THE OFFICE OF THE CHAIRPERSON (LOPIRIGO) OF THE MA’DI COMMUNITY
November 17, 2017
Open Letter to the So Called Governor, Imatong State, Republic of South Sudan
In a meeting organized by Imatong State Government in Torit on 12th November 2017 a letter from the Office of the Executive Director, State Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Imatong State addressed to CAD - FO, Torit, dated 03/11/2017 was presented and discussed.
The letter outlined insecurity issues in Pageri County ranging from military abuses of power and orders to intimidations, harassments, arbitrary arrests, killings and other forms of actions that infringe on the rights of individuals or a community by the military whose camps spread all over Ma’di'land; Nimule, Melijo, Aswa, Loa, Pageri, Nyongwa, Kerepi and Moli.
The letter seeks support from partners to organize peace forum on civil-military relations and defines the civilian party as multiple communities in Pageri County. The letter recognized existence of communities other than Ma’di community in the county. It has not named them but made provision for them in breakdown of participants as 'representatives of other communities' besides the Ma’di community which is mentioned by name. We do not know the existence of other indigenous communities in Pageri County, therefore, this reference points to occupiers of Ma’diland; something to be noted by partners who take side with the oppressors in Juba and Torit.
Ironically, the aim of the forum purportedly is to provide opportunity for 'the communities' to make their voices heard, share their problems with the military and collectively device solutions to improve relations and restore trusts between the parties and ultimately allow civilians to return to their homes and resume living normally.
We also understand that the State Government expects partners to support Ma’di people who have sought refuge in Uganda to attend the forum; all these come within the Governor’s plan to relocate to Pageri County so as to oversee President’s Order to ensure movement of Internally Displaced Cattle (IDC) from the County to their states of origin. Is this genuine reason for the Governor to relocate to Pageri or has the Governor got a hidden agenda dictated by the Jeing Council of Elders (JCE)? Why can’t the governor who is the head of security in the State give orders from his State Capital? The reason is simple and is in the letter; “… the governor will engage the command of Bilpam- Juba and the Division Command in the State” to protect the occupation communities and propagate JCE plan of occupation of Equatoria land.
No one objects to peace; however this initiative comes as a mockery to Ma’di people who lost relatives killed in cold blood, got displaced and had their properties robbed, houses vandalized, and homesteads occupied by the same military and their Dinka kinfolks with their cattle owned by Ministers and Generals in Juba Government and SPLA respectively. These same perpetrators, after chasing the indigenous Ma’di population away last year, harvested their crops and sold them, occupied their places and are now calling them “to return to their homes and resume living normally” even before political solution to the conflict is found in the country. Our people say "Anya akori oce" meaning "it is only dog that cannot get angry". The Ma’di people are not dogs!
As far as we are concerned, Ma’di people have been displaced from their county to Uganda and are living as refugees under the protection of Uganda Government and UNHCR. Any agency or government authority that forces refugees to return before political resolution of the conflict would be responsible for any eventualities that would arise from the barbaric uncivilized actions of the JCE militias against our people. We reject such an initiative.
Ma’di people will return only when amicable political resolution to the conflict in South Sudan is reached and that should include at a minimum the repatriation of Dinka IDPs who are currently occupying Ma’diland and their cattle back to their land of origin. Ma’diland is for Ma’di people not for Dinka and their cattle. God has given land for every nation, tribe and people. This call is the same expectation prevailing among the Dinka people, as evidence below shows (quotation by a Dinka as part of a research commissioned by Norwegian People’s Aid, 2008):
“Everyone from Southern Sudan, every community have their own land. Akot belongs to the Nyuei and it does not belong to everyone in Southern Sudan. The Nuer, the Bor Dinka, the Anuak have their own land. ….If some people do not want to go back to their communities, there must be an acceptable reason. Otherwise why would the person refuse to go back to his own clan? We do not want such people to be settled among us, for we do not know why someone would not want to go back to his family if there is peace there. If we are in Akot we shall say NO.”
The letter also educates those who were denying that Ma’di people took refuge due to Dinka plan of genocide by clearly outlining the crimes the JCE’s Militias have committed in Pageri County and providing evidence for presentation to the ‘Court of Justice’ when the time comes. These crimes were denied by President Salva Kiir in an exclusive interview with DW journalist asserting that “South Sudanese who have taken refuge in Uganda did so as a result of social media scare not due to any fight in their home areas”.
Mr. Governor, do you want to come to Pageri County with command from Bilpam and Torit, bring Ma’di people back from their exile so that you can kill them in their hundreds in your illusory ‘National Dialogue’ a wolf, rejected by the people; and now in a sheep cloth of ‘peace forum on civil-military relations’ as your President Kiir said they were not killed?
Your plans are exposed and Ma’di people will seek justice for the atrocities in court for the crimes caused against innocent civilians by Government Army not in a suspicious forum as this. Ma’di people cannot be fooled forever! We know what we legitimately want; together with all other peace loving people of South Sudan. Our legitimate demands will only be justly handled at a genuine forum like the upcoming IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum and only when the people are convinced that the new agreement meets their aspiration shall they return home.
Amb. Angelo Voga Morgan
Ma’di Community, World Wide