Maiwut Commissioner tours Jekow & Zinke, calls on displaced communities to return home

Hon. Bang Kawich and his accompanying delegation were warmly received upon arrival in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State | © Thessherald

Thessherald—The Commissioner of Maiwut County, Hon. Bang Kawich Deng has called on all displaced communities to return to their places of residence and resume their farming activities during the rainy season.

Kawich made the remarks while meeting with representatives and members of Chany and Wadu communities in Jekou and Zinke, respectively.

“I want to assure you that peace has returned to Maiwut — we are dealing with so many things at the moment but our top priority is to ensure that peace prevails in Maiwut.”

Hon. Bang Kawich

On the same note, Kawich urges international and national NGOs to intensify operations and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in areas previously affected by inter-communal violence and armed conflicts.

Since assuming office on May 5, 2021 Kawich has been working around the clock to bring peace and stability in the area.

Maiwut is one of the nine Counties in Upper Nile State which was affected by the conflict between the rival forces of SPLA I-G and the SPLA –IO which occurred in July, 2017 in Pagak and within Maiwut.

This has led to mass displacements of the civilian population and some were forced to move to areas where they felt safe like Jekow and some IDPs had to cross the Ethiopia boarders where they were received by UNHCR and got settled as refugees in Tharpam Refugees Camps in Gambella, Ethiopia.

Gajaak communities set to convene reconciliation meetings soon

From right to left, Gen. Khor Chuol Giet and Gen. Luel Kueth /Photo collage: File/ Thessherald

April 25, 2020 (Thessherald)–Members of the Gajaak communities are expected to hold a reconciliation meeting, which is scheduled to bring together representatives from all sub-clans of the Gajaak community – According to a member of the peace committee, the move is aimed at ending months-long intercommunal violence and differences between 6 communities.

Thokhat Nhial, one of the peace ambassadors confirmed in a statement that they had held separate important meetings with community elders and military commanders in Zinki and Malual Gahoth respectively.

“Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday, we held very important meetings, one was [convened] in Zinke and chaired by Gen. Luel Kueth and Pal Tut Gach.”

“The other one was [held] in Malual Gahoth and was chaired by Gen. Khor Chuol and Duach Rut. The meeting included high-ranking military officers, Waw community leaders, payams’ acting Directors, community elders, Church leaders and intellectuals were present in the meetings. The meetings included all Gajaak subsections’ representatives.”

He pointed out that the participants agreed to hold a combined meeting as a matter of urgency so that the feuding communities should halt violence and live their normal lives as they used to be.

“Both meetings were concluded that a general meeting should soon be arranged, and we shall go to our normal situation.”

He noted that the second meeting that was scheduled to take place in Jekow did not succeed as the participants were not informed ahead of time.

“In addition, the meeting in Jekow was not conducted because the invited participants did not get the information on time. And therefore, today the Jekow meeting will be conducted and the date of combine meeting will be setted also. God is a head of this peace, let’s us all be a part of this peace initiative,” he pleads with the Gajaak communities.

Former PMPC trashes ‘turmoil’ alleged by SSNN, warns against ‘unethical reporting’

Members of the Provisional Military and Political Council (Photo Courtesy: File/Thessherald)

April 19, 2020 (Thessherald)– The leadership of the defunct Provisional Military and Political Council, (PMPC) has dismissed and trashed the turmoil alleged by a local news website, South Sudan News Now, claiming that there’s an ongoing political ‘turmoil’ and wrangling between PMPC’s senior officials over leadership and financial issues.

“On behalf of the leadership of the former PMPC, I would like to denounce and dismiss the unfounded and baseless information published by SSNN, claiming that there has been a persistent political turmoil within the defunct PMPC leadership,” said Buom Gatdet Gach, a member of the former splinter faction, PMPC.

“The report published by this site [SSNN] is completely unfounded and does not carry any concrete evidence that should indicate or support their investigations and also if they were to be professional journalists, they should have contacted the other side to confirm whether it’s true or not,” he added.

