Hints on Political Landscape in Former Lakes State: The Case of Brig. Gen. Deng Mamer Yuol

Posted: May 6, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Marial Mabor Turic, Rumbek, Lakes State

Western Lakes State governor John Deng Mamer Yuol addressing a rally in Rumbek
Western Lakes State governor John Deng Mamer Yuol addressing a rally in Rumbek

Monday, May 6, 2019 (PW) —- Flinching a brief, political disparities in Lakes had never been a honeymoon, and the fact remains the politics has been a game of deprivation, denial and unequal participation of our varied communities. Following the list below of our prominent figures who led our current states as governors, much would be learned and realized from them depending on the political environment each of them had endured.

1. Hon. John Lat

2. Hon. Daniel Awet Akot

3. Hon. Telar Ring Deng

4. Hon. Chol Tong Mayay

5. Maj Gen Matur Chut Dhuol

6. Hon. Makoi Bol Kodi

7. Maj Gen Matur Chut Dhuol

8. Hon. John Deng Mamer

Hon. John Lat Makoi, who assumed gubernatorial leadership of our state after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in Naivasha Kenya 2005. Hon. John Lat, who hails from Cueibet currently Gok State was a former Chief of Military Intelligence was appointed by Dr. John Garang, as he was tasked to intervened in what was levelled to be the worst internal crisis ever in the country.

Lakes problems were initially believed to have been ignited and fuelled by disgruntled politicians who would want to satisfy their political egos. The genesis of this crisis started with the politicians who adopted and prematurely seized the divide and rule strategy, which composes of corruption, hatred and sectarianism among lakes communities.

With this experience, the then military governor was levelled to have introduced illiterate ideas that made people not to cooperate with him in the state. As time went on and on, John Lat was removed and the former Deputy speaker, Hon. Daniel Awet Akot was appointed as the caretaker governor before the independence of Republic in 2011.

Awet’s Administration became a nightmare after the relived of John lat. Awet is known as a tribalist in the context of South Sudan, leave alone Lakes State. During his regime, problems that never existed prevailed and the whole situation became volatile.

The daylight robberies began and inter-sectional confrontations emerged among Agar of Rumbek, Gok of Cueibet and Atut of Yirol respectively. Awet Akot was later sacked and reappointed as Deputy speaker in Legislature after failing to secure SPLM ticket for gubernatorial election in 2010. Awet’s poor public relations, tribal attitudes, hatred and military characters won him nothing, but failed to convince the SPLM caucus.

At this point, Hon. Telar Ring Deng replaced Awet as a caretaker governor, and who would come and organised the general election. Hon. Telar Ring Deng short period was married with glamour, excitement, unity and peaceful co-existence as he mingled with common men and women. Leading his public servants by example. He used to dig trenches and water drainage systems, wearing gumboot and uniform, doing all sorts of work.

He was the first governor to installed current standing electricity poles in Rumbek town, seeing all these happening, the SPLM was truly believed to have provided people with the needed services, and finally bringing town to people. This was believed to be extra-ordinary gift to the people of lakes state.

Hon. Chol Tong Mayay, currently The South Sudan Ambassador to Russia took over from Hon. Telar Ring Deng as legitimate and first democratically elected governor of Lakes State who won overwhelmingly in 2010 general elections from his opponents including from ANC led by Utaz Kuch Abei. Chol’s administration was the first regime known to be a honeymoon of our state.

His government employed many youth, sponsored unmeasurable number of students, initiated many peace conferences, established a working state assembly where he gave the first state address that I personally witnessed.

Notwithstanding, Lakes problems were persistently being observed, by then, people were asking themselves whether the problems of lakes was completely over, however, the political groups in Juba, that includes Awet, Mayom Akech, John Lat, Matur Chut Telar Ring and Marial Menjimin when he was yet politically exiled by Mayom Akech, were not settled in Juba.

