Collo (Shilluk) - File Image
Collo (Shilluk) People - File Image

By: Rev. Daniel Amum Odwel

This is the quotation which attracts my attention in his reply to the article written by Dr. Adwok Nyaba titled ''Independent Administrative Areas: A leaf from Colonial Legacy of Divide to Rule'' . That the matter of (Malakal) has been long time ago resolved by colonial boundaries and borders of 1956. Historical records and documents are in plenty which even convinced African Union (AU), IGAD and Technical Boundary Committee (TBC) and Independent Boundary Commission (IBC) 2019-2020 Report in favor of Padang’s ownership of lands on the Eastern bank of the River Nile''. It is the above mentioned assertion that compelled me to dispute and falsify claims made by Rev. Joshua.

I would like to begin my response position by asking my Pastor Joshua Dau Diu this question, when did the colonial boundaries and borders of 1956 give Collo land to Pandang? Again can you provide plenty of evidence that convinces the bodies you mentioned in the quotation to support your claim?

Be aware that people know historical evidence that you are trying to distort to suit your own interest. You mentioned in the above quotation that African Union and IGAD favored Apadang to take Collo land. This implied that African Union and IGAD provided preferential treatment with great kindness or partiality to Apadang, so Apadang was given rights which they never deserve. It was an indirect accusation that the mentioned bodies were the creators of instability between Collo and Apadang Jieng in Upper Nile. In case your argument is proof to be true, then the betrayed community has genuine full right to sue those bodies to court for their partial acts. More specifically it means Collo land was given intentionally by the mentioned bodies and the burning question to you (Rev. Joshua Dau Diu) as Pastor what was your reaction to such barbaric acts which was made by the mentioned bodies?  Instead for you to object to that creation, which disunites us, you seem to appreciate it, then what kind of spiritual father are you? 

You were ordained as Presbyterian Pastor in 1970, who was supposed to be light and salt in this fallen world, and according to priesthood called you were supposed to be a transformer to the communities to live in harmony, tranquility and peace. 

Since you grow up in Malakal , you know that two communities have been living in peace for centuries. But your false assertion indicates that you're a deformer and instigator of war between communities, instead of being a peace-maker.  I deplore your dishonest behavior with the following illustrations in which you were involved: First in 1976, you and Antipas Ayei and others Apadang elites in Upper Nile Province, presented a petition and complaint that why Jieng community were being charged by Collo to pay boats fees for cross River Sobat, when they came to Malakal, you failed to know not only Jieng that paid but all people that cross the Sobat River. 

Ignorantly, again you failed to understand that those boats belong to individuals and weren't governmental boats, so the fact of matter was that the government has no direct power to manipulate or to dictate the owners of boats. In that juncture, you decided to build a boat to solve a problem of your community and that was a very good move from you as a Pastor. In critical analysis the readers will come to know that there was no single Jieng living in eastern side of Robat River except in Abwong area, so how come now you begin to claim that Malakal belong to Apadang, this doesn't make sense, where are you going to take the inhabitants that were living in eastern side of Sobat River?  

I became reserved, discontent and to disbelieve your argument that Malakal belong to Apadang community and Collo were immigrants, Rev. Joshua Dau Diu could you be specific and objective in your claim, and  tell the readers about Pajur village through which your community crosses Sobat River, was it Jieng area?

For historical benefits to the readers, Pajur village belongs to Jow wat Okor, brother of Nyakango, both Jow and Gilo resided in eastern side of White Nile and Sobat River. Pastor please offered crucial reasons that forced the Jieng community to desert their land and to live in bushes, if there were any, was there any conflicts or schism that compelled them to evacuate their land into bushes?

Pastor convinces the world with facts and not with illusion and unsound truth. To dispute some false claims that chiefs, who died in eastern side were taken to western side of Nile for burial that was big lies. Jow wat Okor and all his descendants were burial in east of Nile in their land, and even sons of Reth Kwathkir were burial in Ogod.  Be informed that the Prince Kwathkir was taken from Ogod in east side of Sabot River to be inaugurated as Reth (king) in Fashoda royal palace. Where was Jieng community at that time, and who was Apadang clan living there?  

Second, Rev. Joshua Dau Diu, you were a product of missionary work in Upper Nile, in Dolieb Hill , can you explain to the readers who gave Dolieb Hill piece of land to the missionary, was it Jieng chief or Collo chief?

It was written by missionaries that a person who gave land to them with Arew Ka Jwok, because he was the owner of land. When you asserted that eastern side of White Nile and Sobat River belong to Apadang Jieng, did you wish to tell the world that Jow wat Okor was a Jieng chief? Please don't assume that you are addressing people, who were born in 70s, who never have historical realities about two communities, don't exaggerated your claim that Collo community were immigrants and they have to go back to where they come from, you are indirect tell yourselves that you never belong to that place because community that accommodated your ancestral to live among them were mistaken, it seems that you want to enlighten peaceful community to reclaim back the places offered to your ancestral. As Pastor calls by God, I am against your ideology of land occupation, whether Collo or, Jieng land or any other communities lands.  

