By: Kimo Ajing Aba (John-Kimo S. Ajing) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The people of Malakal town, the patriotic heart of the South Sudan, have been putting hands across the hearts since the very attack on the town by the notorious militant man, Gabriel Tang Ginya. The fragile security was shattered into chaos, violence, injuries, and the lost in lives, Wednesday of April the 19th  of 2008; when an armed group rushed into the resident of the Chief (Nazir)of Panyikango county, Mr. Peter Oyath, with an arrest warrant demanding his arrest and surrender to them.

The chief’s personal guards got stunned and refused to let the chief be arrested and taken into custody by such a force. The armed men abruptly resorted to their weapons and opened fires, which killed a Buron man, happened to be among the guards. 1st lieutenant, Mr. Anthony Payiet was seriously injured and flown to Khartoum for urgent treatment and medication. Nyireth: Deng wad Kwong Dak Padyiet was also attacked, with no reported injuries.

On retaliation, the chief’s guards broke their chief free, disengaged the vehicle used in the attack, and captured a fallen identity card, as the attackers decided to escape in a car, mark of Toyota (Hillaux), identified to be owned by Mr. Daniel Budhok Amum. The pullet which killed the native Buron, was also ascertained to have come from the rifle of Mr. Chewi Daniel; a police officer on leave but called purposely to execute the arrest of the chief.

Police sources in Malakal town, revealed their prime objection to the raid of arrest. They put it point blank that in order to arrest the chief, the Reth (king) must first be notified and his advice and permission be sought and considered. This has been the common practice and tradition, since the modern Sudan came into existence and recognizes the traditional and customary establishments of the Collo (Shilluk) kingdom.

Any charges, procedural investigation, or actions against a chief, must therefore pass through the Reth or the Pacodocategorically known as “paj”). In particular, the authority of Reth and Paj, have been notoriously known, since immemorial, as the only Collo (Shilluk) final resort, in filing disputes and complains.  Even thought the modernity and the jurisdiction of the modern Sudan state have taken up much power from the ambit of the Reth and the Paj, still there are cases which fall short to reach the government and official circles merely; because our traditional set up can settle them properly and fairly. (

The very formula and subject matter of this case, where the chief of Panyikango is wanted for an arrest,  are peculiarly, of Pacodo (Paj) nature and quality and should have been articulated and tabled before the Reth and Paj, not anywhere else. In it one of the parties, the chief, is an immediate servant and subordinate of the Reth, and to whom he should be answerable. It looks strange indeed as to why the party who initiated the case against the chief did not advance and table his case before pacodo (Kwom) and the king. In addition to that, such disposition poses a very big question mark; not only with regard to the initiator’s intentions but also his loyalty and obedience toward the king and henceforth, the kingdom, since he has chosen to bypass the two, at a time. On the other hand, the kingdom, and since its inception or creation, and to this date, has not shown signs of inabilities or incompetence, in adhering to the various conflicts ensuing among the entire subjects, and even beyond, which could have render such boycott meaningful and of objective substance.

In his capacity as the Ruler of the Collo nation, the Reth has been entrusted by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Judiciary System with the jurisdiction and competence authority of a 1st class judge. Here comes his immunity and automatically the immunity of his subordinate chiefs and close relatives.  Moreover, the CPA (the Comprehensive PeaceAgreement) of January, 9th 2005, has consolidated the authorities and powers of the indigenous local communities; by vesting more legislative, executive, and judicial authorities on them. Additionally, and in order to connect people in their respective localities and living dwellings,  at the grassroots levels, to the Government in the South Sudan, the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) has founded the Chiefs Council for Southern Sudan, to advertise and safeguard the good customs and traditions.

As Collo are concerned, for that matter, the Reth has maintained his authority as a ruler and judge over all affairs of the kingdom, including Malakal town, while his chiefs assume the chieftaincy in their respective villages within the counties, including Panyikango. Simultaneously, all chiefs of Reth are, ex officio, third class judges of towns and ruler courts. Therefore, the immunity and protection of those chiefs are provided for by the law of the land. It is the natural law which dictates the respect, and good treatment of the chiefs. Therefore, the attempted arrest of the Chief of Panyikango was nothing less than a gross and arbitral arrest, simply because the chief is immune against such proceedings. Consequently, those who wanted to deprive the chief of his freedom and privileges status were, either ignorant; which is not the case here, or professionally working, though in stupidity; to humiliate, degrade, terrorize, and destabilize the chieftaincy and adversely, the Reth in Pachodo “paj” and the Collo (Shilluk)community, in general.

The bottom line here is that Reth or Chief is not subject to an arrest warrant and in instance he or his chief is wanted before any proceedings or charges, relieving him from the office, title, and immunity should take place first.  Once again, the title and immunity cannot be compromised; simply by dragging chief’s feed into custody, and at gun point. What we have seen happening in the Hai al Mattar of Malakal, was so outrageous and ridiculous, especially when it came from Collo (Shilluk) men with clear big collo (Shilluk) marks at their foreheads.

Shortly, before the occurrence of the incidence, a Samaritan policeman, who coincidently happens to be none Shilluk (Collo), firmly warned the group of the assailants of the outcome of their abhorrent plan to arrest the chief of Panyikango while at his living residence. Mr. Sunday Simon Yor was among the armed men who have defied the orders, took rifles, ammunitions from the Police station, and burst to attack the chief.

