By Mach Paul Mathiang
No truth about Bor community is more profound than its unity under one leadership. In its history, Bor community has been ruled by one leader even with its small identities of Athoch and Gok. These identities of Athoch and Gok were not devised by our forefathers to divide us, but to represent the environmental sceneries of settlements. Despite our small identities of Athoch and Gok, our inseparability as Bor community have served as a strength to out win our adversaries in a region full of thorns and malice. Cheers, to our ancestors who stood together and passed on the epitomes that kept us together for centuries. Our get-together under one leadership has been one of the things that gave us an upper hand to gain respect from other communities in Sudan or in the present day South Sudan.
As affirmed by the history above, that we have never been ruled by separate leaders as Athoch and Gok in our entire history. Let us get into the details on how our community had been ruled since the creation and the reason of why having Athoch or Gok Associations within Bor community is not reasonable for us. In our history, the first Chief, Joseph Machiek Deng, was from Gok and Athoch communities worked with him without seeking their own chiefdom though the population of Bor community was in a hundredth of thousands at the time. Not only that the whole Bor community worked with their first chief, the rest of the chiefs that came after him did the same. Athoch and Gok never demanded a separate governance and even today, our community is still ruled by one chief, Alier Aluong and, by one community leader, Dr. Ajuoi Magot. Chief, Alier Aluong and Dr. Ajuoi Magot are originally from Athoch area and they are serving the interest of Bor community collectively without defining themselves as Athoch or Gok. Thus, keeping this history straight from falling apart and follow the footsteps of those who came before us and those who are still maintaining it, is where our success as a community is vested.
With that being said, it is a belief of this writer that our adherents who have created an association in the name of Gok or in a process of creating the association in Athoch name here in the United States, do have this history in their hearts and they are proud of it. But the question remains, why do some of our brothers want one community to have Gok and Athoch Associations, while the history is very clear on how our community had been ruled in the last centuries? The answer to this question is very interesting as many justifications are out there, which this author, wish they will turn out to be true than a mere short sighted. On the other hand, if one visited the factors led to the failures of the Greater Bor Association, one would be worried on the survivability of the Bor community Association here in the United States if, we don’t act with due care and wisdom. At the time of the formation of the Greater Bor Association, there were indicators that opposing voices will make our unity less attractive and frustrating. However, no one did care much at the time, because there were opponents on both sides of the Jiɛŋ Bor three counties. Most the people did not think that a chicken will come home to roast. Nonetheless ask Kuol Anyieth, the former Twi East President and Mabior Achiek Chau, the former Bor Community President, and they will tell you more about how a lack of unity affect the community progress.
Now and out of frustrations, some members of Athoch are imitating what some members of Gok did and are in process of forming their association or formed the association. So, where are we heading to as a community? Disintegration, right? failure, you name it. And we wanted to continue living in a state of a denial over this foreseeable outcome and still arguing for the opposite. Notwithstanding, the argument that there will be no impact on the unity of Bor community and on what we do as a community collectively. Folks, let not cheat ourselves and accept the truth as Jesus say “said the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).” Some members of Gok broke away and formed their association when Mabior Achiek Chau was our leader a few years ago, many of these individuals have now been very committed to their Gok Association.
On the same token, the members of Athoch who are in the process of forming their association are likely to do the same as Gok association did in the past. It is a wish of this writer that this likelihood would be wrong, but the records of the past supported a prediction of the future.
Instead of being opposed to ourselves in a situation like ba bul ka ba nyop while we are serving the same clients (Bor) people. It is in our best interest as a community to hold a referendum that will help us to find out a demand of the majority within the community. If the majority decided that Athoch and Gok Associations are what we needed, then we will go for it. However, if the majority supported that there is no need for Athoch and Gok associations, then we will go for it. The way to do this referendum requires, a face to face talk with Alier Maret camp, Malaak Juuk camp, all 15 sectional leaders, 5 payams leaders, the current Bor community leadership, our prominent elders, and spiritual leaders. Any decision that will come out from these leaders, will serve as a testimony on what does our community want and this will help us to overcome the opposing views that may break apart the community full with voices of reasons.
In conclusion, the historical facts on how the Bor community had been ruled for many centuries are very clear and it is up to the current aspirant leaders to break it or follow it. Also, our poor or good decisions may have the impact on the vulnerable people of Bor community, who are now in need of each other than they have been before. In addition, Bor people need collective efforts to defeat their adversaries, and this requires unity and one chain of command, not Athoch or Gok.
As I end my argument, I would like to conclude it with (Matthew 12:25), where Jesus said that “every kingdom divided against itself usually lead to a failure, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Exactly, this is where we are heading as a community if we don’t swallow our egos, act with due care and wisdom.
NB: For my readers, this is a personal opinion that has no an association to anyone nor an association within our community other than myself. Judge it as personal only.