Response to the alleged “Annexation of Panyang Payam of Duk County in the proposed New Counties of Bieh State”

Republic of South Sudan, Bieh State – Juba


Rt. Hon. Joseph Bol Chan, Speaker,

Council of States.

Rt. Honorable Speaker,

Juba, May 16, 2016 (SSNA) — On 28th March 2016, some members representing Duk County Community under the leadership of Hon. Philip Thon Lek presented to your esteemed office the above quoted petition. The County representatives protested vehemently against what they considered a blatant encouragement into their territory citing specifically the following:

1. That the Governor of Bieh State unjustifiably proposed Padiek as a county with its Headquarters at Patuet; and its six (6) payams of Uleng, Paliu, Panyok, Koldhiak and Pajumhar. According to them, all these are part of the current Panyang and Pagak Payams of Duk county with population of 15, 143 people as per the South Sudan Population and Housing Census of 2008.

2. That the Proposed Weikol County has included two Bomas (villages) from the current Panyang Payam of Duk County, namely; Tiam and Pamai.

Rt. Hon. Speaker sir,

To tell our part of the story, it appears that the members representing Duk County community under the leadership of Hon. Thon Lek have no case to present; rather than to release a deep-seated and burning sensation of hate emotions as portrayed in their resentful presentations which has made the whole petition completely irrelevant.

The whole issue is about border dispute. What brought about the “White army,’’ What brought about “Dr. Riek Machar war,” What brought about the expression, “…. attempts often instigated by politicians and elites from Lou Nuer who mostly pretend to be in support of peace and government efforts while planning conspiracies that do not promote co-existence,” and many other hate phrases like the statement quoted, “ keeping in mind the fresh memories of the destruction of Duk County in 2014 by some people; does the Lou Leadership really value the reception and hospitality  accorded to  their people (IDPS) when they arrived in Duk Land hungry and dissipated from a war in which some of them were prime causers, co-conspirators and implementers,” and  so on and so forth ….

What are all these rubbish for? Is it to get sympathy and support and from whom and why? Why they vomited out these hate sentiments when people should be using reconciliatory language rather than to bring to fore memories of all those nasty deeds that were inflicted on the innocent citizens as a result of that ill-fated crises that torn apart the nation with resulting devastating effects? How could the Lou Nuer Leaders and the Lou community be the causers, co- conspirators and implementers? Could the Honorable Signatories to the petition defend that allegation in the court of law?

Are most of the Hon. representatives from the Duk County community who were signatory to the petition, not aware of the widely read interview of the Chairperson of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), with Radio SBS Dinka Radio based in Australia on 7th February 2015; where without mincing his words, the chairperson explicitly explained the reasons behind the formation of the JCE in Mid 2013; and their mobilization of the Dinka youths to fight the Nuer and single them out as their enemy, should Dr. Riek Machar attempt to contest for the leadership of South Sudan? Have they not come across the recent published Leaked Report on the names of (45) JCE members representing all the Jieng sections all over South Sudan which also included some of the  petitioners’ names and who have been allegedly accused of being behind the crises in south Sudan?

This is not our point of contention because this is not an occasion where we should point accusing fingers to one another about who cause the Dec/2013 crises. This matter has it owns separate platform which does not concern us. We are only dispelling in like manner, the allegation put forward by them that “Lou Nuer Leaders were prime causers, co-conspirators and implementers of the recent crises.” It is time now for the peaceful implementation of the crises and we should be better to use reconciliatory language rather than using hate language when addressing issues.

Rt. Hon speaker Sir,

To narrate the case briefly: Since the time of the colonial rule through the advent of the Sudan Independence in 1956; there has never existed any sort of border disputes between Uror and Duk communities due to the fact that borders between the colonial district were well defined as demarcated by the colonial administration and some of us are living witnesses to this fact. Up to the present moment, traces of demarcations could be pinpointed in form of land marks fixed in some locations showing the boundary lines between colonial districts.

Another fact is that during the colonial administration, the practice of constructing roads and cleaning internal roads by the citizens of a given area under the supervision of the community chief clearly shown the borders within our territories. Each Chief is given a portion (length) of the road to be cleaned by his subordinates or subjects up to the boundary line of the adjacent district. Where they end, usually marks the boundary line between the two districts. Citizens from both Duk and Uror know very well the name of villages that are within the domain of their respective responsibilities.