Awet’s political opponents still believed he was behind the decision of President Kiir of removing the first elected governor of Lakes state 2013, having in mind the political blow he got from Engineer Chol Tong Maya.

Maj Gen Matur subsequently took over from Engineer Mayay. Chut’s administration was received with mix reactions, as he is known of being a ruthless military officer. However, his military and tyrannical approaches were perceived to bring the last peace and harmony among lakes communities. The hatred, corruption and negatives propaganda installed by series of politicians in Juba, who devised the divide and rule policy seemed to be unending with the regime of Matur Chut Dhuol.

On the contrary, it was food as usual, and the administration seemed to have embarked on development by erecting concrete wholes in state institutions and ministries, and later built one of the significant storey building at the secretariat (Governor’s Office), this was after Chut tried all he could to curb the situation, but all in vain.

Lakes problem was believed not to be something anyone can just determined, it was being designed by crocks and greedy politicians in Juba, leaving every appointed and elected governor at a loss end.

On the other hand, Hon Abraham Makoi Bol was appointed as a governor on 24th December 2015 after Chut was sacked at the eve of establishment and disintegration of Lakes into three more states namely Western lakes (Rumbek), Eastern Lakes (Yirol) and Gok State (Cueibet). Bol’s administration was not much different from the previous regimes, but was commendable in reducing the level of cattle raids and sectional fights among lakes communities.

He (Bol) was the beginning of little normalization and cross-sectional conferences with Eastern Lakes and Gok State respectively. 

Surprisingly, Makoi was removed from office on 27th February 2017 on the orders of President Kiir, with Matur Chut being reappointed as the governor of Western Lakes State. This was a big blow to Makoi’s political wings, and seemed he wasn’t better than Chut that he replaced.

Nevertheless, the Chut second administration did not bring much as expected, but instead brought much sufferings, cattle raids, revenge killings and total displacements of some of the communities, as lakes problems were still increasing and the situation was worsening than before. 

And in Janaury 2019, Br Gen John Deng Mamer who hails from Rumbek North and the first to be appointed in that county was brought in, relieving Maj Gen Matur Chut as governor of Western Lakes State. Mamer is known for many successful wars, where he confronted numerous current revels, including the fight of Heglig in April 2012 with Sudan.

Deng’s first official duties began when he travelled by road to Rumbek through Yirol, where he addressed the internal displaced persons of Pakam Sub Section of Agar community of Rumbek North.

Deng’s political inception in Western Lakes began with introduction of conferences among conflicting communities, where the resolutions were made and acted upon without delay, and by doing he mobilised resources and immediately moved Pakam community in Yirol back to Rumbek on hired vehicles with their properties and cattles.

Pakam community is currently resettled to their previous areas, other communities have also been resettled to their former settlements, and without delay, revenge killing is becoming history. Now, there is no more communal fights and cattles raids. More importantly, all prisons have been emptied with minor cases and backlog of cases is no longer a word worth mentioning.

Brig Gen John Deng, the governor of Western Lakes State, is believed to be a man of his words and actions. And this is evident when he decreed severally security and economic reforms in the state. His Administration is currently known to have brought the current peace and development that people are enjoying.

Without distinction, the same political elements in Juba, who cling to political power without legitimate and renewed mandate, have not settled and stopped from there, they are currently pursuing to undo all the successes Deng’s regime has already brought to the people of Western Lakes. The people of Western lakes are still being blind folded and held hostage, divided and blackmail by these stance through all odd games to satisfy their egos.

Some crooks have already levelled people’s government as “illiterate regime” but what people of lakes state needs now is peace, love and unity among its people, and this is what Deng’s regime has brought.

Our Juba politician must know that we are determined to back down their operations when it comes to political mandate, otherwise we, common men and women will disown you prematurely. “I rest My Case”!!

The author, Marial Mabor Turic, holds Bachelor Degree in Finance, MSc Accounting & Finance, and have also been a political commentator across various subjects in South Sudan. He can be reached via his email: marialmabor@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 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.

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