When H.E. the minister of local government, government of Jonglei State, went to Fangak County in early June, 2012, there were only five Payams in his records. They are as follow: Old Fangak Payam, Mareang Payam, Pullita Payam, Paguir Payam and Manajang Payam, respectively. But when the commissioner came back from the US where he visited his family, he decided to act contrary to the minister’s order/list by adding some non-existent, blanket Payams to the list. In the minister’s list, Toch is only recognized as a Boma – not as a Payam – as being claimed by the commissioner now. In light with this development, some facts justifying the ownership of Old Fangak by Thiang may be necessary at this juncture.
It’s a common knowledge that the inhabitants of Old Fangak and its surrounding Bomas are from Thiang community. For instance, out of the four Bomas under Old Fangak Payam, Three (3) Bomas are exclusively occupied by Thiang Community. Namely, Wangchot Boma, PulPam Boma and Pultutni Boma are for Thiang, whereas, the fourth Boma; which is for Ciengkuacboar is Chotbora Boma. According to the 2008 fifth Sudan Population census, Old Fangak Payam had a total population of 16,000 people, under the three Bomas for Thiang. Chotbora Boma was counted under Paguir Payam during the census. Mareang Payam’s total population was 23,000 people, according to the 2008 census. Therefore, if you add 16,000 to 23,000, it becomes 39,000 people. Even historical facts alone speak volumes since the reign of Bar Khan and his Son, Chief Madhir Bar Khan. Also, the local revenues being generated, only Thiang in these three Bomas do remit their local revenues to the county through Old Fangak Payam; Chotbora Boma does remit local revenues but through Paguir Payam.
We urge the commissioner to stop making such remarks that have the potential for inciting violence between Thiang community on one hand, and his ciengkuacbor community or those supporting him on the other. We believe the scheme being orchestrated by the commissioner is ill-intentioned and is aimed at giving the ownership of Old Fangak Payam to his ciengkuacbor community behind the scene – and particularly his ciengduongrial sub-clan. It’s a known fact the commissioner is surrounded by cohorts from ciengduongrial sub-clan who ill-advise him on some of these issues. We believe the commissioner is driving a wedge between his community and Thiang community by trying to settle old scores. We should not be hoodwinked by the commissioner’s fallacious statement that Old Fangak will be a municipal town council because of its metropolitan nature. We urge the state government to intervene swiftly in order to avoid the worst case scenario in the looming situation.
The recommendations to the state government:
1. We appeal to the Jongei State government to send an independent, non-partisan fact finding committee in order to ascertain facts on the ground and to meet with local chiefs from Thiang community.
2. We urge the state government to stick to the original list of Payams that is in possession of the minister of Local government.
3. The state government should give the final say on this matter to be decided by the Thiang local chiefs and Youth at the county/other levels.
4. We urge the state government to give a stern warning to the commissioner to desist from making these unilateral decisions that would have serious ramifications, and to stop causing friction between the people of Fangak County.
Names of the committee members, who met the commissioner on the 24th of July, 2012;
Annex: Bomas and Villages inhabited by Thiang community under Old Fangak Payam.
The Bomas under Old Fangak Payam:
The villages under these Bomas: