Aliab Dinka in diaspora tells Lakes State governor to stop 'marginalization' of their county

Aliab Community in Diaspora asks Gov. Chol Tong Mayai (center) of Lakes State to reverse what they see as 'deliberate marginalization of Aweriar County.' Photo by SPLM.

(Diaspora NSV) - The Aliab people of Aweriar County are underrepresented in the state government of Lakes. Their area is also underdeveloped, the area’s citizens in the diaspora complained in a press release, addressed to the state’s governor, Mr. Chol Tong Mayai.

“We, the members of Aliab-Dinka Community in Diaspora are writing to you to express our concerns, dissatisfactions and disappointments regarding what we see as the deliberate marginalization of Aweriar County by the former administrations,” the group wrote.

The group said Aweriar County has been ignored and marginalized by previous administrations of Gov. Laat Zachariah (2005-2007) and Daniel Awet Akot (2007-April 2010).

The Aliab-Dinka Community in Diaspora said the former Gov. Awet Akot “mockingly appointed” one of their own as the state’s minister for parliamentary affairs “without portfolio,” a trend they said the current governor has not corrected.

"We were anxiously waiting for you to reverse the status quo,” they wrote about Gov. Chol.

“Sadly, your administration has followed the footsteps of your predecessors in marginalizing Aweriar County,” they charged.

They added that of all the eight counties of Rumbek, “Aweriar County suffers immensely from inadequate delivery and unequal distribution of social services such as education, healthcare, roads, clean drinking water and sanitation.”

The community is asking for fairer representation of the County in the state government. “We believe that it is unduly to award a non-portfolio cabinet post to Aweriar County when there are 14 ministries and 6 advisories.”


Your Excellency,

Chol Tong Mayai,

Governor of Lakes State Rumbek, Southern Sudan July 29th, 2010

Re: The Aliab-Dinka Community in Diaspora Letter to Governor Chol Tong Mayai

Your Excellency Chol Tong Mayai (cc. Governor & Chairman of the SPLM in Lakes State), the members of Aliab-Dinka Community in Diaspora are writing to you to express our concerns, dissatisfactions and disappointments regarding what we see as the deliberate marginalization of Aweriar County by the former administrations, mostly by Governor Laat Zachariah (2005-2007). Governor Daniel Awet (2007-April 2010) mockingly appointed His Honorable Isaac Kon Anok as a minister for Parliamentary Affairs without portfolio.

We were anxiously waiting for you to reverse the status quo. Sadly, your administration has followed the footsteps of your predecessors in marginalizing Aweriar County. Among the eight counties of Lakes State, Aweriar County suffers immensely from inadequate delivery and unequal distribution of social services such as education, healthcare, roads, clean drinking water and sanitation. The fact of the matter is that there is no single educational, healthcare and/or borehole facility that have been built by Lakes State in Aweriar County since 2005 to the present. We can enumerate the developmental initiatives in Aweriar County and compare them with what the state government has done in other counties. The existing minimal developmental programs in Aweriar County today were initiated not by Lakes State, but by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Nonetheless, Lakes State has participated in building schools, health centers, and other social services in other counties. If this is not marginalization, then marginalization has no meaning.

Furthermore, the Aliab-Dinka Community in Diaspora has been following the socio-political and socio-economic developmental programs in Lakes State since 2005. Conversely, the state government has barely done anything in Aweriar County in terms of development. Dr. John Garang once said, "It is our responsibility we those in SPLM leadership to guarantee adequate sharing of resources and make a full commitment in delivering of services to our people."

Five years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, however, the SPLM led government in Lakes State has not delivered on any single developmental goal in Aweriar County. But until when, Mr. Governor, should Aweriar County waits? We believe that your administration can narrow the developmental gap between Aweriar County and other counties by making sure that resources are fairly and equitably distributed. Aweriar County wants development and equitable power sharing, not lip service. Your Excellency, we sincerely value technocratic competence and integrity for public servants. Our constitution (article.110 sub-article 1) states that: There shall be established Lakes state council of ministers to be appointed by the governor of the state and approved by a simple majority of all members of the state legislative assembly in accordance with this constitution.

