Greater Bahr el Ghazal: Where did we go wrong? A rebuttal to Ayuen John’s accusation

By Aken PanKonTong, RSS

June 13, 2012 (SSNA) — In his 3rd of June 2012 lugubrious article “South Sudan: Response to MP Lual Diing Wol Claim on Bor Dinka Domination of Interior Ministry” Published by The Citizen Newspaper, Mr Ayuen John Atem had intentionally and lunatically generalized greater Bahr El Ghazal to justify his point as he struggled to bury the alleged claim of domination of government by members of his own tribe or county. He attributed the widespread corruption to Bahr El Ghazal Region, and for according to him, Lual Diing Wol is an adjoiner in this filthy practice.

He further charged that the government has been singlehandedly own by people from Bahr El Ghazal he alleged to be corrupt and uncaring, citing the case of the previous Ministers of Finance who were sacked for what he claimed were corruption related scandals. The land grabbing he said, is done by members from Bahr El Ghazal Region with government he sallyingly called SPLM/A overseeing this weird deal on behest of its people. He later advised that his home county of Bor is not in competition with Bahr el Ghazal by any standard either on political or educational and even in decision making traits. He asserted that he only knows Bahr el Ghazal for corruption and nothing else. “Bor has been at the forefront of liberation struggles in which south Sudanese had waged prolong wars against northern Islamists, and so they won’t be envied if they had and continue to dominate any branch of government since they’re enjoying what they’ve fought for” he concluded.

I promise to response to Ayuen’s claim in kind. But what I won’t do is to generalize the great state of Jonglei and my fellow Dinkas in particular as he has done to mine in his writing that I am responding. At the onset, I am not defending Lual Diing’s wrath, he is big enough to stand up for his own defense.

I will only defend the defenseless region and its innocent people Ayuen and his likes have soiled and continue to justify the current crisis the country faces as a Bahr el Ghazal’s own making.

Ayuen John has not, by any measure, spared Bahr el Ghazal region and her people anything; he has poured maximum insults to his fellow human beings leave only being fellow citizens of South Sudan with equal rights as his. This is a hard sell brother Ayuen. The writer (Ayuen John) is divisive—divisive because the government he is now accusing is just a 10months old. After having got its independence year go in the referendum where all south Sudanese have voted 99% to reclaim their statehood, and constant military incursions and invasion the northern warlords have posed against our nation, I thought we should be talking about national unity to facing these national threats as South Sudanese head-on.

As one of those who had seen firsthand the suffering masses in this country, from Upper Nile to Panakuach- Mayom In the east to Aweil-Raja in the west, Abyei-Warrap in the North and Nimuli-Juba in the South, we have urgent matters which need amicable solution to saving our people’s lives. Going against ourselves is not healthy and I won’t be dragged to go that way.

Knowing this apparent truth, a rational human being would hardly deduce why you (Ayuen) chose to attacking Bahr el Ghazal, a region like any other regions in South Sudan in disguise of Lual Diing Wol’s utterance who is neither a representative of this region nor do we have a geographical constituency call Bahr el Ghazal in the first place to warrant your attack. But since it seemed to have come from seemingly a learned person, and the silence of Bor Dinka of which that article piece claimed to represent, we are compelled to response with the same force since nothing comes to light without backings. Simply put, no smoke bursting without fire being ignited. Your allegation that rampant land grabbing across South Sudan in general, and Equatoria region in particular is being executed by Bahr El Ghazal region is not only baseless but a blackmail—Blackmail in the sense that the current land grabbing done across the country and Equatoria in particular  is not only undertaken by members from Bahr el Ghazal.