Third, Rev. Joshua Dau Diu, you as an elder person, you might have some historical facts, so when  Tufogai was established by Truko- Egyptian government as slave trading station, who was Apadang community clan lived in that place, and why did they deserted the area to leave in bushes, and when the station was relocated from Tufogai to Mal  ba kal, which belong to Makal village, the home town of Dewat wat Tugo, was Dewat a Jieng chief and if you never mine please narrate to the readers, who was Apadang chief that offered a piece of land to the government to reestablish the station in Mal  ba kal that turn out to be called Malakal wrongly.

Let me turn to reality which occurred in our time, the known conflict between Collo and Jieng started in early eighties when some elites among Jieng community began to claim that the whole eastern side of White Nile and Sobat River are Jieng territories, those ill-minded elites thought that the leadership in Juba that was controlled by Dinka could favor them. In order for Juba to diffuse that claim, they sent the surveyors to resolve the conflict and the boundary was marked according to what was found in the colonial administration map, but Jieng were not convinced.

Another most unbearable experiences occurred when the government in collaboration with Jongeli Canal Project established school 1976-1978 in Obay Nyathor area to educate children of both communities, but Jieng community protested, and complaint that why the school wasn't established in their area, and that let to escalation of war between two communities, Collo was targeted by Jieng community as if they were people who initiated school, and that war caused death to innocent people on both side. In fact, war or conflict was the creation of Jieng elites. Indeed, that was the first schism which occurred between peaceful co-existence communities. The question which posted itself was Obay Nyathor a Jieng territory, which was occupied by Collo community and Jieng community wanted to reclaim it back?. Basically, Jieng community was supposed to direct their protest against the initiators of school, instead of putting blame on innocent people like them.

When Jongeli Canal was established in Pigi, Adhydhang village, the Jongeli Province decided to claim that Pigi belonged to the Jongeli Province without its inhabitants, which were Collo community.  Maybe it was because of the name Jongeli Canal that caused Jongeli Province to establish a police station in Pigi( Obang) area, instead of Upper Nile to do that. Jongeli Province police misbehaved and terrorized the inhabitant's people and that led to the arrest of my uncle Aban ayong. That tension brought a kind of misunderstanding between Jongeli and Upper Nile Province. 

To cool down the tension, the government convenes a meeting and brings two community leaders to discuss conflicting issues in Obel School, in that meeting, you (Rev. Joshua) uttered abusive words against Reth Ayang that he is just a human being and you can become Reth like him. Due to your disrespectful behavior, Reth Ayang walked out in the meeting hall, and the government was to bag Mr. Acwil Lual to convince Reth Ayang to come back to the meeting venue for deliberation continuation. Pastor, can you remember what king Ayang told you in that meeting?

Jieng community was not happy with the outcome of the meeting because their claims were not accepted. They continued to lobby and look for lobe hole to accomplish their claims. Indeed, during Panygor meeting 2003, which was called by late Dr. John Garang, some Jieng members, who attended that meeting, raise the issues again that Malakal belong to Jieng, and they were pin down by Dr. John Garang that Malakal is Collo territory and all people know about that fact included you. Pastor Joshua Dau Diu, you can't change history facts with lies. In that juncture, some of unauthentic leaders among Apadang Jieng decided to accused Dr. John Garang that he was the one who gives Malakal to Collo, which  was unfound truth. 

Nevertheless, Pastor Joshua Dau Diu, can you ask President Salva Kiir, which community helped to sail him out when he crossed the Sobat River, at the time he rebelled against the government of Sudan in 1983? Was it the Jieng community or Collo community? These are facts and realities which you can't be denied whatsoever. 

You have full right to praise President Kiir, for he was the one who support your destructive project of taking Collo land which you started early in 70s, Pastor your claims will destroy your community for good, because no community will allow their ancestral land to be taken by anyone, unless you have capability to eliminate all of them on the surface of earth which is impossible to attain. 

The true problem was created by President Salva Kiir when he instituted Jieng County in Collo land in Pigi (Obang area) without the consent of inhabitants; he misused his power to please his own community. 

Here I just want to remind you, Rev. Joshua Dau Diu about what I saw in the life of your colleague Rev. Ezekiel Kutjok, which was good example for Pastor, who have heart for people to live in peace, Rev. Ezekiel Kutjok took initiative to visit Jing Villages as while Collo villages in 2006, to find out what were the reasons that caused two communities to kill each other. In that tour the community's leaders told him that enmity was imposed on them by some elites, it was outsiders that injected bad ideas in their lives, what they know so far, is they had been living in harmony for centuries without war. 