“Our leadership under Major General James Ocean Puot is strong enough and capable of resolving any internal political disputes that arise,” the statement said.

Speaking to The South Sudan Herald this afternoon, a senior official of then PMPC dismissed the allegations making rounds on social media about the political wrangling and urged the local media to desist from ‘Unethical Media Reporting.’

“This is absolutely unethical reporting, in Journalism there’s something called “Balance and Fairness” that means a professional journalist must thrive for accuracy and neutrality and provide concrete evidence when investigating uncovered issues. We urge them to desist from publishing sensational news stories,” said one of the senior officials of the defunct PMPC who preferred not to be mentioned.

The official pointed out that there may be a few individuals eyeing political positions within the leadership or elsewhere, and if they fail to get what they were expecting, they can resort to holding grudges against the leadership.

“There might be some individual running position based on their personal interest and gain, but those should not [be]recognized by the leadership as well as the community at large.”

Finally, the leadership of the former Provisional Military and Political Council welcomes the decision made by the former Minister of Petroleum, Hon. Dak Duop Bichiok for abandoning the SPLM-IO that has turned into what they described a ‘family dynasty.’

“The leadership has also welcomed the right decision made by Hon. Dak Duop Bichiok , and hopefully his decision will bring an end to the ongoing violence in and around Gajaak areas.”

The statement urges members of the general public not to rely on fake news stories aimed at drawing attention and discrediting the government.

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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“Fake and baseless” PMPC trashes alleged rejection of 10 states

Members of the Provisional Military and Political Council (Photo Courtesy: File/Thessherald)

(Thessherald)—The Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC) a splinter faction allied to South Sudan’s government has strongly condemned and dismissed as ‘Fake News‘ a report published by the Sudans Post on Wednesday, alleging that the leadership of the PMPC had rejected the country’s return to its former 10 states.

“Provisional Military and Political Council ( PMPC ) led by Maj. Gen. James Ochan Puot Buop fully supported the decision made on the 14th of February 2020 by the presidency that returned the Republic of South Sudan to ten states and three administrative areas of Abei, Ruweng and Greater Pibor,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Puok Kang, Acting Head of Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC).

Puok pointed out that the PMPC has already been an integral part of the government, and therefore there is absolutely no reason for it to discord and oppose a decision taken by the presidency.

“The PMPC dismissed the statement posted by The Sudans Post that PMPC had rejected the presidency’s decision of returning the country to ten state plus three administrative areas. PMPC was already part of the government since September 22nd. There is no reason that we should move in parallel manner with government which we are already part of it. Any decision made by the government is ours.”

The group criticised the online news media  for reporting unconfirmed reports without validating the sources of the news.

“PMPC was the first faction to Welcome the decision and congratulated the presidency for the bold decision. Therefore, the claim posted by Sudans Post is “Baseless and Unfounded”. I do believe that this media outlet the so— called Sudan’s Post is pro- SPLM/A-IO’s. This media outlet has been reporting news stories with no reliable sources. If it continues reporting false news like that, it will be regarded as a fake media outlet with no legal binding reporting system.”

However, the statement said that the return of the country to 10 states and three administrative regions was not a popular demand of the population but rather a step taken as a compromise in the interests of peace and stability.

“The decision of reverting the country to ten states was not a popular calls by the people of South Sudan but for the sake of peace, stability and unity among the people, the presidency sees it necessary. PMPC openheartedly welcomed it. PMPC as part and parcel of government fully supported the presidency’s decision for the sake of peace and unity in our country.”

“The war that we are ending today in our country was not caused by the issue of states rather it was caused by political wrangling with in SPLM party. It was Dr. Riek Machar that brought up the issue of state into this crisis by creating twenty one ( 21 ) states in SPLM/A- IO controlled areas”

“Had it not been Riek Machar creating twenty one states, H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit would not have created twenty eight and thirty two states respectively.”

“As it was not the fundamental cause of this war, the decision of returning the country to ten states and three other administrative areas has been welcomed by PMPC fully in Maiwut and all areas under its control.”