But really, how credible is your finding/survey since you failed even to comprehend that many Generals from Bor in the SPLA and Police forces have permanent homes in Juba today. Or do you want to convince the readers that Dinka Bor were part of Bari speaking tribe and were in Juba all along before they became Dinka? The number of rich individuals from Bahr el Ghazal in proportion to your tiny county of Bor can’t match, yes, because these riches your Dinka Bor amassed in GOSS/RSS put them ahead of all South Sudanese. Bahr el Ghazal region with 4 huge states and greatest population in decades are desperately poor, but have not deserted their home villages and so as Equatorians and Upper Nilians with exception to yours in Bor. They are there struggling to develop them and make names at home. We are not land grabbers, neither do we have IDPs camps in foreign states that we have renamed. I will not dwell much on this but liberal-minded South Sudanese will judge your seriousness in this claim of land grabbing and occupation you denote to Bahr el Ghazal on peaceful Equatorians. Your argument tells us that you might have acquired your education in the IDPs’ camp oversea or ignorant to distinguish White from Black. Allow me to tell this demented boy in Dinka "kɔɔŋ Pandun juii/guiir ba jal jaam Bεεny"

There is no Bahr El Ghazal government or Regional Government.

To some point, I don’t understand what you meant when you say“ If am Uncle Lual, I would have thought twice about the looming collapse of government  under the leadership of his region Bahr El Ghazal. Mr Lual has totally forgotten and still is causing havoc, agony and division among the tribes instead of fostering for the unity of Dinka tribe and South Sudanese peoples at large”. I guess you’re referring to the current government Salva Kiir Mayardit is its president.  Now, does the post of the president qualify the government to be that of the region s/he comes from? Was this the case during our former leader’s reign? To be honest, there is no Regional Government in South Sudan. We only have People’s government. If it performs or fails, it’s the National Government that takes the blame incase of failure and credit when it performs which can’t necessarily be attributed to the region the President or the Vice President and the entire stakeholders hail from.

So take it away from your system that the current government is a Bahr el Ghazal owned project. The other claim that Bahr el Ghazal has taken key ministries doesn’t tally with the current realities on the ground. Feeding people with such misleading information is not only a disservice but an insult of South Sudanese Intelligence.

Ayuen, I bet, you should have first undertaken robust research before sending any information to the public domain.

It is undisputable that Bor Dinka/Bor County is such a dominant figure in all the government institutions leave alone the Interior Ministry you are up to nailing whoever echoes it onto the cross. They deserve it just like any other county in South Sudan. But what makes one go wild to unearth the truth is when people of your type go on rampage wanting to twist the known truth.  You must cease from the past records of concoction and distortion of realities in this nascent nation which only needs to be nurtured on factual foundation.

You may brag of education Bor Dinka have had and riches they have as you want, but never undermine group of people, regions or even states, counties and Bomas  that you presume are different from yours. Bahr el Ghazal maybe undereducated, poor or insecure region, but that couldn’t  deny their deserve place in our history just as Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile will not be forgotten for their contribution in our freedom journey.

Bahr el Ghazal, I must say, has never deviated from its principle stance in this country. We have never been tempted to pursuing our interests before the bigger task gets accomplished.

Your kinsmen and women dead or alive have taken our principled stance for fool. We have spilled blood in the hands of enemies up in the north and internal enemies. We have been taught to forgive and forget and that’s why the demise of our notable sons and daughters across Bahr el Ghazal in the hands of your kinsmen particularly the late Chairman has long been forgotten. But why is it that we are always receiving unfriendly comments from the same Bor whose leaders have left us with many orphans?  How long can we continue to be hurled by members of the current leadership which is consistence with the status quo of the past? Enough is enough for us to be insulted baloneyingly without any truth. If this never stops, we would be forced to reconsider investigating the mysterious death of our brothers such as Makur Alaakyau and Joseph Malaath from Rumbek, Dr. Madut Mayen and Bol Ayuol Noom from Twic. Dr Benjamin Bol Akook from Aweil. Cdr Karu Tong Aleu and Cdr. Thuoch both from Tonj. These gentlemen were murdered cold blooded by your kinsmen under the creed of “Born to rule and not to be ruled”. In fact, Bor is the trouble maker in South Sudan. Take for example, the recent apology our Vice President made to Bor about the dark historical past, still some among you are blind and deaf to accept reconciliation takes the lead. Where on this universe could one of the rivaling sites concedes shouldering the responsibility the two sides were both in? Riek Machar has done just that, and that’s why he stands a legend here. So, Bor must give south Sudanese in general and Bahr el Ghazal in particular unconditional apology if the call from our selfless leader Riek Machar should be heeded.

