An Insider’s Opinion on Jonglei Political Crisis

By Martino Jackson

Juba, August 15, 2013 (SSNA) — In the wake of series political miscalculation and ideological differences within Jonglei political maneuvering and South Sudan at large, there are few things we the citizens of the South Sudanese should reflect on and analyze critically if we wanted our society to live in peaceful environment. It is my privilege and honor to announce to you that Jonglei politics will have an enormous impact on “other eleven counties” politically, socially and economically; given to the serious trust and believe invested on former Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk by the Country national leadership


Instantly, there was speculation that Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk was coming to the national government in Juba and that was the second time for Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk to be proposed; however, he finally made it to the national government successfully while leaving behind one of his big leg in Jonglei. The question by then, remains in menu to who is going to replace him?

Former Governor Gen. Kuol Manyang was appointed as the governor of Jonglei in 2008 on the death certificate of Former Governor Philip Thon Leek. However, the removal of Mr. Philip Thon Leek still shed some red spot blames on him. When he came from Khartoum, following the attack of the Makuach village by some elements of the murle guns men, which left a number of people dead and cattle driven away, Kuol directly when to his home area in Jelei and boycotted the state Capital.

While Kuol was in the area in the following morning, the youth of Makuach and Jellei stormed the town in search for any members of the Murle community. Indeed seven patients from the Murle were killed in cold blood in Bor Civil Hospital in broad daylight. This incident justified Gen. Kuol’s campaign that Philip Thon had failed to maintain security and protect lives of the citizens.

Notwithstanding though that the public have had a great impression that the former Governor should have restore the law and order in which he has not managed successfully as expected by the public. He has failed miserably to bring the issue of insecurity, development and peace to reality.

Perhaps the Jonglei society at large may salute and appreciate H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit for his immediate action of rescuing the Jonglei communities; but there are fews questions and scenarios that remain in brackets. Among those many dilemmas and questions are of two scenarios in the minds of Bor communities/people.

1. The community of Bor would feel comfortable only if Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk himself recommends his successor without consultation from the Nuer politicians, Murle politicians and Anyuak politicians within Statewide.

2. If the nominee would be accepted only by Bor community in particular without the consent of the Murle, Nuer and Anyuak. These are tactics of divide and rule of the majority within the Jonglei State.

Brief Argument

Jonglei’s community is blessed for having a good number of politicians in national and regional level. It would be very unfortunate if the opinions of the intellectuals, politicians, academia and elders were not needed in the situation of state leadership. Former Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk is an elder off course, and a politicians like anyone else but his game theory in the politics of Jonglei is worst to digest.  

Gen. Kuol Manyang came to national government with great interest of running the two governments at ago: The Jonglei government that he has invested his time and energy financially, and the national government.  It is regrettable by then that the Former Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk is fighting teeth and nails to bring someone who will protect his financial assets and someone whom the Bor community has interest and assurance.

The recommendation he has offered to the president is nothing but bias and personally motivated concerns that will either encourage differences or bring the greater failure to the State in particular. I am concerned and I am here to assure you that the suggestion he has made was mainly to recycle those who will never solve the problem of Jonglei.

In case the Former Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk recommends his successor for any reason from Nuer community, then the system in Jonglei will remain Kuol Manyang Juuk’s term twoby proxy, similar to that of the President Jaafer Al Niemeri’s term two when General Swahr Al Dhab took over power from him in 1985. On the other hand, the other communities in Jonglei especially the Nuer who are the majority would raise some concerns and put the following argument forward:

1. If the community of Bor could only accept the governor of their choice from nominees of other communities, then why did the Bor community members refused to accept their uncle Akuot Atem when Samuel Gai Tut chose him to be their leader in the movement in 1983?

2. The population of the Nuer in the State is highest than any other communities; and therefore, the principles of democracy or the rule of the majority must prevail in Jonglei State instead of reversing the logical and natural order of life by disallowing the rule of the majority in favor of minority.

In comparison, if you look back to the system of the old Sudan under Sudanese Socialist Union (SSU) in the recent past, Jonglei was a province headed by a commissioner with five secretaries of the Sudanese Socialist Union (SSU). There was no problem of power sharing among the communities of the four districts of Fangak, Akobo, Bor and Pibor because there was fair distribution of power; and we hope that the situation should have been improved better under the SPLM system of governing than it was under the SSU.

Governor Kuol was not elected

As a matter of fact, the communities in Jonglei did not elect Kuol as their favored governor in the election of 2010. He has miserably failed in eight (8) counties of the State out of eleven counties. But because he (Kuol) was in charge of the State affairs and with the help of his Bor community intellectuals who were the only members of the electoral commission in the State, he has managed to manipulate the election result in his favor. What was the reaction of rigging? Yes, there was reaction from late General George Athor Dut and David Yau Yau who opted to pick up arms against the government; instead to follow the rightful procedures through the court of law as was the case in Central Equatorial State.

Peace in Jonglei

Peaceful settlement of conflicts in Jonglei State is fragile because the rightful formula and procedures for peace are denied.  In short, Former Governor, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk was asked to resign recently which he did; but surprisingly he has been appointed as minister for national defense instead of facing charges on violation of human rights and atrocities he has committed in the State through his divide and rule tactics.

This divide and rule tactic had resulted to the loss of over six thousand innocent lives. Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk is to be held responsible for the UN Helicopter that was shot down through his order by the SPLA soldiers in Jonglei, 2011 (soldiers confirm). I rest my case here and its up to the audiences to digest this concern intellectually.God bless you!

Please reach Jackson at [email protected]

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