Come back home, invest your knowledge, time and money to your society: Governor Gatluak

Minneapolis, MN, May, 20, 2013 (GSN) - The meeting between the largest Gambella community in the world and Gambella’s Governor Gatluak in Twin Cities, MN, USA was a success.

The governor of Gambella was delighted, glade to seeing all members of the Gambella community in Minneapolis. The governor told his audiences that, he came to US not  for public relation trip but for capacity building in public administration training, orientation ,that there’s an arrangement in the planning for future delegates to come to US to meet the Gambellan community in general.


He briefs the conference on all subjects’ matters: be it economic development, politics, security, social and cultural development trajectories. After highlighting all the important issues, he concluded that I am here to listen to you, challenged his audience that their participation in all realms of economic, political order, peace and stability is crucial and imperative for development.

The governor challenged Gambella Diaspora community to bring their money home and invest them in various forms economic activities. He told them your country is poor but with hard work we can get there, we can live better like other developed country. Bring your knowledge, skills in every fields of endeavor so that you can apply them and shared them with us.

The governor emphasized a lot on the important of engineering: road, building engineering, water, electrical engineering agricultural engineering, construction engineering etc...   Because he said it is where the bulk of regional treasure or money goes, it is where the money is for those who want to make money. Right now said the governor, all the engineering work done in the region is done by all outside contractors (he meant the highlanders) the audience laughed. He said but “I am telling the truth.” we have problem with many of them not honoring their words, taking money, disappearing , not finishing their jobs under the signed contracts.  So that’s why my people I am urging you to bring your skills home, soon because in order mitigate these problems we must hire the natives people who are skilled in these fields, that’s how it should be. We must empower the region’s citizens before others. 

Security issues: the governor spoke about the important of security of Gambella: the problems of the outlaw groups such as Murle, Lou Nuer and armed groups lurking in the jungles, penetrating our unsecured borders, jeopardizing the stability of our people, the entire regional security. The security dilemma he said is now being looked at interstates levels. And  South Sudan, North Sudan respectively were looking in to this security dilemmas, we know  it is also in their interest to had all borders security, protected and secured. And durable security said the governor in his view benefit all countries bordering each other’s.

On Force Villagization: the governor denied, said there’s no such thing as forced villagization. He told his audience how can I do that to myself? the son of the soil of Gambella, “god forbid” I cannot do that. However he said villagization is federally mandated program geared toward settling semi nomadic people of the region to benefit development projects. He said for example Jor district had problem of flooding, disruption of lives from every cycle of disasters they get every year.

So what happened; we asked Jor people to take part into what we already viewed as envisaged good programs of settlements, but the governor said, Jor people refused. “Saying we are not leaving nowhere. We are not going anywhere, where it is not our ancestral homeland. In this case the governor said, we left them alone. So my people there are no forced villagization program. It wouldn’t happen under our watch. 

Reporting by Ahmare Gilo, GSN contributor, Sources: Amhare Gilo is Studied Political Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato

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