Moreover, both the forerunners (ancestors) of Duk and Uror communities found themselves as neighbors since the second wave of migration of the two communities took place wihtin the area sometimes between the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries. They multiplied and thrived in those existing areas as part of one community (Lou and Nyarweng). The border was fluid and nobody could tell who was a Nyarweng Dinka or Lou Nuer. Court cases were being conducted both in Nuer and Dinka Languages. You can imagine how our people were living amicably, in a harmonious manner for many years. Even during the time of the crises, they remained to live together as brothers and sisters as they rightfully mentioned.

The Lou Nuer are not land grabbers as the representative of Duk County alleged in their resentful petition. The Lou Nuer have no intentions to take any other community’s land through ‘Land grabbing’ as it has been the case of argument or has it has been a usual phrase coined in Great Equatoria Region and elsewhere, where it might have been practiced by some people.

Yes, the Lou Nuer have the proficiency to attract other communities into their land and assimilate them through peaceful ways, where the-would- be assimilated members are accorded with equal rights including political rights. It is not uncommon in Lou Nuer Land that a foreigner can be crowned as a chief of a given section of the community. This is how the Lou Nuer are able to build bridges rather than building walls between them and other tribes. It is not an exaggeration that two third of the Lou Nuer blood could be counted from other tribes and mostly that of Dinka Nyarweng, Twic and Apadang Dinka for that matter. Therefore, these people have been  actually living their lives as cousins and uncles.

Rt. Hon. Speaker Sir,

Having said that, we would like to tell your right Honorable the genesis of the present confusion in our border (Uror County with Duk County). The agitation between our border with Duk County started at the time Hon. Philip Thon Lek was appointed as Governor of Jonglei state at the advent of the CPA in 2005. In cooperation with the then commissioners serving at different times in Duk County, they began to use UN/WFP as a bait to lured the community in Pajut to go for food rations at Duk. For them to be given food rations, they were forced to register as citizens of Duk County.

The real secret behind those activities was that Hon. Philip Thon Lek and his people of Duk cannot constitute a County as they cannot compete with Twic East. This is a man fighting to find a constituency for himself. Those who went for food were persuaded further to declare themselves as Duk Counmty’s citizens for them to be given a chieftainship status. That problem of food rations was then used by the Duk County’s authorities as a bridge to take food rations to Pajut boma area which is located deep inside Uror County. This tactic has led and encouraged the Duk County administration to claim Pajut as part of Duk County. However, this strategy will never happen under any circumstances in this current century.

In fact, we would like to highlight to you that the issue of attempts to annex Pajut and other Uror villages to Duk County had once added to many problems in Jonglei, which resulted to the utter failure of Governor Hon. Philip Thon Lek. Governor. Philip Thon Lek was unable to give the correct information to the National Government because he was only concerned in devising devious ways to annex villages which are historically parts of Uror County. Those actions led to his premature removal from the governorship of Jonglei State.

As for the attached map accompanying their petition and purported to be the one showing the boundaries between Jonglei State Counties; that map is meaningless because, census or UN/WFP maps are not for determining clear borders of the Colonial districts. Only 1956 Map can show the exact boundaries between the Counties as the map was scientifically drawn in accordance with internationally recognized standards with fixed latitudes and longitudes. The Lou Nuer and the Nyarweng Dinka communities are aware of the border at Pabiorol. They have been living together peacefully for the last 60 years and there should be no cause for dispute at present time because all the communities have the knowledge of the names of their society’s villages. After all, why should we as leaders try to instigate our communities at the grass roots for individual interests that can put the whole community in jeopardy?

We would also wish to advise the leadership of Nyarweng community that they talk to their elites who are instigating them that Lou Nuer areas are part of Duk County administration. This claims can only spoil or complicate the well established relationships, enjoyed by the two communities at the grassroots.

Please, let them take note of the following villages and their inhabitants according to clan

  • Pajut Residents
  • Chieng Manlua
  • Chieng Buai
  • Chieng Kuajien Kumac
  • Cieng Chuol
  • Cieng Kuajien
  • Cieng Char


2) Padiek Residents:

  • Cieng Char
  • Cieng Gol
  • Cieng Pajook
  • Cieng Manlual
  • Cieng Kumac
  • Cieng Dol
  • Cieng Guor

3) Patueat Residents:

  • Cieng Gol
  • Cieng Manyang
  • Cieng Kuajien

4) Pagak residents:

  • Cieng Pajook
  • Cieng Manyang
  • Cieng Dol
  • Cieng Mateal

5) Panyok residents:

  • Chieng manyang
  • Cieng Mot
  • Cieng Dol

6) Tiam residents

  • Cieng Tayang

7) Pamay residents:

  • Cieng Kumay
  • Cieng bur
  • Cieng Mot

8) Kolphiak residents:

