeting reckoned: “Corrupting the historical identity of Apaak in pre-text of political alliance is a crime.” Putting in mind that you [Atuot (Reel)] are soon launching your Thokrёёl book which is your right and Apaak respect it. This launching, if critically looked into appears to be hidden act of assimilating Apaak under the disguised union (Atuot) with the end result to lose their (Apaak) Jieng Identity and language. [Especially those hardliners who insinuate and persist that the name of the Association must be Atuot, else they interpreted it to cause disunity, yet again we have been very intimately united even without such an Association]. In short, any other name could work better, otherwise it is logically observed that the push elements for Atuot are creating disintegration of once united community (ies) by besetting Apaak versus Apaak, Apaak versus Atuot (Reel), Atuot (Reel) versus Atuot (Reel) and even extensive to other State mates.

On our position being nowhere in or among the list of tribes of South Sudan, be assured that we shall fix it amicably not by our might nor by our power but by the will of God using peaceful means because we know all people are created equal before God. With tears rolling down from our eyes, it is not surprising that an unidentified person(s) had maliciously used his/their bestowed political powers to neglect our identity in South Sudan and influentially fixed Atuot (Reel) as a tribe independent of Jieng without consultation from the Community. It is evidenced that our elders and youths faced humiliation everywhere. Exclusion of Apaak from the national ethnicities does not automatically qualify them to be Atuot (Reel).

While we are mindful and careful of our various uneducated youths (Apaak & Reel) movement with cattle across our respective counties’ territories peacefully, we are afraid of unprecedented misunderstanding that may arise out of the forced name of the Association, if for instance, any youth from Atuot (Reel) referring to any Apaak youth as “Ha ye Reel” (meaning Apaak are Reel) as has been the case of some individuals’ comments on Facebook. Such a scenario is what we want to avoid by all means, and this requires all of us to educate or sensitize the youth about our identities and peaceful coexistence.

The country and even the world at large are watching or witnessing our recent social media exchange of words from where majority of informed Apaak Youth against this name (Atuot) are being branded as extremists, anti-unity and all sorts of negativity and statements such as ‘Apaak must accept second assimilation, ‘they should bring our language back’ and ‘Apaak are having identity crisis’ to mention but a few. We are frightened of any repercussions that may result thereon because of the name (Atuot) especially if imposed. Any attempt to forcefully or stubbornly proceed with such name, is an attempt of blackmail of Apaak community. It would simply be an act of monopoly to effect the hidden discourse of assimilation policy by Reel.

As our heritage (Apaak) remains paramount, a number one choice, and a right of Apaak Community like any other community(ies) in South Sudan and/or around the Globe, Apaak are Jieng (Muonyjang). This is unnegotiable fact. It is an absolute truth which does not require lobby, or threat or intimidation of individuals and further debate. Whoever that wants to crack jokes about it must cease from this. Gone are the days of force and Jungle law, there is no vacuum in law, any attempt to comprise Apaak’s right is unacceptable.

We acknowledged and recognized our peaceful coexistence with Atuot (Reel) traced back to more than a century ago, and this must not be discarded only if the name of the youth association is not Atuot. We promise and request our brothers to continue utilizing our natural unity given by God despite the difference in languages. God knows why we have different languages but friendly intertwined naturally together in all spheres of life ranging from politics down to socio-economic existence.

We kindly request you to accept the assurances of our highest concerns, and thanks in advance.

Cc: Hon: Lt General Manger Buong, Governor, Eastern Lakes State

      Prof: Moses Machar Kuchuol, Elder and Former VP, Republic of Sudan.

      Gen: Majok Makuei

Hon: Andrew Acijok Ayak, Speaker, Eastern Lakes State

Hon: Maj.Gen Rin Tueny Mabor, Former Governor Easter Lakes State & Guest of Honor, Atuot meeting

July 1st, 2018

Hon: Majak Machar Dolbai, MP Council of States and Guest of Honor, Apaak Meeting, July 14Th, 2018.

Hon: Johnson Jongkuch Kulang, MP, National Legislative Assembly, Juba

Hon: David Deng Athorbei, MP, National Legislative Assembly, Juba

Hon: Monica Nyachut Arok, MP, National Legislative Assembly, Juba

Office of Chief Central Security Division, NSS

Hon: George Anyaak, Commissioner, Aluak-Luak County

Hon: Majur Agau Machar, Commissioner, Geer County

Hon: Agok Manyiel Dhieu, Former Min. of Physical Infrastructure ELS & Commissioner Defunct,

Yirol West County.

All Chiefs, Apaak & Atuot (Reel) Communities, ELS

All Apaak Youths

File.

apaak resolution signatures

Chairman’s Contact:                       0920148112/0916693686

Secretary General’s Contact:          0927779000

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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website 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.

Comments
  1. Majak Dhuor Machar says:

    Point of Concern.
    To the management of paanluelwel
    The message above is not correct, changing of community names is not simple for youth to decide and your organization rushed to to advertise it without asking for elders and Chief signatures, I’m meaning to say posted is not the view of the Apaak Community, it’s the interested group playing their hidden agenda. I beg to differ, you go back and ask the community in order to take the proper information. If you are the one that put the photo of Deng Athorbei, then what he did is not what the Apaak community want, Deng Athorbei denied him self when asked last time, you will be answering why did hyou put his photo there. I conclude by saying its incorrect information.

    Like

  2. Thon Jhot says:

    Kindly, can someone provide us with a constitutional article documenting the names & numbers of tribes in South Sudan

    Like

  3. Daniel Yuoot Ajaangdit Yuoot. says:

    Something new to me is that, I wasn’t aware Apaak was considered to be part of Atuot. We people of Twic-East used to call Aliap separately, Ciec Separately, Atuot Separately and Apaak separately.
    We never before grouped them under the name of Atuot. But, anyway, it doesn’t matter what tribe one belongs. What matter is: WE ARE ALL SOUTH SUDANESE.
    Thank you,
    Daniel Yuoot Ajaangdit. Yuoot.

    Like

  4. The narratives and the recognition of Apaak community is highly appreciated by most of south Sudanese and everyone has his/her right to correct all the coined names instead of losing real name.
    Thanks to Panluel Wël admins information you have given.

    Like

    • Kuol Bior says:

      My understanding of this article is that, Atuot community is pulling away from Dinka identity and that is why Apaak section remain as Dinka without joining anybody in Eastern Lake. Since Apaak community is originally jieng, they are happy to remain as independent Jieng section.

      Like

  5. Makuei de Daniel Adutamuom says:

    am very much grateful enough today to know my identity as Apaak subsection of the Dinka (Jieng), the declaration of Apaak is approved by all of us where ever the Apaak is around the world, Majak Dhuor machar please refrain or withdraw ur words of denying our identity and annex us to Paneredu who are Atut. The C/ Man would have to come Panapeek to inform the general public of Apaak, we are declared as Apeek subsection.
    Thanks
    Makuei de Daniel

    Like

  6. Majok Makuei says:

    Iam glad,appreciate,congratulations and thanks to management of #panluelwelmedia,the Jieng Council of Elders who approved and made the declaration of Apaak community as sub-section of Dinka tribe.the statement released by #MajakDhuorMachar is full of motives and can be regarded as individualism.lastly not least Apaak community thanks panluel wel media and JCE and have welcome the declaration.By Majok Makuei .

    Like

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