March 17, 2013 (BOR) - Jonglei state’s three newly-appointed commissioners for Akobo, Fangak and Nyirol counties were sworn in on Saturday to assume their powers in their offices after their predecessors were sacked at the beginning of March.
- A crowd in Jonglei state’s capital Bor waits to receive three newly appointed county commissioners, 16 March 2013 (ST)
People from Fangak, Nyirol and Akobo crowded outside the Jonglei state secretariat on Saturday to welcome the new commissioners.
Koang Rambang Chol replaces Goi Jooyul Yoal in Akobo county, Wany Juet Jock takes over from Isaac Kuach Duoth in Nyirol county, and John Matien Kuol steps in to replace James Maluit Ruach in Fangak county.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jonglei governor Kuol Manyang Juuk urged the new commissioners to exercise democracy, good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights in their counties.
“When we talk about good governance, democracy, human rights and development, they are all found in the county because all of them start from the county, which is the basic unit of the government, the government starts from the county,” Manyang said.
He ordered the county commissioners to enforce laws and ordered communities to halt the tribal conflicts which have blighted the state since independence.
Jonglei’s minister for local government, Diing Akol, warned the new commissioners to work hard to coordinate the affairs of counties with the state government.
- John Matien Kuol was appointed commissioner of Jonglei state’s Fangak county (ST)
“Today you will step into your county and people will first look into your weakness, that is the first step they will [have] adapted from you before starting work,” Akol said.
Chol, the commissioner of Akobo, said that he and the other new appointees appreciated the governor of Jonglei state for asking them to represent and serve their communities.
“As we have just been sworn in now, we will follow the law and delivering the services to our communities,” Chol said, adding that they will try their best to fight corruption and work according to the will of the people of Jonglei state.
Hundreds of women and men from Akobo west and some residents of Akobo East converged at the state secretariat waiting to receive the newly-appointed commissioner.
- Newly-appointed Akobo county commissioner Koang Rambang (ST)
A middle-aged resident of Akobo county described celebrations following the appointment of the commissioner, who hails from Akobo West, as unique.
Rabecca Nyanyak, a captain in the Jonglei state prison services from Akobo West, also expressed her gratitude that a young man was chosen for the position.
She said the area, whose headquarters is in Walgak, has been isolated due to its distance from the county headquarters in the east of Akobo and needs better roads in order to help address insecurity issues.
In February, 114 civilians, including women and children, along with 14 SPLA soldiers, were killed in Walgak, after some elements of David Yau Yau’s rebel group and Murle youth attacked the unarmed group, who were migrating to spend the dry season near the river.
It takes three to four days to walk from the Akobo headquarters in the east to Walgak, with the route cutting through heavy bush and across seasonal rivers and tributaries.
- Wany Juet Jock pictured on the day he was appointed commissioner of Nyirol county in Jonglei state, 16 March 2013 (ST)
“Children and women were killed, and husbands to some women were killed, the wives will find it hard to raise the children on their own”, Nyanyak said, referring to the aftermath of the brutal Murle attack.
She hoped that the new commissioner would do his best to pick up from the former commissioner, Goi Jooyul Yoal.
Samuel Tony, also from West Akobo, said he is happy with the changes made by the state government and suggested that the position of commissioner should rotate between the east and west of the county.
He added that Chol is an active member of the community and has been involved in development projects between the two communities.
Chol is the first commissioner from western Akobo to take office, with the two previous commissioners of Akobo county appointed since South Sudan gained self-rule in 2005 both hailing from Akobo East.
Isaac Duoth, who is from Akobo West, said the appointment signified that both western and eastern Akobo have equal chances for consideration in the government.
“The people of western and eastern Akobo are one, and we love ourselves, that is why we have all come here to receive the new commissioner and we did the same in the past”, he added.
He urged the government through the new commissioner to improve education, health and other basic services in the county.