 This purports the fact that if a chief can be arrested that way, then there are no guarantees that H.M., the Reth will not be encountering the same similar attempts, any time ahead of us. Vivid examples from our traditional history have always thought us that greater evils were always committed when Nyireth (prince) or Reth (king) are killed or assassinated, in foul plays. It should also save as a reminder to those who would like to belittle and ignore the existence of the establishments founded by our grandfather, Nyikango wad Okwa, and that our community strongly believes Reth to have “mar”, which is considered to be an ability to curse and reject an individual and .

 In reading the current political arena, the loyalists to Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, now came to be known as the “Lamists”, were vehemently present and at the stage of the incident, that compromises; not only our community public interest for peace, satiability, and working together towards common good and goal, but has deeply alarmed, troubled, and disturbed the conscience of our Rethship/ Kwongo Dak Padiyet. The said incident has so far, shown that our political rivalry can turn so deadly and bloody. Particularly, if coupled with failure to reach political echelons, which attainments serves as an “End” which justifies all evils.

 To portrait his image as the only political leader of the Shilluk people, the Lamists have already turned themselves into adamant loyalists, who believe only in him and on his political and academic credentials. To those Lamists, the starting point was the Split of August 1991 and then the “Fashoda Agreement”. But for the admirers the achievements he had made has turn now into political devastation and disparity, just like when he was in the Bush.

The long-claimed achievements are now paying back its prices; perhaps in hundreds of innocent lives. What went unnoticed here is that the Lamists are battling their own kin and kid and in doing so, they could end up confronting the very pillars of the Collo kingdom, including the Reth. A good example is this bizarre attack on the chief of panyikango, which we are contemplating. It was a direct outcome of his own initiation, he who had previously filed some charges against the chief claiming defamation; among other unknowns. Instead of following the course of the law, he opted for getting the chief, either by hook or crook. Hence, the plan came and was executed by the followers, to the amazement of the general public in Malakal, and the arrest warrant was nothing less than bringing a chief to the letter of the Lamists’ law and order. That was a complete formula for solving problems via chaotic and chronic self-centered means, manner, and fashion.

This very incident, plus the succession of the past incidents, had one common denominator; the Lamists are the dominant figures and are the main players. Even when they play the victim’s role, as in the incident of “Warajowk” or “Nagdiar”, South of Malakal; when they claimed a plot to assassinate their iconic leader and the deliverer of all good, fresh facts of the incident belied their claims. Indeed, it was the SPLA Security forces that have had warned them before time of the presence of an armed militia on the way ahead, to “Nagdiar” and “Warajowk” .Despite that warnings they proceeded, in a haste to win the SPLM primaries, on elections at the grassroots levels. Belittling the warnings of the SPLA security personnel was evidential here and needs no more comments.

Now the SPLM convention is over with a call to observe the previous establishments of its organizational settings, one thing to be said here is that people of Malakal, this long-neglected town would only yearn for security and stability. Henceforth, the aftermath of the convention must witness an unprecedented campaigns being waged against those fueling the disturbances and creating supporters and forces, parallel to that of the SPLM or that of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).

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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Tipo Wiliam Mel

    I am not a police or a judge, but what I know about warrant is a written authority from magistrate or judge allowing policemen to arrest the person named whenever or wherever he or she is found, regardless of his/ her social prestige because no one is above the law. also an arrest warrant allows the police to enter premises when the occupier will not allow them in. if the occupier refuses to allow the police to enter premises even when they have an arrest warrant, police may use force to enter. from the writer article I can understand that our chiefs are above the law. they can do anything against their subordinates!

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  • Guest - John Lwong

    That is true Bro. Tipo our chiefs as climbed the ladder of undefined authority or power if you may like. And I think Bro. Kim is ----- a healing wound here, I suppose we should let the sleeping dogs sleep hell we may run-off of water to put that fire off later if we are not careful. A Buron man whom he has mentioned here who was killed during that incident was evidently killed by Shilluk and they must pay for it, either by blood or any other mean that the Buron community may deem necessary to compensate their lost one and the killer is known by both the Buron and the Shilluk themselves this is not the time that we continue hiding
    Mr. Kim is saying that in his article and I quote “Any charges, procedural investigation, or actions against a chief, must therefore pass through the Reth or the Pacodocategorically known as “paj”). In particular, the authority of Reth and Paj, have been notoriously known, since immemorial, as the only Collo (Shilluk) final resort, in filing disputes and complains.”
    According to the law Sudan is one, and any lawful procedures that all the citizen in Sudan are subject to should apply to all regardless of who they are.
    I don't understand the Lamist that you are refering to throughout your article can you please explain?

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  • Guest - Emmanuel Moses Aban

    good comment Bro John. And Bro Kimo should know taht Nobady above the law.

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  • Guest - James Okuk

    Leave alone the drunkards and run-away Southerners (not fully Collo) like Kimo who do not fear to lie. People know what happened and who shot at who in that incident.

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  • Dear Brothers, I just beg your kindness, not to agonize ourselves by discussing this problem again. Due to its delicate nature. It will be unjust on our part to begin calling again, the names of responsabile personalities in our society into our discussion, whether we support them or not. We have discussed this issue extensively few weeks ago. Revisiting it now, will harm the efforts to reconcile with one another. Let us leave time to heal our division and pray that such incidents may not come our again.
    We are brothers after all, anger is an emotion that passes with time but a brother is for life.

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  • Guest - Othom Ariel Temrial

    Well done Mathew Pagan for this reconciliatory spirit which is what we need as collo members rather than opening old wounds.

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