This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
Petitions are alleged to have been written to the SPLM to demand his removal, a claim which is however denied by the Party in the state. On Monday and Tuesday this week, the situation became tense as groups of chiefs, claiming to represent all the chiefs of the county, went public and expressed their dissatisfaction to the press.
Ayom Akol Wek is a Paramount Chief of Aweil South County, who spoke on behalf of other chiefs and paramount chiefs in the county and had this to say about the Commissioner Mangok’s leadership. “The reason we want the new Commissioner is … that he promised us that by this July he will be ready to go back to the army, and so this chance belongs to Nyoc-Awany payam … we need a commissioner who can come and listen to us in our county here and our payam.” He explained.
Akol said there was a huge misunderstanding between the local communities, especially chiefs, and the commissioner, who he accused of being ignorant and negligent in handling burning local issues. “this commissioner comes across [as though] he cannot listen to his people and community because he is always told and yet he cannot understand chiefs and also citizens of this county; that is why we don’t want him again to rule us here.” He explained.
He further accuses him of dictatorship and overly forceful approach, displaying a militarily mindset approach rather than a civilian mindset. “He is ruling us in the way of soldiers but we’re not soldiers, he is ruling by orders and commands.” He stressed.
A youth representative, who feared harassment and hence requested anonymity, said the Commissioner is a dictator and corrupt; hence they stance behind the community leaders calling for his removal from the state leadership and the ruling party.
“There are lots of chaoses which have been occurring in the county, we need a person who can handle the issues of communities without causing problems, that is why communities have been complaining to have another leadership which can treat them fairly.” He said.
Commissioner Mangok, for his part, denies the allegations and says he does not wish to resign, nor to be removed by a small minority which he claims to be from one payam only. He says those putting him under pressure are a few individuals from Nyoc-awany.
“Yes, I want to tell you the truth, I took over the county as the county commissioner since 2010 and I was nominated by the party and leadership of the party nominated me as the county commissioner of Aweil South County. I don’t have right and I don’t want to let down the leadership of the party. I’m here responsible for Aweil South County according to the mandate of the party, until the party tells me to stop”, the Commissioner said
Mangok denies the allegations of dictatorship, corruption and ruling the county in a military fashion, as alleged by the chiefs and youth. “I cannot rule them in the way of soldiers, I am ruling them according to the laws, I cannot oppose like soldiers.” He clarified.
A supporter of the embattled Commissioner says, as the longest serving commissioner in the county he has improved lots of things and made several changes in the county. Peter Mangok says those wrangling for leadership are seeking their personal interests, since they know that the chance goes to their payam upon the departure of the current incumbent.
“He did lots of things in Aweil South, and if we look back, Aweil South is not like the way it was before. The people of Aweil South do not want the person to stay in the power for long to provide service to the people who in the grassroots.” He explained.
Mr. Mangok urged the state government not listen to the claims but rather keep the current Commissioner in power for a longer period for more service delivery. “Me as a citizen of Aweil South, I urge the state government to resolve this problem by leaving the commissioner in power until 2018-2020.” He said.
Jiel Mangok Yel was appointed by the country’s ruling party in the state. His time in office has witnessed some chaos as communities claimed they were being subjected to illegal imprisonment and harassment. They further claimed they had been banned from farming in the nearby county capital’s plots and had faced imprisonment when any community member was found to be rearing livestock in the county’s headquarters. In addition there have been accusations that the Commissioner was discriminatory and tribalist in handling public issues. In June and July alone the death toll on civilians in the county reached 4 murdered and several others allegedly imprisoned.