Lakes State

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Lakes State military caretaker governor orders closure of primary schools in Rumbek

August 2, 2013 (RUMBEK) – Lakes State military caretaker Governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol has ordered the closure of all primary schools in Rumbek East due to rising tension following last week’s murder of two teachers in an inter-communal revenge attack between pastoralist youth from Pamany, a sub-section of the Kok Dinka tribe.

Speaking in Rumbek East on Friday, Maj Gen Matur Chut Dhuol ordered the County
Commissioner and the community to keep the schools closed.

‘‘Immediately all primary schools operating in Rumbek East county must to be closed down,’’ ordered Maj Gen Matur Chut Dhuol.

The Care taker Governor also warned local chiefs against protecting the suspect(s) involved in the murder of the two teachers from Mathiang primary school.

“Those traditional chiefs, leaders within Rumbek East County will be sacked if they don’t show the suspected person who killed two teachers in Akuel-jol village”.

Matur did not indicate who will replace traditional chiefs in the event that they get sacked as a result of failure to reveal the persons suspected to have been involved in the killing.

Rumbek East County commissioner David Marial Gumke confirmed that the governor has issued instructions of all primary schools with the aim of lowering rising tensions between the two rival sub-tribes of Kok Dinka tribe.

David Marial Gumke said security agencies are on the lookout for the those responsible for the murderer of the teachers.

“Our security forces are working hard to track all they suspected killers who participated in the killing of two teachers. The governor has closed all the primary schools. The aim is to avoid further revenge and to allow security agents to track down the suspected elements who participated in the death of two teachers” said Gumke.


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Lakes State officials in Uganda to learn about vocation education

July 26, 2013 (GULU) – A delegation of five officials from Lakes State are in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu to learn about vocation education in the district and in turn replicate it in Lakes.

The delegation including the Director General of Education, Director General of Public Service and Human Resource, Director General of Human Resource and Vocation Education and the Minister of Youth and Sports are in Uganda courtesy of a trip organised by Save the Children International.

‘‘We have come here to learn about how Uganda and Gulu does vocation training and how they interest youth in vocational education. In Lakes State the youth are not interested in vocational education. They are more interested in white collar jobs. But the white collar jobs are not many in South Sudan’’, said William Madong Mading, Lakes Minister of Youth and Sports in an interview with the Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Minister William Madong Mading said vocational education as practiced in Uganda would be very beneficial for the youth in Lakes State.

‘‘Our youth have by passed school going age because of conflict so we want to give them vocation skills that can make them job creators. For example they can study carpentry and joinery, mechanics and bricklaying. These are important skills for a young nation like South Sudan’’, said Mading.

The Lakes officials arrived in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Tuesday this week from Juba before travelling to northern Uganda where they will be till Sunday when they travel back to South Sudan. Northern Uganda neigbours South Sudan.

During their stay in Gulu, the Lakes delegation have so far visited eight vocation schools and have said upon return to Lakes they will set up a pilot vocation school to benefit youth in the state.

‘‘When we go back to South Sudan, we will start a vocation training institute in Lakes to benefit our youth,’ said Minister Mading.

Northern Uganda like South Sudan is recovering from a vicious conflict. In an attempt to provide skills for former children abducted by Lords Resistance Army rebels, the Ugandan government and private individuals have set up vocation schools. The schools provide youth who because of conflict missed an opportunity to go through normal schooling to acquire livelihood skills. It is this that the officials from Lakes came to learn.


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Lakes State governor and "doctrine of necessity"

By Adhil Malok, Jnr

July 7, 2013 – To ‘take someone for a ride’ is idiomatic expression for deceiving someone or a group of people. In this respect, someone somewhere is trying very hard to deceive the people of Lakes state, in particular the law-making institutions (Council of states and the state legislative assembly) as to why the care-taker Governor, Retired Major General Matur Chut Dhuol should continue in wielding power, despite the fact that his very existence in office is not in accordance with the constitution of the country.

