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Lawmakers tell Upper Nile governor, ministers to return to Malakal

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April 11, 2014 (JUBA) – Lawmakers from South Sudan’s national assembly have demanded that the Upper Nile state governor and his ministers immediately return to the capital, Malakal, to help restore law and order in the conflict-ridden region.

Members of Parliament headed by speaker of South Sudan Council states Joseph Bol visited Malakal on Thursday only to witness “continuing looting and rotting bodies in the town”.

“There is only one minister in Malakal and three commissioners,” Bol told reporters at a news briefing on Friday.

“For order to return and to build confident amongst the displaced people, the government of Upper Nile state has to return to Malakal,” the lawmaker added.

Malakal has changed hands four times between government and rebel forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar. The mid-December fighting in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, quickly spread to Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states and has continued unabated, despite a ceasefire agreement signed by both sides in late January.

Upper Nile state governor Simon Kun Poch has been under pressure from local politicians for going abroad at the peak of fighting in early February.

Last month, the Upper Nile government announced a temporary relocation of the state headquarters to Renk, a northern town on its border with Sudan.

(ST)

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