THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
PADANG COMMUNITY (EASTERN NILE)
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
REJECTION TO ANNEXATION OF PANYIKANG COUNTY OF FASHODA STATE (COLLO/SHILLUK) KINGDOM TO ANY PART OF EASTERN NILE STATE- MALAKAL
On Saturday, October 22nd 2016 Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan and Chairman of SPLM-IO called upon the two Governors of Eastern Nile and Fashoda states accompanied by a select group of Padang and Collo leaders. The meeting was meant to brainstorm on possible scenarios on resolving the dispute between the two communities but was then directed to focus on re-dividing and restructuring of Eastern Nile and Fashoda states. Based on the reported discussions, Elders and Intellectuals of Padang convened a consultative meeting on October 23rd 2016 at Quality Hotel in Juba. The meeting was attended by approximately 800 persons whereby, Padang Community deliberated and concluded to:
Defend and uphold the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan as the supreme law of the land, and to caution the SPLM-IO leadership on the need to respect Presidential Order36/2015, which created the twenty-eight (28) states, as enshrined in the Constitution.
Pledge our unwavering support to the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and the Implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) and do hereby urge all stakeholders to urgently consolidate peace among the people of South Sudan.
Call upon the SPLM-IO leader, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the First Vice President of the Republic and Chairman of the SPLM-IO to first and foremost focus on consolidating peace on the ground by ordering the withdrawal of SPLA-IO forces from Khorfulus and Atar counties. The population of these two counties were displaced by IO forces and currently living in Melut, Renk, Juba (without any assistance from the UN or other INGO’s) and other parts of the continent under desperate conditions while their homeland is under the occupation of the SPLA-IO forces.
Urge the Office of the First Vice President to work with the Eastern Nile State authorities to assist the civil population to return to their ancestral land to resume their normal activities before the end of the dry season without delay. The repatriation of Padang IDP’s around the country and localities of Juba should be prioritized as part of the Repatriation Program that is already facilitating the return of the Nuer IDP’s to their respective states. Padang IDP’s should also be repatriated to their respective homelands in Eastern Nile State.
Remind the SPLM leadership, especially the SPLM-IO Chairperson, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, that the Collo claim of Padang land started long before the establishment of SPLM-IO in 2014 nor did the SPLM-IO take up arms in order to settle the Collo/ Padang land dispute but rather, it was a power struggle that started in Juba. Therefore, Padang urges the SPLM-IO leadership to refrain from using the Office of the First Vice President to pursue any biased political decision to appease the Collo who joined the ranks of the SPLM-IO or those that took up arms against the state as a way of resolving land claims.
Acknowledge that the Collo Council of Elders under the leadership of Hon. Samson Oyay and Collo Intellectuals led by Joshua Otor Akol, (Chollo MP), in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) and other members raised their case to various regional and international bodies appealing for arbitration/hearing. Other appeals were also submitted to the President of the Republic, the Chairperson of JMEC, and the UN Secretary General regarding the land dispute between the Padang and Collo Kingdom. As such, Padang Community expects a fair hearing to be conducted in-front of a nationally recognized and impartial body/institution before any political settlement is imposed to favor certain SPLM-IO members who have taken up arms against the state.
Reiterate our commitment to peace and peaceful co-existence and call upon the Collo who have resorted to use of violence to claim Padang land, to immediately renounce violence in order to create a conducive atmosphere to allow for a meaningful dialogue on contentious issues.
Recognize the rights of the Collo community on the eastern bank of the Nile (e.g. Doleib, Malakal, etc.), just like any other South Sudanese citizens right to reside, right to employment, etc., in any part of the country without discrimination.
Re-affirm our solid stand with the government and the SPLM the same way Padang stood during the 2013 crises, in upholding and defending the Transitional Constitution and sacrificing precious lives in defense of the homeland, protection of civilian property and national oil installations.
Remind the SPLM leadership that the creation of the twenty-eight (28) states was a popular demand by the people and as such Padang Community of Eastern Nile is entitled to the right to choose, right to consult (amongst themselves) and request any changes or restructuring in accordance to state and national laws and institutions, but not through the Chairperson of the SPLM-IO.
Rebuke the detractors of peace to refrain from engaging in hate speeches, spreading of wild rumors and false claims about Padang acceptance and approval of Panyikang County of Collo Kingdom to be part of Eastern Nile State. Such vices undermine peace-building and fostering of trust.
Having realized the importance of addressing the SPLM-IO proposed amendment of Presidential Order 36/2015 and the restructuring of Eastern Nile State, Padang Community resolved to:
• Reject in the strongest terms possible the amendment of Presidential Order 36/2015 of 2nd October 2015 on the establishment of twenty eight (28) states in which Eastern Nile State was equally established. (Such a position is contained in the attached document dated October 24th 2016).
• Object absolutely to any attempt to annex any part of Fashoda state - specifically Panyikang County (Collo Kingdom), to Eastern Nile State. The boundaries/borders of Collo Kingdom old/contemporary is known since the time of colonial era as Kodok district. The people of Eastern Nile call upon the SPLM-IO leadership to recognize and respect the colonial boundaries between Sobat and Kodok districts.
In the light of the above, Padang Community recommends:
Eastern Nile State to remain as constituted by Presidential Order 36/2015 of 2nd October 2015, and categorically objects to any attempt to re-constitute or impose the annexation of Panyikang County of Fashoda State (Collo Kingdom) to Eastern Nile state.
The disputes over land between the two neighboring communities of Padang and Collo, be settled without the threat of armed resistance of Aguelek, Dr. Riek and Lam Akol’s forces, without any political and ethnical interests except through a peaceful settlement by an established National Boundary Commission (as stipulated in Presidential Order 36/2015 of 2nd October 2015) and Collo Kingdoms Reth legal apparatus.
In conclusion, Padang Community of Eastern Nile knows that the ARCISS was concluded between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM-IO on the 17th of August 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, Padang communities of Eastern Nile State wonder whether the current engagement by the Chairman of SPLM-IO with certain Padang members is the re-negotiation of the ARCISS and amendment of Presidential Order 36/2015 with Eastern Nile State?
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