Opinion: What are the motives behind the recent fighting in Gajaak Land?

By Paul Puok Kang 

April 10, 2020 (Thessherald)– Peace has finally been achieved in the Republic of South Sudan. The Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R- TGONU) had been formed last month by the parties to the agreement.

Dr. Riek Machar Teny; the leader of SPLM/A-IO is now the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, that means he is the second most powerful man in the country after President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The then Parties to the conflict are now peace Partners and are collectively fighting the world’s deadliest pandemic called COVID-19 which is the only enemy that they are combating at the moment.

South Sudanese all over the country are on a daily basis talking only about peace implementations and thinking only about how this deadly virus should be controlled. No more news about war all over the country except cattle rustling. But in Gajaak area is opposite. Fighting and rumors of fighting are being heard in our areas daily. Why?

In mid February, Gajaak high profile military commanders and politicians from the former PMPC in Maiwut and SPLM/A-IO in Jekow were summoned in Juba by their respective parties . The two team talked and ironed out their differences and came out with a number of resolutions in which one of them is to stop fighting among themselves.

The other important point is that a conference should be organized so that all things related to war shall be discussed there. However, before the conference, Gajaak communities are supposed move freely among themselves without escort as a truth building mechanism. I initiated that move when I was the acting head of former PMPC that people of Greater Maiwut and Greater Longechuk should freely move and coexist.

Wholeheartedly, Gajaak welcomed the resolutions of Juba dialogue and are yearning for peace to prevail in their God-given land.
Surprisingly, now the fighting has resumed between former PMPC gallant forces and SPLM/A-IO backed by Gajiok white army and on the other hand in this peacetime. My question to both sides is that what are we fighting for now while all South Sudanese are implementing peace in their respective areas? If it is because former PMPC defected to government on 22nd of Sept. 2019, SPLM/A-IO which some gajaak belongs is part and parcel of the government now in Juba. All SPLM/A-IO big fish are here in Juba interacting with other parties big fish in the capital, Juba talking about developmental schemes and COVID-19.
Now the whole country is watching at us and are asking what Gajaak are fighting for in this time of peace? Is it because of their own issues or the issues that are being solved now by the whole South Sudanese?

My answer to them is they are not fighting for their own issues rather they are fighting for the common issues the whole fellow South Sudanese are solving now. They said if it is that why don’t you understand the peace in the same way the other South Sudanese understand it.

I said we will work on it and find the best way that our people should understand it like the way other South Sudanese do.
Conclusively, we, the Gajaak intellectuals at home and abroad plus our high profile military commanders from both SPLM/SSPDF and SPLM/A-IO, Paramount chiefs , head chiefs, youth and women associations shall join hands and work together to find the amicable ways to bring the lasting peace to our beloved people. Time for war is over all over the country. Let us follow suit.
May God bless Gajaak.

Coming to our fellow Jikäny brother – Jiôk Kir.
Since the beginning of this senseless war in South Sudan Gajiôk came out in good image during the courses of war.

Gajiôk sent several reinforcements to Gajaak during the war but with no single significant achievements.

Nasir town was captured in April 2014. The government force up to now is in Wecyäradiw. Still a white army commander called Hokdor Chuol uses to come to Gajaak area for reinforcements to dislodge government forces in Gajaak Land leaving behind the government force at Wecyaradiw. His multiple coming to Gajaak land ended up with no successful results.

Brig. Gen.Hokdor Chuol, Brig. Gen.Chuol Yoa Guok and Brig. Gen. Bordoang were by then white army commanders for Gajiök, Gajaak and Lou Nuer respectively. Brig. Gen. Chuol Yoa Guok ,now the government Commander, did not touch Gajiök land for a single day. He was dealing with his own enemy at home in Gajaak land. Brig. Gen. Hokdor is busy coming every year to Gajaak land with no single successful mission there. Brig. Gen. Hokdor must know that he is white army commander designated for Gajiök alone. We have our own white army commanders. Stop there.

In 2016, Gajiôk white army came and attacked cattle villages at Jokyier Machar with intention to loot cattle which resulted in many deaths and were humiliatingly defeated.

Again this year recently Gajiok white army who are being called criminal by the caretaker governor of Sobat State came and coordinated their attack with some Gajaak of SPLM/A-IO on former PMPC controlled areas. The aftermath was the humiliating defeat of the attackers in three fronts. If they are criminal indeed as he said, both government force at Wecyaradiw and SPLA – IO forces in Mandeng and Ulang should join hands and track down those criminal coming from greater Nasir. Brig. Gen. Hokdor Chuol shall be the commander of join forces because he knows their whereabouts.
My advice to you our fellow Jikäny brother Jiôk Kir, please don’t try to bring unnecessary feud among us the four sons of Kir, Mathiang Kir, Kun Kir on one hand and Jiök Kir and Nyang Kir on other hand.

There had never been a history of wars between Gajaak and Gajiok since time of Adam and Eve. And why for now in this world of intellectuality?
Let us unite against our common global enemy called COVID-19.
Gaat Kir

  1. Mathiang Kir
  2. Kun Kir ( some times called Gung Kir or Jaak Kir)
  3. Jiök Kir
  4. Nyang Kir ( some times called Guang Kir)
    “All are one, and, one for all”
    May God Bless Gaat Kir Kakker!
    Thank you!

The author is an official and former Spokesperson of the Provisional Military and Political Council – PMPC.

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