Lakes state’s military caretaker governor, Matur Chut Dhuol was installed by President Salva Kiir in January 21st, replacing the elected governor (Chol Tong Mayay) on the backdrop of inter-communal conflict that took the lives of scores of people, which is endemic to almost all ten states of South Sudan.

Under South Sudan’s constitution, the president has the power to replace a governor on national security grounds, but a new governor should be elected within 60 days. This has not happened.

The care-taking period for Governor, Retired Major General Matur Chut Dhuo expired on 31st of March 2013. But he is still in office. His continued stay is therefore unconstitutional.

A group of state government’s constitutional post-holders whom the General removed unconstitutionally from their positions petitioned him before the Council of States-an upper house law-making body. In light of that petition, the Justice Minister, John Luk, Jok appeared before the Council of States on 25th of June to clarify on the legality of the Lakes state’s governor tenure.

The justice minister told lawmakers that the caretaker governor was being kept in the position based on a “doctrine of necessity.” The Doctrine of Necessity is described as the basis on which extra-legal actions by state actors, which are designed to restore order, are found to be constitutional. Such doctrine, as it is called, is derived by necessity. Such necessity does not exist in Lakes state, and if it does, it is not in Lakes state alone. It can only be used, for example, to rescue a particular situation from gross human rights violation. Is General Matur here a part of solution or a part of the problem?! To many People, he has become a big problem.

As a result of the governor’s strange policies, insecurity and communal conflicts, for which the elected governor was removed, continue unabated, as evidenced by the events which are occurring almost on daily basis and are being reported by the media. Because of such reports the governor has developed problems with media houses, leading to closure of a Catholic Church operated Radio Good News, which is very popular and useful source of information to the local audience.

Inter-communal conflicts are not peculiar to lakes state, because such conflicts are happening in almost all ten states. The records of such violence in terms of losses in human lives and property in some states are by far worse than what happened in Lakes state. So, what or who is behind unconstitutional political changes in Lakes state?

To some of us who have been following the situation keenly, political turmoil in Lakes state started with last year’s visit to the state by the Chairman of SPLM in the state, Mr. Daniel Awet Akot, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly. During his visit, Mr. Awet wanted to make changes within SPLM state secretariat which brought him into loggerhead with some SPLM members; who challenged the changes he wanted to make as unconstitutional. There was a big row caused by Awet’s moves which polarized the party members in Lakes state. Chairman, Awet mistakenly associated the opposition to his unconstitutional changes with the then governor, Chol Tong Mayay. Awet wanted to make changes that would allow him secure re-election as the state chairman and probably as a governor, come 2015 general elections. When his efforts were thwarted in Rumbek, Chairman Awet came back to Juba with grudge against Governor Chol Tong and some of his ministers/commissioners. Awet reported to SPLM leadership in Juba that the situation he found in Lakes state was hostile to him and probably others who are holding elected positions within SPLM or the government. He therefore suggested that the government of Chol Tong be unseated or else they (Awet and Company) will not win come next SPLM or General Elections.

The plan to unseat governor Chol was hatched and the plotters waited for an opportune moment, which was provided by clashes between Kuei and Rup sections of Rumbek Central County. Chairman Awet and other senior government officials in Juba, especially those close to the president, such as advisors and ministers from Lakes state, conspired against the elected governor, Engineer Chol Tong Mayay.

The undercurrent struggle for top leadership of the ruling party (SPLM) is another factor in the political instability within Lakes state. Scores of SPLM members are divided as to who should be the leader and torch bearer come the next general Elections. In this exercise, people are being labelled as supporters of X or Y. As a result, Lakes state has become a grass, while elephants are fighting for the top job. In the light of the above analysis, there is a strong belief on my side and probably many others that Minster of Justice did not do justice by failing to tell the lawmakers the truth, when he was summoned last week to appear before the Council of State, to answer questions as to why General Matur is still holding the important position of state governor unconstitutionally. The situation in Lakes state does not warrant the so called “Doctrine of necessity”.

Adhil Malok, Jnr, is a political analyst in Rumbek, Lakes state he can be reached at :

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