By Mading De Ngeth Angoh
I am standing here expressing the need to acknowledge the Rights of Thony Communities in Jonglei State. These rights have been denied for many centuries and disadvantaged as a result. Jonglei is one of the largest states in South Sudan with many ethnic communities such as the Thony Community. The Thony people have been scattered into many communities outside of the Bor town, the main city of Jonglei State, due to political affiliations in the past. There are many intellectuals in other ethnic communities of Bor. When it comes to the Thony community however, there is a lack of educated people, due to a lack of representation in the affairs of the Jonglei State Government. Thony Community are capable of managing their own affairs, rather than relying on the misrepresentations of outsiders. Many people are opposing our rights and I don’t know why they are sceptical about giving the Thony Community the same rights as others in Jonglei State?
Thony Community has a right to be issued with a county, just like other communities who are benefiting in Jonglei State. I discovered that discrimination is so high in Jonglei State that people have become hostile. South Sudan had been an unstable State for many years.
The International Community intervened and allowed independence of South Sudan on 9th July 2011, as a result of signing a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and the South of Sudan, which ended the longest civil war in the Nation. This was done due to injustice applied on South Sudanese by Arab regimes. The human rights were implemented, so that all other ethnic minority groups in South Sudan could enjoy their independence.
The Thony Community fought equally for the freedom of South Sudan, as did other communities, however they are the only community that is not being recognised in terms of power sharing. If other people are given their rights, and the rest are struggling as if they are still under Arab government, what was the reason we fought the Arab Regimes in the first place?
I believe that our nation was suffering from the mistreatment and marginalisation of the Arab Regimes that is why we fought. I am dissatisfied with this mistreatment, which has been practised for centuries; people should know that the Thony community contributed in gaining an independence of South Sudan since day one. Who can stand up and provide evidence that Thony Community did not participate in the civil war in South Sudan? Even H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, General Kuol Manyang Juuk, Michael Makuei Lueth, Honourable Governor Philip Aguer Panyaang and the others can provide witness to this.
There are evidence to show our participation during the civil war between Sudan and South Sudan; we have played an incredible role. Many people think as if they are the Geneses in Bor compared to other ethnic’s communities. Nevertheless, an Indigenous right should be adapted in the Jonglei State.
Thony Community is started from Athooc and Gok, such as Mading (Mading De Ngeth Angoh), Malek, (Korooi), Pariak, Malual (Malual Tong) and Mayom, these communities have huge populations and they could not be represented in Jonglei government or in level of Bor County; they can form a county. They should not be assimilated into other Counties such as Athooc and Gok.
However, if there were equality in our constituencies or electorates, then during upgrading of Payam to Counties, the Thony community would have been given a County to demonstrate fairness. The action of not providing Thony with County status is discriminatory and Thony community is opposed to this. We say no no no to discrimination imposed on us from past to current government.
According to the International Human Rights Law, everybody should have equal rights. It is significant that everybody is protected against torture and mistreatment and all people must receive the same rights and opportunities as other citizens in the state. What is happening in Jonglei State is genocide and I am not blaming it on Honourable Governor Philip Aguer Panyang nor the previous leadership, but our constituencies. There are some individuals who formed themselves to be the special group in Bor and have a strong voice. The Thony community really needs to know if we are important in the Jonglei State. Are we important?
Many counties were created in 2016 in the Jonglei State, and our rights have denied, despite repeated requests. I am very disappointed with this abuse and I don’t really understand the way the constituencies have arranged sharing of resources. I believe even if the constituencies are given the whole world, they will still not be satisfied. Granting Thany their rights is not creating disunity; it is just allowing the peace and unity to be in place so that the Thony community can live in social coherence.
The constituencies need to be rationale rather than hiding behind the conspiracy practised for many years. There must be equal rights for all people in the Jonglei State. It is clear that some people are treated better than others and this is clearly articulated in the Bor County. The mistreatment in Bor could cause disunity among the people of Jonglei State. However, by sharing things equally could bring people together. Thany are not different elements or animals as the constituencies contemplate.
We are all equal, we should respect each other, and no one is an indispensable. In a democracy, everyone has the rights to equal treatment yet many counties in Bor exercise discrimination against Thany. Bear in mind that all people are equal before the law and Thany do not deserve this treatment. Many people have asked for a map showing the location of Thany, but the current recorded map is incorrect as the Thony community were forced to move from their ancestral lands. Thony’s current location should not disqualify them from being declared a County. I urge all Thony members around the globe to be vigilant about this marginalisation. If you are not standing up for your rights, nobody will do this for you. Standing up for your rights is the beginning of everything. My advice to you as sons and daughters of Thony Community be wary of the local constituency who pose as friends. When your closest friends gang up against you, you build a new relationship with different friends in order to be stable.
Prepared by Disadvantaged member
Mading De Ngeth Angoh