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.

Major-General James Ochan arrives in Maiwut, warm reception accorded

Thessherald—Major General James Ochan Puot, commander of the special forces and his accompanying delegation were warmly welcomed this morning upon their arrival in Maiwut, a remote area bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia.

He was accompanied by members of the press, including journalists working for the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).

General Ochan, who’s currently in charge of Maiwut and its surrounding areas, had been in the capital, Juba since December last year.

Maiwut is one of the areas administered by the government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan’s government and opposition Parties signed a peace agreement in 2018, aimed at ending protracted conflict that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes.

On Monday, while releasing its quarterly report covering January and March, the R-JMEC expressed grave concern over the stalled implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.

“Much remains to be done by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) especially considering that less than two years remain in the Transitional Period as it was previously agreed upon,” the peace monitors stressed in a statement seen by Thessherald.

Maiwut’s senior officials reject James Ochan’s re-deployment

High-ranking officials from defunct Maiwut state |Photo: File

Top government officials from defunct Maiwut state have penned a letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, asking him to reconsider the recent assignment of James Ochan Puot as head of the Integrated Forces in Maiwut County.

In a letter obtained by the media on Sunday, the senior officials urged the President to halt the recently planned re-deployment of Maj. Gen. James Ochan Puot — until an alternative solution is found.

“The deployment of para-military forces in Maiwut is dangerous to our Communities living in and around Maiwut and also entail the invisible programs that our government may not want to share with sons and daughters of Maiwut that we will definitely be against should that happen,” the group said in a statement.

The group pointed an accusing finger at James Ochan as a warmonger who chose violence over peace and unity.

Among those who wrote the petition letter are:

1) Maj. Gen. Bol Ruach Rom, former Governor of the now-defunct Maiwut state;

2) Maj. Gen. Gatluak Riek Jack, former commissioner of Maiwut county;

3) Brig. Gen. Daniel Gatbel Kuach, a high-ranking officer in the former PMPC.

PMPC denies instigating provocations to interrupt farming activities

Maiwut CCounty featured Google Earth| Photo Courtesy: Thessherald

Oct 25, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC), an integrated armed group allied to the Kiir administration, has denied instigating flagrant provocations against rival Gajaak communities to disrupt farming activities in areas along the Sobat River.

In recent days, the PMPC forces have been accused of conducting provocative activities after multiple shots were fired from Turuw, an area situated just a few kilometers away from Maiwut.

Speaking to Thessherald on Saturday, a senior PMPC official dismissed the accusations and said they don’t have any military bases in Turuw.

“This is an unfounded allegation by the anti-peace elements, we do not have forces in Turuw as claimed,” said a senior PMPC official who requested anonymity.

“It was a firearm function test of a gun that had spent two years without being lubricated – and these are different forces trying to find out if their gun was still under normal mechanical operating condition.”

The official calls for peaceful coexistence among Gajaak communities and urges members of the public to disregard the allegations

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.

PMPC accuses SPLM/A-IO of planning attacks on its forces

(Thessherald)–The Provisional Military and Political Council (PMPC), a breakaway faction allied to the government has accused a group of armed men from the Gajiok community of planning to launch an attack against PMPC forces and the civilian population in the area.

In a statement extended to The South Sudan Herald on Saturday, the leadership of the Provisional Military and Political Council accused senior SPLA-IO commanders of being behind all this warfare.

“As we have received reports from multiple sources on the ground, we are fully aware that the SPLM/A-IO is mobilizing armed men from Gajiok to launch attacks against our forces,” said the PMPC in a brief statement.

“The attackers are now in Malual heading towards Yieth- Yier.”

The group pointed an accusing finger at two commanders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – IO, for failing to honor the agreement and inciting more violence between the Gajaak communities.

“After we signed the agreement on February 11, 2020, we were supposed to strictly abide by the permanent ceasefire, but it’s now obvious that General Khor Chuol and Koang Ruot Luach are not happy to see peace prevail in the area,” the statement added.

PMPC is a splinter group headed by Major General James Ochan Puot, a high-ranking commander, who was
deputy commander of the SPLA-IO’s 5th Infantry Division.

Earlier this month, the two warring parties signed an agreement and committed to halting violence that has so far claimed lives and displaced the population.

“[We’re] convinced that any practice of dividing our people on the basis of clan-ism and hatred for the purpose of acquiring a political status is unacceptable, and that political issues should be resolved without first pitting communities against one another, Hereby Resolved the following,” the document signed by both parties partly reads.

“By signing these resolutions, we, the Parties, declare a permanent ceasefire to be immediately observed throughout Adar/Maiwut State,” the joint statement further said.

According to that agreement, the parties were obligated to immediately stop the fighting, allow reorganization, screening, training and reunification of forces to take place with immediate effect.

“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.”