There shall be established with due regard to the need for INCLUSIVENESS in recognition of competence, integrity, gender and ETHNIC DIVERSITY in the state. Your Excellency, no person from Aweriar County has ever been appointed to serve in Lakes State as a cabinet minister and/or an advisor neither by the former administrations nor now by your current administration. We applaud you for appointing Her Honorable Mariam Paul Jebi from Aweriar County as a minister for Parliamentary Affairs. Unfortunately, Mr. Governor, you have followed exactly Mr. Awet's footstep of assigning the same non-portfolio ministry to Aweriar County. We believe that it is unduly to award a non-portfolio cabinet post to Aweriar County when there are 14 ministries and 6 advisories.

Your Excellency, we believe the reason you awarded Aweriar County the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is to contain Aweriar constituency. We also believe that you have strategically and tactically used the Khartoum's method that awarded Southern Sudanese non-binding portfolios to silence the Southern constituencies. Mr. Governor, we argue you to reshuffle your government to correct the tactical and deceitful marginalization of Aweriar County. Moreover, we believe that you awarded Aweriar County the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to demonstrate to the public that you are consistent with the CPA clause that requires the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the state governments to allocate 25% of power sharing to women. Mr. Governor, you have fulfilled your campaign promise when it comes to appointing women to be part and parcel of your new administration. However, you have failed to appoint someone from Aweriar County because the appointment of Her Honorable Meriam Paul Jebi is to fulfill women's 25% quota, period.

We do not understand what are the criteria that are used to appoint the cabinet ministers and advisors that tend to exclude Aweriar County. Statistics shows that Aweriar County residents have 99% and 100% cast their votes for you and His Excellency Salva Kiir in April 2010 Southern Sudan first multiparty elections. Contextually, Aliab-Dinka sincerely joined, supported, and remained loyal to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) during the war.

In addition, Aliab-Dinka bore the burden of feeding the SPLM/A recruits and armies crossing over the Nile back and forth. But most importantly, Aliab-Dinka did not join the Sudanese government, but supported the SPLM/A as President Sekou Toure once told Charles de Gaulle of France, "We prefer poverty in liberty than slavery in riches" from joining the French Community. Thus, Aliab-Dinka unconditionally stays the course during the war when others defected and stabbed the SPLM/A in the back. Regrettably, Aliab-Dinka natives are continuously marginalized despite of their unwavering support and loyalty to Lakes State, the GOSS, and the SPLM/A. The above-mentioned facts reinforce the reality that Aweriar County is deliberately and intentionally marginalized by the concerned authorities in Southern Sudan. It seems to us that Aweriar County matters only to Lakes State during the campaign and election season because their votes are needed to ascend one to governorship. Nothing explains this political marginalization than your recent announced cabinet. In fact, political exclusion of Aweriar County from the corridors of power in Rumbek is not, however, new to us. The former governors have excluded Aweriar County from their administrations. Perhaps, you are following their footsteps in marginalizing Aweriar County without political repercussions.

Your Excellency, history reminds us that Southern Sudan went to war with the successive Khartoum regimes because of socio-political and socio-economic exclusions. We argue Lakes State to give us our fair share in terms of equitable power sharing and development. As concerned citizens, we, therefore, do not want Aweriar County to be the periphery backyard of Lakes State. That is why we are appealing to you to make sure that no county in Lakes State should intentionally be left behind in socio-political and socio-economic development.