So we are not fools brother Ayuen John as you alleged. The persisting corruption coupled with numerous challenges the government faces has been nurtured and graced by the people you praised as gifted. Your people from Bor have done this nation a great damage.

It’s incompatible for the whole community to make a government as an object to be looted than to serve everyone at all the corners of this impoverish and nascent country. Did I hear you saying Bor Dinka is not in the interior Ministry? In the Ministry’s hierarchy of 35 senior officers, 14 of them are counted Dinka Bor, for clarity’s sake, get their names below:

1) Lt. Gen. Riak Akon Riak.2)  Lt. Gen Dau Akec Maluk.3) Lt. gen Biar Mading Biar.4)  Lt. Gen Mayom Deng Biar.5)  Lt. Gen Andrew kuol Nyoun.6)  Lt. Gen Moses majok Adol, in the helm of Criminal Investigation Department.7)  Lt Gen Mabil Awar. 8)  Lt. Gen James Yuang Anyeth. 9) Lt. Gen Ajang Reec. 10)  Lt. Gen Daniel Deng Lual. 11) Lt. Gen. Aru Mac Cuut— Fire Brigade. 12)  Maj. Gen. Panch ol— From Wildlife Service. 13)  Maj. Gen. Manyang Agok—From Prison Service. 14) Maj. Gen. Wal Athiu—former Undersecretary.

If 14 of the senior police officers out of 35 could be from Bor, a very exiguous county like any other counties in South Sudan, it means, the remaining 21police cadres are drawn from other states across South Sudan, with Lakes State according to Ayuen’s arithmetic getting one, Warrap State with two, West and Northern Bahr el Ghazal with non. Whilst the remaining portion goes to 3states of Equatioria and 3 States of Upper Nile. In percentage format, Bor County has taken 45% in the said Ministry countrywide and 99.999% compared to other counties across south Sudan in the whole Interior Ministry. In 2010 however, this ministry was 100% controlled by Bor with just a minister as a figurehead coming from the forgotten Ngok area of Jonglei state. Thanks to the steadfastness of Mr. Gier Chuong of laying off some from this power-hunger county of Bor.

Now, brother Ayuen, with due respect, where is Bor’s unmatched intelligence in the Interior Ministry of which they are the majority now that crimes are reaching the highest climax across the country and in Juba in particular?  Why did you insult your elder, a man who had been with John Garang during thin and thick, and in some point, a man who acted as a puppet just to help raised Bor’s empire? Please, apologize to the old man, what he sees while seated you may not see it at the tree’s top. He was dead right to say Bor is dominant in the Interior Ministry. With 75 former and current corrupt officials being petitioned by the President to return the stolen 4Billion American lucre, the former and current gentlemen in that ministry and those with ghost companies signed by another Bor in the Justice Ministry from 2008 to 2010 will have reason to be very, very afraid by now.

Nevertheless, Bor Dinka have not only monopolized, filled-to-the-brim the ministry of Interior, but go to the Military HeadQuarters— the BilPam, one would prefer calling it Bor HQrs than an SPLA HQrs. Here, the breakdown is heartbreaking which leaves people floating. Ayuen John, are you there?

