April 2, 14 (BOR) – Baba Medan was appointed as the new deputy governor of Jonglei state and on Wednesday, succeeding Hussein Maar Nyuot who joined a rebellion which began in December following a split in the South Sudanese army (SPLA).
- Jonglei’s new deputy governor, Baba Medan (L), and Pochalla county commissioner Omot Acheu (R), pictured with governor Lt Gen John Kong (C), were sworn in to office on 2 April 2014 (ST)
The new deputy governor said he would prioritise peace and reconciliation among the people of Jonglei. South Sudan’s eastern state has witnessed some of the worst fighting in the 14 weeks of violence between rebels and the government.
He vowed to do his best to bring together different ethnic groups whose relations have been torn apart by the political and tribal conflicts in the state, which had begun years before the current upsurge in violence caused by the rebellion led by former South Sudanese vice-president Riek Machar.
Many officials in Jonglei, as well as Unity and Upper Nile state, have defected to join the rebels, often due to political or tribal allegiances.
Omot Acheu Awan was also sworn in as the new Pochalla county commissioner at the same ceremony in Bor, replacing Joseph Okello.
Few people attended the swearing in ceremony, which was hosted by the Jonglei caretaker governor, Lt Gen John Kong.
FANGAK COMMISSIONER FIRED
The caretaker governor Kong, three days ago, decreed the sacking of John Matien Kuol, formerly the commissioner for Fangak county. Located north-west of Jonglei, Fangak is mainly inhabited by the Gaweer tribe.
Kuol, who was appointed to the post last year, allegedly failed to control his subjects, many of whom have reportedly shown support for opposition forces led by former vice-president, Riek Machar.
Kong, in a decree issued last week, also relieved the Akobo, Uror, Ayod and Nyirol county commissioners of their duties.
South Sudan’s largest state in size, Jonglei, has changed hands three times between the army and opposition forces loyal to Machar since violence broke out in mid-December last year.
Over 145,700 people are currently displaced within Jonglei due to the conflict. The United Nations says that more than one million people have been forced from their homes due to the crisis, which has reportedly seen over 10,000 killed.