Remember the war which occurred in Malakal Station in 2009, came as a result of Kiir's creation by supporting the wrong claim about Malakal.. Rev. Joshua Dau Diu thought about what Dr. Adwok Nyaba said that you are the designer to dispose of the Collo from their ancestral land in the eastern bank of the Nile is undeniable fact, for you have started that project in early 70s and history will account you for that. 

Your assertion that the establishment of an administrative system will solve the problem; according to you it will create tools for reform of socio-economic, political and security development or stability in the country. To me it was irresponsible claims by Pastor like who supposed to teach people about unity rather than disunity, and disintegration, instead of being one people, we will continue in tribal entities and conflict will not end. Can you explain if peace prevails in an area populated by the Jieng community such as Warrap or Tonj for example? The answer is big no.  

In your argument you tried to give some justification for the creation of New States in the Republic of South Sudan, and you exclaimed that the first purpose for decentralization policy was the creation of ethnic or community based states, in order to take services nearer to the people. The second objective was to put into action the concept of developmental self-reliance through local resources by the people themselves. Thus, the creation of states to be administered by the indigenous citizens themselves is a tremendous innovation for hard work, control and responsibility for the resources which the people very much value as means of their livelihood and the product of their initiative and creativity.

No one will have a problem with this intention if it was done in good faith without annexation of other communities land to others or done without changing boundaries of tribes at the expense of certain tribes. You are aware in South Sudan that there are some communities that never know how to build houses in villages, can they really be able to build towns. Your expression that the establishment of an administrative system will empower the people to administer themselves in terms of source  and is a pride for realization of their own achievements and raises morale and zeal to accomplish more productive services as well as infrastructure.

It sounds good intellectually but couldn't be obtained in these backward societies in South Sudan. Are you addressing these issues to cattle raiding communities or you are speaking to yourselves? The first thing for us to establish healthy communities, we need to start teaching our people that they are brothers, created in the image of God despite coming from different ethnics,  we should accept ourselves, knowing  that God was one who plans us as Southerners in South Sudan. We must avoid manipulation, discrimination and marginalization because it may lead us to wage war against ourselves, as we did to our brother in Old Sudan.

The SPLM manifesto has stipulated the taking of "towns to the villages" so that the people could stay in the villages where their social fabrics could be strengthened and sustained.  But it didn't give the right to certain communities to take land of other people, who claimed as ''liberators'. This is the real problem that will not end tribal schism in South Sudan. What is happening in different places in South Sudan wasn't what we fought for in liberation war as one people to push out the oppressor, how come now you as Pastor allowed certain community to become a new master, acting like previous master

I concur with what Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba said that'' the creation of independent administrative areas is a dangerous scheme''. Yes, it will give birth to negative impact in the manner, it will widen the tribal gap, instead of integrating people to live as one single people; it will divide them instead of uniting our people and consolidating our fraternal relation in the context of nation building, it will disintegrate them. Therefore, the project of establishing an administrative system on tribal lines will create more conflicts to our people that will lead to continuation of displacement and immense suffering of our people that we are supposed to show them love of God. As Pastor what message are you going to preach in the church if you uphold disintegration of communities?

Rev. Joshua Dau Diu your word Kochdit , which you explained as an elder person who has acquired historical information, tradition, customs, functionary concepts, ethical values, virtues and norms which are cherished rationale.  To me Kochdit can't be applied to you, because your attitude and aspiration of claiming unsound truth that Malakal belongs to the Jieng community is a false allegation, and you seem to accuse others bodies that they are people who favored Jieng to claim Malakal.  Pastor Joshua Dau Diu, this project will be impossible to be attained in our lifetime and even for the coming generation. Please stop falsifying the biased assertion that Malakal belongs to Apadang, in order to attain peace.

It is heinous fabrication expression to learn from Rev. Joshua Dau Diu that ''the JCE with all other communities' councils stand together to defend and preserve the hard won Peoples' liberation benefits, namely: political liberty, cultural and linguistic assimilation, economic deprivation and social assimilation''. I think Rev. Joshua Dau Diu, was committing unbearable sin here, because what he was saying is not practical, because today Jieng community started to rename other communities placed into Jieng name. What does this tell us, for example Jebel Kojor was renamed to be Jebel Dinka. As a Pastor you should be honest with yourself and tell the truth for the truth will set you free. 

In conclusion, you tried hard to pervert historical and scientific knowledge for selfish interest, it was necessary for you not to involve yourself in a petty game that will destroy social fabric. I think your claim is a phony and it has caused your colleague to feel piteously. So this kind of backward ideology will have severe predicament in the future and preferential you preached have clear prejudice to other communities.   

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