In the general Administration which is also referred to as directorate of administration, there are 19 revered figures. Out of this huge number, 10 strong men and women are from Bor and they are:

i) Maj. Gen Abraham Jok Aring—Director for Administration. i)Maj Gen Garang Akok Adut—Commander of the Headquarters. iii)Brig. Gen Aluel Ayiei Chap—Newsite Commander. IV) Brig. Gen Aboi Arok Deng— Director for Finance. v)Brig. Gen Joseph Mayen Akoon. vi)Maj. Gen Deng Manyang Leek-Director for wounded heroes. Vii) Brig Gen. Dr Dau Alier Abit. Viii)Brig Gen. Diing Gak Awol; Vx)Brig Gen. Luka Panthou Deng. X) Brig. Gen Garang Jol Bil

ii) In Operation Directorate which has 14 officers, 8 distinct fella are from Bor, they are:

– Brig Gen. Micheal Majur Aleer -Brig Gen Chokrac Alith Kudum -Brig Gen Akuoc Mayong Jago -Brig Gen Aweng Akec Aweng -Maj Gen Mac Pual Kuol—Military Intelligence Unit. -Brig Gen Riak Jerbum Machar Thiong -Col. Malual Reath Maleek.

In Moral Orientation directorate however, the business hasn’t changed though. Out of 8strong folks, 5are from Bor:

Brig Gen Malaak Ayuen Ajok -Brig. Gen Samuel Bullen Alier -Brig Gen Majok Wecnyin Ageep -Brig Gen Daniel Maduk Alier-Col. Phililp Aguer Panyang

In Education/Sport Directorate which consists of two officers, reserved one for Bor please, that gentleman is:  

-Brig Gen. Maker Deng Mac.

In Transport and Maintenance wing, whose duties are being foreseen by two directors, one is Bor as usual and that man is:

-Brig Gen. Dhiak Chol Dhiak.

In General Training Directorate, there are 7 oversight directors and of which, 4 are from Bor, they are:

– Brig Gen. Akol Alith Akuei -Brig Gen Kuol Malith Ree -Maj. Gen. Dr Akol Diing Duot -Brig Gen. Awur Mawel Malual

In the big man’s unit/SPLA General chief of staff unit alone, Bor again appears two there:

Lt. Gen Ayuen Alier Jongroor- Training – Lt. Gen. Wilson Deng Kuirot- Operation

In Procurement unit which has 2cadres, Bor is there:

-Brig Gen. Ajak Deng Biar

In The Defense Ministry alone, the lineup has its own tales, they are 44—44 of them, I tell you. Here we go:

1.Maj. Gen. Dr. Majak D’ Agoot—Deputy Minister. 2.    Maj. Gen Bior Ajang Duot—Undersecretary. 3.   Maj. Gen Malual Ayom— Head of Production unit. 4.   Brig Gen. Deng Solomon Leek. 5.   Brig Gen. Jongkuc Jol. 6.   Brig Gen. Chol Lueth Akol. 7.   Brig Gen Chuoil Nhial Kok. 8.   Brig Gen Kuir Mechiek Garang. 9.   Brig Gen David Manyok Barach. 10  Brig gen Machar Geu Deng. 11. Brig Gen Makuol Ajang Achuoth. 12. Brig Gen Chol Aruei Ajang. 13. Brig Gen Kulang Mayen Kulang. 14. Brig gen Adong Kuol Dau. 15. Brig Gen Leek Chengnyieth ATer. 16. Brig Gen Abraham Ater Koc. 17. Brig Gen Leek Kon Mabil. 18. Brig Gen Bior Ajang Aguer. 19. Brig Gen James Ajieth Deng. 20. Brig Gen Stephen Gawar Manyok.21.Brig Gen Bior Kuir Deng.22.Brig Gen Deng Mayiik Mai. 23.Brig Gen Ateny Mayen Jok. 23.Brig Gen Zakaria Akoi Yak. 24. Brig Gen Samsom Mabior Lual. 25. Brig Gen Simon Dieng Duoth Deng. 26. Brig Gen John Kuleiker Kur Kuleiker. 27. Brig GenMabil Malual Diar. 28. Brig Gen Simon Riek Reth. 29. Brig Gen Bior Aguer Bior. 30. Brig Gen Joseph Kuai Ajak.31. Brig Gen Dhieu Warbeck Ayuel. 32-Brig Gen Gabriel Maluth Kueth. 33-Brig gen James Nathan Malual. 34-Brig Gen Samuel Jok Kuac. 35-Brig Gen Ayom Manyiel Ayom—Head of VIP/Presidential Guards.36-Brig Gen Abraham Jongroor Deng . 37. Brig Gen Obwor Chol—Head of Armour Unit in Presidential Guards. 38-Brig Gen Obieny Geoarg Kulang. 39-Maj. Gen Chol Thou Balok—Head of Air Defense. 40-Brig Gen Wiliam Manyang Mayak. 41-Brig Gen Magot Jok Kur. 42-Maj Gen. Kiir Garang De Kuek—Field Engineerin Unit. 43-Brig Gen Deng Yiey Thanyping. 44-Brig Gen Dr. Ajak Bullen Alier

