March 26, 2008 (NSV)
SPLM's political bureau have officially ended power vacuum in Abyei on Wednesday 26th with the arrival of Major General Edward Lino as Chief Administrator for the area.
On Wednesday morning, the SPLM appointee Edward Lino, took off from Khartoum, accompanied by more than 30 delegates mainly from Abyei area. His jet landed at Rubkona airstrip in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday. At midday, he was en route to Anet, Abyei's temporal capital until Wednesday 26th.
In Anet, Edward Lino was received by his cabinet ministers, traditional leaders, religious leaders, police, army, children, women and wounded war heroes and heroines.
Edward Lino spent about three hours in Anet before proceeding to Abyei across Kiir River. At 5:30pm, he arrived in a heavily guarded convoy in Abyei and rushed to the cleared square at Mulmul near UNMIS, Abyei Sector Site, where nine ceremonial bulls representing the nine clans of Ngok chieftaincy were slaughtered.
Thousands of happily dancing Ngok youth and elders sung revolutionary and heroic songs. One enthusiastic youth told The New Sudan Vision at the edge of the field in Mulmul; "Today we have received our leader. We have come back to the memory of late Dr. Garang when he visited Abyei-Agog in June 2004."
Several key note speakers presented speeches amidst ululations and cheers as the sun was settling faster over Abyei.
The much awaited arrival of Edward Lino has come to pass with thousands of Dinka Ngok joyfully singing as they received their son and SPLM political leader in the area. "We had sleepless nights for the last one week, preparing to receive our very own government," Deng Dau, one of the leaders in Mading Acweny payam said.
Among the first to speak was Adam Deng Majok (Kuol Tith), the former Ngok Paramount Chief and son to late Deng Majok. Until recently, he was with NCP but he declared in front of his subjects in Abyei; "I have now joined the SPLM as my political party."
Edward Lino who gave brief c speech said he had come to stay with his incoming government:
"Am happy to be at home with you my people. This ground reminds me when I was young, playing with the soil. Even these ministers (Musa Malei, Kuol, Nyanagwek etc.) grew here. We should have our priority to live positively with tribes neighboring us. Let us not hesitate to work hard to develop our land. Some enemies may be against us but that cannot scare us. We have to build schools, hospitals and develop our land. Returnees have opportunity to cooperate with us in building our land."
Edward Lino told the crowd that his comrade Salva Kiir advised him to work hard because Abyei was lurking behind in development.
On wealth sharing and the percentage of Abyei, Edward Lino said it was not time to speak out yet but he assured the crowds that his government will be transparent and cited the competence of women who will have their full participation in the government of Abyei.
Edward Lino surprised many of his listeners when he asked them; "How can we live in grass houses like rats? We have to change this lifestyle. We have to know who will break into our houses or burn them.”
He went on to invite the remnants of SAF still living in the area, to be at peace with the locals. “Let's not talk of war, war every time. We must speak of peace and chase away fear that is killing us."
On his leadership, Edward Lino said he has come to fight evil with good.
Much will be expected from the new SPLM leader in Abyei, from demarcation of the town to provision of running water in the area.
NCP is yet to endorse the leadership of Edward Lino in Abyei. War of words has been taking place in the last few months on SPLM appointment of Edward Lino as administrator of Abyei. GoSS has provided him with 17 Land Cruisers for Abyei Administration.
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