Your Excellency, Lakes State has not only neglected Aweriar County on equitable power sharing, education, healthcare and clean drinking water, among others, but also on security. We believe that the state government has failed Aweriar County on security matters posed to our county by the neighboring Mandari Community of Central Equatoria State. In 2007, Mr. Awet came to governorship and initiated his disarmament policy by first disarming the Aliab-Dinka. Contrarily, Lakes State and the SPLM/A only disarmed the Aliab-Dinka, but did not extent the same policy to the neighboring Mandari people who were well armed to the teeth during the war by the Sudanese government. Hypothetically, why should disarmament be one way policy? Since 2007, the Aringa militias from Mandari tribe have constantly been harassing, looting cattle, and killing unarmed innocent civilians in Pulluk Payam of Aweriar County. Shockingly, the Lakes State officials chose not to condemn the Mandari's aggression nor visited the county to assess the security situation. We ask you, Mr. Governor, why the Lakes State Government that collected the guns from Aweriar County residents (2007-2008) does not address the security crisis posed by the Aringa militias? To whom should Aweriar County turns to, Mr. Governor, for security assurances since Lakes State shies away from intervening in security affairs affecting our county? In conclusion, we are raising these concerns to you because you are the Chief Executive of Lakes State Government and the Chairman of the SPLM. We are also writing to you in order to address the issues we have raised in this letter because you were elected by the people of Lakes State. Furthermore, we are appealing to your administration to build rural schools, healthcare clinics and dispensaries, boreholes, and roads in Aweriar County.

Specifically, we are appealing to you to immediately end the socio-political and socio-economic marginalization of Aweriar County in Lakes State as we know it is not in your interest to continue the status quo. Therefore, we are appealing to you to appoint more people from Aweriar County to serve in your administration. Last, but not the least, we are requesting you to address the security concerns in Aweriar County in relationship to Mandari's constant attacks, which had resulted into loss of innocent lives and massive cattle wrestling. We would like you and the general public to know that we want nothing less, nothing more for Aweriar County. We only want Aweriar County's fair share in equitable power sharing and socio-economic development in Lakes State. Your Excellency, failure to meet the above-mentioned demands can result into the following consequences whereby:

The Aliab-Dinka of Aweriar County can seek the legal actions against Lakes State. · Mr. Governor, if you fail to fulfill some of the above-mentioned demands; therefore, your failure to act will endanger or alter Lakes State's future geopolitical map. The pleasure of Your Excellency's response is eagerly anticipated.

Signed, 1. Benjamin Aciek Machar 2. Johnmark Makuach Aluet 3. Koro Angol Koro 4. Abraham Mawut Angol 5. Peter Abolich Madol 6. Michael Mangol Nyalueth 7. Abraham Maker Achuoth 8. Wol Dhieu Akucjang 9. Abraham Kuol Makuach 10. Garang Ayang Kuoi 11. Garang Aguto Gong 12. Abraham Achuoth Ngon 13. Simon Aguto Manyiel 14. Peter Kot Nhial 15. William Machar Awur 16. Abraham Mariar Panchol 17. Gakeer Makuach Aneet 18. Abraham Chuti Kuol 19. Daniel Dhur Ajak 20. Barnaba Karkon Machut 21. Jok Ajak Wol 22. Peter Manyang Anyak 23. Peter Abolich Keny 24. Simon Gai Manyiel 25. Abraham Manyiel Machar 26. Daniel Makuei Koch 27. Angelo Mayan Mabor 28. Abraham Makuach Atiop 29. James Aciek Wel 30. Abraham Mangar Madera 31. David Majuc Majok 32. William Kachual Wal 33. Kuol Thokluel Kuol 34. Peter Kuol Makuach 35. Andrew Mel Ayiei 36. John Alier Nyieth 37. Daniel Akech Kuol 38. Simon Mawut Jau 39. Jok Achuoth Deng 40. Peter Majuch Abui 41. Jacob Nyenger Majok 42. Malual Kuot Dechiek 43. Dengic Nyuoth 44. John Kuoi Waat 45. Mareng Jokhoock Chahooch 46. James Akech Manyuonduk 47. Peter Nyangeth Aciek 48. Abraham Aguto Achuoth 49. Abraham Manyiel Nhial 50. Abraham Kuol Nyakot 51. Victor Mangot Tong 52. Isaac Kenjok Tong 53. Marathano Angui Makuach 54. Majer Malual 55. Gabriel Mawut Majak 56. Abraham Majok Amoot 57. Daniel Thuch Aciek

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