To be honest, 95% of the total military high command goes to your county. The Bahr el Ghazal Region you wish to blame for everything is just occupying 0.7%. Other tribes in Upper Nile with 3.3%. While Greater Equatoria getting 1%. With the military receiving 40% of country’s budget monthly, and with consumer Bor military’s top-brass, there is no doubt, the 28% is feared pocketed and the recent argue to returning the  stolen money is not far from your nose/county you deem clean, sincere and intelligent. In Military alone however, a huge number of Bor officers are studying on government’s payroll. Many young men and women from Bor alone under the military sponsorship triple that of greater Bahr El Ghazal and Greater Equatoria combined.

In the independent commissions, there are ten (10) Chairpersons of the commissions and 1 Federal Minister, 3Deputy Ministers and 1 Advisory post for the president. In Central Bank of South Sudan, there are 3directors from Bor of which some are even primary seven leavers and in Ministry of Finance, 3more are Directors there. Now, if your claim is true that Bahr El Ghazal are many in government, making it (government) their sole property, and, with aforementioned statistical evidences indicating your county getting more than what the current population could  admit, what would prevent others describing it a Bor government?

It’s apparent that Garang was not only a leader but also a man of long term project. Everyone in a while, he showered Bor men and women healthy ranks, while the other regions were “born to fight” not “born to rule” as Bor were.  Isn’t it a shame for a county just like my own taking the whole thing for itself whilst other regions for example Bahr el Ghazal who had a big deal in the fight during liberation struggles have been pushed out in the army and Police at this point in time? Tell your men to be prepared to join us in the frontlines this time. You must mobilize your youth to join the SPLA. You can’t be officers without foot soldiers my friends.

More so, the number of the students sponsored by government in foreign countries notably India, South Africa, Malaysia, UK, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, Ethiopia, Singapore and many other nations from Bor makes 90% of the total South Sudanese sponsored by government. Now, where is injustice and corruption Ayuen John was blaming Bahr El Ghazal about here?  Which government on earth can be floated by members of the same county—of 4payams which is not autocratic? Mr. President is nothing but a figurehead, I tell you.

In Jonglei State, the most insecure place on earth, the government there somewhere starts with Ayuen near the top and ends with Alier from the bottom. A clear implementation of “Born to rule and not to be Ruled” in its practical use yet the killing is on rampage.  Now Nyankai Ayuen, Why can’t you stop that senseless killing since you have that charm to put things right as you claimed?  Put all the aforementioned stuffs aside, we have real challenges facing our country which need unity first before anything else. Our men and women in uniform have done us pride and continue to shed their blood in defense of this nation. They died as South Sudanese but not member of a particular community or tribe. In the same way, we need to embrace their heroic sacrifices and leave behind divisionism like what Ayuen John Atem and his likes have in possession. We will be a great nation only if we accept others’ strength just as we do to our own and regain the spirit of nationalism and patriotism founded in the selfless sacrifice our men and women have done before. Let’s forget our differences and struggle in fulfillment of Isaiah 18, we’re all great people. 

Aken PanKon Tong is the Representative of the victimized community of Bahr el Ghazal Region. He resides in Juba. Reach him at [email protected]

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