  • Cieng Gol
  • Cieng Nyaikany
  • Cieng Moot

9) Paliu residents:

  • Cieng Pajok
  • Cieng Gol

10) Pajimar residents:

  • Cieng Mateal
  • Cieng Dol

It worth to mention to your esteemed authority that during the 2008 population and housing Census, all eligible inhabitants of  the above mentioned villages were counted among the Uror County citizens. Even during the 2011 general election most of the MPs representing Uror County both at the National level and in the State levels namely:

1. Hon. Dr. Marial Benjamin 2. Hon. Gabriel Yoal Dok, 3. Hon. Racheal Nyadak Paul, 4. Hon. Kuony War Joak, 5. Hon Yien Bilieth, 6. Hon. Hon. Rev. Moses Mayul Bol, 7. Hon. Rev. Michael Chot Lul, 8. Hon. Nyayang Lok Rik, 9. Hon. Peter Mabor Bol, 10. Hon. Hessien Mar Nyuot; had conducted their campaigns in those villages as integral parts of their individual constituency and were voted in by the registered voters there. Let the Honorable petitioners tell us the names of their members who had made their electoral campaigns in those villages and are now elected members to both assemblies in Juba and Bor. If not the arguments presented by the Duk County’s community Leaders are baseless and do not contain any grain of truth or any substantial argument.

Rt. Hon. Speaker sir,

We would also like to inform your Honorable Office of a seemingly dangerous development, emanating from the behavior of the local administration and the army at Poktap and Pajut respectively. A local order has been put up that compels any person traveling to Lou Nuer through Pajut to take permission from the Commissioner at Poktap. We have been informed that even our newly appointed Governor of Bieh State: Maj. Gen. Peter Bol Kong was denied entry to Lou Nuer territory through Pajut; Pajut which is part of Bieh State. This was done by a junior officer which we considered a very pathetic situation indeed. Is this Army really a National Army or a Nyarweng Army? Recently, it has been reported that the army at Pajut has resorted to rapping Lou Nuer girls and women. We are appealing to the concerned authorities to urgently intervene and try to calm down any tensions that may crop in as a result.

In conclusion, Rt. Hon. Speaker Sir, we would like to caution through your esteemed office, our dear brothers and sisters who were the signatories to the above quoted petition, to cool down a bit and to rethink deeply about the past relationships; and compare the previous relationship with the relationships that the two communities find themselves in at the present time in respects to the border issues between Duk and Uror County which were not there before the independence of South Sudan. Currently, the present relationships are marred by deep seated conflicts brought about by the present crises. To us as representatives of Uror Community, we are for a peaceful dialogue to settle the issues including any other grievances that may be outstanding between our two communities.

At this time, our Communities need peace in order to settle and build their lives. They wanted to live in harmony within our common border as it used to be. If the present dispute over border is caused by the creation of the twenty eight States in the country; then the provision to form a joint border commission has already been provided in the signed peace agreement to resolve the conflicts arising from the creation of the 28 States. The Commission formed, will not work in isolation.  All of us including the border communities will be there to present their testimonies on the border issues. We have to wait patiently meanwhile we all have to work together to reduce the present tensions between our two communities which are brought about by the stalemate.

Pleases, accept the assurances of our highest regards,

Thank you very much;


S/No Name Position
1. Hon. Gabriel Yoal Dok Chairperson of Lou Community, MP,CS/Juba
2. Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin Former Min., MP/NLA/Juba
3 Hon. Hessein Mar Nyuot Min. MP/SLA/BS


Hon. Racheal Nyadak Paul MP/SLA/Bieh State
5. Hon. Kuony War Joak MP/NLA/Juba
6. Hon. Yien Bilieth MP?NLA/Juba
7. Hon. Rev.Moses Mayul Bol Min., MP/SLA/BS
8. Hon. Galuak reath Kuil Speaker/Bieh State
9. Hon. Rev. Michael Chot Lul MP/NLA/Juba
10. Hon. Nyayang Lok MP/NLA/Juba
11. Hon. Peter Mabor Bol Min./SLA/Bieh State
12. Mr. Kuon Chotlieth H/Chief Greater Uror County


Copy to:

  1. E Gen. Salva Kiir Maryardit, SPLM Chairman and President of Republic of South Sudan
  2. Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, Chairman of SPLM in Jonglei State and Minister of Defend
  3. Philip Aguer Panyang, Governor of Jonglei State
  4. Maj. Gen. Peter Bol Kong, Governor of Bieh State
  5. Commissioner of Uror County
  6. Commissioner of Duk County
  7. Leadership of Duk Community country-wide
  8. Lou Nuer Council of Elders
  9. file
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