WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE DONE IN GOK STATE TO SORT OUT THE PRESENT MESS

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala Uganda

Elders of Aguok community during a meeting in Gokrial community(Photo credits: Zoe Carmack)

Elders of Aguok community during a meeting in Gokrial community(Photo credits: Zoe Carmack)

July 26, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —- The stage things have reached now in Gok State makes things difficult to sort out unless we, Gok State citizens think critically and act with fairness.

First, we need to unite as Gok people and condemn all the killings that have been taking peace recently and anybody who contributed to their occurrences.

Second, we should avoid using killings as a political tool against the governor and the government of Gok State but rather we should honestly condemn the failure of the governor and his government for not coming up with earlier warning system to detection tension building up among communities and react swiftly before it is out of hand.

In addition, we should also blame the governor for failing to execute his constitutional mandate to protect citizens of Gok State.

Then, the next thing to do is that the current successive conflicts in Gok State should be treated differently though they are interconnected.

The first thing to be done is to treat the first killing in which Waat people killed the young man from Ayiel section that led to the revenge killing in town as separate incidence.

Those youth from Waat who killed that young man from Ayiel section in cattle camp should be brought to the book and their action should be treated as murder, which should be tried in Court of law and if found guilty then they should be dealt with in accordance with what the judge has said based on law.

If found guilty and directed that they should be hanged then they should be hanged without payment of fines.  Revenge is not a substitute to justice.

Those from Ayiel who took the law into their own hands and killed innocent Waat people in town due to the killing of the youth as referred to above should be dealt with separately and tried in accordance with the law and if found guilty then they should be dealt with as the judge (based on the law) shall direct.

If found guilty of murder and directed that they should be hanged then they should be hanged without payment of fines.   Revenge does not have basis in law and should be outlawed in Gok State by all means.

Then, the conflict in which Waat people were killed should be treated separately but not as continuation of the previous conflict though they are interconnected. For example, if Waat people were the ones who planned to attack Ayiel people on revenge for their people that were killed in town, then Ayiel people are entitled to the right of self-defense and whoever was killed from Waat section as a result of the attack should not be treated as murder case but as someone who was killed by Ayiel people in self-defense.

In English law, if a person kills another in self-defense then a killer is protected by the law and can be set free without being punished. However, in accordance with Gok custom those Waat members who were killed in the process of attacking Ayiel people to revenge should be compensated through payment of cows (APUK).

In the same way, Pagor youth who killed a youth from Pancinyi section that led to the killing of Mapan Machar should be tried and if found guilty then they should be hanged if Court has found it and direct it as such.

In the same way, those youth from Pancinyi section who killed Mapan Machar on revenge should be apprehended and tried in the court of law and if found guilty then they should be hanged if the court decides so.

As the governor has declared the state of emergency after the recent killings, it should remain in place for at least six months and from there the governor should take the advantage to investigate all the crimes committed since 2003 in Gok State among Gok people.

The investigation should be done fairly and in collaboration with the civilians. The Governor should use it as an opportunity to reconcile all the clans that have been at conflict with each other and after that all youth should agree on how they should be governed.

After that Agreement, the governor should put it before the Gok State legislative assembly to be passed into law and upon the passing of it, it should be the used as the general criminal law governing the Gok State.

In addition to the above, the governor should put in the motion the process of enacting the law governing the use of guns in Gok State.

The government should introduce the bill in Gok parliament that will lead to the enactment of the law governing the use of guns in Gok State by all the inhabitants.

The gun law should provide death penalty against any person that uses the guns against citizens of Gun State or any other person who stays peacefully in Gok State.

The above recommendations can work effectively if the governor and the government in place are concerned with the protection of the citizens.

If they are ready to sacrifice in protecting the citizens and if they know that the stability of Gok State is not from citizens but the ability of the government to control the citizens.

The Author is a lawyer by profession; he graduated with honors in law from School of law Makerere University. He participated in various works and training. He is the member of Public Interest Law Clinic(PILAC) and NETPIL (Network of Public Interest Lawyers; he is doing research with NETPIL on private prosecution he is trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution;  he participated in writing in Law Street Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda. He is currently undertaking staying in Kampala Uganda where he is undertaking bar course training. He can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +256783579256.

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