An Open Letter to H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit about the Governor of Warrap State
By Gabriel Kuot Akok
I'm kindly hereby seizing this moment to express my concern as a native citizen of Warrap State, a great human rights defender and also to submit to your supreme and appointing authority concerning who deserves to be appointed as a Governor of Warrap State. This epistle note will not focus much on naming who deserves to be Governor but rather, it will concentrate on who does not deserve to be appointed.
Myself and the rest of the citizens of Warrap State respect and support your leadership wholeheartedly, and this lets me express my concern in a very responsible manner. To be honest, I'm writing to let you know that the people of Warrap State in general and I in particular don't want Victor Atem Atem to be their Governor in the upcoming Governor selections.
Since I'm waiting for the complete formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU), I expect your government to prioritise the establishment of the Hybrid Court such that those who had committed human rights abuses are tried accordingly. Hence, retributive justice will prevail and deter others from committing more crimes of the same nature.
Your Excellency, since you are driving South Sudan towards being a peaceful and rebellion free country, it's time to hold the corrupt, land graspers, extrajudicial killers and anti legal minded politicians responsible for their mismanagement and malicious aforethought.
The reasons that motivated this writer to write this article are that sycophants are trying to confuse your wise leadership and suggest the people of Warrap State need Atem Atem Angok. This is baseless and untrue. It needs to be known by your authority before your legal advisor draws the decrees for the appointment of Governors and Chief Administrators.
I personally need a law abiding and God fearing Governor who will not come and slaughter his own people in the broad daylight. Gone are the days when people are put before a firing squad or extrajudicially executed without a law cited.
You and your colleagues fought a war to ensure liberation, freedom, equality and that the rule of law would prevail to your marginalised people of South Sudan. Yes, I accept that whoever committed a gross crime against the property, person or the country deserves to be lawfully executed but not in that way that Mr. Atem did in the defunct Gogrial State.
The crimes committed by Atem Atem during his tenure of office in Gogrial State include conscription, land grasping, extrajudicial killings, and unauthorised taxes on the peasant population among others. These human rights abuses cases are pending as we wait for him to complete formation of the R-TGONU. However, appointing him again as a Governor will impede the due process of law. It will seem as if you, the President, are the one who has a problem with the people of Gogrial or Warrap which is clearly not the case. I simply request your esteemed office disregards Atem and treats him as a human rights violator and subject of a lis pendens.
Nevertheless, I have always emphasised that the government and human rights agencies expedite their efforts ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected, promoted, respected, facilitated and fulfilled in accordance with the international human rights treaties and national instruments.
I hope this letter will reach you in time.
Accept the assurance of my highest regards.
The writer is a human rights defender and can be reached via email at: email@example.com.