September 18, 2013 (WAU) - Authorities from South Sudan’s border state of Western Bahr el Ghazal on Wednesday raised the status of Mapel, a strategic area located some 45 miles south east of Wau town.
The area straddles Western Equatoria State to the south, Warrap in the north and Lakes State to the east.
It is a historical area in Western Bahr el Ghazal, as it hosted the administrative structures and the command base of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during the over two decades of years of war with the Sudan Armed Forces.
South Sudan formally broke away from Sudan in 2011, following the conduct of the referendum on the self determination provided under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the conflict.
The area is inhabited by the Luo tribe, which known as Jurhchol in South Sudan.
Mapel also served as a zonal headquarters for international relief organizations providing humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced people after the SPLA attempted to take Wau from the Sudan Armed Forces in 1988, resulting in the mass displacement of civilians in and around Wau town.
The elevation of the status from being a boma [sub-district] to a payam [district] level was announced by Western Bahr el Ghazal state Governor, Rizik Zachariah Hassan during a visit as part of the high-level government delegation that accompanied President Salva Kiir Mayardit to the area on Wednesday.
Governor Hassan inaugurated the building of an administration office for the payam headquarters, police station with detention cells, catering centre and market place in addition to seven shallow wells for potable water as well as agriculture and providing animals with water.